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Politics & Policy

Santorum: Scared Conservatives Now Know How the Rest of the Country Feels

This morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rick Santorum tried to square the circle in the divide between the traditional conservative movement and the populist fans of Donald Trump.

Santorum ran for president this cycle against Trump, appeared at his even in Iowa opposite the final debate before the caucuses, and departed the race and endorsed Marco Rubio. He contended that the conservative movement lost touch with the realities and fears of average Americans.

“Conservatives are scared,” Santorum began. “They’re seeing the conservative movement and the Republican party getting torn up. They’re nervous as all heck. Now you know how Americans have been feeling for the past ten, twenty, thirty years!”

“They put their faith in conservatives and the Republican Party and they don’t see anything happening. They see America heading down a path, morally, economically, from standpoint of security” that will leave them worse off. “They don’t see the Republican party responding to that.”

Santorum used some of his stump speech from the past cycle, contending that he was a “blue collar conservative” who could see where they party had gone wrong. He pointed out that the overwhelmingly vast percentage of Americans don’t own or run a business, yet Republicans continually talk about how they’re going to support he business community.

He also argued social conservatives had been ignored. “Social conservatives are asking, ‘where is the conservative movement for us?’” (This doesn’t quite explain why increasing numbers of evangelical voters and Jerry Falwell Jr. are turning to the pro-choice, thrice-married casino and strip-club owner who bragged of his affairs with married women, kissed Rudy Giuliani dressed in drag, defends Planned Parenthood, and says he’s never asked for God’s forgiveness.)

“We haven’t been feeling the love because we haven’t been giving much love,” Santorum concluded.

If only Rick Santorum could have done something about the decision and direction of the conservative movement and the Republican Party in Washington. From his remarks about how badly Americans have been served the past “ten, twenty, thirty years,” it would be easy to forget that he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1990, elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994,  joined the Ethics and Public Policy Center think-tank in 2007, founded a 501 (c) (4) non-profit Patriot Voices and ran for president twice.

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