An Iowa Surprise?

Bill Bennett, who will be travelling with Texas governor Rick Perry tomorrow before he officially jumps in the race for the Republican nomination for president, writes:

Rick Santorum needs a big finish in Ames. Judging from a recent hourlong interview with him at the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, it is clear he is very well-versed in every aspect of policy — from foreign to domestic — and he can speak at length on almost any issue thrown his way. (Full disclosure: A business associate of mine is an adviser to Santorum’s campaign.)

Had he won his 2006 re-election bid in Pennsylvania, there is no doubt in my mind Santorum would be a front-runner today. If he can convince voters of his otherwise successful record and abilities and finish near the top in Ames, he will go on to fight another day. He does have a record of being underestimated. And, in full fairness, while Romney does not have a recent defeat on his record, it is pretty clear he chose not to run for re-election in Massachusetts in 2006 because it was likely he would not win his seat again.

Do watch this. And listen to him tonight. He brings a deep understanding of policymaking to the stage. I, for one, want him in the Washington decision-making mix.

Here is an interview I did with him just after he announced.



  • David Wendell

    Santorum for president !

    • William Conti

      I want Santorum for pesident. The most conservative of them all. Pro life and right on all the issues.

  • Jason

    Some of the strident comments concern me about the primaries where back and forth debate is necessary but republicans tearing one another to shreds is to be avoided. The monster here is not Rick Santorum or anyone else in the primary, it is B. Hussein Obama. I haven’t made up my mind yet who I want in the republican race but I do know that I will vote for ANY of them over what the democrats have to offer.

  • teej

    “Had he won his 2006 re-election bid in Pennsylvania, there is no doubt in my mind Santorum would be a front-runner today.” Instead, he got clobbered, losing by nearly 20 points, which seems to me de facto proof that he has no chance of winning the Republican primary, not to mention the Presidency.

  • Tess

    Santorum is the best candidate in the Republican field right now. What I like about him is that he knows who he is and what he believes. He is not trying to say the right thing so he can win an election, and therefore, flip flopping depending on his audience. He tries to woo people over to his point of view. He is well versed on the issues and more than qualified for the job. How wonderful it would be to have a real Catholic president.

  • tz1

    Santorum: “Iran is a country that has killed more American men and women in uniform than the Iraqis or Afghans have”.

    This was in an exchange with Ron Paul. I don’t know which alternate universe Santorum has been in. I don’t know of even ONE Soldier killed by Iran anywhere but there might be one. The deaths and shattered bodies in Iraq and Afghanistan are done by those who live in those respective countries. Occupiers are universally despised.

    I heard it in the debate but needed to wait until I could scrub on youtube to make sure I heard it right.

    Santorum wants war at any price – in blood or treasure.

    Ron Paul erred a bit too – Iran is part of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and has been following all of those rules although we keep putting sanctions on them for what they might be doing or do in the future. The NPT give them the RIGHT to develop nuclear power. And it says we should be disarming. But somehow we are assuming there are phantom WMD factories there just like there weren’t in Iraq. Perhaps Iran, like North Korea will leave the NPT and build a bomb – North Korea made a lot of bomb progress when we cut off oil we agreed to provide them in exchange for stopping their nuclear project. Way to go Dubya.

    Of course to Santorum, I don’t know if it is Persians, Muslims, or both are no more human than a fetus is to an abortionist, so what does it matter if incinerating millions of them would make him feel safer?

  • tz1

    Maybe he can bring back his good friend – whom he told every Catholic and Christian in Pennsylvania to vote for – Arlen Spectre.

    You see, there is no way that even God could have provided a miraculous victory for Pat Toomey back then even though he was 100% pro-life, so he lost the primary by 1%.

    How did that work out? Nor has Santorum repented – his explanation was such that he said he would do it again. That is sufficient to not want him in public office ever again.

    You want pragmatism, politics as usual, compromise on what in every other case are called the “non-negotiables”? Santorum is your man.

    You can put a voice in an empty suit or a weathervane. It is easy to say the right things to the current audience (like Perry is doing – he is on both sides of the homogamy issue). But if you have honor, integrity, and a real soul, you don’t flip-flop, mince words, try to be nice, or find a middle ground between hell and purgatory.

    You want principle? Support Ron Paul.

    • JayB

      I too cannot bring myself to take Santorum seriously because of this action.



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