Rick Santorum and Criticism from the Faux Right and the Hard Left


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The guns are turning on Rick Santorum now that he is the clear front runner nationally and leading Romney in two key primary states – Michigan and Ohio.   Mitt Romney is now going after Santorum.  His Super PAC attacks against Santorum while on the surface true, they ring hollow, and have been deemed juvenile as Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard notes and then says:

The Romney campaign often gives the impression that it thinks Republican primary voters are really stupid—and it doesn’t do a very good job of hiding its contempt. The Obama administration clearly thinks the American people are really stupid—and it doesn’t do a very good job of hiding its contempt. It would be nice if the Republican nominee could contrast his respect for the American people with the Obama administration’s contempt.

Byron York notes that Romney’s attacks have backfired because his surrogates doing the attacking have been “guilty” of many of the same things they’re accusing Santorum of.  Did Santorum vote to raise the debt limit?  Yes he did, as did every other Republican Senator when the GOP controlled the Senate.  Did he vote for earmarks?  Yes, but Romney as Governor requested millions in earmarks. So it’s not ok to vote for them, but ok to request them?   Was Santorum a Senate spendthrift?  The National Taxpayers Union says no.  Santorum’s NTU GPA ranked 5th out of 50 Senators that served while he was in the Senate.

National Review in their editorial calling on Newt Gingrich to step down said of Romney:

Romney remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama. Lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion. Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals. His hope is that enthusiasm will follow when he takes on Obama in the summer and fall. But his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)

Based off of Romney’s prior support of TARP, it seems unreasonable to believe that if he had beaten the late Ted Kennedy in his 2004 Senate bid he wouldn’t have voted to raise it as well.

On the liberal side of things liberals are going batty over my interview back in October when Santorum said the following:

One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, ‘Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.’ It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

Again, I know most presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These have profound impact on the health of our society.

He never once said in that interview that he would make contraception illegal.  Never.  Having the Feds pay for it?  While we didn’t specifically get into that it would make sense for a fiscal and social conservative to argue that taxpayer money shouldn’t be spent on this.  But spin… spin… spin… as Andrea Mitchell does when she points out my interview yesterday on MSDNC:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

 

How dare Santorum speak on women’s issues!  Women voters burn your bras, unite, and rally against this barbaric man!  Ugh.  Again, he has never said he’d make them illegal.  He was in the context of my interview talking about using a bully pulpit as every President has done on issues of concern to them.

Now liberals are going through the roof based on something one of his supporters, Foster Friess, said to Andrea Mitchell:

Mitchell: Do you have any concerns about some of his comments on social issues, contraception, about women in combat, and whether that would hurt his general election campaign would he be the nominee?

Friess: I get such a chuckle when these things come out. Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed, we have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such inexpensive. Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

Mitchell: Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that, Mr. Friess, frankly.

It was a joke folks.  It was noted yesterday that he loves to tell jokes like the one he told at CPAC, “A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar. The bartender says ‘Hi, Mitt.’”

Kirsten Powers also noted that of late due to Obama’s contraceptive mandate Santorum’s convictions have helped with a contrast with not only Obama, but Romney as well:

Well, it was a gift for Rick Santorum. For Romney, it was a lump of coal. Of all the issues the author of “RomneyCare” does not want on the front burner, there are none more toxic for him among the GOP base than reproductive rights and health-care mandates. Obama’s mandate for free contraception manages to wrap both of those up tidily as a potent reminder to GOP voters of what makes them balk at Romney.

Obama has ignited a culture war, and Santorum is the beneficiary.  He’s the one who has been the most articulate in relation to his worldview.  Romney doesn’t hold a candle.

Something that is being overlooked in the press is that the larger issue isn’t about contraceptives.  It’s religious liberty.  Santorum’s a much better standard bearer on that issue.   As much criticism as Santorum has been given on the left it’s hardly mentioned that the only person to implement a contraceptive mandate wasn’t Rick Santorum, but President Barack Obama.

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  • Kathy Kattenburg

    “It was a joke, folks.”

    Yes. A very stupid, vulgar joke that conveyed contempt for the importance of contraception for women’s health and women’s lives. It’s amazing that you don’t see that, even if you disagree.

    :How dare Santorum speak on women’s issues!”

    No one’s saying Santorum can’t speak on women’s issues. But if his opinions on women’s issues and women’s rights belong  in the Dark Ages and not in 21st century America, women (and men who are not living in the Dark Ages) have the right to point out that his views on women belong in the Dark Ages.

    “Again, he has never said he’d make them illegal.  He was in the context
    of my interview talking about using a bully pulpit as every President
    has done on issues of concern to them.”

    Okay, but is it all right with you if women don’t want a POTUS whose views on women belong in the Dark Ages?

    “Something that is being overlooked in the press is that the larger issue isn’t about contraceptives.  It’s religious liberty. ”

    No, actually, the larger issue is about preventive health care for women and women’s right to make their own choices about things like contraception — not religious liberty. Religious liberty has absolutely nothing to do with this issue, because religious liberty is not being infringed by a policy that says employers and insurance companies that get federal funding cannot dictate to all women what their insurance policies will cover just because the employer objects to a specific LEGAL health service.

  • Watchtower

    Kathy, I do not condone the remark by Foster Friess. I recall, however, that women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have repeatedly suffered vulgar insults from your cultural and political allies. We are living in an age when the decadence of old paganism is being joined with a modern tyrannical leftist political and cultural agenda that is destroying the remains of the culture that has given you and I a balance of freedom, responsibility and civility. If women (and/or men) think they can build a better world by using their personal license to kill the preborn, engage in every form of sexual license and perversion, and enforce everyone to conform to their policies they will only add to the consequences of their own moral and spiritual and ultimately material destruction.

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