Rick Santorum has been easily the biggest surprise in this race. After narrowly winning an Iowa recount, Mr. Santorum was soon-after left for dead. But in this primary, full of swings, dips and surges, Mr. Santorum has leaped to the top of the field. Although Mr. Santorum may lead a few national polls, serious doubts remain about the legitimacy of his campaign, so we’ll call Mr. Romney the front-runner.
A deeper look into the candidacy of Rick Santorum finds a stark counterpoint to Mr. Romney. There are no doubts whatsoever about Mr. Santorum’s convictions. His stance on anything from women in the workplace to gay rights are tried and true social conservatism at it’s nth degree. According to a former aide, Mr. Santorum is “a Catholic Missionary who happens to be in the Senate.”
From an economic standpoint, his preoccupation with the federal deficit is troubling. And his latest attacks on Pres. Obama’s religious beliefs have been extreme to say the least. While most of his campaign hinges upon ideals that are divergent from the so-called ‘mainstream American’, no one doubts the sincerity of Mr. Santorum, who refused to back down from statements as outlandish as the one made about JFK’s speech about religious equality quote, “made him sick.” This quality, and simply the fact that he’s not Mitt Romney, seemed to have endeared him to prospective GOP voters.
But he also carries the baggage of whole-heartedly embracing George W. Bush’s big government agenda (see compassionate conservativism). Not to mention he was thoroughly drubbed in his last campaign for Senate. And if you aren’t of the faint of heart, you can go ahead and google Santorum. It goes without saying that he draws the ire of a large portion of the population leaving his likely electability in question.
That being said, he provides an interesting and stark alternative to the man that everyone was eager to crown the GOP nominee just a month or two ago.