Rick Santorum Is the Compelling Candidate

Mar 23, 2012 by

by Henry W. Burke –

INTRODUCTION

Barack Obama is raising huge amounts of money for his reelection. His campaign has already received $157 million in contributions, excluding Super PACs and independent contributions. The Obama campaign has reportedly set a goal of $1 billion for his reelection war chest.

How can the eventual Republican nominee for President possibly compete with that kind of money? A candidate cannot compete head-to-head with Obama on money; he will raise far more money than the Republican challenger. The Republican champion must be right on the issues, and he must offer a compelling message. Issues and record will trump money.

I will demonstrate why Rick Santorum is the compelling presidential candidate by exploring the following areas:

A. Campaign Finance

B. Scorecard and Delegates

C. Obamacare and Romneycare

D. Santorum on Economic Issues

E. Santorum’s Compelling Vision

Conclusion

A. Campaign Finance

This will be the most expensive presidential campaign in America’s history! Candidates are building massive political war chests to get their messages out to voters. How do the candidates compare on campaign finance?

 

Description Obama Romney Santorum Gingrich

Total Contributions $157.0 M $73.7 M $15.6 M $20.7 M

Disbursements $74.3 M $66.4 M $13.0 M $19.2 M

Cash on Hand $84.7 M $7.3 M $2.6 M $1.5 M

Percent Spent 47% 90% 83% 93%

 

M — Millions of Dollars

Source: Federal Election Commission (3.22.12; figures are through 2.29.12)

http://www.fec.gov/disclosurep/pnational.do

 

 

The above figures do not include Super PACs and other independent sources of campaign funds.

1. Barack Obama has raised $157.0 million and has spent $74.3 million (47%).

2. Mitt Romney has raised $73.7 million and has spent $66.4 million (90%).

3. Rick Santorum has raised $15.6 million and has spent $13.0 million (83%).

4. Newt Gingrich has raised $20.7 million and has spent $19.2 million (93%).

 

Excluding Super PACs (Political Action Committees), Romney is outspending his rivals by a huge margin (5:1 against Santorum and 3.5:1 against Gingrich). Super PAC funding can throw large amounts of money into political ads. In some states, Romney outspent Santorum by 10 to 1! Romney reportedly outspent Santorum by 7 to 1 in Illinois. In spite of this huge spending differential, Rick Santorum is competing very well. This proves that Santorum’s message is gaining traction with voters.

 

 

 

B. Scorecard and Delegates

 

People like to keep score, whether it is a sporting event or a political contest. In politics, the score that really counts is the final vote on Election Day in the General Election (for 2012 — Tuesday, November 6, 2012).

 

For Republicans, the first order of business is to select a presidential nominee (or candidate) in the primary elections. As the primary progresses, people keep score by making a tally of the states won and the delegates won. This is very simplistic and not very accurate, as we will see later.

 

The Scorecard (as of 3.23.12) is as follows:

 

 

Description Romney Santorum Gingrich
No. of States Won* 16 9 2
No. of Delegates Won 560 246 141

 

 

Source — RealClear Politics.com for Delegates and States won

 

* Includes States only (includes DC but excludes territories)

 

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/republican_delegate_count.html

 

 

 

For one thing, saying that a candidate won a particular state does not account for a close second. For example in Michigan, the scorecard shows that Romney won, yet Romney took 16 delegates and Santorum took 14 delegates. Romney received 42% of the popular votes and Santorum received 39% of the votes in Michigan.

 

In Ohio, the scorecard shows that Romney won but Romney took 38 delegates and Santorum took 21 delegates. The popular vote was a virtual dead heat; Romney received 38.4% of the popular votes and Santorum garnered 37.5% of the votes.

 

It is very important to understand the meaning behind the word “delegates.” On 3.23.12, RealClear Politics shows that Romney has 560 delegates; Santorum has 246 delegates; and Gingrich has 141 delegates.

 

However, the truth is that many states have not yet elected their National Convention Delegates. Most of the publicly available delegate counts are fundamentally flawed because none of them account for the conservative grassroots activists at county and state conventions. Those who have been to state conventions know that the conservative candidate has a big advantage over the moderate candidate.

 

In this election, Rick Santorum (the conservative) will have a large advantage over Mitt Romney (the moderate). As the Republican National Convention approaches, more states will choose their actual convention delegates. Therefore, people should focus on the “Real Count” instead of the public delegate tallies.

 

[Please go to this link to read Santorum Path to Delegate Victory which should give us conservatives hope and a firm resolve to keep working to get him elected.]

 

http://www.scribd.com/nationaljournal/d/85117424-Santorum-Path-to-Victory-Memo-3-11

 

 

Another means of keeping score is to look at the various tracking polls. Numerous polling organizations provide polls, and the results change almost daily. The most meaningful poll is the one that matches Obama with the eventual Republican challenger (Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum).

 

In the latest poll (conducted by Public Policy Polling on 3/15 – 3/17), PPP shows Obama and Santorum in a near tie, 48% for Obama to 45% for Santorum. PPP has Obama vs. Romney at 48% to 44%. Because the margin of error is ± 3.3%, Obama and Santorum are in a virtual dead heat.

 

 

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/03/obama-up-three-to-eight-nationally.html#tp

 

 

C. Obamacare and Romneycare

 

One of Obama’s biggest weaknesses is Obamacare. Most voters want to repeal Obama’s signature healthcare law.

 

According to the latest Rasmussen poll (3.19.12 report), 56% of likely U.S. voters favor repeal of Obamacare. The number of voters who favor repealing the law is now at an eight-month high.

 

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

 

 

Thomas Sowell wrote an excellent article on 3.22.12 entitled “Focus on vision, not on inevitability of Romney.” Sowell wrote:

The biggest fighting issue for Republicans is Obamacare. Can the author of Romneycare as governor of Massachusetts make that an effective issue by splitting hairs over state versus federal mandates?

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/293782/inevitability-vote-thomas-sowell

 

 

The Obama Administration has stated that it used Romneycare as the model for Obamacare. Romney constantly tells the public he is against Obamacare but his past support for mandatory healthcare greatly dampens his message.

 

As Gary Bauer suggested in his 3.20.12 “End of Day Report,” Obamacare can be our key to victory. He also adds Obamacare’s provision for individual mandates to the discussion. Mitt Romney tries to claim that he was against individual mandates. William Kristol (The Weekly Standard) reported the condemning evidence against Mitt Romney on individual mandates:

Consider a revealing debate moment. It’s not from this year’s campaign but from 2008, when Obamacare did not yet exist. Here’s an exchange from the debate among Republican candidates at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on January 5 that year:

Charlie Gibson: “Governor Romney’s system has mandates in Massachusetts, although you backed away from mandates on a national basis.”

Mitt Romney: “No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/articles/man-who-likes-mandates_634000.html?page=2

 

 

 

 

D. Santorum on Economic Issues

 

Which issues are the most important for American voters? In 10 nationwide polls conducted in 2012 and 2011, the “Economy and Jobs” was listed as the No. 1 priority in every poll! The percentages ranged from 42% to 63%, with most in the 50 percentile range. The next highest priority was much lower, ranging from 5% to 29%. (The federal “deficit” was the most common priority in the “next highest priority.”)

 

Many voters are unaware where Rick Santorum stands on economic issues. I have sent letters and reports to the Rick Santorum Team to encourage Santorum to stress economic issues in the campaign. A Santorum Team member responded that Santorum does talk about economic matters but the media does not report it. The mainstream media likes to ask him questions about controversial social issues in order to sidetrack the discussion.

 

When Rick Santorum was a U.S. Senator, he led out on economic matters by helping to lead the welfare reform initiative. This has saved millions of dollars since its enactment.

 

I have heard Senator Santorum discuss his economic plan on numerous occasions; the Santorum Campaign website provides many details on his economic proposals. The Rick Santorum Agenda for the First 100 Days includes:

 

1. Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

2. Stop the job-killing regulations of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency.

3. Rein in federal spending; cut spending by $5 trillion over 5 years.

4. Repeal and replace Obamacare.

5. Balance the budget; pass a Balanced Budget Amendment and limit federal spending to 18% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

6. Pass a pro-growth and pro-family tax policy. Simplify the tax code and lower tax rates to 10% and 28%.

7. Restore America’s competitiveness. Cut the corporate tax rate in half, from 35% to 17.5%.

8. Negotiate free-trade agreements.

9. Reform entitlements; make Medicare and Social Security fiscally sustainable.

10. Revive housing; phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

 

 

E. Santorum’s Compelling Vision

 

We need to focus on vision, not on the inevitability of Romney. Thomas Sowell pointed out the path to victory:

How does anyone ever defeat a sitting president then? With a message that rings and resonates. The last Republican to defeat a sitting president was Ronald Reagan. He was the only Republican to do so in the 20th century.

He didn’t do it with polls. At one point during the election campaign, President Jimmy Carter led Reagan by 58 percent to 40 percent in the polls. So much for the polls that so many are relying on so heavily today.

 

Sowell continued in his article:

 

Romney has depended on character assassination via massive ad campaigns to undermine his rivals. That will not work against Obama.

It is truer in this election than in most that “it takes a candidate to beat a candidate.” And that candidate has to offer both himself and his vision. Ads against rivals are not a vision.

The vision matters, more than the polls and even more than incumbency in the White House.

 

When the Republican Party selects lukewarm candidates (like John McCain and Bob Dole), the results are not good. An energized base is a powerful force!

 

CONCLUSION

How can the Republican nominee for President possibly beat the money, power and prestige of an incumbent President? Because you cannot compete with Obama on money, you must offer a strong message and vision. Rick Santorum offers that vision with integrity unmatched by anyone.

 

Santorum can use Obamacare as a path to victory in November. We cannot afford to give up our most powerful weapon — disdain for Obamacare. When Rick Santorum states that he is against Obamacare and that he will repeal it immediately after being sworn in as President, people listen. His record supports his campaign statements. (The same thing cannot be said for Mitt Romney.)

 

The media is trying to lead the American voters to believe that Santorum is not strong on economic issues. The opposite is the case. Rick Santorum has formulated a comprehensive plan to energize our economy and bring back the needed jobs.

 

Santorum offers the compelling message that voters yearn for; voters need to be energized and excited about the Republican nominee. A lukewarm electorate will not support the Republican candidate and might stay home on Election Day.

We must get this right; the future of America is at stake. Four more years under Barack Obama will destroy our country!

President Reagan is often called “The Great Communicator.” In Reagan’s farewell address, he explained:

I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things.

 

Rick Santorum communicates great ideas and winning issues. We can have another Reagan-style landslide victory in November if we elect the compelling candidate — Rick Santorum!

 

 

 

Henry W. Burke

hwburke@cox.net

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