#UnravelTheSweater: Rick Santorum – Lots of Rhetoric… Little Action

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

This following guest post was submitted by David Parker. David and his wife are personal friends of Mitt and Ann Romney.

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Is it possible to take an objective view of the Republican Candidates? I mean really? Let’s break it down and unravel some realities:

CANDIDATE COMPARATIVES

Social Values: Rick Santorum, who has clearly established his bona fides as a “social conservative,” by self acclamation, has claimed the mantle as the only real, true standard bearer for traditional Christian values — REALLY? In self-righteous judgment, he has sought to question and judge the Christian values of the other candidates, including Obama. (more…)

#UnravelTheSweater: Fleshing Out the Truth About Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

This following guest post was submitted by Colleen Loughmiller. An MRC regular.

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The Vest

Sweats and sweater vest or designer slacks and Polo’s? Who is the real Rick?

Watching and listening to Rick can be uncomfortable. At times he tilts his head, squints his eyes, and raises his voice a full octave. Next thing I know he’s bobbing his head left and right, making me dizzy watching him in a debate or interview. His clean cut boyish face is pleasant to look at, his loyal wife and children by his side — all looking freshly scrubbed and the all-American Family. Yet, something’s bothering me.

His strongly accented words ring with all the right syllables, “I am a consistent conservative and I have always been….,” words I want to hear. He goes on to say that he is pro-life and for a balanced budget.

But I get a nagging feeling in my head that something isn’t quite right. Lately, since his popularity has soared, all kinds of information is available about Rick as he goes through the normal vetting process, information not available to the average voter before.
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#UnravelTheSweater: Rick Santorum’s Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Hypocrisy 

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

Despite co-sponsoring a bill limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000, Santorum supported and aided his wife when she sued her doctor for $500,000 in 1999. Santorum co-sponsored the bill twice before he helped his wife sue for double that amount. 

MUST SEE VIDEO: ABC News recently confronted Santorum about the issue and this is what happened:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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Operation #UnravelTheSweater – Bringing Rick Santorum’s Record to Light

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

By all accounts this has been a strange primary season. Numerous opponents to GOP front-runner Mitt Romney have, each in their own turn, surged to top of national polls only to feel the heat of intensified scrutiny and wither away just as quickly the candidate had risen prominence. All the while Rick Santorum dutifully campaigned and patiently waited on the sidelines for “his turn”. Yes, of each of the I-want-to-be-the-challenger-to-Romney candidates Santorum is the luckiest – lucky to be last. You see, his surge has come when it matters most – when delegates are being awarded. Following a 3-state sweep, including a Colorado upset, for Rick Santorum he is now flying high in the polls… and is just now starting pressure as he attempts to run the “vetting gauntlet”.

Yes, it is time to vet the vest.
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The Republican Primary Process: For the Prepared, Experienced, & Tested — Mitt Romney!

David Parker contributed an outstanding Op-Ed last week about the importance of substantial executive leadership experience when considering a candidate for President of the United States. His guest post included a chart that compares the four remaining candidates: CLICK

David Parker

I will repeat what I have said before here at MRC. Governor Romney has said since he began his participation as a candidate for the 2012 race that it would be a long race. Since he made those initial comments, the pundits, mainstream media, FOX talking heads, the other candidates, and just about everybody else have tried to set different expectations around Governor Romney. Why? So they could have as much influence as possible in the outcome. I will stress again: Keep your eyes on our file leader, Mitt Romney. His strategy to end up with the winning number of delegates is on course, contrary to what others want you to think. Not one of the other three candidates has even close to the experience as Governor Romney in strategic planning, execution, or executive leadership. None!

By David Parker

Brokered convention, really? All because of Michigan, the ninth contest out of 54? Aren’t we being a little premature, if not irresponsible? We expect it in the biased liberal media, but the conservative media and pundits should be ashamed! Now is the time for conservatives to come together rather than promote division. Think about it — as a Republican Party do we really want to wait until the end of August before knowing our nominee?

Are we so blinded by –

1. The media’s want for a story;

2. The conservative media, pundits and bloggers capitulating to a liberal media agenda of disruption;

3. Adherence to unequivocal absolutes in our ideology (Reagan’s adoption of being 80% agreement as acceptable, even disagreeing on 20%);

4. Rick Santorum’s protestations that it is his social agenda that matters, a social agenda that no one else can match, when they can and do with more substance; (more…)

Adelson Bets Big on Romney — Funds Gingrich to Topple Santorum — Billionaire’s Chess Play as Kingmaker

Yesterday CBS reported that Sheldon Adelson would again commit $10 million to the Gingrich super PAC “Winning Our Future” — this in addition to $11 million already given to the PAC by the Adelson family.

Sheldon Adelson (photo: AP)

NewsMax also reported yesterday a possible second motive or strategy, first reported by The Wall Street Journal Wednesday of this week. The NewsMax post states, in part:

“Adelson is certainly giving Gingrich one more chance. But given Gingrich’s poll numbers, Adelson’s cash infusion is more about knocking Santorum from the top of the polls than it is about boosting Gingrich’s chances” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told CNN. “While Adelson supports Gingrich, he is concerned that Santorum could win the nomination over [Mitt] Romney.”

[emphasis added]

Wednesday of this week (2/15/12), Alicia Mundy and Alexandra Berzon, in their WSJ article (p. A4) titled, “Gingrich’s Main Backer Plays Two Angles” the sub-title states: “Casino Mogul Adelson Weighs New Funding to Boost Former Speaker and to Help Romney Keep Santorum at Bay.”

It is widely known that Mr. Adelson’s love of the state of Israel is his main motivation behind any political support he provides. He has a long time friendship with Gingrich who is an ardent supporter of Israel. Governor Romney has also known Adelson for years and he too is obviously a strong supporter of Israel — during the Nevada caucuses they met to discuss the possibility of Adelson throwing his support behind his campaign.

I found this two-pronged strategy fascinating. Reading between the lines, I concluded that Adelson would prefer that Governor Romney as the Republican nominee and that he had concluded that the best way to ensure a Romney win was to bifurcate the support going to Santorum and Gingrich. Absolutely fascinating! Does that mean that had Gingrich continued to win states and delegates that Adelson would have shifted support to Santorum to balance this strategy? That seems unlikely to me based on the long Adelson/Gingrich friendship, but the possibility is fascinating nonetheless.

Excerpts from The Wall Street Journal Article (before Adelson made the commitment public):

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, by far the biggest financial backer of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, is preparing to open his wallet again. But this time, the casino magnate appears to have more than one agenda.

In a bit of political chess, Mr. Adelson is ready to not only directly support the former House speaker in the Republican primary, but to use his cash to push Rick Santorum from his position atop the latest national polls, according to people who have discussed the matter with Mr. Adelson. (more…)

Mitt Romney’s WSJ Op-Ed on China — HE WILL: Stop Cheating / Take Counteraction / Not Tolerate Surrender / Will Never Flinch

Governor Romney wrote an Op-Ed for The Wall Street Journal yesterday that clearly shows how tough he would be to reverse Obama’s incompetence and appeasement relative to China relations. Though it may not be clear to Mr. Obama and those who surround him, it is obvious to the world that Obama is out of his league when it comes to negotiating. He swore he would do everything in his power to protect our nation and the American people. Mr. Obama seems completely happy as President of the United States — almost complacent — I think it is because he does not know what he does not know.

Early in his administration he removed nuclear missiles in Europe in the hopes of becoming buddies with the Russian leadership — does naivete have an accent? How did that work Mr. President? Obama did not even ask the Russians for one thing in return. Why? Because he has never negotiated anything in his life. He has no clue how to negotiate. What a surprise. Does this remind us of any other senator? Oh, yeah. Santorum. Just this week we hear that Obama is thinking about reducing America’s nuclear force by 80 percent! He wants to go down in history as the appeasement president.

Governor Romney’s Op-Ed is the kind of steely toughness that America needs right now as the world’s bullies close in. Make no mistake here. Those who assume that Governor Romney will take actions that would escalate tensions do not understand his background. His entire career has involved in negotiating to the win-win result. Governor Romney is a master negotiator. The Chinese and the Iranians are laughing at Obama (and us) every day.

“How I’ll Respond to China’s Rising Power”by Mitt Romney — The Wall Street Journal, 2/16/12

Should the 21st century be an American century? To answer, it is only necessary to contemplate the alternatives.

One much bruited these days is that of a Chinese century. With China’s billion-plus population, its 10% annual average growth rates, and its burgeoning military power, a China that comes to dominate Asia and much of the globe is increasingly becoming thinkable. The character of the Chinese government—one that marries aspects of the free market with suppression of political and personal freedom—would become a widespread and disquieting norm.

But the dawn of a Chinese century—and the end of an American one—is not inevitable. (more…)

Rick Santorum: Big Government Income; Wealthy; Paltry Charitable Giving — Anemic

What do we see after 20 years of employment in government? Celebrity? Yes. Fame? Yes. Huge speaking fees? Yes. High paid “consulting” fees? Yes. Wealth? Yes. Generosity? You decide.

What is left? Power.

Two days ago, Rick Santorum released his tax returns. Let’s take a peek at them and what we learned from the Santorum’s returns (last four years):

  • Their effective tax rates were between 25% and 29%
  • Their most recent contributions to charity equal 1.8% (to a high of 2.6% in 2009)
  • They are wealthy by almost any standard in America

[source: RIGHT SPEAK]

What about generosity of the wealthy?

The media goes all out to depict Governor Romney negatively by comparison to Gingrich and Santorum. For example, Governor Romney’s latest tax returns indicate he paid around 15% in capital gains taxes. However, rarely does the press mention the obvious: That he had to earn the original money that got invested. Governor Romney’s original income was earned just like you and I earn it. And he would have paid ordinary income taxes on that money, at the time. I’m no accountant, but he would have been taxed originally at 35% I believe. Adding his capital gains taxes to his ordinary income taxes means he paid around 50% in taxes, give or take.

So what? Both Senator Santorum and Governor Romney did what is legally required of them: They paid to Caesar what Caesar demands. No more. No less. They both did what was required of them under the law. Good!

The bigger and more important question is, what did each man choose to do with their “discretionary” incomes? Both are wealthy men by comparison to the vast majority of Americans. Many Americans of modest, even limited means pay far more than 2% of their income to charity (remember the widow’s mite?) — I know many Americans of modest means who contribute far more than the Santorums, as a percentage of income.

By contrast, Governor Romney paid 16% in charitable contributions. Comparing just percentages, Romney paid almost nine times the amount as Santorum. So what? (more…)

#UnravelTheSweater: Colleague Support for Rick Santorum? Crickets…

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

Rick Santorum served in the Senate for 12 years. Twelve years! Where are the endorsements from his colleagues?


ABC News
Feb 16, 2012
by Sunlen Miller

There was a bit of an awkward moment at a Republican news conference on Capitol Hill today, highlighting Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s lack of support among his former colleagues in the Senate.

No sitting senator has endorsed the Pennsylvanian, even though he served in the chamber for 12 years (until 2007) and worked his way into the party’s leadership as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

By comparison, for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been endorsed by 14 senators.

When asked about Santorum during an unrelated news conference on jobs today, his former colleagues took pains to avoid comment, awkwardly looking at each other [...]

Here’s the response reporters received:

No one volunteered to answer the question… Reluctantly, one senator tentatively spoke up:
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#UnravelTheSweater: Big Government Rick Santorum is NOT the One

Alternate Title: Why I Love Vanilla: A Few Reasons Big Government Career Politician Rick Santorum is NOT the One

Rick Santorum - Unravel the Sweater

The GOP FroYo Sweepstakes

I liken the GOP race to a trip to one of those self-serve frozen yogurt shops where you can sample the flavors before you decide. I usually try all the flavors I can without embarrassing myself before I fill up with my final selection. It’s not infrequent it’s the flavor I kind of thought I wanted in the beginning, and frankly quite often that’s vanilla.

Of course I do like the toppings, too.

“Vetting” Santorum

It takes a candidate some time before they’re deemed important enough to be vetted. Perry, Cain, Bachman and Gingrich all had their turns rising in the polls, only to come crashing back down after the media focused the spotlight on them. Meanwhile Mitt Romney has been steady, and in fact improving as all the “not-Romneys” have been dismissed. Well, Santorum is the last possible “flavor of the month” the GOP can sample before it finally decides it really does like Mitt’s brand of vanilla. I love chocolate, peanut butter cup and the rest, but vanilla is, after all, the best-selling flavor of ice cream (and I’d guess frozen yogurt). And it’s no insult that people try other flavors, but in the end there’s just something particularly satisfying about vanilla!

I must admit I’ve not taken Rick Santorum terribly seriously to this point. Perhaps that’s “my bad.” To me he’s been a bit like the flavor Tutti Frutti. Tastes good, and maybe even a nice change of pace, but not my steady diet. As a result I, and it appears many others, have avoided “going negative” with him. Why point out a guy’s weaknesses if it doesn’t serve a purpose? I kind of had the impression he’s a nice guy, liked some of what he said on social issues and have a level of respect for a man with seven children. But if Rick really wants to be our nominee, I for one want a sample. And it appears there are a reasonable number of people lined up to try Rick’s flavor, so if he’s a serious candidate, it’s time to take a taste.
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