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Santorum sweep scrambles GOP primary sweepstakes

By DOUG THOMPSON
February 8, 2012

Santorum celebrates three-state sweep (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum delivered a three-strike punch against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney‘s claim to the Republican Presidential nomination Tuesday, sweeping caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and winning a non-binding primary in Missouri.

Romney came in second in Colorado and Missouri and fell to third in Minnesota — his lowest finish yet in this fledgling primary season.

In wins, Santorum — in one night — became the new GOP frontrunner, capturing four states to date while Romney trails in second with three, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich comes in fourth with one and Texas Congressman Ron Paul brings up the rear with no wins.

In delegate counts, however, Romney still leads, with Gingrich second. No candidate officially won any delegates Tuesday. All states will determine the allocation later.

Publicly, Romney expressed “mild disappointment” but a senior campaign aide confided to Capitol Hill Blue that the candidate was “visibly shaken” by the results.

Santorum called his sweep a “a victory for conservatism” and zeroed in on both President Barack Obama and Romney.

“I care about the very rich and the very poor,” Santorum said in a swipe at Romney’s gaffe last week when he said he wasn’t concerned about the rich or poor but the middle class. “I care about 100 percent of America.”

For Gingrich, Tuesday was outright rejection. He received just 13 percent of the vote in Colorado, 11 percent in Minnesota and wasn’t even on the ballot in Missouri.

Paul finished second in Minnesota — 18 points behind Santorum — and last in Colorado and Missouri.

But Romney came out the big loser, suffering defeats in states he won in the 2008 GOP primaries.

“Hold on, it’s going to be a wild year,” a senior GOP strategist told Capitol Hill Blue. “This is a season when anything can happen.”

5 Responses to Santorum sweep scrambles GOP primary sweepstakes

  1. Hal Brown

    February 8, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Santorum said in his comeback surge speech last night that Obama is trying to impose his secular values on the future of this country.

    It is amazing to me that this has become an issue on the subject of contraception rather than abortion, or even same sex marriage. Contraception!

    Last I heard we are a secular country.

    This may turn into an interesting debate. It could to lead to looking at the connection between overpopulation and poverty in the poorest countries in the world. These are countries where Catholic charities feed and clothe the poor but refuses to provide even inexpensive contraception like condoms.

    It is interesting too that this involves the Catholic Church, not a fundamentalist religion.

    It may be too much to hope that an intelligent discussion about the concerns of religion about our immortal souls* and concerns of the state about our mortal bodies will open some closed minds.

    * Not something I believe in.

  2. Sandy Price

    February 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

    This move against a Secular America was well planned by a group of Texans who recognized the enormous number of voters who had been overlooked by the GOP for decades. Many of us discussed this during the Goldwater campaign and we were told to let sleeping dogs lie. Goldwater had met with Pat Robertson who threatened him unless he spoke to the clergy of America. The rules that came with this speech would have put all women back 100 years.

    The religious right became a serious group when Gov. Bush of Texas was chosen to be the GOP Candidate. The man behind bringing in the religious right was then Karl Rove and is still Karl Rove.

    Even in our news coverage the candidates who are running against President Obama use the language of Rove by claiming the GOP despises Obama. As the election nears, the terms against Obama will become more and more severe. Look up “hate – despise – abhor” and keep a watch on the GOP campaign terminology. This is what Speaker Gingrich wrote up during his training with GOPAC.

    Hundreds of books came out warning of the impact of the religious right during Bush’s campaign. I read them all and wrote of the warnings on Reader Rant. I was told, RR is a Christian forum and I was not wanted on the forum.

    President Bush (43) broke the Separation of Church and state by handing federal grants to the churches that inspired them to take over the House and Senate and the rest is history.

    We could be heading for a show down of the real power of the Evangelicals as they know this is their last chance to take over the USA and make it their government power under Jesus Christ.

    They use the same terminology that came with the Spanish Inquisition and will continue to be used in our American elections.

    I’ve often wondered by R.R. seems to miss the real problems facing America. My warnings were not strong enough. The women who held the reins on R.R. have all gone and probably working for their Priests to get Santorum elected.

    A Catholic America with a Catholic Congress and all of us bowing to a Catholic White House. I saw this growing in Arizona which is why I wanted my last years to be in California where there are still pockets of individual freedoms found.

  3. Hal Brown

    February 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I don’t think RR is a religious form, and regret it if someone told you it was. I have always felt welcome there as an atheist.

    That being said, you make an excellent and sobering point about Carl Rove and his ilk helping coalesce the religious right into a political force to be reckoned with.

    I don’t doubt the religious convictions of Rick Santorum as extreme as they are, but see Romney as a middle of the road Morman and Gingrich as a cafeteria Catholic. They will mouth the far right religious platitudes their advisors tell them will bring them votes.

    The advisors are nothing but amoral cynical political pragmatists. Does Carl Rove have one religious bone in his body? I rather doubt it. They have hitched their wagons to Republicans and see that the race to the White House will be won by whoever can eek out a winning margin among potential swing voters.

    Thus I see the Republicans going for the religious right as the only group they know will support their social agenda.

    I see the Democrats going for a mix of middle class voters who see through the lies about Democrats promoting the fiction of class warfare (and wanting to confiscate your legal firearms), women who believe in the right to choose, minority groups who aren’t swayed by the TV closeups of the few dark faces at Republican rallies, and thoughtful independents of all stripes who do their own research into the claims made by both sides.

  4. Sandy Price

    February 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Hal, I was talking about the time before and including Bush’s first term. Doug was out on sick leave and a gal named Towanda ran the R.R. forum. I had taken a leave myself and came back to find Doug gone a crazy religious person was in charge. CHB was not the only forum to turn to religion and several others had started out for Veterans of WW2 and then Vietnam etc. The religious right got into those as well. Most of them are gone due to a lack of interest. Bush 43 opened the door and soon the religious freaks were everywhere.

    I just got a note off to Romney reminding him of his words of promise made years ago where individual freedoms were deeply a part of his agenda. The religious right got into his base and with Santorum and Gingrich going after him, he will have no chance. Last night on Rachel the discussion was why the GOP continues to follow a losing agenda. They seem like lost hungry dogs following a road home. I reminded him of the start of Planned Parenthood designed by Mrs. Goldwater and in later years supported by his own wife Anne. There is not a single Republican candidate who I would trust with the government. The best of the lot was Mike Huckabee. The others are circus clowns promoting a very dirty side show.

    It was right here at Reader Rant when the words of Karl Rove came out of Texas showing how to manipulate the stupid Republicans into a winning promotion for Jesus Christ. Elmer Gantry was what came to my mind. It was an insult to the GOP and was so good that the entire Party has fallen into the sewer system. I learned then that R.R. did not cater to book readers and only to the movies made from the books. I left again for several years.

    I exposed the dirty tricks from the Birch Society and was called a dirty liar. These from people who had never attended a single meeting or read anything from the founders. It is no wonder that Sarah Palin became so popular.

    There is so much to be discussed before the final election. I see no problem in that the GOP is destroying itself but can Obama keep the freedoms going without removing freedoms from others? I live in fear that he will put his foot in the freedoms for women and gays before he is finished. We came so far with the African Americans and we were on the way clearing the field for women and gays that I worry that a million white Christian Americans will have a conference call with Jesus and be told to take down Obama in any way they can. The dialog will come from Karl Rove………

  5. Tom

    February 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Sandy

    Amen and Amen

    The vast majority of the people do not read or think for themselves. On that matter I feel that the rising cost of college is for several reasons. One would be that only the well off will be able to afford it and another is to get rid of critical thinking. We must never question anything that is told to us.