Rick Santorum’s Debate Debacle and Fall from Grace

The unexpected rise and soon to be the expected fall of Rick Santorum has been largely due to his own folly. He was the undisputed front-runner after sweeping MN, MO and CO in one night. He had done what no pundit had predicted – he defeated Romney in all three states! This trifecta propelled him into the national spotlight where the glare was too much for him to handle, even on the night he pulled off this upset.  His lack-luster victory speech was not presidential, nor inspirational, and he seemed nervous about being ahead in the race. That was a sign of things to come.

What did Santorum do with this lofty position of front-runner? The same thing that all the others did before him – he bungled it so badly that within a couple of weeks he will have talked himself out of contention.  Take for example the CNN debate (Wed Feb 22, 2012).  While Perry had a “oops” moment last fall that eventually caused him to drop out of the race, Santorum had a “oops” debate.  The problem is that he can’t lie, or even use creative truth-telling like other politicians. He just lays out the facts, explanations and excuses to justify what he did but just end up shooting himself in the foot. He did that over and over in the debate every time he was challenged by Romney or Paul. His long voting record in the House and Senate has betrayed his social and fiscal conservative positions that he has proclaimed all along the campaign trail.

He voted for contraception, abortions, debt increases, earmarks and large-scale spending programs, as well as two wars that have incurred a significant loss of life and treasure. This does not jibe with his rhetoric on the campaign trail. You’re right Ron Paul, he is a fake.

Now he’s decided that women should not serve on the front lines in war because they are “emotional”, defends an abstinence program from the federal government (which costs money), is against gays and gay marriage, believes that college is for snobs, and does not want a separation of church and state (although he does want separation of mosque and state, synagogue and state, or any other religion and state). Whatever happened to the freedom and liberty that he quotes in every speech? All of these things restrict freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Oh well, more campaign red-meat and rhetoric for the uneducated masses.

Consider, for example, the “No Child Left Behind” question from the CNN debate, which is very telling. Here’s what he said and a “translation” into simple English:

Santorum: “…I have to admit, I voted for it…against the principles I believe in…”

Translation: I am unprincipled in my voting.

Santorum:“I took one for the team…look, politics is a team sport”

Translation: I voted based along party lines, not based on what was good for my state which I represent or for the country that I believe in,  but whatever the party decided was right, which makes me a typical Washington insider.

Santorum: “It was a mistake.”

Translation: I make mistakes by voting without thinking it through because it seems like the right thing to do to support the President’s program.

Santorum: “It was a bad idea…for all the money that was put out there…”

Translation: I’m not a fiscal conservative since I spend taxpayers dollars without worrying about debts or deficits.

Santorum: “I will repeal No Child Left Behind”

Translation: I was for it before I was against it.  Oops!

When your votes contradict every position you take in your campaign speeches as a candidate for President, you lose all credibility.  Sorry Rick, your fifteen minutes are almost up!

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