<strong>Is Santorum’s Social Conservtive campaign hurting the GOP?</strong>
Rick Santorum, as of late, has been running a campaign based on social conservatism in order to project himself as the most conservative candidate. In the GOP primary this will no doubt help him, but would it hurt him in a direct contest with the Obama campaign machine? His appeal to evangelists will certainly be great. A poll today shows that Santorum will be in a tight race with Romney in Michigan. He is also ahead in Ohio.
<a href=”http://www.politisite.com/2012/02/27/santorums-social-conservative-campaign/santorum-0525-3/” rel=”attachment wp-att-39047″><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-39047″ src=”http://www.politisite.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/santorum.05252-250×140.jpg” alt=”” width=”250″ height=”140″ /></a>Santorum’s message does not have widespread appeal to independents and moderates. Unfortunately he constantly puts “foot in mouth”. In an article in the Washington Post today, “<a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/santorum-presses-culture-wars-attack/2012/02/26/gIQAqSkicR_story.html?hpid=z2″ target=”_blank”>Rick Santorum presses culture wars attack</a>,” it is highlighted how easily Santorum’s recent statements can be used against him.
First Santorum takes on the fact that Obama wants everyone to go to college:
<blockquote><strong>“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.</strong></blockquote>
While this may resonate with those that believe that college professors are too liberal, it also denies the fact that most blue collar workers envisage a better life for their children. The statement is spin and although we all want Obama defeated in the 2012 election, it is unlikely that comments of this sort would not be taken apart by the Obama campaign team.
In another statement Rick Santorum takes on the separation between church and state.
<blockquote><strong>”I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.” </strong></blockquote>
The statement encourages the fear that moderates and independents have that a Santorum presidency may push his social values and religious beliefs on the country. This again resonates with social conservatives. One has to remember though that no one in their right mind would want these social issues reopened, which many think have been long settled.
Obama’s message of availability and affordability of a college education will resonate with many moderates and independents. While it is clear that not everyone wants or needs a college education and that there is a requirement for trades training to train people like “Joe the Plumber,” it is also desirable that college is affordable and accessible for those that want it.
Supports of the GOP, IMHO, are shooting themselves in the foot by refusing to get behind one of these candidates. Romney has had a difficult time convincing conservatives and as a result has not improved his electability in the primary, although his record as a Governor, businessman and in the Salt Lake Olympics have been impressive. Regardless of who eventually becomes the GOP nominee it would appear that the damage has been done.
The sooner the candidates can get on a path to fight the election on the economy and present their vision of how America would differ from Obama’s America, the focus can change and move the GOP in the right direction. Continue on the present path and the election will be handed to Obama on a platter.
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