The Candidates; Paul, Santorum, Romney, Gingrich seated for CNN debate - image Gaurdian UK
A Matter of Trust
The 2012 GOP Candidates gathered in Arizona for the last debate prior to the Primaries to be held in Arizona, Michigan on the 28th and the Super Tuesday State Primaries on March 6th. The four remaining GOP candidates went from the usual introduction, to an attack by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney on the one Candidate running strongest in the polls, Senator Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich, stayed out of the battle of what amounted to “he said, she said” – between Ron Paul (the pot who calls the kettle black when it comes to earmarks, then babbles his way to - “protect the constitution, or some such snippet of a slogan” to get his point across – which apparently is: I’m going to attack whoever is the front runner, regardless of whether or not, I’ve done the same thing, and then end it with something my supporters understand.
Former Governor Mitt Romney did the same, however, his delivery was stellar, and he managed to continue to pound home on Santorum to the point where he sounded believable – to anyone who hasn’t exactly “fact checked” Mitt Romney. The opening remarks he made regarding the Catholic Church, which is a hot button issue, was a major stretch – considering it was his usual excuse to those who reside in Massachusetts and looked towards a positive outcome: (Paraphrasing) “There is nothing I can do – the deck is stacked against me, too many Democrats!” – The most egregious assertion was his "work" with the Catholic Church and their ability to operate as an adopt service in Massachusetts – from Cactholic Culture.org:
Boston Catholic Charities has decided to pull out of adoption services, rather than comply with Massachusetts law that requires adoption agencies not to discriminate against homosexual couples.
The surprise move by Boston Church officials, announced on March 10, avoids a political showdown in Massachusetts. The state's bishops had said last week that they would seek an exemption from the law that mandates equal treatment for same-sex couples.
The Boston office of Catholic Charities has been caught up in a controversy since last November, when it came to light that the agency had placed several children in homosexual households. Church teachings say that adoption by same-sex couples is a form of violence against children.
In December, Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley reportedly received a direct instruction from the Vatican saying that a Catholic agency cannot be involved in adoptions by gay couples. (The San Francisco archdiocese has recently acknowledged a similar message from Rome, responding to same-sex adoptions arranged by the office of Catholic Charities there.)
On February 28, the four diocesan bishops of Massachusetts joined in a public statements indicating that they would seek an exemption from the government's non-discrimination policy. Today's announcement indicates that the bishops have abandoned their effort.
"We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve," said Father J. Bryan Hehir and Jeffrey Kaneb, the president and chairman, respectively, of Boston Catholic Charities. Their joint statement concluded that they could not find a way to "reconcile the teaching of the Church which guides our work and the statutes and regulations of the commonwealth."
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had said that he did not have the authority to grant an exemption for Catholic Charities from the state's anti-discrimination laws, but he indicated that he would be sympathetic to legislation advancing that goal. However, leaders of the state legislature warned that a Church bid for an exemption would be unsuccessful, leaving the bishops no other option but a court battle.
The same story can be found on the Boston Globe’s website, for those who might think that Catholics are a bit too worried about good and evil getting in the way of a few facts.
Romney Lobbied hard for the Salt Lake City Olympics, and yet, continues to pound on Rick Santorum on doing the same (as does Ron Paul). He also taxed and fee’ed his way to a mandated balanced budget, in Massachusetts, everything that Santorum attacked or counterattacked to the left and right of him was the truth – it was the delivery. He appeared tired., and he became technical – at one point, which is surprising, Santorum was describing the workings of the Congress, something which Mitt Romney declared, he could not understand – it was a minor point, to be certain, however, Romney if elected, should understand how the legislature works – it was understandable the delivery dry, and a high school student (hopefully form one of the “best schools in Massachusetts” (There are a handful of the state’s schools that do have graduation rates over 60%), could understand. Mitt Romney apparently needs a civics lesson. His new debating coach however, is doing a fine job.
In the final questions, Romney refused to answer a question on what the one misconception the public might have about him – instead going into a “Why you should elect me President” stump speech – coming off as a bit arrogant. In total he was the second to least “frazzled” appearing candidate on the stage, the most composed goes to:
Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, answered very few questions, with short, pointed statements that were well structured and well spoken – he was consistent throughout the debate – and, appeared to be a different man, the Newt Gingrich of the pre-South Carolina Debates, who did not show up for the Florida debate – he was back last night. Best line of the night: In referring to Mitt Romney’s assertions against Santorum and Romney’s work with the Catholic Church – Newt Gingrich held that “incredible” look on his face, until he leaned to Romney and said “Nice Try” – then went onto support both his and Santorum’s assertions against Romney by noting – the truth. It was easily brushed aside by one Mitt Romney.
Rick Santorum, of course, being charged as one of “those Catholics” that actually practice their religion, had a few good points in the debate, but appeared flustered at points, most likely due to the Ron Paul on his right and Romney on his left, and their continual assault on his record, while apparently, ignoring their own, or outright lying. He was the most passionate in his delivery in defense of Iran, and his grasp of the situation in the area (going a back at least a decade) is of import. Although one can give credit for Mitt Romney’s ability to get the foreign policy talking points down, and Newt Gingrich, (goes without saying), knows whereof he speaks on foreign policy) – it boils down after watching what amount to a three ring circus (Paul, Romney and Santorum) – of one question.
Who do you trust not to act rashly, but to come to be sensible on the points relating to Iran, and oil production and delivery and the options on the table leading to stabilizing the Iranian Theocracy? Who do you trust to be as honest as a boy scout, best Obama in the polls (in September) and to deliver a plan on economics that has not wavered and would best serve both those in Manufacturing jobs, of which there are very few (especially in Massachusetts)?
It is the fact that Santorum, who is now saddled with the “crazy Catholic” moniker over a speech given at a Catholic College (private church institution) in 2006, where he used the word “Satan” - something those on the left feel would not resonate with Catholics, and the views he personally holds that are within the confines of Catholic doctrine, which one would expect a Catholic to hold. However, he is the Boy Scout, next to another Catholic, Newt Gingrich. Santorum may have lost the debate on form, but on substance, he held on. He appeared somewhat tired, not unlike Romney’s worst debate performances (the man who owns that title over the plethora of debates held to date), and Gingrich’s performance on two occasions, one which was critical – that of Florida.
It will be perception and the battle lines of delivery on the ground in each of the states, and the reality that if there were to be a comeback for Gingrich, it has to happen not on Super Tuesday, but in Arizona and Michigan. Therefore, it is up to the Santorum Team, to ensure that their candidate is well-rested, at every stump speech made between now and the Super Tuesday and to come out swinging, staying on point, as everything he said for the last five decades (he would have been two) will be brought to bear on the media.
However, it is that nagging question of which one of those candidates, appears most trustworthy to lead the nation, to protect the nation, to deliver on their promises, and who has a record of delivery on promises made in the past – whether or not one might agree with supporting state programs (through earmarks), or if one is in the anti-Catholic Camp, the Right media followed by the left media, and those American’s who were concerned about JFK’s Catholicism. As it happened in 2008, when the extremely qualified, 2-1/2 term Govenor of the State of Arkansas ran against Mitt Romney and John McCain (two moderates who were sure to lose, either the primary or the general election as is historically the case when moderate Republicans run for the office of the Presidency), each article, each newscast, would begin with “The Baptist Minister, and somewhere near the end of the article or newscast, or perhaps not at all, the point as made as an afterthought, the successful two and one half term Governor of Arkansas, a state one might point out that has a fairly strong Democrat to Republican ratio.
It was that Huckabee was rising against Mitt Romney, as is Santorum now, so if one cannot beat someone on their record, or resonate with the people, the press (from the left and the right), goes after that individuals faith, making it appear that it would be central to their governing the nation, with evidence in droves to the contrary, in the form of state governors records, and/or legislation signed by a Governor, and or votes taken, legislation written by a Senator.
Romney looked good – this time, has grown stronger in the debate arena, but only time will tell if those in Arizona and Michigan will trust Romney enough to throw their full support behind the “businessman” and one-term Governor of the State of Massachusetts In the upcoming primaries.
There is no answer to that question, however, one can assess how the standard media is handling the last debate – in Massachusetts the report by CBS locals used snippets of the debate video that caught each of the candidates in the worst one-frame, part-answer to a question that made them all look – pretty bad – that newscast went on to speak about Obama’s Campaign the fact that the Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, would be co-chairing the Obama Campaign. As sure sign, if any, that Massachusetts is being considered a state that needs a figurehead – how odd one might think – almost as odd as the constant adds run by Romney’s back currently hitting the airwaves In MA – ads are attacking: Rick Santorum.
In the interest and practice of full disclosure, this bloggers supports Rick Santorum as the 2012 GOP Nominee. The reasoning is not based on Social Issues, although his remarks following the Obama Administration assault on the Catholic Church resonated (given that this non-practicing Catholic is still a Catholic), further, the assertion by the media, Drudge Report to New York Times that Santorum is some sort of “religious nut” when he is merely practicing and speaking about Church Doctrine, strikes a cord of support rather than the intended result. It is his stance on economics, specifically his plans for manufacturing that are vital to this nation, his grasp, and strong grasp of foreign policy issues, which are always the key to this bloggers choices: foreign policy and economies. The social issues are secondary, if considered at all. In making this choice of a Santorum candidacy, it was not done lightly, as readers understand that this bog has favored several different candidates over the course of the campaign. However, in the debate arena, in the stump speeches, and in the laity to tell the truth even if it hurts, (goes to trust) of all the candidates, Santorum is the only one that satisfies both criteria. Is he able to beat Obama, polls have indicated that yes, indeed he is – so although technical points were awarded to both Gingrich and Romney due to their delivery, it was the passion and knowledge portrayed by Santorum, once again, that keeps this Massachusetts Moderate a supporter. Massachusetts Moderate – then why not Romney? It is the issue with truth, and when one can stand on the stage and in front of a nation deliver barbs against opponents, with a PAC that runs advertising that is patently false, then that individual’s quest to win at any cost, including abandoning truth and running on record, turns this voter flat. In the 2008 elections, when faced with a choice between McCain or the not yet decided Democrat Candidates, Barack Obama (and yes, Newt had that born alive issue down pat – it was for this reasons (Obama’s support for the doctors, not the living child who managed to escape the physicians ice pick) that Obama received the highest rank of any candidate by NARAL (A pro-abortion group) or Hillary Clinton, this blogger (feel free to check the archives), supported Clinton. Not due to the fact that she was a “woman” (goes to the feminist moniker), although that was a plus, but more on her voting record in the U.S. Senate on issues of defense (she has more, to be blunt, cajones than either McCain or Obama on record, this Massachusetts Moderate would have preferred a Clinton Presidency to a McCain or Obama Presidency – but was left with no choice but to vote against Obama, not for McCain. Sue me, I also voted for Carter, people change their minds, in a matter of a period of years sometimes, just not on a daily basis (if one needs to think about whom I’m referring, then one needs to read more about Massachusetts favorite sons John Kerry and Mitt Romney (ok Kerry has higher favorable).
Therefore, this blogger goes on records, and the ability to face the American public straight on without reservation, and with truthful assertions and explanations that Mitt Romney may not understand about how Congress works.
It is however, a fact in this mind, given the records of three of the individuals vis a vis Obama, (and a dose of reality, no matter how many delegates Ron Paul has, in truth, the polls and the results thus far, are not encouraging as far as any known path to the nomination) is that they are all, to a man, even one who can stand there and stretch he truth like a slinky, are all a better choice to run the nation. Therefore, the preference is: Santorum, Gingrich, Romney (goes to trust, but in the end, Romney may be more trustworthy than Obama, so one would have to vote for him regardless.)
As to a brokered convention: poppycock: The candidates for all their flaws and foibles, are still our candidates, and let the chips fall where they may – again, with exceptions, they are all preferable.
The video in 9 parts courtesy of 2012 Debates You Tube Channel