Your morning jolt: Rick Santorum will join TV war in Georgia

We told you last night that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum will make his first post-surge appearance in Georgia on Sunday. This morning, The Hill newspaper in D.C. reports that Santorum has included this state in a first round of TV ads – to match frontrunner Mitt Romney:

The campaign is making the purchases in Arizona, which votes Feb. 28., and in Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahhoma — all Super Tuesday states except for Arizona — according to Santorum senior campaign adviser John Brabender. The campaign did not disclose any more details about the ads, such as the cost or exact markets where they will air.

Another sign that Santorum will present a full-court press on Super Tuesday: The Times-Free Press today reports that the former Pennsylvania senator will be the headliner at a Chattanooga tea party gathering. A recent poll has Santorum leading in that state.

***
Meanwhile, financially pinched Newt Gingrich – or at least, his affiliated super PAC — this morning is sticking to radio, attempting to drive talk radio listeners to a new web site, Time to Choose, that takes this slap at Mitt Romney:

“There’s a battle going on between the establishment minority, and the conservative majority. Between the GOP establishment that wants to protect its own power at all costs. And the conservative majority that wants power returned to the people.

“The establishment minority wants us to hold our noses and vote for the Massachusetts moderate. They tell us he is the best man to beat President Obama. They tell us he is the best we can do.”

***
Maybe it’s just because it’s February, which makes everyone a little short-tempered – but if you’re Newt Gingrich, you know you’ve got a problem when the Washington Post declares you ‘the most disliked politician in America:

A CNN/Opinion Research poll on Monday showed 63 percent of All Americans viewed Gingrich unfavorably, compared to just 25 percent who saw him in a positive light.

And [Wednesday], a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows a similar split: 54 percent view Gingrich unfavorably, compared to 16 percent who say they feel positively predisposed towards him.

The spread between his favorable and unfavorable rankings tie Gingrich’s worst numbers from his reign as U.S. House speaker.

***
Even former Newt Gingrich strategist Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage is a bit sour. From his TownHall.com column:

[I]f he and his separate super PAC don’t get their separate efforts under control, Super Tuesday could be a “Super Disaster” for Gingrich.

So what is a fading speaker to do? Newt needs to take what money he has left, ditch the plane and the policy wonks, choose one pre-Super Tuesday primary and attack Romney and Santorum with everything he has. The “Good Newt” strategy has proved to be a bust. No one wants good this year. He can’t compete in Michigan because the other two major candidates have resource and natural-base advantages. Furthermore, since he is lagging in the polls, Romney will be forced to go all-out so as not to be embarrassed in one of his “home states.”

Newt must be wondering what happened to all the money in his super PAC. The PAC was overwhelmed by Romney television ads in Florida, and reportedly, it wasted huge amounts on radio in the Sunshine State, while Gingrich was being savaged by Romney on TV. And remember, folks, TV always trumps (no pun intended) radio.

***
The February pessimism of Kerwin Swint, the Kennesaw State University political scientist, is more expansive. From his website:

Republicans wanted this to be a rerun of 1980, when Jimmy Carter was shown the door by the voters. In fact, ever since Barack Obama has been in office, some have referred to it as Jimmy Carter’s second term. And for a while there was some logic to that.

But instead of 1980, it may be starting to resemble 1996. Mr. Obama is even starting to sound a little like Bill Clinton, talking about hiring 100,000 new teachers. Next comes more cops on the street and school uniforms. And just as with Clinton, the economy may have turned a corner in time to save him. We’ll see. But more importantly, the GOP looks like they’re blowing it.

***
Today’s print column is a look at the Newt Gingrich campaign’s effort to push Callista Gingrich to the front of the stage. She’ll have at least one solo appearance in Atlanta during the campaign’s swing through the state this weekend – 11:30 a.m. at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswel Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.

***
My AJC colleague Aaron Sheinin reports that the March 1 debate of GOP presidential candidates hosted by the Georgia and Ohio Republican parties and CNN will take place at the that the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta.

It’s a fitting locale. Before it was rescued, the battered old theater was the place to go for bad kung fu double features.

Other candidates have yet to commit, but Newt Gingrich’s schedule is already building around the event. He’ll address the Cobb Chamber that morning at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Register for tickets here.

***
Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin is celebrating the first anniversary of her website, Blogging While Blue, with a series of video retrospectives on the late Maynard Jackson. Here’s her intro:

***
Finally, Walter Jones of Morris News Service offers this possible change in Georgia’s landscape:

The site of a paper mill that has gone bankrupt could provide Georgia a third ocean port, Coastal lawmakers learned Wednesday.

Camden County Development Authority Executive Director David Keating said for $12 million, the state could grab a new economic-development engine. He hasn’t projected the potential, but the port of Savannah, for instance, has an economic impact of more than $27 billion and is credited with 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“It was incumbent upon us, being good Georgia citizens, to make sure the state was aware of this before it slips away,” he said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

65 comments Add your comment

liberalefty

February 16th, 2012
10:22 am

SANTORUM is bringing his creepy religious campaign to GEORGIA….war on the womans womb continues

clyde

February 16th, 2012
10:31 am

And I thought that the real religious conservatives were in Iran and places like that there.

liberalefty

February 16th, 2012
10:34 am

“small” guvment conservatives wants the guvment to control a womans womb…

The Snark

February 16th, 2012
10:37 am

I’m shutting off my television and radio for the next eight months. I have yet to see one single statement in a political ad that was both true and relevant to my choice of candidates for public office.

retiredds

February 16th, 2012
10:38 am

the “pants on fire” crowd will now occupy the airwaves of GA ’till March

liberalefty

February 16th, 2012
10:39 am

the repubs long for the “good ole days” of yesteryear…when hispanics,blacks, women and homosexuals knew their place

liberalefty

February 16th, 2012
10:42 am

will RICK tell women theyre to dumb to know whats right for their womb? why does RICK feels he needs to tell women what to do with their own bodies?

Ga Values...Ron Paul for Peace & Prosperity

February 16th, 2012
11:00 am

Paul is better than Romney, Romney is better than Gingrich, Genrich is better than SANTORUM, Obama is better than SANTORUM. If it is Obama vs SANTORUM.. this lifelong Republican will vote for a black Democrat.

bluenote

February 16th, 2012
11:04 am

Be careful what you wish for, the Southern strategy used by Nixon worked very well and achieved it’s goal. Unfortunately the GOP is now a party mainly consisting of whitemen. The growth of Hispanics, Asians and the loyalty of blacks and women is a hard mountain to overcome. The chickens indeed have come home to roost! Hey Pat Buchanan, where you at?

double

February 16th, 2012
11:18 am

If woman should show more controll over their womb,then the contraceptive,abortion entities would cease to exist.Rick says only to procreate forget the pleasure part.

History Will Teach Us if We Will Learn

February 16th, 2012
11:40 am

Gingrich is the thinking man’s candidate for a party that doesn’t think.

Shine

February 16th, 2012
11:40 am

Maybe someone will ask Santorum how he plans to pay for the unfunded Medicare Part D he voted for that is costing trillions in deficts.

honested

February 16th, 2012
11:45 am

I just wish my TV had a filter to reflect back to the origin of all republican ads with the simple message..
“I oppose that which you want to impose and I want to continue that which you wish to impede”.

Auntie Christ

February 16th, 2012
12:26 pm

santorum is the epitome of the American taliban, the spiritual twin of mullah omar and the mujahadeen. Whereas omar and the muslim taliban make no secret of their disdain for women, the American taliban couch their enmity to women as “protecting” women from the dangers of contraception, discouraging and disparaging any thought that sex should be pleasurable for women, but instead a duty of women solely to procreate. They discourage and disparage divorce, no matter how abusive and destructive to the female it may be, declaring that the ‘prayer will eventually make it all ok.’ They discourage and disdain career women, claiming that the home is stronger when the little woman stays home to sweep and dust, disregarding the fact that two incomes are a necessity today, if they are to be anything approaching middle class. God forbid that the one bread winner lose their job or have their hours cut back, because then they have to be subjected to a drug test and scorned as a mooch, free loader scumbag by the same taliban, when they ask for assistance. Ironic that our young men are dying to rid Afghanistan of the taliban, while the republicans do all they can to empower them here. And btw, gingrich would be little better, only he wants his 72 virgins NOW!

MB

February 16th, 2012
12:39 pm

missmollie

February 16th, 2012
12:41 pm

Latest news, the Governor of Michigan has endorsed Romney. Santorum has finally released his tax returns…shows $1M dollars ..not exactly “Po Folks”: and a lot more than he made as a Congressman who lost his race for reelection in Penn. (earmarks/and lobbyist in D C.) Newt has high hopes of winning Ga, Texas, & Miss and will put him back in the race. Also, the news is out that Sarah Palin says she will consider running or President if no candidate has enough delegates by Convention time. I HOPE NOT. Looks like Santorum will be getting Secret Service protection…

preolaEmpargo

February 16th, 2012
1:01 pm

A mio parere, si sono errati. Dobbiamo discutere. Scrivere a me in PM.

ugh

February 16th, 2012
1:09 pm

Interviewer Question: So would birth control be covered by that notion of freedom without responsibilities?

Rick Santorum: I vote and have supported birth control because it is not the taking of a human life but I am not a believer in birth control. -artificial birth control- Again I think it goes down the line of being able to do whatever you want to do without having the responsibility that comes with that. …

This is from a personal point of view, from a governmental point of view I support ahh, title 10 I guess it is, and have voted for contraception and although I don’t think it works, I think it’s harmful to women, I think it’s harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or or or tolerated particularly among the young.

I think it has… we’ve seen very, very harmful long term consequences to our society. Birth control enables that and I don’t think it is a healthy thing for our country.

==================

So to recap, Rick doesn’t think sex outside marriage should be encouraged or tolerated. He thinks birth control is harmful to women and to society. He is also happy to vote for something though he doesn’t think it will work and he thinks it’s harmful to women and to society.

What a nozzle.

td

February 16th, 2012
1:11 pm

You secular humanist are so funny. You rail over and over again about a people who have religious views while at the same time promote your own religious views of the benefits of moral relativism.

Independent voter

February 16th, 2012
1:15 pm

Santorum does not like women he is so bias.

DavidEm

February 16th, 2012
1:16 pm

I’m disappointed that it looks like the Republicans won’t pick Snidely Whiplash, after all. That would have been SO entertaining.

I especially love how he uses the word “moderate” as a rough equivalent to “Satanic.”

honested

February 16th, 2012
1:18 pm

Fact based and provable has nothing whatsoever to do with the contrived notion of ‘moral relativism’.

Requiring a verifiable set of facts to guide behavior rather than a ‘belief’ ALWAYS has a superior outcome.

td

February 16th, 2012
1:20 pm

ndependent voter

February 16th, 2012
1:15 pm

Santorum does not like women he is so bias.

You are absolutely wrong. Rick thinks women should be respected the same as Jesus respected his church. It is you libs that want to defile and degrade the woman’s body for pleasure sake alone.

td

February 16th, 2012
1:24 pm

honested

February 16th, 2012
1:18 pm

The truth is ever ones facts are different and when you have no sound moral bases to start with then it is anything goes as long as the individual can justify it. There is no need for restraint as long as you can make up you own set of facts to back up what you are doing. Example: Stealing food can be justified as long as your set of “facts” can say it was to feed my family.

Independent voter

February 16th, 2012
1:24 pm

td we know that you dont like women.

Centrist

February 16th, 2012
1:26 pm

bluenote posted “Unfortunately the GOP is now a party mainly consisting of whitemen. The growth of Hispanics, Asians and the loyalty of blacks and women is a hard mountain to overcome.”

Not correct. If it were not for the big city Democrat votes on both coasts, the Republican party would be dominant as they are in the south and heartland. The House and maybe the Senate will be Republican, and incumbent Obama has his hands full. 4 years from now might be scary for Democrats with Rubio on a ticket.

@ td – Not all Secular Humanists push moral relativism and attack religions. I am one and not a fan of organized religions, divisiveness between non-members, their tax breaks – but acknowledge some of the good they do. Many people need religion as a crutch, and I don’t begrudge that at all.

william henry talbot walker

February 16th, 2012
1:27 pm

missmollie

February 16th, 2012
12:41 pm

“… the news is out that Sarah Palin says she will consider running or President if no candidate has enough delegates by Convention time.”

Karl Rove, among others, would commit hari kari. The entire republican comedy ensemble is his creation, and he should know it – the product of his whipping up of the proletariat fringe to elect W.

Look before I leap...

February 16th, 2012
1:29 pm

@td

“It is you libs that want to defile and degrade the woman’s body for pleasure sake alone.”

I don’t think that particular desire is restricted to libs. Pretty sure there are many cons out there who like doin the wild thang just for grins and giggles

yellowdog.

February 16th, 2012
1:33 pm

neanderthals all. who are these people………..women beware

Laurie

February 16th, 2012
1:34 pm

Somewhere between 54 and 66% of Americans view Newt unfavorably, and yet our own illustrious governor and his minions continue to support him. As usual, it’s embarrassing to be a Georgian.

honested

February 16th, 2012
1:37 pm

td

Any asinine comparison can be made to attempt that a set of superstitions is required to carry on life.
Yet, let me ask, if water is poured on the ground, does it seek a lower spot because of gravity or because the observer ‘believes’ that it will?

td

February 16th, 2012
1:38 pm

Look before I leap…

February 16th, 2012
1:29 pm

No doubt in my mind that you are absolutely correct. The difference is there are no belief constants placed on most libs for bagging as many as possible without no conscience at all.

DannyX

February 16th, 2012
1:38 pm

“It is you libs that want to defile and degrade the woman’s body for pleasure sake alone.”

Like Ted Haggard? Guckert/Gannon? George Rekers?
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger? Senator Vitters?
Like Newt Gingrich? Herman Cain? Mark Foley?
Like Rush Limbaugh? Bill O’Reilly? Jimmy Swaggart?

We could be here all day…

DannyX

February 16th, 2012
1:41 pm

“The difference is there are no belief constants placed on most libs for bagging as many as possible without no conscience at all.”

WRONG! The difference is conservative Christian Republicans are under the absurd delusion that the Republican party is the party of “Family Values.”

td

February 16th, 2012
1:42 pm

honested

February 16th, 2012
1:37 pm

And what does your point have to do with setting a moral compass not only for yourself but for the community as a whole. We are talking about how we come to the mores and values established to make our society viable and thriving. When you have no baseline except for what the individual places on themselves then where do you get the relevant set of facts to make laws?

Look before I leap...

February 16th, 2012
1:43 pm

Nice generalization there td – with absolutely nothing to back it up.

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
1:44 pm

As usual, TD misses the point. If Rick Santorum doesn’t believe that sex for pleasure only is right for him and his family, then he’s welcome to practice that in his own house. That’s not the case though. He seems to think that no one should have sex for pleasure only. Just another example of that right wing so-called small government at work.

td

February 16th, 2012
1:45 pm

DannyX

February 16th, 2012
1:38 pm

Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton …. Yes we could go on and on forever on all sides of the political spectrum but the basic question still exist. Where is the moral baseline to set the mores and values that our society has to live by? If it is not based on religion then where do we get it from?

GOD

February 16th, 2012
1:46 pm

I bagged alot of babes in my time…

Look before I leap...

February 16th, 2012
1:47 pm

@td

Do you honestly think who (consenting adult) I boink and why, has anything to do with establishing a moral compass for my community?

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
1:49 pm

TD, where is it written that sex for pleasure only is supposed to be a bad thing? Not everybody out here wants to procreate, and that includes married couples.

td

February 16th, 2012
1:49 pm

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
1:44 pm

I will ask you the same question as I have asked others. Where do we as a society get the baseline for the mores and values that must be in place for us to have a viable, vibrant society? A free for all is not going to make us viable for long.

Centrist

February 16th, 2012
1:50 pm

Secular ethics is a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance (which is the source of religious ethics). Secular ethics comprises any ethical system that does not draw on the supernatural.

DannyX

February 16th, 2012
1:53 pm

In td’s world you can have someone with a history like Newt Gingrich’s, td’s choice for president.

That person can have numerous affairs, and marriages, basically do anything in a sexual nature they wish, all breaking serious laws from their own Bibles. Then they can wipe the slate clean, proclaim they found Jesus! Then preach to others about how they are trying to destroy the nations moral system. Preach that their opponents are anti-Christian. Preach how others are trying to destroy marriage.

How convenient! What a crock.

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
1:53 pm

What does that have to do with Santorum’s comment regarding sex for pleasure only? As I just said, there is no law saying that sex for pleasure is a bad thing. People like that need to stay out of the bedrooms of others, and we will gladly stay out of theirs.

DannyX

February 16th, 2012
1:55 pm

Hey there Centrist! Nice to see you back. I was worried about you after your drunken breakdown last night on the blog. The Romney collapse has you hitting the bottle hard I see.

How’s that hangover?

td

February 16th, 2012
1:56 pm

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
1:49 pm

TD, where is it written that sex for pleasure only is supposed to be a bad thing? Not everybody out here wants to procreate, and that includes married couples.

You are totally taking what Rick said out of context. Where did he say “sex for pleasure” in a loving married relationship was a bad thing? I think his point was that when you make pleasure first and only reason and do not put it in its relationship with love and procreation then you are missing the whole intent of the act as prescribed by his religious belief.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with what he said and the country would be a lot better place if more people kept it in mind on all sides of the political spectrum.

Look before I leap...

February 16th, 2012
1:58 pm

@td

To answer your question:
IMHO

I am ok with the last 6 of the 10 commandments as a guide for how to set up a proper society.
The first 4 are optional for those that choose to believe.

Don’t kill, cheat, lie or steal.
Don’t mess around on your spouse.
And envying your neighbor’s new Mercedes is only gonna make you feel bad.

Everything else the church spews is just plain crap.

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
1:59 pm

TD, if that’s what works for Santorum, then fine. My problem is that he seems to want everybody to follow that same rule, and that just isn’t gonna happen. I’m not gonna come down on him for living his life like that as long as he doesn’t come down on other people who live their lives they way they choose. Once again, not everybody wants to procreate, and they are free to make that choice.

DJ Sniper

February 16th, 2012
2:02 pm

And let’s not forget this little nugget he said regarding birth control in general:

“It’s not OK, because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,” he says. “They’re supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal… but also procreative.”

Rick, stay out of our bedrooms and we will stay out of yours.