CP Politics

Monday, Sep 01, 2014

Top 5 Rick Santorum Moments of the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

  • (Photo: REUTERS/Mark Makela)
    U.S. conservative presidential candidate Rick Santorum announces he is suspending his bid to win the Republican nomination during a news conference in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania April 10, 2012.
April 13, 2012|10:57 am

Now that Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign to become the Republican nominee for president of the United States, it is worthwhile to reflect on the important role he played in the process.

Here are the top five Rick Santorum moments of the Republican presidential nomination:

1) Iowa Caucus

Through most of the summer and fall of 2011, Santorum's campaign was hardly noticed. He was running in 10th place through most of that period and barely qualified for the debates by meeting the one percent threshold.

He followed the strategy pioneered by Jimmy Carter in 1976 and focused almost all of his effort on winning the Iowa caucus. It worked. The night of the Iowa caucus, it was reported that he finished second by only eight votes behind Mitt Romney. Later that month, after the Iowa Republican Party certified the results, they announced that Santorum actually won by 34 votes. The victory thrust the Santorum campaign into the national spotlight.

2) The Texas Meeting

A group of social conservative leaders, remembering the 2008 election when they were slow to throw their support behind Mike Huckabee, decided to see if they could agree to support a single candidate. They met in Texas on January 14, just one week before the South Carolina primary. After three rounds of voting, a supermajority, about three-fourths, of the 150 in attendance decided to support Santorum.

Santorum was bested, though, by Gingrich in South Carolina. That was followed by disappointing showings in Florida and Nevada. Some pundits suggested that the Texas meeting coupled with Santorum's mounting losses presaged the end of the Christian Right. The Santorum campaign fell out of the national spotlight, until ...

3) Hitting the Trifecta

February 7 had three contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Most media outlets had spent their polling budgets on the early contests, so there were few polls taken in those states. With the polls available, pundits believed Santorum would win Missouri, Romney would win Colorado, and Minnesota was too close to call. Santorum surprised many when he won all three states by sizable margins.

Santorum then replaced Gingrich as the conservative alternative to Romney. Many believed that a victory in Michigan, where Romney was born and his father was governor, was possible. Such a victory would dethrone Romney from front-runner status. But then ...

4) Puking on JFK and Obama Is a "Snob"

Santorum's lead in national polls was followed by a series of gaffes that brought his general election electability into question. In one speech, he said that reading John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech about his Catholic faith made him want to "throw up." Santorum argued that one should not have to distance oneself from his religious faith to enter politics. Afterward, many pointed out that Santorum had taken Kennedy's words out of context. Kennedy was merely reassuring his audience that, as a Catholic, he would not be taking marching orders from the Pope when elected. At any rate, as Karen Santorum pointed out to her husband, speaking about puke does not sound presidential.

In the second speech, Santorum said Obama was a "snob" for suggesting that everyone should go to a four-year college. Besides the fact that calling someone a snob is rude, he also took Obama's words out of context. Obama said that everyone should go to a four-year college, community college or trade school, which, it turns out, is identical to Santorum's position.

Santorum went on to barely lose Michigan and Ohio, leaving many to wonder where his campaign would be today if he had not made those gaffes.

5) Bella Gets Sick

On April 3, Romney expanded his lead on Santorum with wins in four states. At the same time, polls showed Romney closing in on Santorum in his home state of Pennsylvania. Pundits started to wonder if he would soon leave the race. Amid the chatter and with his campaign at a seeming low, the Santorums' youngest daughter, Bella, was hospitalized last Thursday for the second time during the campaign.

Bella suffers from Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder. Now three, she was not expected to live past her first year. Santorum left the campaign trail to be with his daughter. On Tuesday, he suspended his campaign. A source inside the campaign told CNN that Bella's illness was a factor in the decision.

In perhaps the best summary of Santorum's presidential run, he said, "This race was as improbable as any you will ever see for president."

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/top-5-rick-santorum-moments-of-the-2012-republican-presidential-nomination-73150/