Governor Mitt Romney and Wisconsin’s beloved homeboy and rising GOP star, Congressman Paul Ryan, both speakers at the event, inspired the crowd with their remarks. While speaking, Romney did not mention his GOP primary opponents and focused on President Obama (he also worked in a good comment about Joe Biden). At the conclusion of Ryan’s speech, he introduced The Gov with another strong endorsement (SEE VIDEO BELOW).
◆ Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum also participated - but the latter did something that raised eyebrows…
WAUKESHA, Wis. — The current state of the Republican nominating contest was on display in Wisconsin on Saturday, with underdog Rick Santorum vigorously slamming front-runner Mitt Romney, while the former Massachusetts governor ignored his GOP rivals and focused solely on President Barack Obama.
Santorum’s rhetoric against a fellow Republican is a departure from the typical remarks candidates have given at previous Faith and Freedom events held this campaign season. The group draws a variety of GOP voters, and one candidate bad-mouthing another is usually avoided. But the former Pennsylvania senator did not tone down the attacks he frequently uses on the stump.
◆ MSNBC Nightly News Report March 31, 2012:
Santorum, speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press today, vowed that even if he loses in Wisconsin, he’s staying in the race:
The former Pennsylvania senator dismisses the notion that a prolonged primary would harm the party’s chances against President Barack Obama in November. Santorum says GOP establishment figures are making that argument to convince voters that “they need Mitt Romney shoved down their throats.”
… Santorum said he needs to win Pennsylvania’s primary on April 24.
While speaking at the F&F forum, Santorum and Gingrich both referred to Congressman Ryan, but notice the interesting difference:
While Gingrich called the congressman “a great guy,” Santorum referred to Ryan as “some other Wisconsinite.”
Maggie Haberman (Politico) writes:
Since Ryan’s endorsement, Santorum has been largely silent about the rising Republican Party star on the campaign trail. When asked about the endorsement by reporters, Santorum brushed it off, saying: “What I find out is that most endorsements are worth one vote.”
Besides the lies he tells about Governor Romney, Santorum’s rancorous, uncouth, and gauche behavior serves as a continual poke-in-the-eye reminder of why he should not get anywhere near the Oval Office. For someone who claims he got in the GOP presidential race because of “God’s calling” one would think he’d try to do a better job emulating the supposed caller.
By the way, the Romney and Ron Paul campaigns have filed a joint complaint citing “serious and prejudicial misconduct” from Santorum supporters at a previously-held Missouri county caucus.
◆ Here’s video of Wisconsin’s Faith & Freedom forum:
Newt Gingrich: @5:00
Paul Ryan: @25:20
Mitt Romney: @40:45
Rick Santorum: @1hr:29
◆ After speaking at the F&F conference, Gov Romney and Ryan headed to Muskego, WI, to host a town hall meeting. D.G. Jackson, Romney’s campaign shadow, videoed The Gov and Paul Ryan before going on stage:
The Gov and Ryan also spent time at a phone bank in Madison for Governor Scott Walker.
◆ GOOD NEWS…
Earlier this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, Tea Party favorite Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson endorsed Romney: