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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Romney is a Democrat at heart . . . .WE DON’T WANT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pragmatic on February 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

I think the issue is really that you’re a paid staffer somewhere for Willard, assigned to muddy the waters and create doubts in peoples’ minds about Santorum. Or you’d like to be. Or you’re a Moromon, feverishly defending another member of your hive.

Emperor Norton on February 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Right, because anyone who presents any negative information about Santorum MUST BE one of those?

LOL!!!

Time to adjust your foil hat.

Gunlock Bill on February 9, 2012 at 5:41 PM

P.S. Mrs. Santorum did date a much older doctor who performed abortions. It’s even weirder – this was the doctor who delivered her when he was 40 (they dated when she was 20 – do the math). Notice that the attackers usually leave the rest of the details out; personally, I think the story says a lot more about the doctor than about her. A doctor who dates a girl he delivers is really, really high on the eww gross scale.

AJsDaddie on February 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

What does this story say about Mrs. Santorum?

they reconnected when Garver, then 22, called him, then 63 and a colleague of her father’s, to inquire about a basement apartment. It wasn’t too long before Karen moved upstairs with Allen.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/report-karen-santorums-ex-boyfriend-was-an-abortion-provider/

Notice the date, it’s 3 weeks old.

Gunlock Bill on February 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Santorum on the TEAparty movement, “I will vocally and publicly oppose it, and do my best to correct the record.”

“I am not someone who believes earmarks are necessarily a bad thing.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KEeHDCsetLc

Gunlock Bill on February 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Norky on February 9, 2012 at 5:15 PM

They would tell you that each candidate has their ardent supporters but I have to question the tactics.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Gunlock Bill on February 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM

We send money to the federal government and our guys think it is their job to get as much of it back as they can. Standard operating procedure, if he or a family member profit, get back to me.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2012 at 6:05 PM

We send money to the federal government and our guys think it is their job to get as much of it back as they can. Standard operating procedure, if he or a family member profit, get back to me.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Right.

But according to Santorum that doesn’t drive up spending or the deficit.

Gunlock Bill on February 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM

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.

Pot – Kettle… anything you guys would like to say to each other?

gekkobear on February 9, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Romney is a Democrat at heart . . . .WE DON’T WANT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pragmatic on February 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

I’m sorry but this is a pet peeve of mine. Who exactly is WE? Don’t claim to speak for a group of people unless you point out who they are and provide some evidence you are authorized to speak for them.

gotsig on February 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Gunlock Bill on February 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM

In a perfect world the federal government would take taxes for only constitutionally prescribed duties, not only do they not do that but borrow for things that are totally out of their purview. Everyone is guilty, including Gov. Romney who used federal funds for Romneycare. There are no heroes and really no villains, everyone is playing within the system. And that’s my problem with all of them.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Everyone is guilty, including Gov. Romney who used federal funds for Romneycare.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

That is true, but those funds were going to Mass REGARDLESS of anything Romney did. Romney did NOT hold the federal purse strings.

However, Santorum did hold the purse strings and took as much advantage as he could.

See the difference?

Gunlock Bill on February 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Gunlock Bill on February 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

No. Everyone works the “system” for their constituency. As I stated when they start taking advantage personally, familiarly and/or financiers let me know.

Cindy Munford on February 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Hey, if this is the best RINO Romney (aka Obama-Lite) has, I’m just glad we’re finding this out now before Willard (from the RAT movie of the same name) got coronated!?! RINO Romney is as weak as his so-called “conservative” record. “Conservative” record, WHAT A JOKE!?!

Colatteral Damage on February 10, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4