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Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Spotlight on Santorum Intensifies After Near Win in Iowa Caucus

January 6, 2012|6:00 pm

Pundits have stepped up the media scrutiny of Rick Santorum, criticizing everything from his policies to his sweater vests since the Republican longshot finished a close second to front-runner Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses.

Analysts were genuinely surprised at Santorum’s Iowa performance. The former Pennsylvania senator gave two-time presidential candidate Romney a run for his money, coming within eight votes of his 30,015-vote win. Prior to the caucuses, Santorum languished at the bottom of national polls with between 1 percent and 3 percent GOP support.

William J Bennett, a CNN contributor and a member of President George H.W. Bush’s administration, praised Santorum’s Iowa performance writing, “What he lacked in staff and resources, he made up for with grit and determination.”

However, detractors have already begun to scrutinize Santorum’s platform, background and even his clothes.

National Journal political analyst Nancy Cook critiqued his blend of socio-economic fiscal policies writing in a Wednesday analysis, “In Rick Santorum’s world, married couples with a gaggle of children will rule.”

Specifically, Cook took offense to Santorum’s tax plan to eliminate marriage tax penalties and triple the personal deductions for children. She said the plan ignores studies that show Americans are increasingly delaying marriage and children, and hails back to a bygone era of domesticity.

“It’s as if Santorum wants to turn back the clock 40 or so years by using economic policies to encourage Americans (heterosexual Americans, that is) to marry and produce children,” she said.

MSNBC correspondent Meghan McCain called Santorum’s position on traditional marriage “dated” and “gross” in a Friday interview. She openly supported “marriage equality” and said Friday that supporting same-sex marriage should not be a controversial topic among Republicans.

McCain, like her father Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), supports Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination. Romney has said on the campaign that he too supports traditional marriage. McCain made the distinction, saying, “There's a difference between being against marriage equality and then equating same-sex marriage to bestiality."

In a 2003 interview with The Associated Press, Santorum used the example of “man on dog” relations to explain that legislating homosexuality undermines the fabric of society.

He told AP, “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality.”

Comedian and CNN contributor Dean Obeidallah pointed to Santorum’s religious statements on the campaign trail as a sign that he wants to implement a kind of “Judeo-Christian Sharia” in America.

“Plainly put, Rick Santorum wants to convert our current legal system into one that requires our laws to be in agreement with religious law, not unlike what the Taliban want to do in Afghanistan,” Obeidallah said.

The scrutiny has even transferred from Santorum’s policies and statements over to his attire.

Santorum’s sweater vest now has a Twitter handle, a Facebook page and a YouTube video since reporters began musing about his choice in clothing. Huffington Post Political Reporter Jason Linkins guessed that the trend is based on boredom with a candidate believed unworthy of serious consideration.

“I suspect, however, that his vests aren't so much causing heads to swivel as much as they are receiving attention from reporters who are staring right at the candidate, and thinking, ‘Wow, covering Rick Santorum is pretty much what we expected it to be like back when we weren't covering Rick Santorum because we weren't taking him very seriously. Where's the shining, bouncing ball with this guy? Let's just say it's his sweaters,’” he wrote Tuesday.

Despite the political spotlight, some conservatives are rallying for him in New Hampshire.

Southern Baptist ethicist and Christian Post Executive Editor Richard Land praised Santorum in a Wall Street Journal op-ed saying, “Mr. Santorum is the truest of true social conservatives. In the House and then in the Senate, he was always willing to fight the battles closest to social conservatives' hearts, even when he was virtually alone in doing so.”

Some question if his social conservative message will stick in a state labeled in a 2009 Gallup survey as the second least religious in the United States. But a Friday poll shows Santorum’s New Hampshire support has grown from 8 to 11 percent.

Conservative author and blogger S.E. Cupp proclaimed a real like for Santorum and encouraged him to make the most of his new surge.

“It's hard to say if Santorum can make it another week, let alone another couple of months. But I like that he's finally having his moment. Maybe he'll surprise us all, and turn his moment into momentum,” Cupp said.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/spotlight-on-santorum-intensifies-after-near-win-in-iowa-caucus-66597/