Santorum Becomes Republican Long Shot in Presidential Primary

COMMENTARY | You know the old saying: “Timing is everything.” Well, Rick Santorum doesn’t. Having scheduled his “official announcement” to join the growing 2012 pack of GOP candidates to take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Rick jumped the gun in an interview with George Stephanapolous on Good Morning America and declared his candidacy four hours early.

“We’re ready to announce that we’re going to be in this race,” Santorum said grinning, pointing a thumb over his shoulder to the Somerset County courthouse behind him. “We’re in it to win and we’re very excited about, you know, what the … what the future holds. We’ve got a great, uh, a great team in the early primary states. We’ve got a lot of momentum.” With his repeated use of the word “we,” the people-vacant steps of the Pennsylvania courthouse served as an extremely awkward backdrop.

With his bid for the presidency, one of Santorum’s self-placed obstacles may be his well-documented inability to keep his opinionated mouth shut.

With a recent Gallup poll revealing the majority of Americans support gay marriage, Santorum’s repeated gay-bashing statements, like comparing homosexuality to bestiality, may not be well-received. Additionally, his callous statement that John McCain, “doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works,” according to Outside the Beltway, may also come back to haunt him. Because of everything Rick Santorum has “read” about enhanced interrogation techniques, he believes himself to be a greater authority on the subject than McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years as a POW.

Santorum’s uber-enthusiastic intent to revamp Social Security will be a major stumbling block.

The former Pennsylvania senator believes voters want someone who stands for what he believes in, like his radical belief that Social Security would be better off with fewer abortions, according to the Associated Press. Furthermore, Santorum accused Rep. Paul Ryan of not having the “temerity to step forward and say we have to do Social Security,” and thinks it’s a good idea to apply cuts earlier than Ryan proposed. Gallup reveals Americans overwhelmingly disagree.

Santorum’s lack of originality is also embarrassing. During his ill-attended announcement rally in Pennsylvania, the Obama fainting fan moment reported by NBC came across as a bit ridiculous. He even pulled the Obama water bottle toss documented many times over by the Wall Street Journal.

Santorum thinks his hard-right positions will give him an edge against the ultra-liberal Obama in 2012. What the candidate seems to forget is that his extreme right positions — and frequently offensive presentation thereof — are what caused him to lose re-election to the Senate in 2006.

Romney has borrowed Sen. John Kerry’s old “Believe in America” slogan. Obama and Gingrich are sharing “winning the future,” (AKA- “WTF?”). With his own inability to conjure an original thought, Santorum is dusting off the single word once used by CBS News anchor Dan Rather before humiliating himself out of a career: “Courage.”

Considering Santorum’s radical ideas, low position in most polls and low name recognition as a presidential candidate, he’s going to need it.

Sources:

George Stephanapolous , “Exclusive ‘” Rick Santorum Will Run for President: ‘We’re In It to Win'”, ABC News

“Santorum Quotations”, Spreading Santorum.com

“For First Time, Majority of Americans Favor Legal Gay Marriage”, Gallup

Doug Mataconis, “Rick Santorum: John McCain “Doesn’t Understand” Torture”, Outside the Beltway

John S. McCain, “John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account”, US News

Associated Press, “Rick Santorum: Social Security fund would be OK if there were fewer abortions”, PennLive.com

“Americans Oppose Cuts in Education, Social Security, Defense”, Gallup

“Santorum kicks off 2012 bid in Pennsylvania”, NBC

James Taranto, “We Shall Be Overcome” Wall Street Journal

“Pennsylvania Voters Reject Politics of Fear and Intolerance”, Log Cabin Republicans

Paul Steinhauser, “Santorum to announce candidacy for president”, CNN

“Romney’s Positive Intensity Up; Santorum’s Name ID Still Low” Gallup