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Archive for Friday, March 9, 2012

Santorum: Obama, Romney share distrust of America

March 9, 2012

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— Hoping to tap into deep distrust of Washington, Republican Rick Santorum suggested Friday that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney share a top priority: to take away Americans' money and freedom so they can tell them how to live.

A day before Kansas Republicans weigh in on the party's presidential contest, Santorum looked to shore up support in this Midwestern state that seemed ready to give the former Pennsylvania senator yet another win and further challenge Romney's front-runner status. With sharp rhetoric, Santorum likened Romney to Obama and cast both as unacceptable for conservatives.

"We already have one president who doesn't tell the truth to the American people. We don't need another," Santorum said to cheers. "Gov. Romney reinvents himself for whatever the political occasion calls for."

Santorum has hammered Romney for a health care overhaul he signed into law as Massachusetts governor. Santorum's advisers see the issue as Romney's biggest weakness among conservatives. They make up the bulk of the Republican Party's nominating base but have so far split their votes between Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"The worst offender is Gov. Romney. He put the template for Obamacare in place in Massachusetts," Santorum said.

Massachusetts requires citizens to buy health insurance. That mandate is central to Democrats' national plan, and Santorum called it unconstitutional.

Campaigning in Alabama, Romney fired back, characterizing Santorum as coming from the Washington establishment he's worked to distance himself from and reminding the former Pennsylvania senator — and voters — about a delegate count that puts Romney much closer to the nomination.

"Washington insider Rick Santorum is lashing out at Mitt Romney because he can't accept the fact that it's nearly impossible for him to win the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

Romney currently has 422 delegates committed to his nomination, while Santorum has 181 out of the 1,144 needed. Gingrich trails with 107 and Paul has 46, according to Associated Press calculations.

Santorum's small-government message resonated with Allan Holthaus, a 63-year-old Topeka contractor and farmer, who said he views Santorum as the most honest GOP candidate and the one most likely to try to deliver on his campaign promises.

Greeting Santorum after the rally, he said: "You help us get the government off our backs, and we'll help you fix it, that's for sure."

Santorum was also hoping to muscle Gingrich out of the race in the coming weeks, if not after Tuesday's contests in Alabama and Mississippi. Gingrich's advisors had said the former House speaker must win both states to stay in the race. Santorum's advisers anticipate Gingrich's conservative supporters would turn to Santorum and perhaps derail Romney's better-organized, better-funded political organization.

"We feel very confident that we can win Kansas on Saturday and come into Alabama and Mississippi and this race should come down to two people," Santorum told reporters.

But Gingrich told The Associated Press at a campaign stop in Mississippi that win or lose on Tuesday, he's staying in the race through to the Republican National Convention scheduled for August in Tampa, Fla.

"We'll clearly do well enough to move on, and I think there's a fair chance we'll win. But I just want to set this to rest once and for all: We're going to Tampa."

Even before he arrived in Kansas, a state his rivals largely overlooked, Santorum signaled strength here.

"Since Romney and Gingrich have decided not to campaign in Kansas, we feel pretty confident that we're going to do well," Santorum told reporters before leaving Alabama.

Despite his anti-Washington message, Santorum faced grumbling from tea party activists for skipping their big rally in the state's largest city. They spent $25,000 to rent the Century II arena in downtown Wichita and expected 1,000 to 3,000 people to attend.

"It seems like it is counterproductive to show up for an event that is going to have 300 people in an airplane hangar instead (of) 3,000 people in a nice setting where you can actually contact and really maybe sway somebody," said Craig Gabel, the president of Kansas For Liberty, which organized the Wichita event.

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was the only presidential candidate participating in the tea party event.

Santorum appeared not to know the timing of the tea party event and said he had to get to a speech Friday evening in Houston, a commitment he said was made months ago.

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Associated Press writers Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kan., and Philip Elliott in Birmingham, Ala., contributed to this report.

Comments

parrothead8 2 years, 9 months ago

All women and any rational men should be terrified by the prospect of a Santorum presidency.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 2 years, 9 months ago

If that there Sanatorium weans, it will be one small step for the nut job and one giant leap towards the "Idiocracy". In any case, the hole we step, leap or fall into will remain quite horribly faecal as long as politics, policy and legislation carry on as a deadly, pay to play game.

I believe Santorum is dishonest. He's become nothing but a lying barometer of small minds.

My eyes see his as more ambitious than scrupulous.

  • I am just another idiot, and I approve of this message (at the urging of my handlers). -

headdoctor 2 years, 9 months ago

I think it would be safe to make that comment about most all the politicians in office these days regardless of party affiliation. Very few have the good of the Country in mind. Many would sell the US down the river and be perfectly good with that as long as they get what they want.

ksjayhawk74 2 years, 9 months ago

Yea, vote for the guy that said he would give states the right to ban contraception... Because you don't want the government telling you what to do.

Other things Santorum is against: college, prenatal testing and single mothers.

I will laugh if Santurom wins Kansas, then cry.

parco814 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't know about Obama and Romney, but I wouldn't have mere distrust for any country that made Santorum its leader. I'd have boundless contempt and disdain. Thank goodness we've not sunk that low, yet. Having Brownback as Governor of this state is like having Santorum as President, on a smaller but no less sickening scale.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 9 months ago

Santorum more than any other republican in this race is the one who wants to take away rights. He wants to turn American into a Christian version of Iran or pre-war Afganistan. His religious fanatacism is remarkably similar to that of the Taliban. God help us all if he is elected.

globehead 2 years, 9 months ago

First, Sanitarium visits Kansas, then KU loses. We've just witnessed life in a perfect hell.

kernal 2 years, 9 months ago

There he goes again, the pot calling the kettle black.

Jan Rolls 2 years, 9 months ago

Any woman that votes for santorium should be ashamed of themselves. The guy is a sexist and racist and doesn't even try to hide it.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

We women just need to accept that we are uteri who also cook and clean. End sarcasm.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

"President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney share a top priority: to take away Americans' money and freedom so they can tell them how to live."

Right from the playbook of fear based politics.

camper 2 years, 9 months ago

I wouldn't want this guy anywhere near the red button. That satan talk really creeped me out a bit.

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