Rick Santorum

Reminder: Rick Santorum Is Also Terrible on Economic Policy

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credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter / CC BY-SA

Former Pennsylvania Senator and sometime Republican presidential wannabe Rick Santorum is widely known for his awful grandstanding on conservative social issues, in large part because he both emphasizes his own positions on those issues and is prone to urging other Republicans to adopt his particular brand of self-certain social conservatism.

What's easy to overlook is that he's also terrible on economic policy.

For example, he's come out in favor of the Export-Import Bank, arguing that the subsidized lending operation "creates a level playing field" for business competition, and that opposition is representative of a "strain of libertarianism in the Republican party," which of course means it's something he's determined to oppose. 

Santorum is a proponent of raising the minimum wage as well, complaining that Republicans who oppose lifting the federal wage floor don't "connect with average voters." 

He's also an immigration restrictionist. He's said that in supporting "unlimited immigration," Democrats "sold their souls" for immigrant votes (does that imply that immigrant voters are the devil?), and has proposed restricting immigration as a form of wage of protectionism for domestic workers. 

credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter / CC BY-SA

Santorum, who surprised lots of people with his strong showing in the 2012 GOP primary, is expected to officially announce another run later today, and while he's likely to continue emphasizing social issues, I suspect he pound the table for fearful economic populism as well. His most recent book was titled Blue Collar Conservatives and he's devoted a lot of recent airtime to grumbling about how the Republican party needs an "image makeover," which is probably true enough, just not at all in the way he imagines. 

The good news is that with the large and extremely competitive GOP field this round, Santorum isn't putting up much of a showing so far, and his chances are incredibly slim. Part of the reason why his chances are so poor is that in a field this big he has almost nothing to offer that GOP voters can't find in another candidate.

At the top of the field, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a midwestern evangelical son of a minister who talks frequently about faith and his support for middle-class families; Walker has recently hopped onto the immigration restrictionist wagon-train too. 

Somewhat lower in the polls, there's former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He's just as socially conservative as Santorum in all the way that matter, and is more than fluent in his own brand of inane populism when it comes to big economic issues. And Huckabee, for all his faults, is also far more personally likeable than Santorum, whose manner tends toward an ungainly and off-putting combination of smugness, arrogance, exasperation, false piety, and desperate self-regard. 

So far, the GOP's reception to Santorum hasn't been terribly warm or enthusiastic. The lack of personal appeal, even more than his redundancy, is what's likely to keep him from being much of a factor in the Republican primary contest this round. It's not just that Santorum represents basically all of the worst parts of the contemporary GOP—it's that he does it so badly. 

NEXT: Bobby Jindal: 'Senator Paul Unsuited to Be Commander-in-Chief'

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  1. Huck-Santorum 2016!

  2. Alt-Text suggestion: “I mush your head!”

  3. I saw Santorum in a seat a few rows in front of me at the Civic Arena during the playoffs.

    1. You’d think they’d have had somebody clean that up.

      1. And I worked so hard to craft a comment that couldn’t be used as a joke setup.

        1. Is that possible when Santorum is involved?

            1. Because Rick Santorum IS a joke.

              1. A fact I sincerely wish more fellow Pennsylvanians had recognized.

                1. Oh, we did eventually. Unfortunately by that point all we could trade him in for was Bob Casey.

  4. Yo, fuck Rick Santorum.

  5. Santorum has bills to pay. Those 10 children won’t feed themselves you know.

  6. There are a non-trivial number of blue-collar social-cons in the Republican party, which is where the base of support for stuff like this comes from. It’s a demographic that includes unionized workers in midwestern states from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. They tend to back statist economic policies that benefit large industrial corporations, because that’s who they work for. And they tend to be anti-gay, anti-immigrant, and vaguely racist.

    It’s sort of a wierd and creepy combination, the Republican labor vote, but it’s a real thing.

  7. Hating on Republicans: the only way Libertarians can try to impress hipsters, who still hate us anyway…

    1. Please feel free to disagree with the post. Tell us the many ways you agree with Senator Santorum.

      1. I don’t agree with him on much, but you’ve got to admit, a lot of us like to try to impress hipsters.

        1. I don’t know anybody on any position upon the political spectrum you could reasonably construe as libertarian on any meaningful level who gives a single shit about hipsters, or what they think. Some of Reason’s staff aren’t really libertarians, if that’s the sort of folks you’re referring to.

          1. …drink?

            1. Okay… but why am I drinking again and will my body be able to handle it if I start?

        2. If by “impress” you mean “throw them onto an island upon which I can then hunt them as game animals,” then, yes, I enjoy impressing hipsters very much.

          1. Catatafish has ennui hounds.

            I hear if you snip off their man-buns they lose all of their hipster powers and sell out to the man. Do you know if that’s true or just a rumor?

          2. If by “impress” you mean “throw them onto an island…

            And here I always thought impressment involved forced servitude on a boat out at sea. Which, come to think of it, sounds like an equally valid treatment for them.

        3. I try to be as ironic as possible if that’s what you mean.

          *sips PBR, twirls handlebar moustache*

        4. I’m a hipster. You don’t have to impress me.

          1. I used to be part hipster. I refuse to be impressed.

    2. Yeah, it can be because they deserve the hate, no way.

      1. *can’t

      2. IT CAN BE BOTH!

    3. Fuck off, Tulpa.

    4. Yeah, impressing hipsters does not compute

  8. “Santorum is a proponent of raising the minimum wage as well, complaining that Republicans who oppose lifting the federal wage floor don’t “connect with average voters.” ”

    He is right, sadly. Unfortunately, average voter doesn’t connect with economics well.

    1. Big State good. Make Big State bigger.

    2. Santorum is a proponent of raising the minimum wage as well, complaining that Republicans who oppose lifting the federal wage floor don’t “connect with average voters.

      He’s said that in supporting “unlimited immigration,” Democrats “sold their souls” for immigrant votes

      I’d like him to further clarify whose votes it’s okay to sell your soul for.

  9. Hey, I have a favor to ask of Rick. Could he and his family pose for a photo today that’s an exact re-shoot of his concession speech photo that made the rounds?

  10. Santorum is a fucking retard. I’ve met him in person when he was representing Pennsylvania. He’s a total cock-fag.

    1. I encountered him on my class on my 9th grade DC trip. He harangued us for a solid 10 minutes about partial-birth abortion. I was unimpressed.

      1. But you never got a partial-birth abortion, right?

        MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

        1. Come on, man, you KNOW Warty has a standing appointment at Planned Parenthood every Thursday afternoon. He likes to go even when he’s not spawning, just to “keep [his] hand in the game.”

          1. Fetuses are cheap, readily-available and delicious.

            1. Sadly, his attempt to publish a cookbook resulted in arrest warrants in over eighty countries, including “shoot on sight” memoranda in most of South America.

    2. He’s a total cock-fag.

      Is there really any other sort of fag?

      1. British cigarettes?

  11. We don’t need another degenerate socioeconomic interloper in this contest. We have an abundance of them already. He yearns for dominion over how we exercise our personal inclinations, our economy, and everything else a governmental entity should have absolutely no authority over.

    This moron should do this republic a kindness by fucking off permanently. What a smug, self-righteous shitbag.

  12. My dear, the next five minutes can change your life!
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    1. $50 says these bots are bored NSA analysts.

      1. Or more Tulpa socks.

      2. I’d take you up on that except that I’m fairly sure that digging deep enough to find out would probably end in an involuntary visit to a dark, 4′ by 6′ by 6′ hole in the ground.

  13. He’s also terrible on foreign policy and dead baby policy.

    1. His salty ham tears policy is the best though.

      1. That has been renamed “prosciutto policy”. Copyright Tundra.

    2. A dead baby in every pot, and Mexicans living in your garage!

      1. They took our jerbs salty dead babies!

        1. Nice band name

        2. Read my dead baby! No new immigrants!

      2. Hey, as long as the wetbacks brought pot for everybody, its cool.

        1. With their calves the size of cantaloupes…

  14. Oh, and the caption for the first photo should be “I’m crushing your head!”

  15. On economics, it sounds like Santorum and Hillary are on the same page.

    Ex-Im Bank? check.

    Minimum wage? check.

  16. The ham tears photo should be mandatory, as should his yearbook photo.

  17. Oh fuck, he’s from Butler. No wonder he’s weird.

  18. I don’t get the GOP. Don’t they have pollsters and political strategists? Don’t they have leadership that can digest and condense what the pollsters and strategists are telling them? There’s no fucking way the polls are saying “throw Rand Paul under the bus at every opportunity – voters love that!”

    Although, really – who would listen to someone named Reince Priebus? That’s a name straight outta Ayn Rand’s brain.

    1. It *could* be outta a car wash.

    2. I know the terms “civil war” and “fracturing” within the GOP might lean a bit to hyperbole but I genuinely think there’s a refusal to acknowledge the growing “stay the fuck out of my life” contingent. There so used to the tried and true formula of favor trading with Team Red special interests while paying lip service to “limited government” that, when finally confronted with a changing demo that, at least to some degree, ACTUALLY WANTS limited government, they just screech and throw feces like a perturbed colony of monkeys.

      1. Exactly. What’s weird is how totally clueless the GOP is about the trend.

        It isn’t going away.

  19. I’m a Christian from PA. I’m also libertarian.

    Rick Santorum is about as mentally incapable of being President as a man can be, bless his heart*.

    *From having lived in the South. I’ve heard that you can say anything about someone so long as three words follow it – “bless (his/her) heart”.

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  21. Oh yeah, this will work. There’s not a single evangelical/religious right candidate running who has a chance. Americans are sick and tired of fighting the Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs. Here’s a hint: For the last 50 years those wars have all been losers!

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