Neo-Santorum?

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Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania Senator, has been making the candidate rounds for months. Yesterday on “FOX News Sunday”, Santorum called his vote on the Medicare prescription drug benefit a mistake. In an effort to paint himself as the fiscal conservative he would like to campaign as, he is working to distance himself from his record of supporting big government and big spending.

Santorum Concedes 2006 Election

While he blames former President George W. Bush for his election loss in 2006, the lack of strong support and turnout from the party base that allowed a challenger to defeat him was also due to his support of increased spending. While no one in their right mind should ever believe the Democrats when they campaign on fiscal responsibility, the fact that people were even willing to buy that fairy tale demonstrates just how far removed from fiscal conservatism the Republicans had strayed.

Now Santorum would like us all to forget his record on spending. He is trying to admit he was wrong and move on while at the same time not really admitting much of anything. He points to two points of the bill as things he says he wanted done differently, but even if those two things were done differently it would have still been an enlargement of government and an increase in spending. So while he wants to appear as a fiscal conservative at heart who mistakenly voted for big spending, he continues to reveal himself as supportive of increased government involvement in social issues and increased spending. In other words, he’s a fiscal conservative…if you compare him to Harry Reid.

The 2012 campaign will be filled with candidates who will try to John Kerry their way through the process, explaining away all their actions with flip-flops. They will all try to paint themselves as fiscal conservatives. Some will give us the old zinger of being a fiscal conservative, but with compassion for the needs of the less fortunate. They’ll tell us how big government spending programs were bad, not on principle, but because they needed a tweak this way or that. They’ll claim that fiscal conservatism means running this nation into debt at a rate slower than the Democrats.

We need to look at the record. A tiger doesn’t change its stripes. Rick Santorum may have some good positions on a number of issues, but he is weaker than a pale ale when it comes to fiscal issues. He voted time and again for expansions of government programs, expansions of funding for existing programs and plunging our government deeper than ever before into the red. Sure, things have gotten much worse since he was booted out of office in 2006 but that’s like comparing Rosie O’Donnell to Rosanne Barr. Neither of them is Heidi Klum and neither is Rick Santorum a fiscal conservative.

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