Rick Santorum

TNR Contest: Grade One of Rick Santorum’s College Papers
February 28, 2012

[Guest post by Molly Redden] In the course of my reporting on Rick Santorum’s college years, a political science professor of his, Bob O’Connor, gave me a copy of a 17-page term paper he co-wrote for an independent study his senior year, “Political Action Committees in Pennsylvania: A Survey of Their Structure and Effects.” The essay summarizes the operations and influence of business, union, and ideological PACs in the Keystone State’s politics. Obviously, this calls for a reader contest: Grade Rick Santorum’s paper!

Why Rick Santorum's Insurgency is Now Running on Fumes
February 28, 2012

Livonia, Michigan—Rick Santorum is running on fumes. His is the curse of insurgent presidential campaigns—too much passion and too little sleep. You could hear it in his voice Monday morning talking to a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Livonia as the decibel level grew higher, the diction grew muddier, and the logorrhea grew more obvious. An open-ended question on Social Security prompted a nine-minute Santorum monologue.

A College Paper by Rick Santorum—And What It Says About His Political Evolution
February 28, 2012

This past weekend, Rick Santorum briefly elevated his college years to a focal point of his campaign. “I went through it at Penn State,” he said Sunday. “You talk to most kids who go to college who are conservatives, and you are singled out, you are ridiculed.” He added that he “went through a process where I was docked for my conservative views.” As it turned out, I had spent much of the past week talking to people from Santorum’s past, including several of his college friends and professors.

Romney Isn't Like Santorum. Except He Is.
February 27, 2012

ALBION, Michigan – It’s easy to think of Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as a study in contrasts – cold and hot, technocratic and theocratic, blue-blooded and blue-collared. And on this final, frenzied day of campaigning in Michigan, it was easy to think of the two men traveling in opposite directions, geographically and ideologically. Romney was moving west to east, which in Michigan Republican politics means conservative to moderate. His first event was just outside of Grand Rapids – home of Amway and large numbers of religious conservatives, many of them Dutch-American.

In Michigan, with the Santorum Revival
February 26, 2012

DAVISON, Michigan – Mitt Romney is the candidate from Michigan. But on Sunday night, Rick Santorum was the one making a personal connection here. And it wasn’t quite the one that I expected. Santorum was speaking at a banquet hall, just a few miles east of Flint. About 300 people attended, filling the floor and a seating deck above. A pair of matching staircases led up to the deck, lending the hall the appearance of a church – which was altogether appropriate, given what was transpiring inside. Santorum was preaching to the faithful.

No Enemies to the Right: The Defining Element of the GOP Primary
February 25, 2012

There was, last week, a brief but thrilling moment in the GOP presidential contest: It seemed like, for the first time, a candidate would be attacked for being, not too liberal, but too far right. Back in the day, that wouldn’t have been too unusual, as when George H.W.

Slideshow: What If the GOP Candidates Were Movie Stars?

The 84th Academy Awards are on Sunday, and this year’s nominees are a large group of crowd pleasers who spend a lot of time—sometimes too much—addressing war, infidelity, the sanctity of life, and nostalgia for the 20th century. Sound familiar? It should: That also sums up the GOP’s 2012 presidential field.

These Are a Few of Mitt’s Favorite Things…
February 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Visits Michigan “I love this state. It seems right here. The trees are the right height. I like seeing the lakes. I love the lakes. There’s something very special here. The Great Lakes, but also all the little inland lakes that dot the parts of Michigan. I love cars. I dunno, I mean, I grew up totally in love with cars.” —Mitt Romney, February 16, 2012  Mitt Romney Visits Arizona “I love this state, too. It seems right here. Even more right than Michigan. The heat is the right temperature. The spines on the cacti are just the right sharpness. I like drought. I enjoy canyons.

The Specter Of Romney’s Record
February 23, 2012

Here’s one of the overriding ironies of the strange, strange 2012 Republican nominating season: as damaging as the primaries have been to Mitt Romney’s standing in the public eye, he hasn’t actually taken that many hits for his exceedingly moderate record in Massachusetts. Rick Santorum has been the only candidate to make a half-decent attempt to go after Romneycare. Other candidates have halfheartedly nicked Romney for raising revenues in the state by closing some business tax loopholes. But there has been so, so much that has gone untouched.

Horace Mann, Antichrist?
February 23, 2012

I wrote a blog post recently expressing shock that Rick Santorum would attack public education at the state level--an attack he later repeated in the Feb. 22 debate ("not only do I believe the federal government should get out of the education business, I think the state government should start to get out of the education business"). Santorum was attacking an idea traceable to Thomas Jefferson that was later put into action by Horace Mann, the great educational reformer of the early 19th century.

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