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Friday, March 23, 2012

Withdrawing My Endorsement of Rick Santorum


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.
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.

24 comments:

Cycle Cyril said...

I would contend that RINO's, those who promise individual liberties but continue to compromise them, because they are "moderates", are far more dangerous than a leftist.

I would argue that if McCain had been elected president he would have, and in a bipartisan fashion, instituted his version of Obamacare and like the various policies of Nixon (e.g. EPA) and Bush the younger (e.g. Medicare part D) made the state ever larger and the individual ever smaller and without the uproar against statish policies we've seen over the past several years.

Adam Zur said...

i agree that Mitt is the best

GM Roper said...

Commented on Facebook. I have to agree with you Jeffrey.

CC said...

Thank you for your thoughtful post. Sensible Americans will come to a similar conclusion IF they are paying attention.

His recent statements (including the insinuation the MOST religious voters are in HIS camp) and now Obama might as well stay in the WH if the alternative is Romney are outrageous, immature, undisciplined, petty and dishonest.

We need UNITY not divisive leadership. That eliminates Santorum.

Unknown said...

I think Rick committed the unforgivable when he personally invited the democrats into the race in MI, however this sin even tops that. I am glad people like yourself recognize with this last demonstration of a tantrum, that he is no longer a viable candidate. Thanks for sharing, and being objective.

Curmudgeon said...

Jeff,

I agree with you about Santorum. He went too far. Thanks for your honesty and your stated principle of "maintaining objectivity."

United Citizens Council said...

I think Rick made a good point. Romney will not support repealing ObamaCare. Romney is a liberal, he is pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-gun and pro-big government.

And as Romney said in 2002 to leftist group NARAL, he is their guy.

Scott said...

What Santorum has said does have abit of truth to it. Both Obama and Obama white are wrong for the US, both are wall street puppets and both are George Soros approved. That alone should have eliminated Mitt, but for some reason people are blind just as Hope and Change blinded in 2008. Santorum has alot of good intentions but he is inexperienced and that isn't what is needed after this failed experiment with affirmative action that was slipped in in 2008. They were fooled by Obama's great speeches written for him. Obama has done one good thing though, America will make sure every candidate will be vetted beyond belief. Newt is the only clear and logical choice for the nomination and for President. Newt has a well laid out clear and decisive plan for turning around the countries economy, creating jobs and get down to running the country as the Constitution and Bill of Rights laid out. For the people, by the people. Newt 2012.

APRPEH APRPEH said...

good for you. Rick always struck me as a riled up college kid without the maturity to really argue with a professor but still tries.

Allie said...

If this were on Facebook, I would "like" it.

Batya said...

If you want to dump Obama then work hard for Romney and that's it.

hillplus said...

Love the 500 years comment! You are correct. There is no perfect candidate but all of the republican choices are VASTLY superior to Obama! Santorum has forgotten that this race is not about him, it is about saving our country. If we can get Romney in, I have suspicion that he will lead and govern this country far more conservatively than many people think. I am pretty sure than at his core, Romney is conservative.

DCThrowback said...

Just another in the long line of bad decisions by the author of this blog. Well done sir, keep up your impeccable record of being incorrect.

Larry Sheldon said...

I do have to ask the musical question, IF there is NO difference, hat difference does it make?

I am serious. Got to all the expense of new curtains in the Oval Ofice and get the very same policies does not make as much sense to me as it seems to make to you and others.

Again I ask: If there's is no difference. what difference does it make?

quarryman37 said...

i agree with santorum if you're gonna vote for romney you might as well vote for obama!

Patty Littlebytesnews said...

Sorry to hear you are willing to go against your original intuition about Santorum. Everyone knows Romney=Obama lite, Romneycare=Obamacare and that Romney didn't earn the nickname 'etch-a-sketch' by being consistent. He has been a flip flopper and has had no core convictions his entire political life. What core convictions and conservative values has he not flip flopped on? At his age it is odd and hard to believe someone has suddenly found those core conservative values and won't change them again. He's changed them one too many times to make him trustworthy or believable. Newt has done the same on several core conservative issues from being prolife, to supporting global warming/cap&trade to supporting insurance mandates. Newt also said he would have supported TARP,Medicare Part D and NCLB. Newt was one of the original members of Congress to give us the Dept of Education. While none of the candidates are perfect, none is more trustworthy&believable than Santorum. When Santorum says he's going to enforce laws that Obama isn't enforcing I believe him. When Santorum says he will repeal Obamacare I believe him because this is one of the main reasons he is running for President, he sees the danger to our religious freedoms and individual rights. It's more than about the threat to our economy,high gas prices, etc. but our Constitution and inalieanable rights as American's are under attack. Santorum is the only one I still believe and trust. Maybe he could have worded what he said differently,but the point is clear...and everyone who is honest knows, Romney is not much different than Obama on core issues/policies. How do we know which Mitt we are getting? The only obvious difference is that Romney may not be a racist, black liberation theology, Muslim appeaser and anti-American like Obama. But, with Santorum you get what you see&what he says. He may not be perfect but he speaks with honesty and unscripted...he is a faith,family and freedom loviging father&husband. Santorum is loyal to his family&wife and will be loyal to our country because he believes in God&country above any government given rights/entitlements. I hope you will reconsider your withdrawal and use some common sense and good reasoning to see deeper into what was meant and what was said.

AST said...

Santorum has spent so much time campaigning he's stopped thinking. The original statement was foolish and he hasn't said anything to really back away from it. He needs a time out.

Jed M. Merrill said...

Just listened to Santorum defend himself. Trouble is, he sounds like a prosecutor trying to spin Romney into someone he is not. Mitt did not support Cap and Trade, even though many have allowed this to slide. There was a regional greenhouse initiative presented while he was Governor that he gave a chance until he found out how much damage it would do to his State's economy, and he refused to sign. Mitt never supported Cap and Trade, and has consistently spoken against it.

And if people do not trust Mitt, it is because of irresponsible statements like those made every day by Rick Santorum, who himself has a pretty mixed record. Santorum actually wrote a position paper in 1990 suggesting it is okay to abort a baby up until six months into a pregnancy! Yet he calls himself a "consistent" conservative. His own wife Karen told the abortion doctor she dated before marrying Rick that the doctor would like Rick, and that he was a lot like him, and pro-choice.

There are some good things about Santorum, but he is not a worthy or mature opponent for purposes of the General Election. Maybe in 2020 he will have grown up a bit and can try again, but I really think he's blown it this time, and as another commenter said, in Michigan when he asked Democrats to vote for him against Romney. And before that when they sent out some false and bigoted e-mails to caucus attendees just hours before the caucus.

In the end, the GOP has a legitimate problem with Santorum staying in now that he has lost decisively on delegates. Mitt needs to be able to raise money for the General for more than two months if he is to match the President in message. I highly doubt Santorum could raise enough money given a year. Let our candidate get to work!

GrandpaTim said...

@Citizens United.... what planet do you live on. You actually believe the stuff that comes out of the ministry of propaganda, don't you? You need some education, a reality check. I suggest you go to:
http://www.whyromney.com/
Where it will go through each false propaganda message you have taken in and straighten you out. It is well referenced. That is unless you wish to continue in your bigoted uninformed state, which may be the more comfortable familiar state for you.

Tara McCoy said...

I have always said (therefore, I suppose I agree with Santorum) that for me to willingly and enthusiastically vote for Mitt Romney would be like casting a vote for Obama. I see Romney because of his HUGE flip flops, and insincere rhetoric as the Republican obama. And I do NOT want to vote for him. I voted McCain in '08 simply because he had the most conservative running mate. Ultimately, I will cast my ballot for R ~ may have to hold my nose, but if Romney is the nominee, he better chose a STAUNCHLY conservative running mate, or risk losing the staunchly conservative base votes. Romney is a RINO. And he does scare me almost as much as an obama 2nd term.

politiciansneednotapply said...

It takes a lot of backbone to go out on a public limb to endorse and withdraw. I was once a supporter of Newt and I will not go into the myriad of reasons I have changed my mind on him. It is time to move forward people and enthusiastically. I will not denigrate Sen. Santorum here either, as there is much about him that is also good.
I will share a thought or two for those who are struggling with Romney. Many of us are looking for the Reagan we remember waving on his last day on the job well done. He was a divorced Hollywood actor, moderate to liberal gasp Democrat in his younger years, pro union, a union president, pro abortion and so on. As Reagan saw what liberal policies did to a populace and not for them, he flip flopped. At least that is what we would be saying today if he were just running. With this record and against a Baptist Sunday school teacher, Reagan should not have stood a snowballs chance in hell. We saw in Reagan the ability to mature from past decisions and leave them there. The left has tried to paint Gov. Romney with his past. He has learned much as well. Would we be happier about him if he had not matured in his decision making observations and processes?
Churchill described this very thing when he said, " if you are 20 and not a liberal, you do not have a heart and if you are 40 and not a conservative, you do not have a brain". Regardless of who you have supported, Newt, Rick, and Paul are not the enemy. Obama is our enemy and any enemy of our enemy is our friend. It is time to put aside our differences and Pride. Pride has ruined many really good people. Pray for Gov. Romney, surround him with honest conservative people in Congress. Hold him accountable to the Constitution and the expectations of our united trust.

Wendilynn said...

I'm glad your opening your eyes. Santorum is the worst whiner in the GOP field. Its never his fault, he's never to blame, he never owns up to his own responsibilities. We already get that with Obama. I don't need another child in the White House who can't take responsibility for his choices or mistakes.

Romney not only doesn't demonize his opponents, but when he screws up , he owns it and learns from it.

The Lonely Conservative said...

I'm with you, but he lost me a few weeks ago. This just confirmed it for me.

Cris said...

Again we're being diverted by media created minutia. Setting aside Mitt's 100% leftist record as an elected official, the best issue in our arsenal is ObamaCare. All polls show a large majority of Americans (Democrats as well) believe ObamaCare is unconstitutional and will make things worse.
Mitt, as our candidate, effectively surrenders this issue and Obama's minions know this. This reality is Mitt's own fault, for continuously supporting what he did in Massachusetts, rather than simply admitting he was wrong and made a mistake. We are late in the game and I will support whoever gets the nomination; but it's disheartening and pathetic that the GOP establishment continues to despise conservatives and campaign for moderates. Over the last century, the GOP has won only 2 landslide Presidential elections - the 2 Ronald Reagan elections. Yet to hear these people, blather nonsense about Mitt’s ability to get independent voters, when in fact he can't get 50% of Republican voters is absurd. None of this is new, for I remember the Establishment GOP promulgating the same "defeatist stupidity" against Reagan when he was vying for the nomination.