Santorum: Romney needs to talk about the imperial presidency

posted at 8:41 am on July 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I’m actually a bit surprised by ABC News’ headline on this fun but provocative interview with Rick Santorum. They feature Santorum’s observation that Mitt Romney can’t afford to pick a pro-choice running mate, a rather obvious point, considering the need to fire up the base in this election — and the dearth of pro-choice Republicans. Santorum even points out that it would play as well with Republicans as a pro-life VP would with Democrats. The meat of the interview came in Santorum’s observations of Barack Obama, whom he accused of acting “like a two-bit dictator” in his rollback of welfare reform by diktat, with Jonathan Karl saying at one point that Santorum had compared Obama to Mussolini:

Santorum wants presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney to win the White House because President Obama, he says, is abusing his power. Case in point, according to the former Pennsylvania senator, is the recent change to welfare reform giving states more flexibility to waive work requirements.

Welfare reform was “something that we fought for, President Clinton signed in 1996 right before the election. Huge transformation of the welfare rolls, dramatic reductions, increases in employment, reductions in poverty, a transformation of welfare, probably the single greatest accomplishment, social welfare-wise, in the last 20 years. And President Obama gets up and says, ‘Nope I’m going to change the law, by speaking,’ ” says Santorum.

“This sounds like a two-bit dictator, not a President of the United States.”

Santorum piled on the fiery comments, comparing Obama to Italy’s former dictator Benito Mussolini and urging Romney to attack Obama’s “imperial presidency” on the stump.

Santorum is absolutely correct that Romney needs to hit Obama hard on his governance through declaration rather than law, and his reliance on waivers to make end-runs around Congressionally-approved statutes. It’s relatively easy to tie that into the economic message to which Romney and his team want to adhere. Point out that all of these diktats create massive ambiguities that discourage investors by making it impossible for capital holders to price future costs of their investments. That’s especially true in ObamaCare, and Romney has talked about that aspect on the stump regularly.

If Karl is going to do more interviews from bowling alleys, though, he’d better step up his game a bit — and so should Santorum. A 125-109 match should have both buying the drinks. I’d come out there and show the both how it’s done, but this sciatica takes at least 50 points off my game …


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Progressives LOVED Mussolini.

Fact.

mankai on July 17, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Fight the fight, Mitt…

Electrongod on July 17, 2012 at 8:44 AM

The President is criminalizing political opposition in an election year, drive that message home.

rob verdi on July 17, 2012 at 8:46 AM

I, along with most Conservatives who love this country, plan on holding our noses and voting for you on November 6th, in spite of it all., so we can rid our nation of the Manchurian President.

So, would you please start attacking Obama as viciously as you attacked your fellow Republicans in the Primary?

Thanks.

kingsjester on July 17, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Santorum is correct. It would be nice if Romney had just a little bit of Santorum’s fire.

Pork-Chop on July 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Yup, the truth hurts. May Obama be in eternal pain.

hillsoftx on July 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM

The difference between Obama and Mussolini is that Obama couldn’t make a one car funeral run on time.

Otherwise they aren’t much different.

wildcat72 on July 17, 2012 at 8:51 AM

They all need to challenge their inner Joe Wilson and call Barack what he is-a liar.

SouthernGent on July 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Have the JournoList media even covered the elimination of Clinton’s Welfare reform law?

MNHawk on July 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM

…Santorum is sane on this…he needs to stump for sketch! (:->)

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2012 at 8:59 AM

What is the difference between freedom and a dictatorship?
Just one thing: Who makes the decisions.

Obama dictates that you will buy health insurance.
Obama dictates that you will buy the most expensive health insurance imaginable.
Obama dictates that BP pay a $20 billion fine without due process of law.
Obama dictates that multiple coal fired generating plants close.
Obama dictates that the Catholics violate their own religion is violation of the first amendment.
Obama dictates what kind of toilet you have.
Obama dictates that you will buy CFL light made in China.

Obama dictates and dictates and dictates.

He sure does a lot of dictating for somebody who is not a dictator.

The Rock on July 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Have the JournoList media even covered the elimination of Clinton’s Welfare reform law?

MNHawk on July 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Nope..

Obama gutted a law passed by our first black President…
It would be racist to report on that..

Electrongod on July 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Same strong jaw.

Extrafishy on July 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Romney is in Picksburgh today.

Philly on July 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I really wish Santorum was our candidate. Sigh.

Naturally Curly on July 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM

he’s wearing a rick 2012 shirt. how poignant/s

renalin on July 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM

It would also be helpful to highlight Candidate/Senator Obama’s statements on government via executive order from that ancient mist of time before he was President.

Good Lt on July 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

As I posted back in the primary season, Santorum might have crashed and burned, but he also might have really caught fire with the Reagan Democrats/working class voters. I also think he would have run a much better campaign than scared Mitt did.

gumbyandpokey on July 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I really wish Santorum was our candidate. Sigh.

Naturally Curly on July 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM

He could’ve been had he not taken the bait and talked incessantly about social issues. It doesn’t matter at this point. Romney can be pretty tough on his opponents when he wants to be. He just needs to quit listening to whomever is feeding him BS about being a nice guy and not scaring off so-called moderate voters.

Doughboy on July 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

The President is criminalizing political opposition in an election year, drive that message home.

rob verdi on July 17, 2012 at 8:46 AM

This is an excellent point. These accusations of the O team calling Romney a felon and a tax cheat, are what third world dictators do. If O is criminalizing his opponent, what is the next logical step, throwing Romney in jail?

esr1951 on July 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Have the JournoList media even covered the elimination of Clinton’s Welfare reform law?

MNHawk on July 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM

…when we have people from the right of center go on the news shows …we need to make a prop for each one to wear…they would be like glasses…but would have black pads like those horse blinders-sticking out to the side in front of the eyes.
Everyone gets a pair to wear on a news show when being interviewed.
Then let the questions begin!

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Partisan YouTube yanks Romney web video over Al Green song, yet the original videos of Obama Singing the same Al Green song remain.

J_Crater on July 17, 2012 at 9:08 AM

I really wish Santorum was our candidate. Sigh.

Naturally Curly on July 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Why? Are you a liberal? Santorum is nothing but a big government fool. I could care less about his rhetoric. It’s his voting record that actually matters.

-Voted to allow states to impose health care mandates that are stricter than proposed new Federal mandates, but not weaker.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00203

-Voted to increase spending for the Department of Education by $3.1 billion.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=104&session=2&vote=00027

-Voted against paying off the debt ($5.6 trillion at the time) within 30 years.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=105&session=2&vote=00064

-Voted to give $18 billion to the IMF.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=105&session=2&vote=00044

Mr Sweater vest is not conservative.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Good point Rick but you need to wear that sweater vest to project gravitas.

CorporatePiggy on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Have the JournoList media even covered the elimination of Clinton’s Welfare reform law?

MNHawk on July 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I assume that’s not a serious question. I’d be surprised if most members of the media were even aware of it.

Doughboy on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I really wish Santorum was our candidate. Sigh.

Naturally Curly on July 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM

He would make a strong addition to the ticket.

MrLynn on July 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM

I’d come out there and show the both how it’s done, but this sciatica takes at least 50 points off my game …

but not your humility, eh? /

ted c on July 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

True conservatism is dead. Conservatives by their very nature can’t stay conservative very long if they decide to run for office and become a politician – too many kickbacks and too much self-interests over-riding the will of the people. For someone to become a politician, they need to be a narcissist on some level which runs completely counter to the principles of conservatism.

I expected something like this from Palin but even Ricky is guilty of this.

ImageSniper on July 17, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Yo MITT!

Rick Santorum is a great surrogate.

EMPLOY HIM……

ted c on July 17, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Where’s Newt?

I need a very heavy dose of Obama belittling. And nobody–NOBODY–does that better than Newt.

BuckeyeSam on July 17, 2012 at 9:22 AM

I agree that Romney should go after Obama’s lawlessness.

By the way, may I suggest an excellent post here at Hot Air would be “Our Lawless President” with a list of the times Obama has flouted the Constitution and/or the law.

Yes, it would be a rather long post, I know. :) But it would be helpful to have that in one place, and I haven’t seen a post like that anywhere online.

WannabeAnglican on July 17, 2012 at 9:24 AM

The Democrats are holding America hostage, and it takes some skill to get them released safely. Romney’s experience with Massachusetts will help. In the hostage negotiation biz, there’s maybe a couple of ways to save the hostages, and about a hundred ways to screw it up and get them all killed (metaphorically speaking.) That’s where we are. Some people think it’s a job for Rambo. It’s not. Send in Rambo, and the hostages die in the crossfire.

RBMN on July 17, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Okay, fine… Mitt doesn’t have the spitfire that Santorum, Palin, et al have. But I think that’s why we’re a team of sorts. These are the folks that push the race car onto the speedway. And yes… once the car is out in the race it’s up to Romney to step on the gas and drive the SOB to the finish line and win.

It may be a naive hope but I’m hoping the Romney that showed up to give it to Mr. Newt (whom I liked) is waiting in the wings to spit the needed fire.

princetrumpet on July 17, 2012 at 9:26 AM

I assume that’s not a serious question. I’d be surprised if most members of the media were even aware of it.

Doughboy on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Or they support the change but think the general public won’t, so they sweep it under the rug. Meanwhile, did you hear about how rich Mitt Romney is?

changer1701 on July 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Good point Rick but you need to wear that sweater vest to project gravitas.

CorporatePiggy on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I think sweater vests & bowling shirts are good in PA?

Actually I’m glad Santorum can hammer away on this issue for our team.

Romney you need to release the Newt…nobody baits Billyjeff better than the Newt

Time’s a wastin’

workingclass artist on July 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Smartest thing I’ve heard Santorum come up with so far.

JohnGalt23 on July 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

Reagan

For many years.

Cow manure.

Speakup on July 17, 2012 at 9:31 AM

It may be a naive hope but I’m hoping the Romney that showed up to give it to Mr. Newt (whom I liked) is waiting in the wings to spit the needed fire.

princetrumpet on July 17, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Maybe Team Romney is scared Newt will be right in the middle of a righteous screed on the gutting of Welfare Reform and he will wander down the EMP/Moonbase rabbit hole?

workingclass artist on July 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Mr Sweater vest is not conservative.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

And Mr. Romney is?

I like what Santorum says and the way he says it. No need to get your pantries in such a wad about it.

Naturally Curly on July 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Romney needs to talk about the economy. If he talks about executive orders, it should only be in the context of how they’ve effected the economy.
If he starts thinking independent voters feel the same malice towards the “imperial presidency” that core Republicans do, he’ll be making the same mistake the Democrats did back in 2004.

Mahna Mahna on July 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Mr Sweater vest is not conservative.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

LOL – and the Mormon “Redneck” with the pickup with painted on rust is?

LMFAO!!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I agree that Romney should go after Obama’s lawlessness.
By the way, may I suggest an excellent post here at Hot Air would be “Our Lawless President” with a list of the times Obama has flouted the Constitution and/or the law.
Yes, it would be a rather long post, I know. :) But it would be helpful to have that in one place, and I haven’t seen a post like that anywhere online.
WannabeAnglican on July 17, 2012 at 9:24 AM

I agree. Then I could print it out and mail it to the three (so far) morons with Obama signs in their yards in my generally conservative neighborhood. They tick me off every time I drive or walk by. Ruined my walk yesterday when I spotted the third one. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think they’re just misinformed as anyone who relies on the MSM is, but at this point, anyone who relies on them is guilty of willful ignorance.

pannw on July 17, 2012 at 9:55 AM

And Mr. Romney is?

I like what Santorum says and the way he says it. No need to get your pantries in such a wad about it.

Naturally Curly on July 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Please find somewhere that I said Romney is a conservative. He isn’t, and neither is Mr. Sweater vest. They are bot nothing but big government statists.

I like what Santorum says and the way he says it.

That’s my point. Their rhetoric is one thing but their actions are another. Instead of blindly believing everything these crooks say to get your uninformed vote, go back and look at their actual voting record. And Rick’$ voting record is nothing but liberal and pro-big government.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 10:02 AM

LOL – and the Mormon “Redneck” with the pickup with painted on rust is?

LMFAO!!

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 9:46 AM

No Romney isn’t. That’s my point. You people blindly follow what the establishment tells you. Romney is no conservative, and neither is Mr. sweater vest. They are both big government statists when you review and research their actual voting records.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Mr Sweater vest is not conservative.
MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

With the possible exception of Herman Cain (and the Newt of 18 years ago), NONE of them were conservatives…

LegendHasIt on July 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM

No Romney isn’t. That’s my point. You people blindly follow what the establishment tells you. Romney is no conservative, and neither is Mr. sweater vest. They are both big government statists when you review and research their actual voting records.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Agreed – but at least I’m putting my money where my mouth is by REFUSING to vote for a liberal candidate that the GOP establishment Ayatollah’s put before me.

What about you?

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Santorum is absolutely correct that Romney needs to hit Obama hard on his governance through declaration rather than law,

Absolutely. Barky is a dictator wannabe without any doubt. He operates without any limits, either by law or by decency or by rationale, like some third world despot. Barky doesn’t govern, he rules – as his own brain-dead supporters said, “Ready to RULE from day one”.

America has already disappeared under the rule of this retard Stalin. We are now in the American Socialist Superstate. The chances of restoring America are slim, as it stands.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM

With the possible exception of Herman Cain (and the Newt of 18 years ago), NONE of them were conservatives…

LegendHasIt on July 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM

There’s only two people in this nation of 400,000,000 people who have a socialist healthcare system named after them …

Mr. Obama is ONE …

And Willard McDole, the presumptive GOP establishment nominee is the other.

NONE OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES RUNNING IN THE PRIMARIES HAD A SOCIALIST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM NAMED AFTER THEM.

Fact – own it.

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM

So are you saying that unless someone has a socialist healthcare system named after them, they are conservative?

That post, as written, makes no sense in comparison to the post of mine you quoted.

LegendHasIt on July 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Santorum couldn’t have enough of the Bible-thumping talk. That, in my book, makes him not only awful but also extremely undesirable candidate. Romney may be a moderate squish and a rich soulless robot but he literally exudes confidence and professionalism. What he sorely lacks is retail-politics skill and fire in the belly. So, I presume, that’s what he paid Santorum campaign debts for – to borrow his fire and his skill for the stump. Santorum is long overdue to start pulling his money’s worth…

Archivarix on July 17, 2012 at 10:26 AM

There is a better reason to compare Obama to Mussolini.

From WiKipedia.

Fascism is a system in which the government leaves nominal ownership of the means of production in the hands of private individuals but exercises control by means of regulatory legislation and reaps most of the profit by means of heavy taxation. In effect, fascism is simply a more subtle form of government ownership than is socialism.

burt on July 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

If Obama has simply given states the power to adjust their welfare work requirements, what does that mean?

Will the deep blue states relax or eliminate their work requirements while the red states keep them? If so, won’t that make the deep blue states magnets for welfare queens? Does this mean that California, Illinois, and Maryland become cesspools faster than they’d otherwise do so with others to follow?

Seems to me decision time for red and purple states.

BuckeyeSam on July 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Agreed – but at least I’m putting my money where my mouth is by REFUSING to vote for a liberal candidate that the GOP establishment Ayatollah’s put before me.

What about you?

HondaV65 on July 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM

I’m not voting for Romney or Obama or as I like to call them Rombama. Voting for the lesser of two evils have done nothing but give us what we have today – debt, wars, endless entitlements and soft tyranny.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Who is Rick Santorum?

Gunlock Bill on July 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Obama isn’t the one who began the imperialism of the United States. He is merely continuing the policy, just as Romney would.

Dante on July 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

“You’re comparing the President to Mussolini.”
No, Mussolini at least ran the trains on time.

Bevan on July 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

not voting for Romney or Obama or as I like to call them Rombama. Voting for the lesser of two evils have done nothing but give us what we have today – debt, wars, endless entitlements and soft tyranny.

MoreLiberty on July 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM
And not voting has given us the same people

Bevan on July 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM

From a Prog:

“Obama Has Eclipsed Nixon In The Establishment Of An Imperial Presidency”

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/obama-has-eclipsed-nixon-in.html

M2RB: Hank Williams, Jr

Resist We Much on July 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Umm, let’s see… on the one hand, independents are not paying attention, but, on the other hand the establishment repubs don’t want to upset the independents by being to tough on ObamaTax. Well, either they’re not paying attention or they are…Which is it? Sounds like the establishment Repubs have painted themselves into a corner, again….and just because they are a bunch of panzies. You establishment Republicans better get your act together and grow a pair or you’re going to guarantee another 4 yrs for the ChoomWrangler-in-Chief

God Bless America!

paratisi on July 17, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The Rock on July 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Unfortunately for us. Mitt Romney did almost this entire list in Mass as Governor.

What are we thinking?

Steveangell on July 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Unfortunately for us. Mitt Romney did almost this entire list in Mass as Governor.

WOW!!! You really are stupid!

What are we thinking?

Steveangell on July 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

What do you mean “We”, STUPID? You OBVIOUSLY aren’t!

Gunlock Bill on July 17, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Hey, man, don’t be hatin’ on Rick’s bowling skills! Not cool! ;-)

~~ Lisa Graas

gocatholic on July 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM