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Tonight’s Debate: Ron Paul versus Rick Santorum on Social Conservatism

In the lead-up to the Michigan and Arizona primaries, libertarian-minded Congressman Ron Paul has launched a broadside against social conservatives (and Rick Santorum in particular), telling Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union" that social conservatism is "a losing position" for the Republican Party.

Congressman Paul went on to say during that same interview that he didn’t think it was possible that Santorum could beat Obama, "And this whole idea that talking about the social issues and who is going to pay for birth control pills, I'm worried about undermining our civil liberties, the constant wars going on, the debt of $16 trillion and they are worried about birth control pills and here he wants to, you know, control people's social lives…”

On the other hand, Santorum has risen to the top tier of Republican candidates by not just embracing the social conservative agenda, but making it the centerpiece of his campaign.

The former Pennsylvania Senator is unabashed in talking about America’s Judeo-Christian foundation and how his own faith guides his thinking on many issues. Of course, this -- or any -- discussion of good and evil or ethics and morals in government makes Republican establishment elites uncomfortable, mostly because they define a moral government as one that benefits them and their cronies.

Despite establishment discomfort with his campaign strategy, Santorum has history and electoral success on his side. As James Taranto pointed out in a Wall Street Journal piece last week (quoting former Reagan administration official Jeffery Bell’s forthcoming book, The Case for Polarized Politics), social conservatism has a winning track record for the GOP.

"Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964," Bell wrote. "The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period. . . . When social issues came into the mix – I [Bell] would date it from the 1968 election . . . the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections."

That squares with what I have said many times, when Republicans run content-free establishment campaigns, they lose. When they nationalize the election and run on the conservative agenda, they win.

Santorum is now in the top spot in most national polls for a reason: he is the real movement conservative in the race. In defiance of the conventional wisdom, he has steadily gained ground by working to expand his appeal from his base among social conservatives and national defense conservatives to attract economic conservatives and the small government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party.

Santorum and Paul have clashed before over national security, as well as the social conservative agenda, and Paul has run a series of scathing ads against Santorum. However, this may be the first time Ron Paul has come out and specifically rejected the social conservative agenda to contrast himself to Santorum.

In what may be a first, there is no doubt the mainstream media and the establishment elites of the Republican Party actually agree with Ron Paul on something: social conservatism is “a losing position.” So, one of the more interesting things to look for in tonight’s debate will be whether Ron Paul joins Mitt Romney to carry this attack on Santorum forward.

However, to us it seems pretty clear that history is on Santorum's side, and that Republican candidates who downplay the social conservative agenda, such as Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney, always lose in November.

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Let's look at their records side by side.

The National Taxpayers Union ranks the candiates  (this is based on congressional careers so Mitt Romney is omitted). Higher Score is better. 

http://www.ntu.org/news-and-issues/223as-presidential-contenders.html

 

NTU Rates Congress Data
For GOP Presidential Primary Contenders
Candidate Career Average Score Average Member/Senator Score during tenure Average Republican Score during tenure
Ron Paul 90.80% 39.40% 61%
Rick Santorum 75.20% 45.60% 71%
Newt Gingrich 61.90% 41% 56.50%

 

Rick Santorum voted to raise the Debt Ceiling 5 Times increasing the debt by $4.6 TRILLION. 
Ron Paul has NEVER voted to increase the Debt Ceiling and NEVER has voted to raise taxes. 

Rick Santorum voted for "No Child Left Behind" - doubling the size of the Dept. of Education. 
Ron Paul did not vote for "No Child Left Behind".  

Rick Santorum voted in favor of Airline Bailouts in 2001.  
Ron Paul didn't.  

Rick Santorum is in favor of Foreign Aid which costs BILLIONS upon BILLIONS every year. 
Ron Paul isn't.  

Rick Santorum is in favor of INCREASED Military spending and attacking Iran (this is tough when we're gettign deeper and deeper into debt as a nation) and causes more hatred against the USA for invading other sovereign nations that have not attacked us. 

Rick Santorum has supported the utter failure of the War on Drugs over the years which has cost the nation $1Trillion Dollars and continues to increase every year. 
Ron Paul supports ending this abysmal failure and allowing States to regulate these substances.  

Social Conservatism

I am a social conservative , I believe American society is disintigrating before our very eyes because of the secularists , socialists and others that want to minimize Christianity regardless of the results to society .  However , to create the environment to put our social house in order we first have to get government and its social justice crowd out of the way . Only RON PAUL is interested in reducing the size , scope , and power of our out of control federal government . Only RON PAUL wants to get government back under the control of the United States Constitution as envisioned by the founders . RON PAUL for President !!!

Santorum's problem ...

Santorum's main problem is not Ron Paul or Mitt Romney ... he's not an authentic CONSERVATIVE.  CHQ attacks various candidates for not being authentic conservatives ... PERHAPS YOU NEED TO EXAMINE SANTORUM'S PAST RECORD.   He's not a madman ... but, he has a history of PORK and a history of supporting many wasteful and poorly conceived programs that are DECIDEDLY NON-CONSERVATIVE.

It appears that you support Santorum because he's a "good Catholic".  I'm sorry ... that's not enough.  This man has deep flaws and is very imperfect.

If nominated, I'd vote for Santorum over Obama ... but, that's not an excellent choice.

Attacking Santorum?

When is stating someone's record the same as attacking?   Santorum really is a "fake" when he claims conservatism.

YOUR ARE PURPOSELY AND KNOWINGLY....

MISREPORESENTING RON PAUL'S POSITION ON SOCIAL ISSUES!!!! SHAME ON YOU.


Ron Paul simply respects the 1st Amendment and doesn't wish to force his religious ideas/practices on others as Santorum does.  He has actually discussed how Rowe-vs Wade could be overturned in the states.  Rememebr, he delivered over 400 babies, never once practicing aborting one.


He is quiet about his Christian faith, not bragging about how holy he is. I fear as an LDS person that my 1st Amendment rights will suffer under Santorum.


 


 

nominating romney

Whatever his motives or intentions, if Paul's attacks on Santorum are effective, romney, not Paul, will get the nomination.  Obama will win the fall election, and America will be irreparably harmed.

So kiss that Constitution you claim to love good bye.  

What is the difference?

Paul is the only candidate not trying to start W.W.3,including Obama.So if any other candidate were to face off in the end,it is futile,pointless.

What trash!!!

Santorum shows the worse when put up against Obama.. he is unelectable.  Ron Paul and Obama are running almost even.  Ron Paul is winning in Iowa.


Santorum is getting a lot of MSM coverage but Ron Paul still lags far behind.  Juwst wait until Paul and Obama debate each other.

SOCIAL ISSUES ARE WINNING ISSUES IF THEY ARE CONSTITUTIONAL

"There is little doubt that both Paul and Santorum are earnest in their socially conservative views. The only difference is Paul’s constitutional approach could finally give social conservatives real victories for the first time in memory."

 

 http://www.ronpaul2012.com/2012/02/20/ron-paul-believes-social-issues-are-winning-issues-if-they-are-constitutional-issues/

Mr. Viguerie, You confuse a tax and spend liberal that defends

a person(s) right to religious expression or belief, with those of a true conservative. Dr. Paul has stated undeniably, and I believe accurately so, that this is about.... [they are worried about birth control pills and here he wants to, you know, control people's social lives…”] control of all aspects of our lives. We the People believe WE alone have the right to decide what we believe and are willing to spend our money on... period! This is NOT the responsibility of government nor do they have the right to decide what our religious or social beliefs should be. All Americans should have the right to live as they are willing to pay for themselves (so long as it impacts themselves) and does NOT infringe on the right of you to live your own life. Even Evangelical Christians admit that God gave us free will, not that we should sin but that we should love GOD and do what is right. Can the laws of this nation redefine or amend God's truth? No, the Constitution does NOT allow it. Vote for a true conservative and quit letting the lamestream media define (for you anyway) who can win in November, we won't.