Santorum the scold makes the rounds

Jennifer Rubin, Right Turn,

Don’t laugh, but Rick Santorum is making the rounds of conservative dead-tree magazines (he already spoke to National Review and is reportedly heading over to the Weekly Standard after Thanksgiving), trying out his I-told-you-so’s and, one would presume, selling himself as the next great hope of the conservative movement. I know. It’s preposterous. (If you thought a 3-point loss for Mitt Romney was bad, imagine the blowout had Santorum been the nominee.)

With unintentional hilarity, he wags his finger at donors who “don’t know how to win.” Umm, look who’s talkin’. This comes from the man (with a sneer and a snarl) who is determined to root out gay marriage, who doesn’t want women in the military, who told a gay U.S. serviceman during a debate that we shouldn’t “recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege” (What the heck was he talking about??), who wrote a book scolding women for putting material desires and careers over stay-at-home-mothering, who declared American decline to be the work of the devil, who ridiculed mainline Christian churches, who decided to relitigate whether contraception is harmful to women, who was repulsed by John F. Kennedy’s speech on religious tolerance, who took a sledgehammer to Texas Gov. Rick Perry on immigration reform (as did Romney, and we know how that turned out); who advocates a tax code that plays favorites among sectors of the economy — and who wants to be taken seriously. Well, I guess we all need a hobby.

Santorum has been the prime example of a sclerotic right-wing mindset that thrills to the idea of setting back the clock 50 years, thinks the “Reagan coalition” is still there and is convinced that hollering at all but the most pristine conservatives is the way to go.

The problem, as I have said many times, is generational. Santorum speaks in a tone and presents views that are not the reflection of 21st-century conservatives dedicated to the expansion of liberty or to charting a new course (that would include winning presidential elections) in a diverse electorate. In my experience most of the under-40 crowd in the GOP and right-leaning media get that.

I don’t think that Santorum is going to get much footing (although his reappearance should be a reminder that Iowa needs to get booted out of the driver’s seat in the presidential primary process), unless Republicans decide to commit mass suicide. (More scolding! Less inclusion!) In tone and topic choice, he is where the Republican Party must not go if it is to stay in the game.

It would be helpful for constructive conservative media not to ingrain the preaching-to-the-choir (and lecturing everyone else) tendencies of the right. Perhaps if they challenge Santorum and others on their rhetoric and views, the go-right-go-harsh, hardest-line pols will show a glimmer of self-awareness or even concede that what hard-core conservatives have been doing hasn’t worked.

It is the holiday season, and most working GOP pols are stressing over the fiscal cliff, so Santorum is probably smart to get conservative outlets when others are busy. But as the right moves forward from 2012 , it would be a service to the conservative moment to, rather than featuring the dead wood from the GOP’s past, help call attention to promising stars and innovative lawmakers — so that print magazines can be contributors to a conservative renaissance and not undertakers for the GOP.

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Penn State Reportedly Rejected Rick Santorum’s Papers

Eliana Johnson
The Corner,

Pennsylvania State University has reportedly rejected a donation from former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who tells National Review Online that he tried to donate his papers to the university, but the powers-that-be in Happy Valley turned them down.

“I don’t know where they are now,” Santorum tells NRO. “Off in a warehouse or something. They didn’t want ’em.” Penn State officials have not responded to a request for comment, but the university’s library lists “papers of alumni” as one of its major collecting areas.

The Penn State library system holds collections and papers that touch on a variety of controversial individuals and subjects, including a collection of posters that document student opposition to the Vietnam War; a special collection classified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History, which contains the personal papers of a number of individuals; and the personal papers of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

This is not the first time Santorum, a 1980 graduate of Penn State, has found himself at odds with his alma mater. In February, Santorum told a radio talk-show host that, as a college student, his grades were docked because of his conservative views. “I can tell you a professor who docked my grades because of the viewpoints I expressed and the papers that I wrote,” he said. “There’s no question that happened.”

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Santorum: GOP Donors Don’t Know ‘First Thing About What It Takes to Win’

Eliana Johnson
November 16, 2012

West Palm Beach, Fla. — Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is heaping blame for the GOP’s election trouncing on Mitt Romney and the Republican party’s biggest donors. In an address Thursday evening in West Palm Beach, Santorum said Romney’s failure to articulate a compelling vision of America that countered the president’s vision of a European-style social-welfare state cost him the election. “Was this race about big things?” Santorum asked rhetorically. “We didn’t trust the American public enough to give them a real vision.” He also pointed the finger at GOP donors, who he said put their money behind the wrong candidates because they “don’t know the first thing about what it takes to win.”

In accounting for the GOP’s loss, Santorum emphasized Romney’s inherent limitations as the GOP standard-bearer. “He ran the campaign he could,” Santorum tells National Review Online. That was a campaign focused primarily on the economy, rather than on the three major issues that fueled the tea-party movement in the wake of President Obama’s election and drove voters to the polls in 2010: Wall Street bailouts, Obamacare, and cap and trade. As the founder of Bain Capital, and having instituted a universal health-care program and proposed joining a carbon-fee regime as governor of Massachusetts, Romney was poorly positioned to capitalize.

Santorum pointed to the 2010 midterm election as a study in contrasts. When bailouts, Obamacare, and cap and trade took center stage, he claimed, voters delivered huge wins for the GOP. Republicans picked up 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate, a performance President Obama memorably described as “a shellacking.” This year, by contrast, the “issues that energized our base were not mentioned at all,” Santorum tells NRO. “We can win this argument, but not if we don’t make it.”

Santorum’s dissatisfaction extends beyond the general election to the primary process from which Romney emerged victorious. “What I found out in the Republican primary is that the donor class of Republicans are different from the donor class of Democrats,” he said, in that Republican moneymen are more reluctant to put money behind dark-horse candidates. (Though casino mogul Sheldon Adelson did spend $16.5 million backing former House speaker Newt Gingrich before donating millions to the Romney campaign.) Santorum said that Republican donors “want a return on their investment,” but that “most people who are giving that money don’t know the first thing about what it takes to win.” Santorum lamented that they take their cues from political pundits who are similarly ignorant and “live in big blue counties,” to boot.

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Election 2016: Is Rick Santorum Next?

Richard Albert,

Barely 24 hours after Americans reelected Barack Obama to the presidency, Rick Santorum sent a mass email to thousands of conservative activists.

Santorum, the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania and the runner-up to Mitt Romney in this year’s Republican presidential nomination, was writing ostensibly to urge unity between Republicans and Democrats in the face of the looming fiscal challenges. But the real purpose of Santorum’s email was to signal that he’s gearing up for another run for the White House in 2016.

“As a result of this election,” Santorum wrote, “we now need to engage with even more energy and commitment not just in politics, but in our daily lives, to ensure that the values upon which our country has prospered will continue.” And here is the kicker: “Karen and I look forward to working side by side with you to make that happen.”

It is an open secret that Santorum intends to run once again for the GOP presidential nomination. Why? Because history tells him he should.

The history of the modern Republican Party suggests that the 2016 presidential nominee will be someone who has previously lost the nomination. Since 1980, five out of the six GOP presidential nominees had been runners-up at least once before: Ronald Reagan won the nomination in 1980 but had lost in 1976; George H.W. Bush won in 1988 but had lost in 1980; Bob Dole won in 1996 but had lost in 1976 and 1988; John McCain won in 2008 but had lost in 2000; and most recently Mitt Romney won in 2012 but had lost in 2008. The only exception is George W. Bush, who won the GOP nomination on his first try in 2000.

No wonder Santorum is optimistic about his chances for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. But at this early stage, the only certainty is that Santorum will have a lot of company in the race for the nomination.

The next time around the Republican Party has at least five strategies to select its 2016 presidential nominee and Santorum may not be the best fit for any of them.

First, The Republicans could opt to select a candidate of conservative purity, someone whose conservative bona fides are known and reliable. This category includes former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, South Dakota Senator John Thune, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker or the most recent GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Second, Republicans could choose a moderate, a candidate who can appeal to the center and battle the Democratic Party for moderate swing state voters. In this category, the early favorites are New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, former Utah Governor John Huntsman, and former New York Governor George Pataki.

Third, the Republican Party could find a candidate who is neither ideological nor moderate but rather a pragmatic problem solver. Some prospective candidates in this category are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and former Tennessee Senator Bill Frist.

Fourth, the Republican Party could quite simply pick a big-name star who is already widely known, such as former Governors Jeb Bush or Sarah Palin.

But my guess is that the Republican Party will opt for someone in the fifth category: a youthful, energetic, dyed-in-the-wool conservative whose face represents the nation’s changing demographics. On this list are South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Where does this leave Rick Santorum? He falls in the first category of ideological candidates. Opposed to abortion and marriage equality, he is a father of seven who sees himself as an uncompromising champion of traditional conservative values. But why not get double the value by picking someone who gives you all that Santorum gives you plus the great visual of a non-white GOP standard bearer?

The second strike against Santorum may be the narrowness of his support base in the 2012 GOP nomination race. While much of his committed voting bloc will stand by his side in 2016, it may not be large enough to put him over the top.

Still, it remains possible that Rick Santorum will win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. History tells us he has a great shot. But he will need more than an interesting historical trend to win.

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Santorum says government forcing Catholics to sin

Andrew Rafferty, NBC News

AKRON, OH – Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is “directly assaulting” religious freedom and that his administration has implemented policies that force Catholics to abandon their faith.

“We have a president who, for the first time in American history, is directly assaulting the First Amendment and freedom of religion,” Santorum said. “He is going to tell you what to do in the practice of your faith. He is forcing business people right now to do things that are against their conscience, that they will have to – if you’re a Catholic – you’ll have to go to confession … to confess that you are complying with a government program that is a sin in the Catholic Church.”

The former Pennsylvania senator did not say what government programs he was referring to, but during his presidential run he frequently noted a controversial government mandate requiring religious institutions to include contraception in their health care coverage.

Santorum was in Ohio stumping for former rival Mitt Romney at the rally titled “Who Shares Our Values?” His campaign was largely defined by his Catholic faith and views on social issues, and in Ohio on Wednesday, he said a President Romney would work hard to defend religious liberty, an issue he called “close to my heart.” Santorum cited as proof Romney’s 2008 award from The Becket Fund, a non-profit institute that aims to protect religious freedoms.

While Santorum was passionate about defending the First Amendment, he was also passionate about Romney’s choice of running mate — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan’s name drew thunderous applause here, where homegrown senator Rob Portman was also considered for the position.

“What Paul Ryan stands for in conservative circles and in the media and in this country, for those who know him, is someone who is willing to challenge the status quo and have bold ideas to confront the problems of this country in a truthful fashion,” Santorum said.

Santorum, who was Romney’s top challenger for the GOP presidential nomination, has stumped in and around Pennsylvania throughout the summer. After a contentious primary, Santorum faced questions about his commitment to helping Romney going into the fall. His endorsement came in a late night email that was interpreted as a sign of his tepid support.

But on Wednesday, Santorum indicated that he fully supports Romney’s decision to add the 42-year-old Wisconsinite to the ticket. He called it the most important decision Romney has made during his campaign.

Though Santorum is no longer running, the packed room of enthusiastic supporters was proof that he still has pull in the state where he narrowly lost to Romney on Super Tuesday. He told the audience how important it is that they get involved in the swing state, which he called a must win.

“Romney and Ryan have to win here,” Santorum said. “If they do, chances are they will win.”

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Romney offers Santorum speaking slot at Republican National Convention

James O’Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney’s sharp critic and failed rival for the Republican presidential nomination, will speak at the GOP’s national convention later this month in Tampa.

Mr. Santorum, who dropped from the race in early April, narrowly defeated Mr. Romney in the Iowa caucuses, then, after other candidates dropped by the wayside, had a string of small-state victories before narrowly losing to the eventual nominee in closely contested races in Michigan and Ohio

Mr. Santorum, now a Virginia resident, represented a South Hills congressional district for two terms before winning two terms in the Senate.

While sharply critical of the eventual winner on the campaign trail, Mr. Santorum has emphasized what he calls the need to oust President Obama in voicing his support for Mr. Romney since the end of the nomination battle.

He has not been among the regular surrogates for Mr. Romney on the campaign trail so far, but he has made low-key appearances for him in Iowa and opened a Romney campaign office in Westmorelend County earlier this summer.

“I am so passionate about this election because the core principles of our country are at stake,” Mr. Santorum said in a statement released by the Republican National Committee. “The Republican National Convention is an important time for us to rally behind Mitt Romney and his vision to put our country back on track. We need a leader in the White House who is committed to reforming government.”

Mr. Santorum’s embrace is an asset to a campaign that has sometimes struggled to stir the enthusiasm of social conservatives, a constituency that helped fuel the former senator’s surprisingly strong showing in the GOP battle.

Earlier, Republican officials had announced convention speaking slots for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Also slated to address the GOP gathering are Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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Rick Santorum Says VP Candidate Must Be Pro-Life

The Inquisitr

Failed presidential candidate and former senator Rick Santorum has spoken out in a new interview, saying that presumptive nominee Mitt Romney must choose a pro-life candidate to be his running mate against incumbents Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Yahoo’s Power Players’ blog reported that Santorum added, “this is non-negotiable for a vice presidential pick.”

Santorum, who also tried for the Republican nomination for the presidency and was a frontrunner for a time, is now campaigning for Romney, despite their differences.

Power Players reported that Santorum supports Romney over Obama because he believes the president is abusing his powers. Santorum made the remarks in an interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, in a segment that included the two competing in a friendly bowling match, which Santorum won.

The pro-life website also reported Santorum’s remarks.

“For the Republican Party to nominate someone who is pro-choice would be as much of a problem for the Democrats to nominate someone who is pro-life,” Santorum said in the interview.

Lifenews pointed out that Romney has, during the current election cycle, pledged to do exactly as Santorum suggests.

It was during a 2011 presidential candidate forum, when Rick Santorum was still in the race, in South Carolina that Romney was asked if he would select a running mate who shared his pro-traditional marriage and pro-life views.

“I certainly imagine so, I haven’t made and selections in that regard,” Romney answered. “As I look around at the people I would consider I would expect that they would all be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage…but this is an important enough issue that the person that I would select in that position would share my views on those important issues.”

Will Mitt Romney do as Rick Santorum asks, and if so, what impact will it have on the election?

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Rick Santorum: Obama ‘sounds like a two-bit dictator’ over welfare

Geneva Sands, The Hill

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said in an interview released Wednesday that it’s imperative GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney win the election because President Obama “sounds like a two-bit dictator.”

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, accused Obama of abusing his power by placing “way too much authority” in the office of the president, citing the recent policy change by the administration that could change how states administer welfare.

“Going out and saying ‘I’m going to change the law on welfare,’ ‘I’m going to eliminate the work requirement,’ something that we fought for, President Clinton signed … probably the single greatest accomplishment social welfare wise in the last 20 years and President Obama gets up and says, ‘nope, I’m going to change the law’ by speaking. This sounds like a two-bit dictator, not a president of the United States,” said Santorum in an interview with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl.

“You do not change the law by speaking,” he added.

Santorum called on Romney to maintain his economic message in the campaign, but also to talk about Obama’s “imperial presidency.” The former presidential hopeful went on to compare Obama to Benito Mussolini, Italy’s former fascist dictator.

“My grandfather left Il Duce in Italy, who could get up and change the law by giving a speech … we do not need another person who thinks that they can simply get up, give a speech, change the law and then dare the Congress,” Santorum said.

The former senator, who withdrew from the presidential campaign in April, also weighed in on Romney’s potential running mate, telling ABC News that a vice presidential candidate who is in favor of abortion rights would have a “chilling effect” on a lot of voters.

“If we don’t get a good turn out of strong Evangelicals and strong Catholics, you’re going to have a hard time winning this election,” he said.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was widely speculated about last week as a possible vice president, despite what she has called her “mildly pro-choice” views on abortion.

Santorum said that although choosing Rice could help in certain areas, on balance it would make Romney’s election “a lot harder.”

Santorum, a bowling fan, joined Karl for the interview at Bowl America in Virginia. The former GOP presidential hopeful said he had “a little practice” on the campaign trail, which must have helped, because he beat his reporter rival.

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Is Rick Santorum’s New Dark-Money Group Breaking the Law?

Patriot Voices says its “first priority” is defeating Obama. Tax experts say that could land Santorum in hot water with the IRS.

Andy Kroll, Mother Jones

Rick Santorum, the onetime Republican presidential hopeful, has joined the dark-money arms race, but his new nonprofit, Patriot Voices, could well find itself in trouble with the tax man.

Last month, Santorum announced the creation of Patriot Voices, which is “committed to promoting faith, family, freedom, and opportunity.” Santorum said the group hopes to recruit 1 million members “to affect change that otherwise could not be accomplished alone.” What exactly is that change? “The defeat of Barack Obama, and those who support his policies, will be our first priority,” Santorum said in a press release unveiling Patriot Voices. The first “core focus area” in Patriot Voices’ mission statement echoes that pledge: “We stand for the defeat of Barack Obama and those who support his radical agenda. We cannot afford four more years of his disastrous policies.”

It’s no shocker that Santorum and his outfit want to see Obama booted. But the problem is, given the laws governing nonprofits, Patriot Voices is not supposed to tell this particular truth. Having done so, it may wind up in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service.

Tax law experts say Santorum’s organization could run afoul of the IRS for such an overly political, GOP-centric mission. Patriot Voices says it is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, also known as a “social welfare” organization. 501(c)(4)s, which do not have to disclose their donors and are tax-exempt, are not permitted to make overt political activities, such as defeating Obama or electing conservative candidates (which the group also intends to do), its primary activity. These sort of nonprofits are supposed to have wider missions, but are often used by partisans to influence elections under the guise of promoting issues, not candidates. For instance, they run ads attacking or hailing a candidate for supporting or opposing a particular policy without specifically calling on the public to vote for or against him or her. Still, the operating fiction is that their top priority is not electoral politics.

Marcus Owens, a Washington, DC, attorney who represents nonprofits and who used to run the IRS’s exempt organizations division, says the IRS scrutinizes 501(c)(4)s like Patriot Voices to ensure they are benefiting the broader community, not just the interests of a private entity—say, Rick Santorum, Patriot Voice’s funders, or the Republican Party. Owens says Patriot Voices appears to have “a significant political component” and could face trouble with the IRS. If the IRS examines Patriot Voices, he says, it “would see very little broad community benefit that’s required” to be a 501(c)(4).

Frances Hill, a tax law professor at the University of Miami Law School, says that if defeating Obama is Patriot Voices’ most important objective, “then they’re not a (c)(4). Their goose is cooked.”

Patriot Voices did not respond to a request for comment.

Owens compared Santorum’s new nonprofit to another 501(c)(4) named Emerge America that recently saw its tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS. Emerge America trains female Democratic political candidates around the country with a goal of “getting more Democrats into office and changing the leadership—and politics—of America,” according to its 2010 tax filing. Referring to Emerge America, Owens says: “Here’s an organization that seems to be doing exactly what you would expect a political action committee to do, but it’s hiding its donors by claiming (c)(4) status under the tax law.” (Emerge America is now a so-called 527 organization, which discloses its donors and can focus on politics.)

One big advantage of a (c)(4) is that it allows big-money funders to influence the political process without being exposed to public scrutiny. And Patriot Voices will not have to file information about its activities (how much money it took in, what it spent the money on) with the IRS until well into 2013, Owens notes. Moreover, information it provides regarding the identity of its funders will not be made public. Santorum’s nonprofit could raise and spend large chunks of campaign cash from private sources to defeat Obama and then wind down after the election—all before its first significant filing deadline.

Politically active nonprofits are the new flash point between political operatives and good-government types. Despite all the attention lavished on super-PACs (which do disclose donors), 501(c)(4) nonprofits outspent super-PACs by a 3-2 margin during the 2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Shadowy nonprofits including Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network, run by former Sen. Norm Coleman, are playing an even more crucial role in the 2012 elections: 91 percent of all political advertising through late April was paid for by these nonprofits.

Regulators are taking notice. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating whether the National Chamber Foundation, an affiliate of the powerful US Chamber of Commerce, illegally funneled $18 million to the US Chamber for political and lobbying work. And the IRS has begun reviewing the 501(c)(4) status of Crossroads GPS, a cash-flush group founded by GOP strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie.

Consequently, it’s odd—or dumb—that Santorum’s Patriot Voices would be so upfront in describing its core task as the defeat of Obama. A (c)(4) nonprofit is not supposed to be that blunt. But Patriot Voices has essentially waved an “Investigate Us!” banner in front of its “Open for Business” sign. With scrutiny of nonprofits growing by the day, Frances Hill, a former attorney who represented tax-exempt groups, says she’s surprised by Patriot Voices’ explicit iteration of a political agenda. “I would never advise [a client] to say something like that,” Hill says. “And if they had something said like that, I would help them carefully walk it back.”

In the press release announcing the group’s launch, Santorum declares, “Patriot Voices will transform the political landscape of our country.” Perhaps. But first it will have to avoid being declared illegal by the IRS.

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Santorum hits Obama’s Trayvon comments to conservative talkers, not national ones

Maggie Haberman,

Rick Santorum told conservative radio host Scott Hennen a little bit ago, when asked if President Obama was “pouring gas on our racial fire, over the Trayvon Martin death, said, “It’s clear the president has been not a uniting figure on an issue that, I think many Americans thought he would be. And it’s very tragic and to take a horrible situation like that and inject this issue, which, you know, may be a factor, may not be a factor, but even if it is a factor, it’s one… If it is a factor, it’s obviously one sick man and to use that instead of just saying, as a healing president would do, try to bring people together, but instead try to divide people is really a sad, tragic legacy of this president.”

He also told Laura Ingraham earlier today: “It sounds like a heinous act and condemn it for being a heinous act, but to introduce this type of rhetoric that is clearly meant to bring up these very sensitive issues I just think is out of line for this president. It’s very, very unfortunate that he seizes upon this horrific thing where families are suffering and inject that type of divisive rhetoric and that to me is one of the disappointing parts of what this president has brought to the table.”

It’s a similar chord to one he struck with Hugh Hewitt last Friday, saying, “What I said was that it was a horrible incident, and the president should not try to politicize that incident.”

Santorum’s comments criticizing the president for his remarks on Martin – “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” Obama told reporters last Friday – have gotten little attention, especially compared to Newt Gingrich, who called the president’s words on the topic “disgraceful.” The question of whether Martin’s race played a role in his death – and, by extension, the decision by police not to arrest alleged shooter George Zimmerman, whose lawyer says was acting in self-defense – is a key factor in several investigations into the shooting.

Yet on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Santorum took a much more subdued and conciliatory tone, declining to take a shot of his own when asked if Gingrich was wrong, saying: “Well, all I can say is that, you know, again, there are a lot of people who have very — very perverted views of reality and obviously have — as we see, people who do horrible things for seemingly senseless reasons. And I think it’s hard to generalize from one heinous act something that is — you know, try to make a bigger point out of it. And I think that’s probably what Newt was getting at. And I would just say to the president and to everybody that, you know, we need to focus on being there to be supportive and — for the family that’s going through this tragedy.”

Santorum is not the first politician to address one group in a certain way, and another group in a different way. But he has built his brand on being a straight-talker, a sort of John McCain without the moderate politics. And the difference in the tone was notable.

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