Romney going back after Santorum on earmarks

posted at 9:50 am on February 9, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Don’t think that Mitt Romney didn’t notice the Rick Santorum hat trick on Tuesday, despite his protestations that those races didn’t amount to much anyway. His team seems to have executed a ballet like pivot in only 24 hours, abandoning his attacks on Newt Gingrich and training his sights on the former Pennsylvania Senator. For those of use lashed to the presidential press train, this quickly became apparent in our e-mail in boxes. I awoke this morning to find a love note from Mitt, once again proclaiming his bona fides as a “Washington outsider” and leading with the following graphic.

Rick Santorum Went To Washington

The text which followed was a link rich list of media bites, hammering Santorum relentlessly on his alleged history as a big government spender, going so far as to borrow a quote from Will Rogers, saying that Rick “never met an earmark he didn’t like.”

Santorum Voted To Add Trillions To The National Debt As Spending Soared During His Time In Washington:

“Santorum Acknowledged Voting To Raise The Federal Debt Ceiling At Least Five Times While In Congress.” (Charles Babington, “Gingrich Defends His Attacks,” The Associated Press, 1/15/12)

Federal Spending Increased By Roughly 80% During Santorum’s Tenure In The Senate. In 1995, Santorum’s first year in the Senate, federal spending was approximately $1.516 trillion. By 2007, when Santorum left the Senate, spending had increased to approximately $2.729 trillion. (“Fiscal Year 2012 Historical Tables Of The U.S. Government,” Office of Management and Budget, 2/14/11)

Santorum Brought Over $1 Billion In Pork-Barrel Spending Back To Pennsylvania. “In all, Taxpayers for Common Sense estimated, Mr. Santorum helped secure more than $1 billion in earmarks during his Senate career, which stretched from 1995 through 2006.” (Michael Luo and Mike McIntire, “Donors Gave As Santorum Won Earmarks,” The New York Times, 1/15/12)

Club For Growth: “Santorum Was A Prolific Supporter Of Earmarks, Having Requested Billions Of Dollars For Pork Projects In Pennsylvania While He Was In Congress.” (“2012 Presidential White Paper #4: Former Senator Rick Santorum,” Club For Growth, 6/6/11)

That’s just a taste of the laundry list contained in the note, with plenty more following. But the message from the Romney camp seems to be clear in two regards. First, they are absolutely taking Santorum seriously now, and the contest in Missouri ran up a big red flag as to what could happen if Newt changed his mind and bowed out, leaving Mitt in what would effectively be a two man race against the long dreaded, but never fully defined, single “Not Mitt” candidate. It wasn’t pretty.

Second, Romney knows that attacking Santorum from the left for being “too conservative” on any social issues would be an absolute disaster and very likely sink his chances. Rick also lacks the depth of “baggage” that Newt has, so it’s hard to claim he’s an easy target for Team Obama on that front. So his best – and possibly only – avenue of attack is to try to paint Santorum as a big spending, big government, earmark loving Republican who can’t be trusted to keep a tight hold on the national purse. Expect to see a lot of Romney cash dumped into precisely that message from now until Super Tuesday, as well as a highlight of the Feb. 22nd debate.

EDIT: (Jazz) Yes,that should have been Will Rogers. I guess I was just hungry when writing it…


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Better earmarks than Romneycare…

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Mitt is at it again…

Electrongod on February 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM

This coming from the individual mandate supporting Romney who as Santorum pointed out, also advocated for TARP?

Uh, yeah. Good luck with that, Mitt!

Stoic Patriot on February 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Well, it didn’t take long for the Great Romney Turdhurling Machine to gear up and start flinging, did it?

Scriptor on February 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Now we’ll hear how Santorum is the “anti-establishment” candidate despite spending 16 years in Washington.
Oh and right off Rick’s front page, something about the prop 8 ruling (didn’t know he was running for Governor of Cali as well). But yeah, he won’t focus on gay marriage or anything.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Well, if there’s one good thing that could be said about Santorum’s rise, is that at least now we don’t have to worry about Newt Gingrich winning the nomination. That alone makes this all better.

For now though, it’s looking like the Romney campaign is re-arming itself for the new environment this campaign seems to be setting itself on. Santorum really doesn’t have to change his line of attack on Romney (seeing as how he’s just mostly been harping on Healthcare and social values anyway), but we’ll see how he handles a sustained attacks on his spending record and on earmarks.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Santorum went to Washington to represent his constituents…
News at 11

Electrongod on February 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Just like clock work LOL!

Dr Evil on February 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

I have no problem with Mitt attacking Santorum

I have no problem with Santorum attacking Mitt

We have seen that Newt could not endure the attacks – he withered.

The fight(s) and attacks are ALL GOOD – let it fly.

Let’s see who can endure the process – that’s what it’s all about.

jake-the-goose on February 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Pathetic.

So he starts with an article defending Newt(who he just spent a month hammering), moves to a macro “Congress increased spending…” than a hob nob of groups who no one has ever heard of to make a “point.”

Glad they are pivoting from “Romney will say anything, depending on the day”… or not.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Santorum has already responded to Romney’s earmark attacks the other day:

“Mitt Romney is saying that I’m not a conservative. That’s almost laughable for a moderate Massachusetts governor, who has been for big government programs.

He says I earmark. He’s for the biggest earmark in the history of the country — he’s for the Wall Street bailout.

I mean, as governor, he advocated for more and more money coming to the state of Massachusetts.

Look, we’ve got the best record, and he’s going to have to just live with that record, and we’re going to make it part of this campaign.”

Just wait til Santorum gets going on the big government intrusion of Romneycare. Romney is skating on thin ice on this line of attack.

KickandSwimMom on February 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Kick up the slime machine, it’s Santorum’s turn.

Can we now stop with the “everyones doing it” meme and admit that Romney started this negativeness in the campaign and he will contiunue until he wins the primary?

Then the big question—will he continue to go “Mad Mitt beyond Thunderdome” when he goes up against Obama, or will he take the advice of his new buddy McCain and play nice?

dirtseller on February 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM

He had his stooge, Sen. McCain, on Fox to shamelessly club Santorum over earmarks this morning.

Better an earmarker than a faux-conservative, mandate-loving, gun-grabbing, global-warming-believing, coal-plant-killing, unborn- baby-murdering, Democrat-appointing Moron like you, Gov. Romney.

Stayright on February 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I have no doubt that Santorum has a LOT more grit and fight in him than Romney. My money is on Santorum in this slug fest.

KickandSwimMom on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

The pattern of defensive behavior from the Romney is increasingly concerning should he be the nominee.

He just sits around spitting out platitudes and beaming the freaky cultish grin at people until his machine identifies a threat. Perry, Cain, Gingrich, then Santorum. And then he opens up with a full artillery barrage in shock-and-awe style.

It’s starting to look a bit weak and he’s seeming ever more plastic. Americans want a leader or at least someone who can do a half-arsed attempt at playing one on TV like Baroque.

CorporatePiggy on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

KickandSwimMom on February 9, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Get’s going? He’s been screeching about it nonstop for the entire campaign. That’s been his main line of attack against Mitt Romney in all the debates he’s attempted to attack him in.

Meanwhile, Santorum has barely been touched at all on any of his own big government conservatism. If anything, Santorum’s the one who risks being hit badly under renewed scrutiny, so long as Santorum keeps repeating things that most everyone in this election already knew about Mitt Romney.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Following in the Juan McShamnesty vein of politics, Mittens is really pissing me off in carpet bombing our own people and the reason Republicans are turning off to him is because they think (like I do) that he will never be as hard on or bring as much money and vitriol toward the One.

Darksean on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Well, it didn’t take long for the Great Romney Turdhurling Machine to gear up and start flinging, did it?

Scriptor on February 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

We knew it was coming. The question is whether it will be garden variety negative attacks or whether he will go nuclear on Santorum like he did on Newt. I think you know which one I am expecting.

We’ll know for sure which one if we start seeing attacks coming out of NRO and other Romney media outlets.

Doomberg on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Pathetic.

So he starts with an article defending Newt(who he just spent a month hammering), moves to a macro “Congress increased spending…” than a hob nob of groups who no one has ever heard of to make a “point.”

Glad they are pivoting from “Romney will say anything, depending on the day”… or not.

Odie1941

Huh? Don’t know where the defending Newt comes in. But if you haven’t heard of OMB, Club for Growth, NYTimes or the AP you’ve may want to get out of that rock.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Newt bow out? Uh, what do you think will happen to Newt’s ratings once Santorum receives a $10,000,000.00 media beat down?

No. Newt will rise gradually all the way through Super Tuesday, not to mention CPAC will revive their love for him this weekend.

I look forward to Newt to start referring to Santorum as ‘Grasshopper’, and himself as the ‘Master’.

HopeHeFails on February 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Well, if there’s one good thing that could be said about Santorum’s rise, is that at least now we don’t have to worry about Newt Gingrich winning the nomination.

Newt who?

Seriously, has anybody seen or heard from Speaker Happy Pants since Tuesday? It seems as if Santorum’s win has completely obliterated any mention of Gingrich.

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Mittens only excuse for not being a big-spending, big-government guy is he did it on the state level…the ol’ 10th Amendment dodge. Of course Mitt won’t go negative himself, that mean old super pac he doesn’t control will do his dirty work. I won’t be happy about it, but I can vote for Santorum a lot easier than I could for Newt.

cartooner on February 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Leave that poor chicken alone, Mitt. Jeez

NJ Red on February 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Can we now stop with the “everyones doing it” meme and admit that Romney started this negativeness in the campaign and he will continue until he wins the primary?

Nope. Liberal Republicans will never admit it.

Then the big question—will he continue to go “Mad Mitt beyond Thunderdome” when he goes up against Obama, or will he take the advice of his new buddy McCain and play nice?

dirtseller on February 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM

He might try. The problem is his strategy relies on a tame MSM. What will happen is he’ll become very isolated very quickly, with zero MSM support and zero grassroots support. The only ones who will stand up for him in the general are his tamed shills like NRO. This will make his carpet bombing tactics virtually impossible to utilize.

I wonder if he even has a plan for the general. Given the grotesque incompetence of the Romney team, my guess is that answer would be “no.”

Doomberg on February 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Wow, candidate continues trying to win.

Film at 11.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Can the mitt get any scummier?

jsunrise on February 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Mitt went to the left and never came back.

MeatHeadinCA on February 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Mitt has become the greatest gift we republicans can give the left, he’s about doing their dirty work for them.

tinkerthinker on February 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

We knew it was coming. The question is whether it will be garden variety negative attacks or whether he will go nuclear on Santorum like he did on Newt. I think you know which one I am expecting.

We’ll know for sure which one if we start seeing attacks coming out of NRO and other Romney media outlets.

Doomberg on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Is Santorum above being attacked or something? His record isn’t exactly beyond reproach (as a post at Ace’s place this morning explains). I don’t understand why it’s OK to bloody up Romney, but not OK for him to respond.

changer1701 on February 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

One thing Romney should NOT be doing is getting into a conversation about who has the better record as an elected official. That is Romney’s weakest front.

Mord on February 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

The negativity will backfire on Richie Rich this time.

Norky on February 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Oh I love it so now I can sit back and enjoy watching them going after each other and the good thing is Santorum looks always angry so will fun to watch him being attacked.
Does he ever smile?

evergreenland on February 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I can’t wait for that Brochure Santorum put out in 2006 to prove how “Moderate” he was comes back up…

There was some golden stuff in there.

Critic2029 on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Now we’ll hear how Santorum is the “anti-establishment” candidate despite spending 16 years in Washington.
Oh and right off Rick’s front page, something about the prop 8 ruling (didn’t know he was running for Governor of Cali as well). But yeah, he won’t focus on gay marriage or anything.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Six years ago conservatives wanted to boil him in oil because he backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Now he’s their savior? Give me a break.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Kick up the slime machine, it’s Santorum’s turn.

Can we now stop with the “everyones doing it” meme and admit that Romney started this negativeness in the campaign and he will contiunue until he wins the primary?

dirtseller

So Newt attacking Romney as a vulture capitalist was Romney’s fault?
Am I supposed to forgot Santorum went hand to god lying his ass off in the debate against Romney?
If you don’t like the game, fine. But stop acting like Santorum and Newt or innocents.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

So his best – and possibly only – avenue of attack is to try to paint Santorum as a big spending, big government, earmark loving Republican who can’t be trusted to keep a tight hold on the national purse.

Good luck with that!

Gingrich went negative and self-destructed. Romney went negative with Gingrich, and it hurt himself as much as it hurt Gingrich, giving Santorum a hat-trick. If he keeps this up Paul might end up the nominee – lol.

topdog on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

cartooner on February 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Right, because his excuse being that he had a 85% democratic legislature that easily ran over 700+ of the 800+ vetoes he signed while in office is so much less credible than Santorum’s ‘Republicans controlled the government, that’s why we couldn’t/didn’t bother to reign in spending’…

For all six years Santy and his fellow Compassionate Conservatives were in office they basically ate as much from the government trough as they could, when they had the power and ability to reign in spending while in office. 2004 was a pretty good year for them after all.

But, nope, they didn’t even bother, especially Santorum. Say what you will about Mitt Romney, but don’t pretend that Santorum is even remotely better when it comes to his record of spending.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Mitt can’t point to anything that HE did well…so he has to go after real republicans. The circumstances of the time, and how and why the other candidates did what they did…is only for him, to distort.
Only Mitt gets to bring up that he was in a liberal state, facing certain roadblocks, circumstances,etc. As much as Mitt has run for, and wanted public office, you would have thought he would want more than one term as govenor.
Was there a reason all the hard drives were cleaned up, when he left the govenors office?

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Mitt’s just reminding the people of Pennsylvania that Rick did a lot of work for them and is trying to help Rick win his homestate in Nov.

Flange on February 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

But yeah, he won’t focus on gay marriage or anything.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I have no doubt that haters like you will try to make this all about social issues. You have no other ammunition against Santorum other than you disagree with some of his views on social issues. You will demonize him and declare him to be a crazy nutjob. You will lie. You will distort the truth. You will do anything in your hatred and intolerance.

The fact of the matter, moron, is that this is an election where economic issues are more important. Nobody, let alone Rick Santorum, gives a damn what you are doing in your bedroom with God knows who or what. The focus should be on defeating Obama and getting this nation back, not listening to the bleating ignorance of people like you.

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Six years ago conservatives wanted to boil him in oil because he backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Now he’s their savior? Give me a break.

rockmom

$10 if he said all the right things, thump the bible some, they’d vote for David Duke over Romney.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

One thing Romney should NOT be doing is getting into a conversation about who has the better record as an elected official. That is Romney’s weakest front.

Mord on February 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

How so. Romney has achieved everything he’s ever promised he’d do as an elected official. What he actually did causes much consternation, but in his career has rarely failed to actually achieve his stated goals.

Critic2029 on February 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Critic2029 on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Ah yes, I forgot about these two things on top of his record in the Senate. Wow, True Conservatives really now how to pick them, eh?

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

The fact of the matter, moron, is that this is an election where economic issues are more important. Nobody, let alone Rick Santorum, gives a damn what you are doing in your bedroom with God knows who or what. The focus should be on defeating Obama and getting this nation back, not listening to the bleating ignorance of people like you.

Happy Nomad

You may have a point, IF Santorum thought there was a right to privacy. He does not. Also Santorum is very much in support of sodomy laws. So yeah he does give a damn what people do in their bedroom. But thanks for the epic fail.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Santorum appears to be shaping up as a social con but not a fiscal one. Fiscal conservatism is the more important issue to me.

jeanie on February 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

One thing Romney should NOT be doing is getting into a conversation about who has the better record as an elected official. That is Romney’s weakest front.

Mord on February 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

This makes no sense. Santorum’s entire record consists of his time in DC, and his affinity for unions and earmarks, among other things, are certainly fair game.

changer1701 on February 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Like what Krauthammer said that if thats the best Romney’s got on Rick then Romney is in trouble.

pb88 on February 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

ficon > socon

hanzblinx on February 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Mitt has become the greatest gift we republicans can give the left, he’s about doing their dirty work for them.

tinkerthinker on February 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

LOL! Mitt would be like giving the progressive movement a “time out”.

cartooner on February 9, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I hereby direct you to:

Critic2029 on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

But, you know, worrying about him wetting his pants over social issues when this election is about the economy (stupid) is also a pretty valid concern, no matter how much of a ‘hater’ that makes us.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Can the mitt get any scummier?

jsunrise on February 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

He could turn into Newt.

gotsig on February 9, 2012 at 10:13 AM

We knew it was coming. The question is whether it will be garden variety negative attacks or whether he will go nuclear on Santorum like he did on Newt. I think you know which one I am expecting.

We’ll know for sure which one if we start seeing attacks coming out of NRO and other Romney media outlets.

Doomberg on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Speaking of NRO, today they have posted Jonah Goldberg’s interview for Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge series and he said this:

I do not think they hate Romney that much… Vanilla is everyone’s second favorite flavor. And so they do not hate him, but they do not love him. And they really want to love someone. They want to be in love with a candidate. And they have had these sorts of tawdry affairs with everybody else, other than Romney, this entire primary season.

Jonah needs to get out and talk to a different set of conservatives in a different part of the country if that is what he honestly believes. No Republican candidate in my lifetime has stirred up revulsion like Romney.

flyfisher on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

changer1701 on February 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Oh yes, and his union connections and his reciprocal support for them. I’m sure that’ll play out well in Wisconsin and Indiana right about now.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Six years ago conservatives wanted to boil him in oil because he backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Now he’s their savior? Give me a break.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Rockmom, remember:

Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

And no one is above redemption (especially if the other guy is a RINO!). :)

WisRich on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

flyfisher on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

It’s funny, because I was about to say the same thing to you about you and your group of conservative’s revulsion over Romney. The echo chamber isn’t exactly a good place to hear yourself talk about things.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Sorry to be picky, but Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like. Roy Rogers liked to sing Happy Trails To You.

Pboulay on February 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Better earmarks than Romneycare…

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

You do know that we pay for the big spending brought to us by Santorum types?

rich801 on February 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

WisRich on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Well, which one is the Rino?

The guy with the 85% Dem legislature who’s biggest failing is not being able to stop them from implementing some form of Health Care Reform, or the guy who supported Arlen Spectre, spent 16 years feeding from the government trough, got union support and wants to invade everyone’s privacy?

Honestly, I can’t tell anymore.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Earmarks, in principle, don’t bother me. It is the legitimate power of the legislative branch, not the executive branch, to allocate the spending of money. And while earmarks are requested by an individual member of Congress, they go into a budget that gets voted on by the entire Congress. The problem is that we need to cut spending across the board, not that we need to give legislators less authority over what to spend money on.

OTOH, Romneycare… now that’s a problem.

Shump on February 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM

going so far as to borrow a quote from Roy Rogers, saying that Rick “never met an earmark he didn’t like.”

Jazz-don’t you mean Will Rogers?

Les in NC on February 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Santorum’s biggest weakness should be his absolute lack of executive experience – should be an immediate disqualifier especially given the current white house occupant.

Unfortunately the Romney hatred among “true conservatives” may just be great enough that they will be willing to repeat the mistake of electing someone without the necessary qualifications for the job.

gotsig on February 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM

So in 2001 Rick Santorum loved him some bailouts. Now bailouts are bad. Yep total fiscal conservative this guy.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Six years ago conservatives wanted to boil him in oil because he backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Now he’s their savior? Give me a break.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Have you paid attention to Santorum’s explanation for backing Specter? It’s worth a listen.

As far as the earmarks, come on people. Yes it’s a cool soundbite. But earmarks are not the problems. They account for less than 1% of federal spending. The reason McCain was on a crusade to end earmarks is because he had absolutely no desire or plan to reform entitlements. Same thing with Romney. This is not a winning attack for him.

If I’m forced to choose between earmarks and Romneycare (and it appears that I am), it’s a no-brainer for me.

BardMan on February 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

You do know that we pay for the big spending brought to us by Santorum types?

rich801 on February 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

With earmarks, and government spending in general, we get into big debt and big financial trouble.

With Romneycare and Obamacare, we sacrifice our most basic liberties, not to mention the quality of our health care.

I’ll take earmarks over Romneycare and Obamacare any day.

Shump on February 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Meanwhile, Santorum has barely been touched at all on any of his own big government conservatism. If anything, Santorum’s the one who risks being hit badly under renewed scrutiny, so long as Santorum keeps repeating things that most everyone in this election already knew about Mitt Romney.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Santorum has confronted Romney directly in debates on Romneycare and pulverized the squish. Now, he has a chance with all the media attention to get into the nitty-gritty details of Romneycare so the voters can understand more about its intrusion into their liberties–and how Romney defends that intrusion.

As to big government spending in congress, Santorum has addressed the issue a few times in interviews. Relative to earmarks he has a valid argument that it was his job to bring back the taxpayers money to his state. He did, however, admit that earmarking has gotten bastardized and that he believes there has to be changes made to the process. He also recognizes that government is out of control in its spending and has promised to:

•Commit to cut $5 trillion of federal spending within 5 years.
•Implement Strong America Now reform through Lean Six Sigma management process as a key engine for cutting government waste and improving efficiency.
•Immediately reduce federal (non-defense discretionary spending) to 2008 levels through across the board spending cuts.
•Freeze defense spending levels for 5 years and reject automatic cuts.
•Freeze spending levels for social programs for 5 years such as Medicaid, Housing, Education, Job Training, and Food Stamps, time limit restrictions, and block grant to the States like in Welfare Reform.
•Repeal and Replace ObamaCare with market based healthcare innovation and competition to improve America’s and Americans health, control costs, improve quality and access, and to keep and create jobs which provide resources for healthcare.
•Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution capping government spending at 18% of GDP so that Congress and the President will need to balance the budget like Governors are required to do.
•Pass legislation to reform the Congressional Budget Process and support legislation to require Congress to pass constitutionally required spending bills on time or not get paid the next fiscal year.
•Implement Medicare Reforms and Innovation proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan and speed up their implementation to control healthcare costs and improve quality.
•Reform Social Security and place on a sustainable path by a combination of reforms such as addressing adjusting CPI, dependent benefits and disability income benefits reforms, moving back the retirement age for younger workers, means testing benefits, annual adjustments as needed, and dedicating Social Security payroll taxes to Social Security.
•Implement reforms and cost savings of up to $100 billion in March 2011 GAO report requested by Senator Coburn listing 34 areas of duplication and waste.
•Stop implementation of any remaining federal stimulus spending.
•Freeze pay for non-defense related federal employees for four years, cut workforce by 10% with no compensatory increase in contract workforce, and phase out defined benefit plans for newer workers.
•Eliminate all energy subsidies and most agriculture subsidies within four years.
•Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and use half of the dollars to support adoption instead.
•Cut EPA resources for job killing regulations and return focus to commonsense conservation and safe and clean air and water.
•Cut in half the number of State Department USAID employees and US funding for United Nations programs.
•Eliminate funding for implementation of Dodd/Frank regulatory burdens.
•Eliminate funding for implementation of ObamaCare.
•Cut funding for National Labor Relations Board for decision preventing airplane factory in South Carolina.
•Eliminating funding for United Nations’ agencies which oppose America’s interests and promote abortion and cut the US contribution to the UN in half.
•Phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years.
•Sell unproductive and wasteful federal properties.
•Transition Team will review all spending cut proposals and restructuring reforms of the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute, and the Simpson-Bowles Commission for additional savings.

KickandSwimMom on February 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Right, because his excuse being that he had a 85% democratic legislature that easily ran over 700+ of the 800+ vetoes he signed while in office is so much less credible than Santorum’s ‘Republicans controlled the government, that’s why we couldn’t/didn’t bother to reign in spending’…

For all six years Santy and his fellow Compassionate Conservatives were in office they basically ate as much from the government trough as they could, when they had the power and ability to reign in spending while in office. 2004 was a pretty good year for them after all.

But, nope, they didn’t even bother, especially Santorum. Say what you will about Mitt Romney, but don’t pretend that Santorum is even remotely better when it comes to his record of spending.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Don’t get so defensive over Mittens. I have no illusions about Santy, I’d agree he’s another “compassionate conservative”, but I don’t believe Mitt’s “conversion” to conservatism is genuine.

cartooner on February 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

You do know that we pay for the big spending brought to us by Santorum types?

rich801 on February 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

You do know that Romneycare is socialism, right?

kingsjester on February 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Newt who?

Seriously, has anybody seen or heard from Speaker Happy Pants since Tuesday? It seems as if Santorum’s win has completely obliterated any mention of Gingrich.

Happy Nomad on February 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Now Sant.’s supporters are sounding just like Mitt’s,personal attacks will anger people not bring them closer have’t you learned yet?

evergreenland on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

$10 if he said all the right things, thump the bible some, they’d vote for David Duke over Romney.

Zaggs on February 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Yep, that’s us Tea Partiers, a bunch of Bible-thumping, gap-toothed racists, derp herp herp.

You’re backing a hardcore tax and spend liberal and you seem to hate social conservatives, so really, why don’t you go join the Democrat Party? Your views sound indistinguishable from theirs. You can feel so much more enlightened and moderate there!

Doomberg on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

BardMan on February 9, 2012 at 10:18 AM

It’s not about the earmarks themselves, but about the culture they helped to breed in Washington. One of corruption and where ‘well, if we spend more, then we’ll be able to solve this problem’ became the prevalent answer over ‘you know, maybe cutting spending would be preferable’.

And, if we’re all being honest with each other, Santorum and his fellow compassionate conservatives come straight from that culture, and have it deeply embedded in them.

Once again, say what you will about Romney, but fiscally Santorum hardly has the better record (especially when you lump in his feelings about just how private your privacy should be).

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Hey, Mitt, any reason to vote for you, rather than just against the other guy? No? Didn’t think so.

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Rick did all of that stuff all by himself! What a guy. Somebody wants Mitt to be the nominee awful bad. Maybe they should be spending money on what the positives are for Mitt instead of all these attack ads. He should elevate his campaign to that and get rid of the Donald who doesn’t know squat about political history and the last loser, McLame.

Kissmygrits on February 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM

flyfisher on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

It’s funny, because I was about to say the same thing to you about you and your group of conservative’s revulsion over Romney. The echo chamber isn’t exactly a good place to hear yourself talk about things.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I have no candidate left in the race. I just cannot stand and will never vote for Romney. But it’s interesting that we cannot stand Romney, a candidate, you cannot stand a large swath of the base…and neither can Romney.

flyfisher on February 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

How is a state-run healthcare system in any way “Fiscal Conservatism”?

kingsjester on February 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Except, you know, all that time in the debates and on television spent about talking about his business record, or his vetoes against the dem legislature in Mass, or his time handling the Utah Olympics. You know, he’s never mentioned those at all (except that he has, in excess).

But, good to know you’re getting your panties in a wad over him attacking Santorum with negative ads. Or, as we less naive like to call it, politics.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM

He also recognizes that government is out of control in its spending and has promised to:

blah, blah, blah

KickandSwimMom on February 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM

So Santorum’s current promises that fly in the face of his past behavior are accepted?

gotsig on February 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Nobody has as much baggage as Newt. Nobody. So Santorum looks like a saint compared to Newt.

The question is who will Palin hitch her wagon to now that Newt is a bitter 3rd tier ankle biter?

hanzblinx on February 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Santorum’s biggest weakness should be his absolute lack of executive experience – should be an immediate disqualifier especially given the current white house occupant.

Unfortunately the Romney hatred among “true conservatives” may just be great enough that they will be willing to repeat the mistake of electing someone without the necessary qualifications for the job.

gotsig on February 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I agree. I don’t know what sets Santorum apart as far as leadership goes, as he has no executive or private sector experience to lean on.

changer1701 on February 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Once again, say what you will about Romney, but fiscally Santorum hardly has the better record (especially when you lump in his feelings about just how private your privacy should be).

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Bologna. While I don’t agree with some of Santorum’s positions and record, there is no single issue on which I believe that Romney would be better.

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM

flyfisher on February 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I believe you grossly over-represent your portion of the base when you say ‘large swath’. And as it concerns the base, it is possible to not like how reactionary and easily manipulated some people can be, especially when it concerns people with records that are as bad, if not worse, than the guy they profess to ‘hate and will never vote for’.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Romney keeps this up and he’ll be the nominee…standing at the podium in an empty arena.

Dack Thrombosis on February 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Except, you know, all that time in the debates and on television spent about talking about his business record, or his vetoes against the dem legislature in Mass, or his time handling the Utah Olympics. You know, he’s never mentioned those at all (except that he has, in excess).

But, good to know you’re getting your panties in a wad over him attacking Santorum with negative ads. Or, as we less naive like to call it, politics.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM

You are a fool.

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Santorum went to Washington to represent his constituents…
News at 11

Electrongod on February 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Mitt thinks that was not supossed to be Santy’s job!
Actually being a loyal Pube, and going along with what the leadership wants when you possibly can…is only good for Democrats. That’s why Mitt can’t identify what he really is…to the left of Kennedy or to the right of every Pube right now.

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Which candidate is this;

*Enacted a mandatory HC requirement for coverage, if not met would penalize the citizen w/a fine or prison.
*Required the catholic church to give out birth control which is against their moral foundation
*Raised taxes
*Supported every bailout
*Supported cap & tax
*For global warming legislation
*For abortion
*Appointed more democrats than republicans to his administration
*appointed the most liberal judges
*Increased regulation during his tenure
*Has the most donations from wall street

If you guessed Obamasatin you are wrong, it was romneycare. What are we doing people!

Danielvito on February 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM

No Republican candidate in my lifetime has stirred up revulsion like Romney.

flyfisher on February 9, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Boy, that’s the truth, and to think I used to like him.

jsunrise on February 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Willard, Lord Romney is trying to change the subject. He will fail.

Earmarks aren’t on the voters’ radar this year. Think about it: Ron Paul has a record of supporting lots of earmarks, and even his supporters don’t care–and many of them are Libertarians.

Santorum’s appeal doesn’t come from being a fiscal conservative.
He’s won 3 caucuses and 1 primary because:

1. Santorum is not Willard
2. Santorum is a social conservative
3. Santorum is not Willard but younger than Newt

Now that the Willard campaign has come up with this earmark angle, it shows that his staff is infested with inside-the-beltway advisors. Who else would think this limp spaghetti would stick?

Willard Delenda Est.

Emperor Norton on February 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Once again, say what you will about Romney, but fiscally Santorum hardly has the better record (especially when you lump in his feelings about just how private your privacy should be).

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

I don’t disagree. But I have to make a choice between earmarks and government health care. To me, that’s a very simple decision.

BardMan on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I believe you grossly over-represent your portion of the base when you say ‘large swath’. And as it concerns the base, it is possible to not like how reactionary and easily manipulated some people can be, especially when it concerns people with records that are as bad, if not worse, than the guy they profess to ‘hate and will never vote for’.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM

LOL. That’s hilarious. You have an amazing lack of self awareness.

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

-there is no single issue on which I believe that Romney would be better.

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM

And that, is why you fail.

No, but seriously, if you don’t think that even with the resistance Romney did put up against the Democratic Legislature in Mass (800+ vetoes), his expert handling of the Utah Winter Olympics or his rather dynamite business record, that he wouldn’t be at least somewhat preferable to the Compassionate Conservative incarnate in this race that is Rick Santorum, then you do fail.

Also, better Romney who, even if you think he secretly did support it (as seems to be the line of thought with you all), came out against SOPA when it first popped up than Santorum who actually tried to put out a weather balloon to see if he could support that abominable bill.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Funny, I and several polls would say the exact same thing about you.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Well, which one is the Rino?

The guy with the 85% Dem legislature who’s biggest failing is not being able to stop them from implementing some form of Health Care Reform, or the guy who supported Arlen Spectre, spent 16 years feeding from the government trough, got union support and wants to invade everyone’s privacy?

Honestly, I can’t tell anymore.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I can’t help but wonder how a state that elects an 85% Democrat, very liberal ones at that, legislature would elect such a conservative Republican like Mitt as governor…hmmmmmm…go figure!

cartooner on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Second, Romney knows that attacking Santorum from the left for being “too conservative” on any social issues would be an absolute disaster and very likely sink his chances.

For now……This line of attack is just easy and expedient. They just haven’t quite figured out how to go about hitting Santorum on the social issues yet. These things must be done del- ic-ate-ly, or you hurt the spell.

lynncgb on February 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I cannot vote for another compassionate conservative. Cannot. Do. It.

I want a heartless cut-to-the-bone bastard, but will have to settle for robot Romney I guess.

RW Wacko on February 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Romney keeps this up and he’ll be the nominee…standing at the podium in an empty arena.

Dack Thrombosis on February 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM

No! He’ll have all the liberals that screwed up voting for the Liar-in-Chief, the last time! Big audience!

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Once again, say what you will about Romney, but fiscally Santorum hardly has the better record (especially when you lump in his feelings about just how private your privacy should be).

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

I don’t disagree. But I have to make a choice between earmarks and government health care. To me, that’s a very simple decision.

BardMan on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

It’s not even true. Santorum isn’t the best on taxes and entitlement reform (in fact, he’s the worst of the candidates other than Romney), but he is a million times better than Romney.

besser tot als rot on February 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Really, the best, and possibly, only attack on Santorum is that he is not a fiscal conservative?

How about:

1. The guy had a completely undistinguishable career in Congress and has never exhibited leadership.
2. The guy is a proven loser in a tough election. If he cant win a swing state in a tough year for Republicans, why would anyone trust him to win Ohio and Florida?
3. The only issues he is competent on should be non-issues when real unemployment is over 15%, and there are huge deficits.

There are so many attacks on Santorum. Hopefully Romney gets rid of him rather quickly, and we can stop this nonsensical primary, have one candidate that gets all the money, and start an actual campaign against Obama, and not Mitt Romney.

This election has apparently turned from beating Obama to beating Mitt Romney (aka the only Republican in a weak field who can beat Obama). In other words, it has become the Delaware Senate race and Nevada Senate race all over again – all about beating the big, bad establishment candidate, and not the actual Democrat in the race.

milcus on February 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Six years ago conservatives wanted to boil him in oil because he backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004. Now he’s their savior? Give me a break.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

You’r an intelligent commenter at HA. So, assuming Romney’s the nominee, what does he say at the first debate in response to the first question about what’s bad about Obamacare when he enacted Romneycare and, more specifically, if Romneycare was good for Massachusetts, why isn’t it good enough for the rest of the country?

BuckeyeSam on February 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Rick’s chic, mitt reeks

Rick’s terrific, mitt’s horrific

Rick’s the bestest, mitt’s the leftest

DHChron on February 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM

For all of his vetoes, Romneycare still passed under his watch, and he was not hesitant to defend it and its mandate in later years.

kingsjester on February 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM

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