Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Romney's Win and Santorum's Withdrawal

The announcement of a "suspension" of campaign by Rick Santorum was not a surprise.  Although he won a lot of primaries, he was not on a path to victory so he merely confirmed the inevitable.

But I have three comments about the current state of the race for president.

#1 - The notion that Romney is not a true conservative and Santorum is - is nonsense.   I am not sure how to define a "true" conservative except in the terms that President Reagan used.   And by that definition - a Strong National Defense, Reducing the size and scope of government and a commitment to the values of American exceptionalism - Romney is clearly a true conservative.   I understand there may be question among the hardcore social conservatives that he is not vocal enough about abortion.   But his positions on the Ryan budget and a host of other issues should give anyone who is concerned about the presidency of Obama - a feeling of comfort.

#2 - I am not sure whether Santorum is a "true" conservative.  Sure he is great according to the social conservatives - he speaks out on issues like abortion.    But like George W. Bush - he seems like a big government conservative.  In one debate when talking about how to limit funding for Planned Parenthood (which would in turn reduce the size of the federal budget) he bragged that he created a new Title in the law to fund abstinence programs.   What utter nonsense for a conservative.   If I am skeptical about government in general why should I trust the creation of a new program, paid for by taxes, to support my point of view.

#3 - Santorum's speech was a bit odd - As I was driving to the airport yesterday I got to hear his announcement.   He spent a lot of time talking about disabled people that worked in his campaign.  I also think it was a bit arrogant.  Ultimately the election in November will be about whether the American people have lost trust in the President (I certainly have) and whether they believe Gov. Romney will do better (after watching three years of regulatory excess and class warfare I am ready for something different).   But part of his speech should have a) looked forward (which he did but clumsily) and b) responded to the errors of the current president (in part helping his now former opponent).   Unfortunately that never seemed to happen and then he went on to another compelling story.

No comments: