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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rick Santorum Earns Ed Morrissey’s Endorsement

Rick Santorum Earns Ed Morrissey’s Endorsement


“My focus will be on beating Barack Obama and promoting the conservative agenda, in that order, throughout 2012, and I also believe that any of those three could beat Obama in a general election campaign.” - Ed Morrissey


By Dell Hill

Publisher’s Note:  As part of my on-going publication of blogger endorsements, it’s my pleasure to republish today’s statement from one of my friends and most-trusted names in the Conservative blogosphere - Ed Morrissey, who writes at HotAir.


Rick Santorum & Daughter Bela

“My choice: Rick Santorum

posted at 3:45 pm on February 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

                           
As I wrote earlier, decision time has come to Minnesota, where I live.  Unfortunately, I can’t officially participate in that choice, since we have a caucus system rather than a primary — and one cannot cast an absentee vote in a caucus system.  I checked twice with my BPOU officials (a BPOU is a “basic political organization unit,” akin to a precinct) and there is no provision for proxy voting.  I will be in Washington DC for CPAC and some company meetings when the caucuses take place on Tuesday evening.

Very early in the process, I promised Hot Air readers that I would disclose my choice for President in the primaries when I had fully made up my mind.  Just as I did four years ago, I didn’t fully make up my mind until shortly before the caucus.  Last time I caucused for Romney; this time, if I had the opportunity, I would caucus for Rick Santorum.

Before I explain that decision, let’s be clear.  I could cast a vote happily for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich in a general election.  Both are massive improvements over the current incumbent, and both have admirable qualities that would reflect well on the GOP once in office — even if those admirable qualities aren’t always on display now.  I will enthusiastically support any of those three men should they win the nomination.    My focus will be on beating Barack Obama and promoting the conservative agenda, in that order, throughout 2012, and I also believe that any of those three could beat Obama in a general election campaign.

Why Santorum?  In my estimation, Santorum is the last consistent conservative standing, and the only one both promoting the conservative agenda and campaigning as a conservative in the race.  

That doesn’t make Santorum perfect; he lacks the executive experience I’d like to see, and some of his positions in the past and present give me pause.  However, compared to the heterodoxies of his competitors in the GOP race, Santorum has a superior record on promoting conservative policies and values.

Even more than that, though, Santorum has demonstrated a level of personal integrity in this race that outshines the rest of the field.  Santorum has campaigned with blue-collar Reagan Democrats in mind, pushing for an economic plan that would revitalize manufacturing and small business.  He could easily have tipped over into class-warfare populism while Gingrich and Romney bashed each other over their work at Bain and Freddie Mac in order to ingratiate himself with that sector by playing on latent envy.  Instead, he defended capitalism and both of his competitors on the campaign trail more effectively than either could defend themselves.  In contrast, Romney keeps demonstrating a lack of fluency in conservative politics and philosophy, while Gingrich has conducted a personal, angry campaign that threatens to reinforce every negative stereotype about conservatives, both at times putting themselves and their ambitions above the party they seek to lead.

In the general election, I want to beat Barack Obama and send him into a prosperous retirement with his family.  In the primary, I want a party leader who demonstrates the kind of integrity and consistency that only Santorum has shown.  He worked hard for my vote, and I only wish I could be in the state to cast it on Tuesday.”

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