I am endorsing Rick Santorum for President.
Here’s the break-down on the other two leaders in the Republican primary, Romney and Paul:
Mitt Romney: When Mitt Romney was running for office in Massachusetts, he tried to assure Mass voters that he was solidly pro-abortion and pro-gay rights. And when elected, that’s how he governmed. The only thing that he has ever done to appeal to social conservatives is smile and look handsome, starting in 2006 – when he was out of office. I’ve written before about Romney’s pro-abortion record and Romney’s pro-gay-marriage record. He is a social liberal. The most socially liberal candidate in the primary.
Here is an excerpt from an assessment of Mitt Romney’s economic record from Club for Growth:
Because of his long tenure in public life, especially his presidential run in 2008, Mitt Romney is considered a well-vetted candidate by now. Perhaps to his consternation, he has developed an unshakeable reputation as a flip-flopper. He has changed his position on several economic issues, including taxes, education, political free speech, and climate change. And yet the one issue that he doesn’t flip on – RomneyCare – is the one that is causing him the most problems with conservative voters. Nevertheless, he labels himself as a pro-growth fiscal conservative, and we have no doubt that Romney would move the country in a pro-growth direction. He would promote the unwinding of Obama’s bad economic policies, but we also think that Romney is somewhat of a technocrat. After a career in business, quickly finding a “solution” seems to be his goal, even if it means more government intrusion as a means to an end. To this day, Romney supports big government solutions to health care and opposes pro-growth tax code reform – positions that are simply opposite to those supported by true economic conservatives. How much Romney’s philosophy of governance will affect his policy goals if elected, we leave for the voters to decide.
There is no reason for us to counter Obama with Obama-lite.
Ron Paul: Ron Paul is the absolute worst candidate on foreign policy and national security, and bad on social policy, too. Ron Paul opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage, because he doesn’t think that the federal government should define traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman. He has a moderately pro-life voting record. NRLC says that he votes pro-life only 75% of the time.
Excerpt from the Club for Growth report on Ron Paul’s fiscal policy:
When it comes to limited government, there are few champions as steadfast and principled as Representative Ron Paul. In the House of Representatives, he plays a very useful role constantly challenging the status quo and reminding his colleagues, despite their frequent indifference, that our Constitution was meant to limit the power of government. On taxes, regulation, and political free speech his record is outstanding. While his recent pork votes are troubling, the vast majority of his anti-spending votes reflect a longstanding desire to cut government down to size.
But Ron Paul is a purist, too often at the cost of real accomplishments on free trade, school choice, entitlement reform, and tort reform. It is perfectly legitimate, and in fact vital, that think tanks, free-market groups, and individual members of Congress develop and propose idealized solutions. But presidents have the responsibility of making progress, and often, Ron Paul opposes progress because, in his mind, the progress is not perfect. In these cases, although for very different reasons, Ron Paul is practically often aligned with the most left-wing Democrats, voting against important, albeit imperfect, pro-growth legislation.
Ron Paul has not been able to move legislation to implement his pro-growth vision. His fiscal positions are excellent, but he has no record whatsoever of being able to build enough consensus.
Let’s meet Rick Santorum
Here’s an article that explains the pros and cons of Rick Santorum as candidate. I really recommend this article. It is from a Catholic web site, so there is Catholic stuff in it, but it mentions all the weaknesses and strengths that I’m familiar with – it’s a balanced article.
As a member of the U.S. Senate from 1995 until 2007, Santorum was the prime author and champion of key pro-life bills, including the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a ban on partial-birth abortion, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a separate crime if an unborn child is harmed or killed during the commission of a stipulated list of federal crimes.
Santorum not only has signed the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Presidential Pledge, but he has helped raise money for that organization, too.
Santorum believes that abortion is never justified, including in cases of rape or incest.
[…]Santorum has been similarly staunch in taking a stand against same-sex “marriage,” which has earned him the enmity of homosexual-activist groups.
[…]“Rick Santorum has been a hero of the movement in every sense on marriage, life and religious liberty. No one has been braver or taken more hits for his courage than Rick,” said Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage.
For Santorum, the issues of marriage and abortion aren’t just social issues — they spill over into his economic philosophy.
“You cannot have limited government if you have broken families, because someone has to pick up the pieces; and the ones who pick up the pieces are the taxpayers,” Santorum has said.
While some argue that an emphasis on social issues is detrimental to a politician’s chances of being elected, Santorum on Dec. 20 got two endorsements from family-issues leaders that some say could provide the needed boost in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses to make Santorum a first-tier candidate.
Santorum was endorsed by Bob Vander Plaats, a leading Christian conservative in Iowa, and Chuck Hurley, another family-issues stalwart. Both are affiliated with The Family Leader, which Vander Plaats founded. Hurley is president of the affiliated Iowa Family Policy Center.
“We care about any issue affecting the family, from the sanctity of human life to preserving a biblical view of marriage, and even issues such as gambling and economic issues,” said Julie Summa, spokeswoman for The Family Leader.
Summa said that the board of The Family Leader unanimously supported Santorum but decided that only the two leaders, not the organization, would endorse him because some of their conservative Christian constituency supports other candidates.
“When you listen to Senator Santorum speak,” Summa added, “he ties everything back to the family, including economics. Our economy is better when we have strong families.”
And here is the Club for Growth report on Santorum’s fiscal policy, which is his weakest link.
On the whole, Rick Santorum’s record on economic issues in the U.S. Senate was above average. More precisely, it was quite strong in some areas and quite weak in others. He has a strong record on taxes, and his leadership on welfare reform and Social Security was exemplary. But his record also contains several very weak spots, including his active support of wasteful spending earmarks, his penchant for trade protectionism, and his willingness to support large government expansions like the Medicare prescription drug bill and the 2005 Highway Bill.
As president, Santorum would most likely lead the country in a pro-growth direction, but his record contains more than a few weak spots that make us question if he would resist political expediency when it comes to economic issues.
It’s not that weak for a weak link, is it?
My concerns about Rick Santorum are mostly on fiscal policy. I don’t like his vote against NAFTA in 1993, and I don’t like his plan to focus corporate tax cuts on the manufacturing only – I want across the board tax cuts. His support for Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey was hard for me to get over, too. But it’s minor – there is no perfect candidate.
Rev. James Leonard points out that Santorum has a good pro-growth record:
First, Santorum was the first of the candidates to endorse the Ryan plan. No statist would ever do so. Santorum has pledged to cut 5 trillion dollars in the next 5 years.
Second, Santorum co-sponsored and fought for a balanced budget amendment that failed by a single vote, prompting Santorum to demand that the RINO (Hatfield, OR) who voted against it be stripped of his chairmanship. He did so even against such stalwart Republicans as Jesse Helms who defended the RINO. Santorum’s fight led to the RINO’s early retirement.
One final thing: Rick Santorum introduced an amendment to No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 to encourage critical thinking on issues like evolution and global warming in the schools. That’s good, but it’s also good that Rick has been pushing away from the idea of a federal role in education at all. Another plus.