Where Does Santorum Go From Here?

By: Michael Begg, Contributing Writer

Pundits are already conceding the Florida GOP Primary to Romney as the latest Quinnipiac poll shows a 14-point lead over Gingrich. Following Gingrich is Paul at 14% and Santorum at 12%.

Santorum’s campaign has struggled since his early victory in Iowa. He attributes the drop to the “gutter politics” of his opponents. He did not specifically name Romney and Gingrich in his statements, but did direct his statements towards the negative campaigns they are running.

“I’m sick and tired of candidates who think they have to do anything that’s necessary — anything — to win an election. We deserve better than the gutter politics that we’ve been seeing in this race.”

Santorum is trying to regain his momentum in the race by moving past Florida to a key March caucus. The Missouri caucus will be a good chance for Santorum to test his strength against the leading candidate, Romney. During his speech to the crowd of 300 in suburban St. Louis, Santorum displayed his conservative beliefs. He discussed his plans to eliminate the corporate income tax for manufacturers and waive taxes on companies operating overseas as long as profits are invested in U.S. plants. He also promised to repeal all regulations enacted during Obama’s term.

These beliefs have led some, like conservative blogger, political commentator and author Michelle Malkin, to say that Santorum is the most conservative candidate for the GOP. Malkin looked at the track record of Santorum compared to that of his rivals; Romney and Gingrich.

“Rick Santorum represents the most conservative candidate still standing who can articulate both fiscal and social conservative values — and live them,” says Malkin.

Malkin notes that Santorum is clearly opposed to individual health care mandates and has been since his 1994 U.S. senate run. Romney has been unclear on the issue, vouching to repeal Obama’s health care plan, but at the same time defending the health care plan he signed in  Massachusetts as a “conservative principle.” In reality the Massachusetts plan helped to serve as a blueprint for ObamaCare.

Malkin points to Santorum’s conservative voting record, with his vote against cap and trade in 2003, for oil drilling in Alaska, and commends Santorum for avoiding eco-radicals like Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. Malkin believes that Santorum is the strongest supporter on border security, national security, and defense. She also notes that Romney and Gingrich have been far less trustworthy on immigration enforcement. Malkin does acknowledge some of Santorum’s weaknesses as well such as his lack of a rock-solid stance on core economic issues.

Many conservative figures have begun to show  their support for GOP candidates. Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, and GOP Governors. Nikki Haley and Bob McDonnell have announced their support for Romney. With more conservatives giving their support to Romney, the question becomes where does Santorum go from here?

The next week will be vital for Santorum’s chances. Nevada, Maine, Colorado, and Minnesota all hold their caucuses, while Missouri will hold their primary with a caucus coming in March.

 

January 31st, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Presidential, Top Stories | 1 Comment

One thought on “Where Does Santorum Go From Here?”

  1. Ida says:

    Where does Santorum go from here? I hope he goes away.

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