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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Santorum 2012’

Huff Post

Sam Stein

Posted: 04/10/2012  2:03 pm

In a surprise decision Tuesday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) will announce that he is suspending his presidential campaign, The Huffington Post’s Jon Ward has learned and several other outlets have reported.

The Pennsylvania Republican had taken a break from the campaign trail for several days to tend to his ailing daughter, Bella. He had pledged to continue campaigning through the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. But the combination of his daughter’s sickness and recent poll numbers showing him possibly losing his home state apparently prompted the early departure.

The announcement is expected to come during an address in Gettysburg, Penn.

Santorum’s decision removes any lingering doubt that Mitt Romney will end up the Republican presidential nominee. The former Massachusetts Governor held a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead prior to Santorum’s departure, though his campaign was planning on spending between one and two million dollars against Santorum in Pennsylvania.

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By LAURIE KELLMAN and JENNIFER AGIESTA 02/22/12 08:03 AM ET

Associated Press AP via:  Huff  Post

WASHINGTON — A surging Rick Santorum is running even with Mitt Romney atop the Republican presidential field, but neither candidate is faring well against President Barack Obama eight months before Americans vote, a new survey shows.

Obama tops 50 percent support when matched against each of the four GOP candidates and holds a significant lead over each of them, according to the Associated Press-GfK poll. Republicans, meanwhile, are divided on whether they’d rather see Romney or Santorum capture the nomination, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul lagging behind. It’s a troubling sign for the better-funded Romney as the GOP race heads toward crucial votes in his home state of Michigan, in Arizona and in an array of states on Super Tuesday, March 6.

“I’d pick Santorum, because it seems Romney may be waffling on a few issues and I’m not sure I trust him,” said Thomas Stehlin, 66, of St. Clair Shores, Mich. He thinks the Detroit-born son of a Michigan governor is facing a strong challenge from Santorum in his home state because of his tangled answers on the auto industry bailout.

Also, he says, there’s this: Romney, the self-described can-do turnaround artist of the corporate world and the troubled Salt Lake City Olympics, with his millions of dollars, has been unable to vanquish his political opponents.

“That may be the reason right there,” said Stehlin, a retired government worker and a Republican. “He spends lots of money and he doesn’t get anywhere.”

Nationally, Republicans are evenly split between Romney and Santorum. The poll found 33 percent would most like to see Santorum get the nomination, while 32 percent prefer Romney. Gingrich and Paul each had 15 percent support.

Romney’s fall from presumed front-runner to struggling establishment favorite has given his opponents an opening as he tries to expand his support. His Republican rivals have stepped in claiming to be a more consistent conservative and viable opponent against Obama, and each of the last three AP-GfK polls has found a different contender battling Romney for the top spot. But Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and abortion foe, has hit his stride at a key moment in the nomination contest.

Santorum’s spike comes as satisfaction with the field of candidates remains tepid and interest in the contest is cools. About 6 in 10 Republicans in the poll say they are satisfied with the people running for the nomination, stagnant since December and below the 66 percent that felt that way in October. Only 23 percent are strongly satisfied with the field and 4 in 10 said they are dissatisfied with the candidates running, the poll found. And deep interest in the race is slipping: Just 40 percent of Republicans say they have a great deal of interest in following the contest, compared with 48 percent in December.

“It seems like in the last month or so everything’s just chilled out,” said James Jackson of Fort Worth, Texas, a 40-year-old independent who leans Republican. “I just haven’t been following it lately.”

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The Huffington Post
First Posted: 02/16/2012  2:36 pm Updated: 02/16/2012  4:35 pm

Foster Friess, a top donor to a Rick Santorum-aligned super PAC, dismissed the importance of his candidate’s stances on social issues in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday, adding a bizarre statement about birth control.

Friess was asked about Santorum’s beliefs on social issues such as abortion and gay rights, which have led many to question his viability in a general election.

“I get such a chuckle when these things come out,” he said. He added, “We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex — I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.”

Friess then turned to contraception. “This contraceptive thing, my gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive. Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly,” he said.

Mitchell, taken aback, said, “Excuse me, I’m just trying to catch my breath from that” and changed the subject. Friess later described Santorum as “truly the post-partisan candidate,” a line ascribed to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

Santorum said that he personally believes in the Catholic Church’s position on contraception, which is that it should not be used by members of the religion, but that he thinks it should be available. He noted Wednesday that he had voted for funding for contraception “domestically and internationally, and would not support any law that would prevent that.”

Still, Santorum has strongly opposed the Obama administration’s rule requiring most religiously-affiliated employers to provide contraception in their health plans. He said in 2006 that he thinks that contraception is “harmful to women.”

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Huff Post- First Posted: 02/12/2012 11:26 am Updated: 02/12/2012 12:44 pm

By- Sam Stein

Mitt Romney scored two minor but symbolically important victories on Saturday — a first-place finish in the CPAC Straw poll and a win in the Maine caucus — each of which set off accusations of foul play from the second place finisher.

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) suggested that Romney had doctored the results of the CPAC contest.

“I don’t try to rig straw polls,” he said. “You have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought… We’ve heard all sorts of things.”

Meanwhile, late Saturday night, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) sent an email to supporters that essentially alleged collusion between the Romney campaign and the Maine Republican Party without actually mentioning Romney by name. A portion of the email is below:

In Washington County — where Ron Paul was incredibly strong — the caucus was delayed until next week just so the votes wouldn’t be reported by the national media today.  Of course, their excuse for the delay was “snow.”  That’s right. A prediction of 3-4 inches — that turned into nothing more than a dusting — was enough for a local GOP official to postpone the caucuses just so the results wouldn’t be reported tonight.  This is MAINE we’re talking about. The GIRL SCOUTS had an event today in Washington County that wasn’t cancelled!  And just the votes of Washington County would have been enough to put us over the top.

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And it’s hard to imagine that they will take the accusations all that seriously, at least with respect to the CPAC result. Santorum, after all, could have bought tickets just like Romney allegedly did. He didn’t.

As for Maine, the real story there is not that Romney won but that Ron Paul and his campaign have been left so aggrieved. The Paul and Romney campaigns have been in a détente since the campaign started, with each candidate expressing admiration for the other. It’s unclear whether that changes now, but it certainly doesn’t help Romney to have Paul’s legion of backers believe that he stole a caucus, no matter how minor, from their still-bare win column.

UPDATE: The Romney campaign does, in fact, choose to engage Santorum, with the following statement from spokesperson Andrea Saul.

Rick Santorum has a history of making statements that aren’t grounded in the truth. Yesterday Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw poll and won a separate nationwide survey of conservatives conducted by CPAC  organizers. Also, Mitt Romney won the Maine caucuses. Conservative voters recognize that in order to change Washington, we need someone who isn’t a creature of Washington.

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First Posted: 02/ 8/2012  9:45 am Updated: 02/ 8/2012 10:39 am

Reuters- By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON–The Obama administration is willing to work with Catholic universities, hospitals and other church-affiliated employers to implement a new policy that requires health insurers to offer birth control coverage, a top adviser to the president’s re-election campaign said on Tuesday.

David Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, said the administration had heard the Roman Catholic Church’s concerns and never intended to “abridge anyone’s religious freedom.”

But he gave no sign that the administration would reverse course under intensifying pressure from church leaders and political heat from Republican presidential candidates.

“This is an important issue. It’s important for millions of women across this country. We want to resolve it in an appropriate way, and we’re going to do that,” Axelrod said in remarks on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.

White House spokesman Jay Carney also sought to diffuse criticism from church leaders, telling reporters later on Tuesday the administration would work with religious organizations “to see if the implementation of the policy can be done in a way that allays some of those concerns.”

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LAURIE KELLMAN 02/ 8/12 12:52 PM ETAssociated Press AP via: Huff Post

WASHINGTON — Resurgent Rick Santorum said his sweep of three GOP contests earned his shoestring campaign $250,000 overnight, cash he needs to take his upstart bid for the Republican presidential nomination to Mitt Romney’s turf.

Santorum’s stunning victories Tuesday in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado marked his best performance thus far in the rollicking contest for the Republican presidential nomination – and Romney’s worst. The better-funded and organized former Massachusetts governor shrugged off his poor showing, but his losses were stinging reminders of a stubborn weakness: Romney’s inability to appeal to the conservatives at the base of the party.

It was far from clear, though, that Santorum would be able to turn his momentum into the millions of dollars he would need to overtake Romney. But in the hours after his victory, Santorum said he’s finally being heard and supported by conservatives who want a clear contrast to President Barack Obama.

“I think last night we raised a quarter of a million dollars online,” Santorum told CNN’s “Starting Point” the morning after. “We are going to have the money we need to make the case we want to make.”

That overnight haul was part of a larger two-day take of $400,000, Santorum told reporters following an event Wednesday near Dallas with a group of pastors.

And to take the fight to Romney’s virtual home states. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Santorum said he’d debate Romney in Arizona, the home of a sizable Mormon population and a key patron, Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential candidate in 2008. Also on Santorum’s travel schedule: Michigan, where Romney’s father was governor.

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Huff Post- Posted: 2/7/12  |  Updated: 2/7/12

Last week, Jon Ralston, a veteran Las Vegas Sun columnist, dared reporters to ignore Donald Trump’s unveiling of his presidential endorsement — with low expectations about how that might play out.

“I suggest media boycott of @RealDonaldTrump event in Vegas,” Ralston tweeted. “Anyone with me? That’s what I thought.”

Ralston knew, of course, that the nation’s political reporters — the same tribe who breathlessly covered Trump’s half-hearted flirtation last year with a presidential run, his “birther” sideshow and his thwarted plans to host and moderate a GOP debate — wouldn’t ignore the real estate huckster’s “major announcement.”

And, indeed, they didn’t, thereby sparking the latest mini-drama in the reality show otherwise known as the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

While any campaign reporter you meet will say it’s ridiculous to give any more oxygen to Trump in this election cycle (and some of them will even go so far as to mock the primaries’ circus-like atmosphere on Twitter) many of them still raced to cover the Trump endorsement.

In their haste, several major news organizations — including the Associated Press, The New York Times, Politico and CBS News — erroneously reported that Trump planned to endorse former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Countless others, including The Huffington Post, repeated those reports. All had to backtrack when it became clear former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would get the Trumpster’s nod. Come showtime, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all had Romney live, standing at a podium featuring a Trump plaque, in a Trump hotel, accepting a Trump endorsement.

Reporters swarmed the Trump event for the same reason they have pursued and then coughed up almost every other bit of minutiae, no matter how irrelevant or meaningless, around the primaries. In a media landscape replete with Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs and myriad other digital, broadcast and print sources, nothing is too inconsequential to be made consequential.

Political junkies, political operatives and political reporters consume most of this dross, and in this accelerated, 24/7 news cycle, a day feels like a week, with the afternoon’s agreed-upon media narrative getting turned on its head by the evening’s debate. Candidates rise, fall, and rise again, all choreographed to the rat-a-tat background noise of endless minutia.

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