Rick Santorum: Where Does He Stand on the Issues?

by on June 6th, 2014
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COMMENTARY | Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum came within eight votes of winning the Iowa caucuses on January 3. However, most Americans outside of Iowa and Pennsylvania are not familiar with Santorum. Where does he stand on the issues? More importantly, will those positions aide or damage Santorum’s chances for the Republican nomination?

Santorum is a conservative. He sits comfortably on the three-legged stool of conservatism, as he is both a social and a fiscal conservative and is also solid on national defense issues. This is sure to infuriate those on the left and in the Republican establishment (yes, there is a Republican establishment) while exciting conservatives who have been waiting for one of their own to come to the fore.

As a conservative, Rick Santorum has called for cutting taxes. This should play well with virtually all Republican primary voters. However, I think it is Santorum’s special take on taxes for manufacturers that may engender a significant amount of support. Santorum would like to eliminate all corporate taxes for manufacturers as an incentive for companies to manufacture items in America thus creating the jobs this country needs. This type of support may well cross party lines. There are many blue-collar Democrat voters working in manufacturing and, if Santorum is able to get his message across, I believe it could play quite well with them in a general election.

Mr. Santorum speaks frequently of his leadership qualities. I believe that leadership is something that the Republican Party, and especially the conservative wing of the party, has been sorely lacking in recent years. There were many conservatives that were waiting for President George W. Bush to lead on something besides the Iraq War and he refused to do so. If Sen. Santorum can convince people that he is willing and able to lead I think that will invoke a positive response from primary voters.

Rick Santorum is unapologetic when it comes to his staunch pro-life beliefs. He also minces no words when discussing his views on marriage and other social issues. While this is popular with conservatives, there are many moderate and liberal Republicans who feel uncomfortable with these types of absolutes. In my opinion, these positions will draw withering fire from Santorum’s opponents, especially in a general election. However, the presidential election in 2012 is shaping up to be a referendum on President Obama and his economic record rather than another culture war. This is a fortuitous circumstance for Mr. Santorum and his electoral prospects.


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