Almost two months ago (and for the first time ever on this site) I made an endorsement in a GOP primary campaign. Though sure of the endorsement itself it was a concern if readers would be interested in reading about my support for Rick Santorum (or anyone’s support for any candidate to be honest). There was also a worry that every other story about the campaign on this site would be seen through the prism of that particular post.
In the end the decision was made to proceed because holding it back would be dishonest. Although I would work hard to maintain the objectivity of each story, readers should have context to “call me out” should stories stray into partisanship.
Over the next six weeks, even though it became clear that Mitt Romney would most probably garner the nomination, I still maintained that Santorum was the best in the GOP field. I no longer feel that way.
Yesterday, Rick Santorum showed himself too immature to be President of the United States.
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Santorum reiterated an argument he has made before: The former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough to offer voters a clear choice in the fall election and that only he can provide that contrast.
“You win by giving people a choice,” Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there.”
Santorum added: “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”
I am sure Santorum will try and walk back the statement but is too late, the damage has been done. Rick Santorum committed the ultimate sin for a 2012 GOP candidate —saying Barack Obama would be preferred over his opponents. This was hyperbole, which is both false and irresponsible.
Barack Obama represents the biggest threat to individual freedom in my lifetime (Joe Biden might even say in the past 500 years). Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney would be FAR superior to Barack Obama. With his suggestion to the contrary, Santorum proves himself to be less than ready to handle the job.
In the February endorsement I wrote:
Those who have endorsed Romney or Gingrich have valid positions and are
not somehow less conservative than others because of their positions.
And if one of their candidates should win the nomination I will fight
like hell to make sure they get elected
Job #1 is to protect the future of this great country, to safeguard the individual liberty of my kids and future grandchildren. Job #1 is to vote Obama into retirement.
It has always been my position that Barack Obama must be defeated and replaced by either Romney, Gingrich or Santorum! And now that Romney campaign has finally reached the point of inevitability, and many conservatives (such as Jeb Bush and Jim DeMint) are trying to coax the party behind his campaign, Rick Santorum throws a very non-presidential tantrum.
Perhaps, he wasn’t the man I thought he was six weeks ago–he certainly isn’t that person today.
UPDATE #1 : Have received tons of mail on both sides of the issue. Some agree, some say there is no difference between Romney and Obama. Folks forgive me, but saying there is no difference is simply not true. And if you do not believe me…believe the Gingrich campaign.
Atlanta, GA – Newt 2012 Campaign Chairman Rep. Bob Walker released the following statement today criticizing Sen. Santorum’s comments about the possibility of an Obama reelection:
“As a former Pennsylvania colleague of Rick Santorum in the Congress, I am stunned by his statement that if he is not the Republican nominee, we might be better off with the reelection of President Obama. An Obama reelection would assure full implementation of Obamacare, a continuation of the assault on American energy production, more economic policies that destroy American jobs and the appointment of more radically leftist judges including perhaps to the Supreme Court. Whatever our differences inside the Republican primaries, no candidate should be suggesting that Barack Obama is a reasonable alternative.”
UPDATE #2: As expected Santorum is walking back from what he said.
“I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous,” Santourm said in a statement. “I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it’s easy to see why – Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts.”
But he did suggest it…this is exactly what he said yesterday
“You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future,” Santorum told a crowd at USAA.