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Romney Oppo Team, Meet the Patriot News

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

The Harrisburg Patriot News’ Robert Vickers is out this morning with a brutal look at just how some Pa. Republican operatives and politicos view Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. Here’s a hint: not nicely.

Check out the full piece here, and here are some highlights (lowlights?):

“He doesn’t have the character, the temperament or the policies to lead,” said Ryan Shafik, a former Santorum intern who now runs Rockwood Strategies political consulting firm in New Cumberland. “He treats people really badly with arrogance and contempt. Yeah, he’s pro-life. Yeah, he’s Mr. Social Conservative. But he is, in my mind, unfit to be president.”


“When he started, he was just one of countless young Republican staffers that come in and out of state government,” said one area political consultant who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Then he strikes gold and becomes the U.S. senator, but people still remember him as just that staffer.”


“Most of the Pennsylvania Republican leadership did not see him as presidential material,” said a high-ranking party figure who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “He can ride around in a pickup truck in Iowa all he wants, but he can’t do that on a national basis.”

10 Responses

  1. What, exactly, is your point? In all the static, I could not pick it out.

  2. Everything about this echo chamber of morons typing back and forth to each other is hilarious. Interns, outcasts and misfits eternally posting and reposting the same moronic tripe they clearly think is insightful but could easily be the scribblings of your crazy octogenerian neighbor housing 10 cats and hoarding old tribune review editorials amongst the half eaten soup cans. Sorry, help me out here, are we supposed to be impressed that an intern is insulting our former Senator, the very guy who gave this punk a break in politics? Makes him “principled” does it? You can go ahead bag my groceries in plastic, not paper.

  3. Rick “The Chameleon” Santorum thinks The Forgotten Taxpayer should finances multi-millionaire OnePercenters!

    Rick Santorum backed Pittsburgh stadium tax hike:Then-senator backed ‘97 sales-tax vote, financing after it failed Washington Times Saturday 8 January 2012

    There is a reason that Rick Santorum can’t win the Presidency; because he can’t win Pennsylvania. We, the Voters, know his obnoxious arrogance and we know his record.

    Undoubtely, the humble and unpretentious Rick Santorum thinks he is a prophet in his own land. He would think that.


    Andy Roth with Club for Growth says….” Rick Perry has the BEST Plans, if not THE BEST PLANS for our economy. (Video 5 MINUTES JAN 9, 2012)
    and Rush Limbaugh agrees


    WINNER –Rick Perry gets an A grade (“has one of the best if not the best plan”)

    Ron Paul– gets a very good grade (for what he wants to do)
    Rick Santorum/ Newt Gingrich— get “C” grades ( bad past records)
    Jon Huntsman– gets Incomplete grade (his plan is incomplete)
    Mitt Romney— gets ” worst fail ” grade ( Andy Roth says…. “he deserves to be in last place” )

    In fact, the president of the Club for Growth, Chris Chocola, called Rick Perry’s new plan “massively pro-growth” in a statement: “Rick Perry’s plan for tax reform would be massively pro-growth. A Flat Tax like the one proposed by Perry would unleash years of economic growth if it is passed into law. Furthermore, eliminating the tax on dividends and capital gains would immediately add trillions of dollars in new wealth to the economy, benefiting all Americans. Perry clearly understands that revitalizing the economy should start with a complete overhaul of a tax code that has nearly choked economic growth to death. Conservatives looking for a champion to carry the banner of a pro-growth tax reform will surely rally behind this bold proposal.”

  5. Both Ryan “the Infidel” Shafik and Jason High, Sen. Eichelberger’s former chief of staff, are reliably independent, were willing to go on the record. Both supported Pat Toomey in 2004.

    Ryan Shafik is one of the most astute analysts and competent, pragmatic consultants who does not “squish” on principles in Pennsylvania. I rely on Ryan’s advice and have found he knows what he is talking about and is very candid. Ryan tells the whole truth.

    There was not Pennsylvania Establishment person willing to go on the record in support of Rick “the Chameleon” Santorum.

    Rick Santorum cannot win the presidency because he cannot win Pennsylvania.

    Rick Santorum received 797,000 fewer votes than in 2000. and received fewer votes in every county in Pennsylvania than he did in 2000. Had he received the same number of votes in 2006 as he had in 2000, he would have been re-elected for a third term. (Ryan Shafik provided me with this insight.)

    The better voters get to know Rick Santorum the less likely they are to vote for him.

    Rick Perry is the Guy. His record speaks for him. Not every leader speaks magical rhetoric. If you value rhetoric over real world record and reality, then I have the guy for you. Our President.

  6. Funny, you don’t need an opposition research team to uncover that Romney is a closet Democrat. That said, he’d make a replacement for Martin Sheen on a remake of the West Wing.

  7. Ryan Shafik is not part of the establishment. Mr. pro-life endorsed Pro-abortion Todd-Whitman, Specter and Chafee. He dissed the gun owners in PA. At the RNC 2008 convention he ignored us “little people” delegates but loved the microphoness and cameras. And that’s just the tip of the icerberg. He lost in 2006 by 18 points because he was too liberal.

  8. Of course, real journalists don’t rush into print until they have some adults willing to speak on the record, but any stick to beat a conservative . . .

  9. Pretty hard hitting news when you find a random former intern to go after a Presidential candidate. Get real.

  10. How many conservatives really care what the GOP establishment in PA thinks about Santorum? Last I checked, the PA GOP establishment was not exactly in good standing with most true conservatives here or around the country. You only need to look at the outcome of the last gubernatorial race and the lack of support for the best candidate(s) in the current senate race to see why.

    Maybe this will be looked upon favorably by both the Santorum camp and the folks within the GOP he is trying to court. Perhaps this effort to derail Santorum just backfired.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

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