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Santorum’s Wild Weekend

By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer

For a guy who has been written off by many political pundits in recent weeks as second-tier candidate, former Senator Rick Santorum turned a few heads this weekend.

Former Godfathers’ Pizza executive Herman Cain surprised Texas Governor Rick Perry with an upset thirty-seven percent victory on Saturday in the Republican presidential straw poll in Florida.  Perry was a distant second second at fifteen percent, narrowly beating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who won fourteen percent despite not participating in the poll.

In fourth Santorum garnered eleven percent of the vote followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul (who normally cleans up at these things), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann respectively.

Make sure to read this MSNBC preview of the poll, which specifically writes off Cain’s chances.

Santorum says even he didn’t seem to see it coming.  He told Fox and Friends on Friday morning that he didn’t have high expectations for the poll results.

“No, you know this is a very different straw poll than what happened at Ames where there was a long process and people invest a lot of money. I think for me, I mean I’ve been down here one day and I’ve come down to Florida a few times, I’ve worked country dinners and the like but for me this is not where my focus is it’s got to be Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. We’re going to spend time in Florida, we certainly want to do well, we hope we do ok in the straw poll but for us this is not that big of a deal for us,” he said.

Despite low expectations and limited media coverage compared to the front runners, Santorum continues to do relatively well in straw polls.  His fourth place finish in Florida comes after his fourth place finish in the Ames, Iowa straw poll in August.

His performance in Florida shows that his campaign has successfully appealed to the conservative base.

What separates Santorum from other GOP candidates is his position on gay rights.  During Thursday’s debate gay soldier Stephen Hill asked Santorum via video chat whether he would reinstate the recently repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as president.  Hill’s question incited loud booing from a handful of people in the audience.

Santorum answered Hill’s question as if nothing had every happened expressing his strong support of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and calling the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” a “social experiment” which gives gay soldiers special rights.

His position on gay rights resonates with social conservatives and will help him in the Republican primaries.  However, it could come back to bite him in a general election.

Certainly not all conservatives agree on gay rights.  Since Thursday’s debate members of the conservative gay rights group GOProud are demanding an apology from Santorum for what they consider were disrespectful comments directed at a Hill.

After the debate Santorum defended himself on Fox News: “I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier. That soldier is serving our country and I thank him for his service to our country. I’m sure he’s doing an excellent job, I hope he’s safe and returns safely and does his mission well. I have to admit, I did not hear those boos. … If I had, I would have said, ‘Don’t do that, that man is serving his country and we ought to thank him for his service.'”

7 Responses

  1. Mr. Santorum’s celebrated slippery slope argument is nothing if not credible. It has been twisted to suggest he was comparing homosexuality with dog sex but that is hyperbole. We have all seen the landslide of after effects that come from court rulings:
    The commerce clause has been expanded to give the federal government jurisdiction over just about everything—now obamacare will force us to buy government insurance. Back alley abortions were terrible but Roe v. Wade created a fissure in our country that would not have existed had state law been kept as the controlling factor in the debate. Abortions would have become legal first in a states like New York and California anyway to be followed by others. Has abortion on demand been a success? what has it led to? Discrimation is unfair but anti-race discrimination rulings have led to forced busing, multiculturalism and censorship of free speech, as well as legalized racism in the form of preferences for jobs and university enrollment. Has racism ended and the ills of the black community been solved? Ever since Madison v. Marbury the Supreme Court has overreached as a super legislature. The intent is always noble but what follows in practice has often proven to be a complete failure and worse for society as a whole. Most Americans don’t give a crap who you sleep with, nor do they identy themselves by sexual practice. But homosexuals who seek status as a protected class are by definition seeking special treatment. That special treatment is the basis for Santorium’s argument. Once you establish one special class, more are bound to follow (see trans-gender). Rick is not my first choice for President but he would do a much more effective job than our current office holder. No president rules alone. Santorium is no more a threat to homosexuals than Obama is to mass unemployment.

  2. Santorum “turned a few heads” like when the doctor grabs you and asks you to turn and cough.

  3. Re: Charles Parlato.

    Absolutely. Rick Santorum was never quoted as saying this…

    SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we’re just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it’s my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that’s antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, where it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

    Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —

    which you can verify at this link here

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-23-santorum-excerpt_x.htm

    This is all obviously part of the liberal agenda to keep the poor man of the earth Rick Santorum down, because we hate his moderate reasonable positions so much.

    If you idiots don’t put Romney in you are dooming us all.

    Obama, ’12

  4. Charles-
    1) Santorum and his family didn’t live in Pennsylvania, but rather Virginia. However, Santorum bilked the Penn Hills school district for his children to attend a cyber school.
    (Santorum has recently acknowledged that he is a Virginia resident).

    2) Santorum supported the Discovery Institute trying to inject Intelligent Design into the schools. When it got revealed in court that the text book was in fact a Creationism text that replaced “Creator” with “Intelligent Designer”, Santorum claimed he had no idea they were promoting Creationism.

  5. Just one further comment. I also think that Pennsylvanians probably have a sneaking suspicion that they were sold a bill of goods about Rick Santorum by the left’s sympathizers in the press in 2006. A Man of No Integrity? Ridiculous.

  6. Charles-
    Santorum? Courageous? Integrity? You must be talking about a different piece of fecal matter than the rest of us.

    Santorum’s response that the repeal of DADT gives gays a “special privilege” makes NO sense. How is not being discriminated against a special privilege? Santorum’s bigotry and homophobia knows no bounds.
    Santorum is full of “santorum” if he claims he didn’t hear the boos or that his answers weren’t in-sync with them.

  7. An accurate column! We thank God for little miracles.
    Rick Santorum keeps hanging around b/c the faithful have a sneaking suspicion that he may be the best candidate after all.
    He is very bright, well-versed on all of the issues, and is able to effectively and often brilliantly defend us conservatives from the slings and arrows of those w/i the power structure who both hate us and fear us.
    The K-Hammers have successfully ignored Rick S. He simply is not in their playbook for victory–Too conservative and too much like all of those little souls that the K-Hammers believe that they have been called to lead to salvation.
    Santorum is a a courageous man of great integrity and ability. He is THE GREAT DEFAULT CANDIDATE. Eventually we will be dumbfounded to discover that he was both a great candidate and a great president.

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