Santorum: Very Very Best Chance

Excellent ad by Team Santorum. Will the voters agree that he’s the best chance the GOP has of winning in November?

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Santorum:”It takes a family”

Great analysis of the record of Rick Santorum.

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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It is hardly surprising that faith and family would be at the core of who Senator Santorum is. He is a very devout Catholic. Anecdotally, Brian Wilson — formerly Fox News correspondent and now co-anchor of The Morning Majority on Washington’s WMAL AM/FM — saw the candidate in an unguarded moment.

As Wilson was in South Carolina covering the primary there last month, it was very early in the dark of morning that he saw Santorum stop in what the senator thought was a private moment, and bow his head in prayer. “He didn’t know that I was watching him,” Wilson reported. The senator was unaware anyone had seen him. The point: When you don’t think anyone is watching, that’s the time when the authentic in you emerges.

Such a moment certainly adds credence to the label of “social conservative”.  But Rick Santorum isn’t exclusively focused on social issues.

On National Security:

The Pennsylvania Republican was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee for eight years, where he earned a reputation as a “hawk” in the sense that Americans deserved no less than a first-class military capable of providing the maximum strength to protect our homeland.

Santorum advocated an aggressive military posture toward regimes in Iran, Syria, and China. All three, in different ways, pose a threat to the United States — more so today than at that time.

As a senator, Santorum promoted support for opponents of the Iranian regime which today threatens Israel and the U.S. with nuclear weapons. In his presidential bid, he has laid out a 15-point plan for dealing with Iran’s current nuclear muscle-flexing.

On Terrorism:

In July of 2006, Senator Santorum delivered a major foreign policy address at the National Press Club where he said that America is not at war with “terror” per se. Terror, he explained, is merely the method of our enemies. The definition of our enemy, he stressed, is Islamic fascism, and we need to start calling it by its correct name.

Jobs and the Economy

The Santorum campaign advocates a zero tax on manufacturing industries. That should appeal to blue-collar workers.

Other proposals include cutting $5 trillion in federal spending in five years; repeal and replace Obamacare with market-based healthcare innovation; improve quality and access to healthcare; cut EPA resources for job-killing regulations; and eliminate funding for Dodd-Frank regulatory burdens.

Certainly proof that Rick Santorum is not just focused on social issues, with substantive views on a range of issues.  And if he were to win the GOP nomination and the Presidency he would join some elite company.

If he ultimately wins the White House, Mr. Santorum will be only the third president in history to achieve that goal after having been defeated for a lower position. The previous two were Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and Richard Nixon in 1968.

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Advantages Santorum Has Over Romney

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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Following his sweep of contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, Rick Santorum may

have momentum on his side.  The key is sustaining that momentum going forward into Super Tuesday and beyond.  There are some things Santorum has in his favor that could sustain it, things that also show why he is a force to be reckoned with.

1. Santorum is not Romney

It may seem tough to start off with a negative but Santorum’s success perhaps says more about Romney than Tuesday night’s victor himself. Indisputably, Romney is a hard candidate for grassroots Republicans to love and his conservative bona fides will always be open to question.

Though many Republicans respect Romney or can tolerate him or can calculate in their heads that he should be their nominee, they can’t fall in love with him. Ultimately, they may not need to. But this makes the road to the nomination a rocky one for Romney, involving a series of candidates in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) slot, the latest of whom is Santorum.

2. Santorum is a movement conservative

Santorum is a genuine conservative, socially, fiscally and in terms of foreign policy. He speaks the language in a way that Romney doesn’t.

As Rush Limbaugh put it recently: “He [Romney] just doesn’t have conservative reflexes. It’s like trying to learn golf late in life: The reflexes just aren’t there. You’ve got to have a foundation, a basic understanding to have the reflexes, and they just aren’t there. And I don’t know if he can learn ‘em.”

Santorum has the foundation and the reflexes and he talks the language that conservative activists understand and can relate to.

3. Santorum has remained positive

Going negative on Newt Gingrich in Florida was good in the short term for Romney and he probably had no other realistic option. But it carried medium-term consequences (last night) and perhaps long-term ones as well.

Gingrich’s angry, peevish and intemperate responses to Romney did him a lot of damage. Romney got under his skin and it was not attractive to see. Floating above all this was Rick Santorum, campaigning largely positively and based on his ideas rather than on what a bum the other guys were.

4. Santorum is a happy warrior

Romney is much improved from 2008 but he remains a somewhat robotic candidate who finds it difficult to achieve a gut connection with voters. Campaigning sometimes seems almost painful to him

A big part of this may well be Romney’s background. As Naomi Zeveloff argues in this illuminating piece, he’s the “ultimate Mormon male” – with all the very good that entails but also the downsides: “The very qualities that make a good Mormon man, however, make for a poor campaigner.”

Santorum, by contrast, is at home on the campaign trail – as well he should be, having virtually taken up residence in Iowa for the caucuses – and that makes him a lot easier to relate to. In the Senate, Santorum had a reputation as a prickly character but he has become noticeably more relaxed and affable as the 2012 race has progressed.

5. Santorum is a Tea Partier

There have been plenty of Tea Party obituaries written but the Tea Party, whie amorphous and diffuse, is not dead. It was the motive force behind the Republican wave in 2010 and it is a major factor this time around as well. Doubtless with an eye on the general election, Romney has done no serious Tea Party outreach.

The Tea Party is populist and to a large degree blue collar. Although best known as a social conservative, Santorum’s blue collar roots and populist economic message makes him a natural Tea Party figure – whereas Romney is in many ways the epitome of the establishment candidate.

Of course, there are complicating factors in this – particularly Santorum’s record on earmarks – but for the time being Santorum is a more natural fit with the Tea Party than Gingrich, never mind Romney.

Head to the source to find other reasons why Rick Santorum shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to the race for the Republican nomination.

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Tribute to President Reagan

A great tribute to former President Reagan who would’ve turned 101 this week.

(H/T – Mr. Conservative)

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