Michelle Malkin endorses Rick Santorum

posted at 4:15 pm on January 30, 2012 by Tina Korbe

In a blog post that is not to be missed, Hot Air founder and longtime conservative stalwart Michelle Malkin this morning threw the weight of her opinion behind former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — and, perhaps even more importantly, explained why she chose not to endorse the other three candidates. She has had — and continues to have — reservations about all the GOP contenders, including Santorum himself, but she was especially adamant about her opposition to Newt Gingrich. At Townhall.com, Guy Benson thoroughly dissects her piece, illuminating how conspicuous was her criticism of the former Speaker of the House. For now, I offer this excerpt that focuses on the positive side of Rick Santorum:

Rick Santorum opposed TARP.

He didn’t cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008. He didn’t follow the pro-bailout GOP crowd — including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — and he didn’t have to obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now, like Rick Perry and Herman Cain did. He also opposed the auto bailout, Freddie and Fannie bailout, and porkulus bills.

Santorum opposed individual health care mandates — clearly and forcefully — as far back as his 1994 U.S. Senate run. He has launched the most cogent, forceful fusillade against both Romney and Gingrich for their muddied, pro-individual health care mandate waters.

He voted against cap and trade in 2003, voted yes to drilling in ANWR, and unlike Romney and Gingrich, Santorum has never dabbled with eco-radicals like John HoldrenAl Gore and Nancy Pelosi. He hasn’t written any “Contracts with the Earth.” …

Santorum is an eloquent spokesperson for the culture of life. He has been savagedand ridiculed by leftist elites for upholding traditional family values — not just in word, but in deed.

She also praises his strong views on border security and national defense — and even has a good word or two for his campaign management. She forestalls knee-jerk criticisms of the former senator by addressing head-on his 2006 reelection loss, his endorsement of Arlen Specter and a few of his more pronounced big-government tendencies.

Predictably, readers still found objections to her endorsement: One complained that the endorsement, though ideologically pure, was politically stupid. The reader wondered: Why didn’t Malkin endorse Santorum after Iowa when it might actually have helped? He suggested that, at this point, support for Santorum just draws support away from Newt Gingrich and makes it that much easier for Mitt Romney to secure the nomination.

But supporting Santorum helps Romney only if voters buy the premature spin that this is already a two-man race. It’s not. The race has barely begun — and Santorum speaks to the concerns of the quietly conservative heartland – and to the concerns of working-class, swing-state voters like the voters who elected him in Pennsylvania in the first place – in a way the other candidates don’t. He is just as much an alternative to Romney as he is an alternative to Gingrich and could draw support from both camps if concerned conservatives would come to understand that he still has a chance to win.

As Malkin points out, Santorum is in this campaign for the long haul. He is headed to Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nevada. Her endorsement comes as many conservatives, despite their best efforts to fall in line with either of the establishment candidates, still find themselves disenchanted with the frontrunners. It comes as Santorum begins to distinguish himself as the lone traditional conservative candidate who was also strong on two of the most definitive issues of this election cycle — the bailouts and Obamacare. It comes, in other words, right on time.


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