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Santorum courts Wisconsin conservatives on eve of primary


This news story was published on April 3, 2012.
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By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times –

MENASHA, Wis. — If Rick Santorum was weighing whether to abandon his quest for the presidency on Monday, the eve of the Wisconsin primary that could effectively crush his campaign, he worked hard not to show it.

On a day packed with rallies, some bowling and a sampling of squeaky cheese curds, Santorum was looking ahead not just to the next round of Republican presidential primaries, but also to a possible floor fight against front-runner Mitt Romney at the party’s national convention in August.

“I think it would be a fascinating display of open democracy,” Santorum told reporters at a cheese shop in Appleton. “And I think it would be an energizing thing for our party to have a candidate emerge who isn’t the blessed candidate of the Republican establishment.”

The shorter the fall campaign against President Barack Obama, the better for Republicans, he said. “If I thought that prolonging this race was a detrimental thing for our chances to win in the fall, I may — I would take a different course.

“But I don’t.”

Santorum’s defiant pose reflected the critical juncture his campaign has reached. The odds are stacked so heavily against him in the battle against Romney that Wisconsin’s primary stands as a potentially lethal test of Santorum’s capacity to survive.

He has vowed to keep campaigning if he loses Wisconsin. But Romney, the former Massachusetts governor already widely seen as the presumptive nominee, would be viewed that way even more with a Tuesday victory — and potential wins in Maryland and the District of Columbia as well. That would dry up potential donations to Santorum and intensify the pressure to drop out. In a sign of Santorum’s fading relevance, Obama’s re-election campaign began TV advertising against Romney on Monday.

For Santorum, who clawed his way into contention with months of dawn-to-dusk stumping across Iowa on a budget fit for a college student, there is a big personal dimension to the campaign’s next phase; the prospect of giving up is something akin to heartbreak.

With his improbable rise from the bottom ranks of a crowded field of GOP candidates, Santorum has come to personify the restless faction of “tea party” conservatives who upended the Republican establishment and fueled huge GOP victories across the nation in 2010, notably in Wisconsin. Santorum has also succeeded in uniting conservative evangelical Christians who have long shunned Romney, a feat none of his rivals managed to achieve.

On Monday, Santorum sought to rally conservatives in Wisconsin’s Fox Valley with scathing attacks on Romney’s mixed record on guns and abortion. At Sabre Lanes, a bowling alley here on Lake Winnebago, the former senator from Pennsylvania reminded more than 100 supporters of his A+ rating from the National Rifle Association and his opposition to the 1990s federal ban on assault weapons.

“I stood tall, and I didn’t say that we have a lot of good gun laws in Massachusetts, and I wouldn’t touch any of them,” Santorum said.

He criticized his rival not only for state funding of abortion during his tenure as governor, but also for a $150 donation that Romney’s wife, Ann, made to Planned Parenthood in 1994. Santorum did not mention her by name.

“Governor Romney’s actually running ads out there right now suggesting that I’m not pro-life, where Governor Romney and his family have contributed money to Planned Parenthood,” he said.

Gesturing toward his wife, Karen, Santorum mentioned that she had home-schooled their seven children. He also took on the cadence of a Sunday school instructor as he asked, “Why is it that all men were created equal? Because they were endowed by their …”

“Creator,” the crowd shouted in unison, quoting from the Declaration of Independence.

“With certain inalienable rights,” Santorum concluded to a burst of cheers.

Paying homage to Wisconsin’s besieged Republican governor, Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election in June, Santorum drew a comparison to his own commitment to conservative ideals.

“You elect someone with strong convictions, strong principles, you put them in office, sometimes they surprise you and actually stand by those principles and get things done,” he said.

Santorum closed his Wisconsin campaign the same way he opened it 10 days ago — with an open appeal to the culturally conservative blue-collar voters most apt to bristle at Romney’s upper-class bearing.

In Menasha, he went bowling, a frequent highlight of his Wisconsin travels. At Simon’s Specialty Cheese in Appleton, Santorum joined the kitchen staff in making grilled cheese sandwiches.

“Perfect — you’re hired,” store manager Mary McCauley told him.

Standing among yellow foam cheesehead hats in the shapes of sombreros, firefighter helmets and the wedges worn by football fans at Green Bay Packers games, Santorum said in front of a cluster of news cameras that he was resonating with “folks who are struggling to make ends meet.”

His spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, echoed Santorum’s contention that there remained a viable path to the nomination, starting in Pennsylvania, which votes April 24. But at some point, she said, “We may possibly have a discussion about him being a vice presidential candidate.”

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One Response to Santorum courts Wisconsin conservatives on eve of primary

  1. jon Reply Report comment

    April 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Santorum prefers Obama to Romney because Obama was raised by a Catholic grandmother. Vatican Osservatore Romano editor Vian said on May 18th that Obama “is not a pro-abortion president” – proves stand to encourage Catholics to breed and to encourage non-Catholics to abort out of spite. The Vatican likes the abortion status quo in the USA for this reason. Their purpose is only conquest, not faith. Carolignian Brzezinski spawned Zia al Haq, Khomeini, and bin Laden – breaks up superpowers via Aztlan and Kosovo as per Joel Garreau’s Nine Nations. Brzezinski, Buckley and Buchanan winked anti-Semitic votes for Obama, delivered USA to Pope’s feudal basket of Bamana Republics. Michael Pfleger and Joe Biden prove Obama is the Pope’s boy. Obama is half a Kearney from County Offaly in Ireland. Talal got Pontifical medal as Fatima mandates Catholic-Muslim union against Jews (Francis Johnson, Great Sign, 1979, p. 126), Catholic Roger Taney wrote Dred Scott decision. John Wilkes Booth, Tammany Hall and Joe McCarthy were Catholics. Now Catholic majority Supreme Court. Catholics Palmisano, Grasso, Damato, Langone, Mozilo, Ranieri, Dioguardi, Palmieri destroyed American industry with their casuistrous ethics. Subprime construction mobsters had hookers deliver mortgages to banks. McCain’s Keeting started it all. Brzezinski set up Arab Spring and Zia, so why surprised bin Laden was in Sineurabia code? Pakistanis descend from weasels who sold their Hindu brothers into hundreds of years of islamic slavery. That is why FIAT supplied Iran and every Catholic is like a Manchurian Candidate programmed to kill their best friend of they felt the “Holy Father” required it. They find American cars too advanced to use or their mechanics to fix. Ellis Island Popecrawlers brought in FDR. Since Pio Nino banned voting they consider our Constitution and laws immoral and illegitimate and think nothing of violating them or passing legislation that undermine them. They believe that they can not be fully loyal to their superiors if they do not go the extra stretch and break the law intentionally. Their slovenly, anti-intellectual work ethic produces vacuous, casuistrous blather and a tangle of hypocritical, contradictory regulations. Their clubhouse purges provided praetorian training for corporate misgovernance. They sided with the enemy in both World Wars and now, too. Every American boom has been caused by an Evangelical Revival and every major Depression by the domination of new Catholic immigrants. NYC top drop outs: Hispanic 32%, Black 25%, Italian 20%. NYC top illegals: Ecuadorean, Italian, Polish. Ate glis-glis but blamed plague on others, now lettuce coli. Their bigotry most encouraged terror yet they reap most security funds. View this life as casuistry training to survive purgatory. Rabbi circumcises lower, Pope upper brain. Tort explosion by glib casuistry. Hollywood Joe Kennedy had Bing Crosby proselytize. Bazelya 1992 case proves PLO-IRA-KLA links. Our enemy is the Bru666elles Sineurabia feudal Axis and the only answer is alliance with Israel and India. They killed six million Jews, a million Serbs, half a million freemasons, a quarter million Gypsies, they guided the slaughter of Assyrians and Armenians, and promoted the art of genocide throughout the world now they are relentless in their year to canonize nazi pope. 9/11 was Yugo Crimean blowback: Napoleon started the crusade against the Photius Heresy to avenge his uncle, Clinton wanted to cover Pacelli’s war crimes. They had no qualms hijacking American policy in Vietnam or Balkans to papal ends, but when American interests opposed those of the papacy in Iraq and Iran, they showed their true fangs (Frum, Unpatriotic Conservatives).