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Rick Santorum's bitter fight to the end

By Jonathan Frank
On March 29, 2012

  • Santorum makes a rare public appearance without his sweater vest. Photo courtesy of http

Look, I'm just going to put it out there: I've never been a Rick Santorum fan.

My reasons are multifaceted. First of all, I desire to see a Republican victory this November, and Rick Santorum lost his last Senate race by double-digits. If he were the nominee, Santorum risks pulling an Al Gore and losing his home state in the general election, and that's just embarrassing.

Additionally, despite unemployment rates consistently above 8% and a $15 trillion debt, Rick Santorum is seemingly fixated on the social issues. In campaign interviews, he offers quick talking points on jobs and the economy and devotes great lengths of time to explaining, in sometimes unnecessarily graphic detail, his position on topics such as mothers in the workplace, access to contraception and gay marriage, which he has previously equated to "man-on-dog" sex.

 I'm a social conservative too, but tacky analogies such as that won't earn Santorum much support among independent and moderate voters-and really, who wants to hear that while they're watching the "Today Show" and eating their breakfast?

Then there are the sweater vests. This isn't prep school, Rick. And you're running for President, not hall monitor. Our Democratic opponent, while terribly incompetent, croons Al Green songs at his rallies and is friends with George Clooney.

Meanwhile, you show up to campaign events and television interviews looking like a cross between Dwight Schrute and a 1970's-era televangelist. We're going to have to up the "cool" factor a bit.

And we won't even talk about his "Google problem."

But perhaps my greatest frustration with Rick Santorum stems from his remarks last Thursday, when he said that if Mitt Romney is the Republican Presidential nominee, which simple math dictates to be an almost inevitable outcome, "we may as well stay with what we have."

Every other GOP candidate for President, including both the candidates who remain on the ballot and those who have already dropped out, has expressed the importance of uniting behind our party's eventual nominee to work together and end the failed Presidency of Barack Obama. Rick Santorum's shameful remarks now make him the exception, and reveal a candidate who is much more concerned with raising his own profile and advancing his personal agenda, than working towards the good of the party and, ultimately, the country.

Moreover, Santorum's remarks are just not true. In contrast to President Obama, Mitt Romney offers the private sector experience needed to rebuild our economy. He has owned a business, created jobs, balanced a budget every year as Governor of Massachusetts without raising taxes, set aside $2 billion in the state's rainy-day fund, and is the only candidate running for President who didn't take part in running up the $15 trillion tab in Washington that we're saddled with today.

Santorum would have to win 69% of all remaining delegates to win the GOP nomination, which the New York Times calls "something that is close to impossible." Additionally, odds betters at rate Santorum's chances of clinching the nomination at 1.2%. Despite this, he charges on, recklessly mischaracterizing Governor Romney's record and increasing President Obama's hopes of reelection every step of the way.

At this time in 2008, Mitt Romney had dropped out of the Republican Presidential race to help the nominee-to-be better prepare for his fight against President Obama. It's time for Rick Santorum to conjure up the class and common sense to do the same thing.

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