Santorum exits after a campaign that beat all expectations

Everyone who had Rick Santorum making it until the Tuesday after Easter, not giving up his presidential campaign until he’d contested 26 of the 56 primaries/caucuses and won the second-most delegates in them, take your bow.

Or maybe we should just leave the applause to Santorum himself.

A campaign that started with little money and few believers, on the ashes of a blowout of a failed Senate re-election six years ago, pushed Mitt Romney to the brink in such key states as Michigan and Ohio and defeated Newt Gingrich across much of the Deep South. Santorum won Iowa by a hair — though he wasn’t recognized as the winner for a couple of weeks — then used a trifecta of upsets over Romney to become the last serious challenger to him.

He didn’t always help himself by talking at length about social issues in an election year bound to be dominated by dollars and cents, but that’s who he is — and Santorum’s authenticity is part of what drew more than 3 million GOP primary voters to him. Like Mike Huckabee in 2008, he proved there’s still a sizable contingent of evangelicals who are willing to buck the establishment and vote their consciences in a Republican primary. And he may have gone farther than Huckabee in demonstrating an economic platform that conservatives could embrace.

What ultimately did him in were two things. First, he had a way of talking about social issues that, in my view, was unnecessarily abrasive. As I considered whether to vote for him, I couldn’t escape the belief that he could have made the same points in a more appealing way — and that the way he made those points endangered his ability to win the presidency and act on them.

Second, he couldn’t shake his association with the 2000-2006 era of the GOP-led Congress, when Republicans lost their fiscal bearings and turned spendthrift — losing the gains made after 1994 and setting the stage for even bigger blowouts once the Democrats took control in 2007. His votes for big-government Republican policies, and his wince-inducing defense of them as unavoidable in the “team sport” of politics, couldn’t be reconciled with the necessity of paring back government.

It will be crucial now for Romney to woo the voters who chose Santorum instead of him during the past three months. There is some debate about whether they would actually sit out the election, possibly handing it to President Obama. Romney can’t take them for granted, and can’t take that chance. He would do well to be very visible in reaching out to Santorum and to do whatever it takes to get Santorum to bury the hatchet — it was a very ugly primary at times — and work to elect him.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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261 comments Add your comment

DannyX

April 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

Time to get out that etch a sketch Mr Romney.

ragnar danneskjold

April 10th, 2012
3:15 pm

I voted for Mr. Santorum in March, and I will vote for Mr. Romney in November, as will the sentient among us.

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
3:28 pm

Maybe you and moonbase can get him back in the race now.

General Election: Romney vs. Obama IBD/CSM/TIPP Obama 46, Romney 38 Obama +8
General Election: Romney vs. Obama ABC News/Wash Post Obama 51, Romney 44 Obama +7

Two latest polls have Obama with a comfortable lead.

Obama will win most states other than the … ahem … Southern ones.

Wonder why ?

GT

April 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

Always say nice things at a man’s funeral, but once again there is no standing for the far right.

HDB

April 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

From burying the hatchet to now slinging the dirt…..this will be one of the nastiest, dirtiest campaigns…and Karl Rove with the Koch Brothers will stop at nothing (particularly LIE anout EVERYTHING!) to keep the nation under their thumb!! The the conservative sheep will fall in line…….

Jefferson

April 10th, 2012
3:29 pm

Rags if you go 0-2 smile, that would be the sentient thing to do.

Road Scholar

April 10th, 2012
3:31 pm

I can only jump to a conclusion that his dropping out has something to do with his daughter’s health. God Bless.

While you contend that positions “in an election year bound to be dominated by dollars and cents”, I also think those social issues will be a large factor in choosing the next President. That should concern the Repubs, but let the chest beating begin!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:32 pm

Santorum’s Crusade is over – Hallelujah!

Now the next President of the United States can get down to the business of picking a running mate (not anyone named Santorum or Gingrich) and moving on to the general election.

Interesting discussions following Santorum’s exit regarding the support for the current Disaster-in-Chief and his 5 point lead over Romney in the national polls. The undecideds are not leaning towards Obama at all (only about 15% of them), Latino support is down about 15 points and overall the support for him is very soft among young people as well.

In short, the people who came out in droves last time aren’t with him or aren’t excited about him like last time. Even the Democrat strategist Joe Trippi says it’s going to be a very close race.

Rafe Hollister

April 10th, 2012
3:32 pm

No tears from me for this big government, social engineering, arrogant, repeat loser. I don’t think he added much to the discussion. Glad he is gone, and we can focus on eviction of the Blamer in Chief.

@@

April 10th, 2012
3:33 pm

It’s sad when a candidate’s refusal to abandon his principles does him in.

I wonder how much Bella figured into his decision?

He IS a family first guy. Nothing wrong with that.

What Ultimately Did Santorum In Was Santorum (Better slip with foot than tongue.")

April 10th, 2012
3:35 pm

When you “put your foot in your mouth” it means you say something stupid

that offends another people.

Most everyone has put their foot in their mouth at one time or another. Often,

this is done without malice, but sometimes people do disregard other people’s feelings.

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings before you talk, which can help prevent you from

making a conversational blunder.

yuzeyurbrane

April 10th, 2012
3:36 pm

Too bad for moderates of all stripes. The country would have been better off with the clear choice provided by Santorum. He would have been crushed and with him the radical Tea Party movement. Now, after Romney loses a very close election, the Tea People will say, see, if we had only nominated a true conservative and further entrench their brand on the Republican Party.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:36 pm

Look, Santorum was going to get beat again in his home state, and if he had allowed that to happen, his political goose would have been cooked forever. Romney had a $3 million ad buy waiting in the wings that talked about Santorum’s last loss and his fiscal spending record, both things he couldn’t challenge. Add in no money, no organization, a sick daughter, and the prospects of another shellacking in two weeks with some very big electoral states, and he had no choice but to suspend the Crusade.

Oh Brother

April 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

HDB: I’m pretty sure its the liberal sheeple that are more than willing to lead us to slaughter… but believe whatever you want, it’s pretty obvious you already do.

Compared to 2008 there isn’t a single area we are better off in… budget deficit, worse… gas prices, worse… personal finances, worse.. race relations, worse… international relations (Canada, UK, China, Germany, Obama has angered them all repeatedly), worse… health care (ask a doctor how many drugs are in short supply or unavailable), worse… Obama has made Jimmy Carter look competent.

Steve

April 10th, 2012
3:37 pm

So you cons will vote for the corporatist, flip flopping, moderate magic underwear candidate who has a car elevator in one of his mansions, and who drove his dog across country on the top of the station wagon?

Glad to see you have such standards for the leader of our nation.

Jefferson

April 10th, 2012
3:39 pm

Romney will turn left or lose, it will be about as funny to watch him dance as his followers.

Rafe Hollister

April 10th, 2012
3:39 pm

Ernest Tee

You are going to be rock throwing mad this Nov, when your darling Romina is thrown out of the big house along with her bumbling husband.

According to Dick Morris his research, which goes back through modern times, suggests the undecided overwhelmingly go to the challenger. If they like what they have why are they undecided. It is like he says, if you ask your wife if she would marry you again and she responds, let me think about it, you have your answer.

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
3:39 pm

A liberal Mormon flip flopper from Massachusetts is the Republican nominee.

Zero chance.

This is approaching Dukakis territory.

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
3:40 pm

According to Dick Morris

I stopped reading right there.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:41 pm

Glad to see Steve once again throw in his home-grown brand of bigotry to bring down any hopes for an intelligent discussion.

Rafe Hollister

April 10th, 2012
3:41 pm

Steve,

Romney would not have to much at all to exceed the standards of the current Blamer in Chief.

Steve

April 10th, 2012
3:42 pm

So you deny that Mormons have holy underwear?, Tiberius? How is that bigotry, that’s just a fact.

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
3:42 pm

Romney will turn left or lose,

He will have to go faaar left to have a chance.

Bad thing is when he does that he will suppress the base’s turnout.

He cant win either way.

If he stays to the right he will lose all the independents and lose.

If he moves to the left the base will stay home and he will lose.

Steve

April 10th, 2012
3:43 pm

Our President has done a fair job. Not bad, not great. But polls show that Romney doesn’t have what it takes to outseat a yawner of a President. He’s that bad.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:44 pm

“So you deny that Mormons have holy underwear?, Tiberius?”

Yes.

“How is that bigotry, that’s just a fact.”

Prove it.

Centrist

April 10th, 2012
3:44 pm

The AJC e-edition headline says that Romney is now the likely nominee – as if that has not been the case all along. The media hype over Santorum (and Gingrich in Georgia) was just that. The thoroughly defeated incumbent Senator from PA never had a realistic chance. He is through as a politician – no job or resume to compete against Governors and Congresspeople in future contests.

I agree with the analysis that his emphasis on mostly unpopular social issues hurt, more than helped except for the evangelical base that is a distinct minority. His Gingrich adopted attack dog style will have him sitting on the GOP sidelines with Newt. No loss with both of them gone.

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
3:44 pm

How is that bigotry, that’s just a fact.

They do in fact have holy underwear.

Kyle Wingfield

April 10th, 2012
3:45 pm

yuze: Your 3:36 is not very convincing. Moderates are worse off with a moderate this year because it might produce less moderate candidates in the future?

Rafe Hollister

April 10th, 2012
3:46 pm

I stopped reading right there.

Typical, another willfully uninformed liberal. Hard to argue with willful ignorance. Do you hold your hands over your ears and hum to keep from hearing criticism from Romina.

Kyle Wingfield

April 10th, 2012
3:47 pm

To everyone who cried foul when I said the liberals would attack Romney’s Mormonism: I present Steve @ 3:37 and Ernest @ 3:39.

Facts

April 10th, 2012
3:47 pm

Santorum just happened to be the last cardboard cutout “Anti-Romney” standing. His substance did not get him as many votes as who he was not … Mitt Romney. Good riddance. Romney needs to be able to focus solely on Obama.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:48 pm

“He will have to go faaar left to have a chance. ”

Explain, please. In your own words (heck, YOU called him a liberal) and many other libs on this blog, you proclaim Romney a moderate. If you know it, and the country knows it, and since the country is a center-right nation, why does Romney have to move at all?

hahaha

April 10th, 2012
3:48 pm

But I thought god was on Santorum’s side? No? I love that GA conservatives now have to vote for a mormon, Massachusetts moderate who has flip-flopped on literally every important issue over the past few years. I’d really feel back for conservatives if they weren’t such awful human beings.

Wade Hampton

April 10th, 2012
3:48 pm

“It will be crucial now for Romney to woo the voters who chose Santorum instead of him during the past three months. ”
.
How much woo does it take for a Wingfield to vote for a big government North-east liberal over a big government Chicago liberal?

HDB

April 10th, 2012
3:49 pm

Oh Brother

April 10th, 2012
3:37 pm
“Compared to 2008 there isn’t a single area we are better off in… budget deficit, worse… gas prices, worse… personal finances, worse.. race relations, worse… international relations (Canada, UK, China, Germany, Obama has angered them all repeatedly), worse… health care (ask a doctor how many drugs are in short supply or unavailable), worse…”

Let’s see – a nation in economic recovery from a crisis that left unchecked was leading us into a depression; unemployment on the decline; from LOSING 750K jobs monthly to gaining 120K – 250K monthly!!
That’s a beginning!

Race relations are because of the negatives that conservatives, the Tea Party, Karl rove and the Koch Brothers have put into play!! This level of animus didn’t come forth until Obama came into office!!

Personal finances were in rapid decline under Bush…but there is a steady recovery in many circles! For as many that you say are in decline, there are that many in recovery (me, for one!)…..

Health care…which the GOP NEVER tackled…now insurance can’t consider pre-existing conditions and college students can stay covered on their parents’ coverage…these are good things!!

Drugs are in short supply due to the GOP’s refusal to negotiate with the drug companies on Medicare pricing…and the drug companies are holding back the supply!!

Things are improving…but when conservatives stated from the beginning that their main focus was to make Obama a “one-term President”, it was evident that there would be nothing but hostility rather than taking care of the nation’s business……

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:49 pm

Don’t you mean to every “Liberal” who cried foul, Kyle? ;)

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
3:51 pm

Typical, another willfully uninformed liberal. Hard to argue with willful ignorance. Do you hold your hands over your ears and hum to keep from hearing criticism from Romina.

Not uninformed. By a long shot. Just dont give Dick Morris much credibility.

By the way tell Dick to pay his taxes. Typical Republican not doing his part.

from USA Today

“The IRS filed a $1.5 million tax lien against Bill Clinton’s former political adviser in 2003. The state of Connecticut reports Dick Morris owes $452,367 in back taxes and penalties.”

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2008-04-13-Taxcover_N.htm

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:52 pm

“flip-flopped ”

A term used by the intellectually-challenged who have never changed a view in the lifetime, even when presented with new and opposing compelling information.

Fundamental Decency is a Concept that is Dying in the Republican Party

April 10th, 2012
3:54 pm

@Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:44 pm
“So you deny that Mormons have holy underwear?, Tiberius?”

Yes.

“How is that bigotry, that’s just a fact.”

Prove it.
**************************************************************************************

GOGGLE – Mormon Underwear or Mormon Religion

To millions of Mormons around the world, garments are a special piece of clothing worn as a symbolic gesture of the promises that they have made to God. The garment is always worn under other clothing, next to the skin. For most people who wear it, the garment takes the place of regular underwear.

(For this reason, some people refer to the garment as Mormon undergarments or as Mormon underwear. Most LDS prefer simply using the term “garment” instead.)

The garment is directly related to Mormon temples. It is there that faithful members first receive the garment after individual instruction on what it stands for and how it should be cared for.

The garment is worn as part of a special ceremony called the temple endowment. The garment is worn at all times (day and night) by members as a constant reminder of the promises they have made to God in the Temple to be honest and faithful to the commandments of the Lord.
********************************

“That’s just a fact.”

DannyX

April 10th, 2012
3:54 pm

This just in, new Romney etch a sketch etching proclaims…

“I am severely moderate.”

More to follow.

BT

April 10th, 2012
3:55 pm

Oh well. Let’s go Newt! Let’s go Newt! Let’s go Newt!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 10th, 2012
3:56 pm

“Things are improving”

A MONKEY could be in office (cue the inevitable racism remarks) and things would have improved, HDB. The issue is how much they’ve improved vs. how much they could have improved.

hahaha

April 10th, 2012
3:56 pm

@ Tiberius – Nice try. I would love to know what new and compelling information persuaded Mittens to completely change his opinions on abortion, health care, tax policy, the environment, etc. There wasn’t any. He wanted conservatives to vote for him, then he wanted MA democrats to vote for him, then he wanted Tea Party loons to vote for him, now he is going to want independents to vote for him. Whichever way the wind blows. Santorum was a lunatic but at least he had some conviction.

Wade Hampton

April 10th, 2012
3:57 pm

“Together we pitched the (federal cabinet) secretaries on our vision to insure all of our citizens, and on the need for federal support to make the vision real. His work in Washington and behind the scenes on Beacon Hill was absolutely essential.”
.
Mitt Romney in 2006, extolling the virtues of Ted Kennedy …….his friend.
.
Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh.
.
Ron Paul wouldn’t allow Ted Kenendy OR Mitt Romney ……….to wash his car.
.
But the Wingfeilds of the world will be voting for Romney.
.
Weird.

Fundamental Decency is a Concept that is Dying in the Republican Party

April 10th, 2012
3:57 pm

KARMA will get you everytime.

You reap what you sow.

Santorum does not have to WORRY about giving black people other people’s money.

Santorum does have to WORRY about his next CAREER. :)

Michael H. Smith

April 10th, 2012
3:58 pm

Oh puhlease, anything with half of a living capitalism brain cell in its’ scull would be better than that Marxist Jerk we now have as an excuse for a President.

Romney beats all the other candidates on the most important issue this country faces presently and near term into the future going forward: He is the only one with both public and private sector executive economic and business experience. The others don’t have it.

Rafe Hollister

April 10th, 2012
3:59 pm

HDB
The conservatives did not state from the beginning that their main focus was to make Obama a one term president. That came after he shoved Obamacare down their gullet without trying to get one GOP vote. Had he taken a different tact and tried to work with the GOP and incorporate them in the discussion, the effort to defeat him would have been postponed until closer to the election. He knew he had a Dem controlled House and Senate and he said to hell with the GOP from the getgo. He did not realize that you can’t govern against 50% of the population.

HOWEVER, Dems did go after GWB from the outset. Even before he was sworn in, they were screaming he stole the election. Not true, every recount showed he would have won Florida, even though Al Gore had disenfranchised the military vote. So, unless you are willing to criticize the Dems, you don’t need to bring up this tired old untruth about Mitch McConnell saying we need to make Barry Oblamer a one term President.

Ernest T. Bass

April 10th, 2012
4:00 pm

To everyone who cried foul when I said the liberals would attack Romney’s Mormonism: I present Steve @ 3:37 and Ernest @ 3:39.

Attack ? Yo do realize Mormons do wear holy underwear. And that Romney is in fact a Mormon.

Unlike Obama who is not a Muslim but routinely had to answer questions about his faith. Constantly.

You see one is based in fact and not an attack. Just an observation.

The other a lie. I know as a Republican its hard to tell the difference.

Republicans have a long history of this.

Just of the top of my head.

1. W was a mans man etc etc to Republicans. Even though he chickened out and didn’t want any part of combat in Vietnam.

2. Kerry was a wave boarding sissy. Even though he volunteered to fight and served his country with honor.

Only in the Republican mind is such deception possible. Its straight out of 1984 the novel.

Steve

April 10th, 2012
4:00 pm

Kyle, do you not grasp the irony of a liberal forcing a racist conservative to own up to their own racism? I could care less about Romney’s religion (except for the fact that it funded an anti-gay marriage movement in California). However, I do find it amusing that someone who thinks Obama is a “Muslim” wouldn’t have concerns about Romney’s Mormonism, since it’s about as different from Christianity as the Islamic faith is. You miss the reason we “liberals” point this out in the first place.

MrLiberty

April 10th, 2012
4:01 pm

With Santorum out there is only one true conservative to vote for (actually there always was only one) – Ron Paul. The media claimed Santorum was in second place on delegates but few pay attention to how delegates are elected. It has little or nothing to do with most state beauty contests. Ron Paul was actually in second place and now with Santorum out his delegates will be up for grabs and Ron will be winning even more going forward in pro-freedom states like Texas. Given the huge rallies he has had over the past weeks in California, significant delegate additions are likely from that state as well. Romney is no shoe in by a long shot. Freedom still does have a chance in this election cycle and Ron Paul will be there as the only candidate out there promoting it.

Goldman Sacs must be running scared. Their candidate pairing of Obama and Romney is looking less likely by the day.