2012 Election | Ohio | Republican Party | Rick Santorum | Tennessee

Rick Santorum: Too Honest For Republican Strategists

Rick-Santorum2The AP reports that top Republican strategists are disappointed by the lack of discipline evident in Rick Santorum's recent campaigning, and his seeming inability to remain, as they say, "on message." Having squandered a massive lead ahead of last week's Michigan's primary by obsessing over culture war arguments that annoy even most Republicans, Rick Santorum seems incapable of adhering to his own strategy for avoiding a repeat performance.

Last week, Santorum rolled out a re-tooled message in Grand Rapids, MI, on primary night, focusing anew on job creation, his working class roots; his love of family, hearth, and home. From the AP:

"He is always going to have to struggle by responding to misperceptions that are out there," top adviser John Brabender told a handful of reporters after the Michigan loss became official. "The way that you solve that sometimes is to let people into your life and see a picture of you that you don't always share."

It was a strategy widely viewed as smart - and it didn't last.

Soon after, as Santorum dashed from state to state ahead of Super Tuesday, the candidate backslid into "sometimes rambling" speeches about contraception, health care for college students, Ronald Reagan's fight against "evil," and the death of nuclear family From the AP:

At the American Croation Lodge in Willoughby, Ohio, Santorum said it was impossible to talk about the economy without talking about the importance of two-parent families.

"Go to the areas of Cleveland where you don't see any dads. What do you see? Do you see freedom? Do you see opportunity?" he asked during his Friday night appearance. "Do you see jobs? Do you see police? Do you see government? Everywhere. That's the reality."

Republican strategists Todd Harris and Michael Dennehy think Santorum's public kultukampf is political suicide. Dennehy says the campaign needs to get "much better on discipline"; Harris has a go at Santorum's handlers for not controlling "what comes out of the candidate's mouth." Neither man apparently thinks Rick Santorum does the country a favor by honestly stating his beliefs.

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Comments

  1. I don't think anyone (besides Rick himself) seriously thinks he's going to ever become dog catcher, never mind POTUS. Lava would have to freeze first.

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 3, 2012 12:03:32 PM


  2. Do the Republican strategiest think Presidential candidates do the country a favor by lying about their beliefs?

    Personally, I like Mr. Santorum's strategy. I want him to be the R nominee because I want Barack Obama to be re-elected decisively.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 3, 2012 12:20:30 PM


  3. That leading photo of him really does bring to mind the fanatic Savonarola, referenced by someone last week. He is madness, headed, like Breitbart, for unhappy disaster. I suppose such people at least acquaint their adherents with the outright sight of folly as it fumbles towards inevitable failure, a living form of cautionary tale about the dangers of fanaticism.

    It will be ridiculous to many, but his fevered anguish and anger must be unimaginable.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 3, 2012 12:41:15 PM


  4. I want Santorum to win the nomination for a very specific reason: I want to see the long-overdue Purification of the Republican base.

    genuinely. I want to see the excuses given by those cowardly racist gay white males who will give excuses for voting for Santorum. I want to hear the excuses given by "progressive" Republicans who will still throw a vote for Santorum. Truly.

    Although, if Republicans dont' like Santorum and don't like the way the GOP is becoming nothing more than the party of white-trash racist homophobic faux-Christians then there's something they could do: vote Obama. Give him a LANDSLIDE victory that will shake and wake up the GOP so they no longer court the bigoted scum of America for votes.

    It's not just about policy, either. Santorum is an embarrassment for Americans. ALL Americans.

    his google problem is not just his frothy problem - his REAL Google problem is that a quick google search will lead you to his very own collections of quotes: vehemently anti-gay to an alarming and obsessive degree. opposed to not just non-Christians, but NON-CATHOLICS. a liar or willfully ignorant man who ignores proven factual reality to trumpet his own made-up and pious soundbites.

    he's a pious hypocritical embarrassment to America. His getting the nomination would indeed Purify the GOP - the only people who'd vote for him are the very people the rest of the country is waiting for to just die the hell OFF already.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 3, 2012 12:46:25 PM


  5. They obviously don't get it. That IS Santorum's message. The rest of what they want him to talk about he doesn't really care, or know about. That's why they can't shut him up, that's his agenda. Imposing his belief system on everyone around him. Like the scorpion to the frog, "it's in my nature."

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Mar 3, 2012 12:48:38 PM


  6. MICHAELANDFRED,

    I respectfully disagree with you. They do get it. They want Rick to be quiet on what he feels are important topics and issues which are generally not about the economy, the top concern of most Americans. They know Ricks extreme views on social matters scare the hell out of most critical-thinking voters and will lead to political suicide.

    Posted by: Jake | Mar 3, 2012 12:59:42 PM


  7. well, to be honest there's a reason the GOP has focused on Gay Issues, "abortion", contraception, and the sheer ugly reality that when Boehner took over one of the first things he did was.....censor and edit ART at the Smithsonian, because some Christians (who didn't see the art, only heard about it) had a PROBLEM with it.

    they talked about jobs. the economy. and now .....they show they've done nothing to help jobs and the economy. at all.

    why? they have no plans, and whatever plans they DO have only benefit the richest americans. hence their focus on "social issues" - focusing negatively on social issues is what people do when they A: don't respect the intelligence of their base, and B: don't have any plans whatsoever for what America actually needs, financially.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 3, 2012 1:11:29 PM


  8. He's on message, it's just not 'their' message.

    Say what you mean, GOP. You're afraid that if Frothy Mix goes National, that ordinary folks will recognize how very frightened they SHOULD be.

    You're dinosaurs.

    I actually think I need to give the Dems/Admin more credit for forcing the Contraception issue now. Maybe they're not as disorganized as I've always thought.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Mar 3, 2012 1:18:09 PM


  9. BEWARE of Republican strategists!

    They would love their candidates to stay on message & only talk about issues that could sound reasonable to a broad base of voters.

    However, once elected & in power, Republicans invariably move to make rightwing lawmaking their priority.

    You only need to look at the 2010 Gov.& State races in Maine, WI, FL , VA, etc where Teabaggers prevailed using economic issues, but then placed social issues at the top of their agenda.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Mar 3, 2012 1:37:58 PM


  10. Actually, if the Democrats had any decent level of organization, the GOP would've been history two elections ago. Have you seen the amount of crap the GOP has produced recently? The sheer amount of propaganda that could be produced against them boggles the mind. And yet the democrats are too timid to play as dirty as it takes.

    Posted by: Dev | Mar 3, 2012 1:41:34 PM


  11. Which is exactly why he would be the BEST candidate to run against Obama. Obama would win by a landslide!

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Mar 3, 2012 1:43:35 PM


  12. Regardless of the fact that it is not their fault (economic cycles, Bernake jumping the gun on fighting inflation during housing boom...) Presidents who preside over crap economies get the boot.

    Obama spent more time repairing diplomacy instead of focusing on explaining to Americans what was going on at home. He did nothing to change the situation with China or labor outsourcing...he just visited a lot of people until the election year rolled around.

    I don't want the Republicans but I will blame only Obama if he doesn't win again. He had 3 years to do what he did when campaigning--talk to Americans.

    Now, its probably too late for him. The Republicans have and will put forward Right Wing crazies and they will sail on in on the tides of economic misery and make the US even more of a police state--which, btw, Obama didn't do crap about either.

    Time to dust off the brown shirts and get ready...

    Posted by: Rin | Mar 3, 2012 2:12:40 PM


  13. has Santorum addressed the factual reality that he UTTERLY misunderstood JFK's "Church and State" speech and that JFK's speech, and presidency, paved the way for a Catholic Candidate like Santorum himself?

    has he had the speech explained to him in simpleton's terms?

    truly. of all of his nonsense, his JFK's-speech-makes-me-wanna-puke thing was galling.

    has it not come up again?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 3, 2012 2:18:37 PM


  14. If it was up to these political advisers every candidate standing for election would be a version of Romney, willing to say anything that they think will get him elected. At least we know Santorum is insane, Romney is a mystery because he changes his stance on everything every couple years. And surely that's more worrying.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 3, 2012 2:38:19 PM


  15. Male Sarah Palin.

    A vote for a Republican is a vote for the consciousness of Sarah Palin in any case.

    Posted by: doodlebok | Mar 3, 2012 2:54:38 PM


  16. Rick Santorum is the kind of person who in Catholic school would be one of the hall monitors. You know, kind of sniveling and ass-kissing and smugly superior all at once. Well, as Reagan would say, he never got over that. He still wants to tell everyone else how to live and would like to be in government to more effectively promote his agenda.

    For him, a government headed by the Pope would be an ideal state. Just like in medieval times, those were the days! Christian states with Christian rulers who all bowed to the Pope.

    Posted by: true colors showing | Mar 3, 2012 5:52:39 PM


  17. Why be honest in an election. Tell the people what they want to hear and then go an do exactly what you or your political contributors want. Perfect example; Scott Walker.

    Posted by: Dale | Mar 3, 2012 8:05:05 PM


  18. @LITTLE KIWI: Rick Santorum is not just an embarrassment to all Americans. As a Catholic, I can say he's an embarrassment to all Catholics.

    Posted by: William | Mar 4, 2012 2:49:28 AM


  19. "Neither man apparently thinks Rick Santorum does the country a favor by honestly stating his beliefs."

    Actually, I think it's a matter of his not doing his campaign a favor, and that's a sure bet. They're not focused on what's good for the country, we know that already. They're just interested in winning.

    I think it does the country a big favor to see just what it is the Republicans have to offer. Maybe it will even do the Republicans a favor.

    Posted by: Hunter | Mar 4, 2012 5:43:11 AM


  20. There are politicians who only want to win elections. Santorum wants to govern and make the country better.

    Santorum identifies that loss of individual FREEDOM & responsibility is a root cause of our economical problems. Broken families brings poverty. And if families are being attacked and destroyed, the country will have more crimes and poverty.

    "Balancing the balance sheet" will not be the only job of President Santorum. He wants to return manufacturing jobs to USA so that families can provide for themselves and children.

    To claim Santorum is for theocracy is a smear.
    Santorum is for the constitution and the declaration of independence.

    Posted by: RT | Mar 4, 2012 7:10:47 PM


  21. "To claim Santorum is for theocracy is a smear.
    Santorum is for the constitution and the declaration of independence."

    No, it's accuracy. Santorum wants his interpretation of his personal faith to rule the country, i.e. a theocracy. He has no interest in the Constitution, and any talk of "freedom" from him is pure bunk since he wants to interfere with the liberties of all those who do not share his religious zealotry. He's attacking any families that don't look like his.

    Many of us would like him to win some more primaries to further throw the field of losers into disarray, but, alas, he's on his way out since he's freaking out the Republican strategists who know that his nutcase stump speeches are even turning off rightwingers at this point. If you want to get some giggles, though, keep using the phrase "President Santorum."

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 4, 2012 7:46:08 PM


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