Rick Santorum Blogger Conference Call: Santorum the Real Deal

Presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum took the time to sit-in on a conference call with 6 or 7 bloggers today. I was thrilled to be one of them. Santorum and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are the true Conservatives in the GOP slate. We were each offered a chance to ask one question with one follow-up.

Rick Santorum Family

Rick Santorum Family

My question was: who would he envision for EPA Director, and is it possible for that Director to have the authority to release properties grabbed by the Feds for the purpose of quelling oil and gas exploration and drilling. Bottom line, would the Federal Government give those lands back? This was my first conference call, and I was a bit nervous. Asking about the “authority” of the EPA to give the lands back, should have been more recommending that the lands be released and put to some productive use, or simply go back to owners who didn’t want to give up their property in the first place.

His answer went to how he will choose all appointees, which is by thoroughly vetting each for their belief in the Conservative values of his administration. He did not want to name names at this time, which I can understand. He said he would release all lands not needing protection, and certainly with an eye toward making the land productive. We all realize that some of our extraordinary Park and wild lands need protection for posterity, but millions of acres have been expropriated to achieve the Left’s green agenda.

It was the perfect answer for a Conservative (keep in mind that I paraphrased my understanding of what he said on a phone line that was not the clearest).

My friend Karen at The Lonely Conservative has a good post up with more details. She asked if he agreed with Newt that Congressman Paul Ryan’s Budget plan was “social engineering.” He did not and said he endorsed Ryan’s plan.

I won’t identify who asked what, as I do not have permission to do so, but here’s an overview of what I can remember. He was asked if he would participate in The Donald’s debate, if The Donald decided to go ahead with it. He said yes. Rick and Newt are the only takers to this point, but Rick has agreed to a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate with Gingrich. I do not understand why Bachmann would turn down the Trump opportunity. Each candidate has their own way to approach a road to the White House, but sitting this one out, doesn’t make sense, unless they think they can’t handle Donald Trump. I believe each of the candidates would do well with him (well, maybe not Ron Paul).

There were several questions about his pro-life positions, one of which brought a concise and passionate response about partial birth abortion. Wish I could remember it to relay it here.  He was asked about Newt saying this week, that life begins at “implantation.” Santorum was gracious about it, didn’t try to take advantage of the fact that Newt surely meant “conception.”

He did say that when Newt was House Speaker, he was not particularly focused on Pro-Life issues, and in general, the Gingrich focus was on ideas with a high degree of bipartisan interest. Santorum is as Conservative as any person must be, if honest enough to acknowledge life begins at conception.  You can take it to the bank. After all, the issue is ‘life.’

He was asked why his stellar debate performances have not put him on the leader-board yet. He replied that he’s a little boring, nothing to gossip about, no gaffes, no retractions needed, married for 21 years with 7 children.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think ahead to record the interview, and cannot pass-on all the questions. My connection was static-y at times, as well. UPDATE 12-10-11: Pete Da Tech Guy has all the Questions and Answers here.

The Senator mentioned one thing that really caught my attention. He said some people tell him that he always looks angry – when instead, he is simply passionate about the subject he is talking about. I was chatting with a neighbor that I saw while shopping a couple of weeks ago, and said the only two real Conservatives were Santorum and Bachmann. She agreed, but said, “he looks so angry all the time.” I can relate to that because the same thing happens to me. I get very “intense” at times, and I think it might be seen as anger, or confrontational, when it is only passion, enthusiasm, and deep conviction, but never an attack on the person’s own position. I suggest the Senator just try to smile more as he educates America. I’ll try it myself.

On August 6, 2011 Stacy McCain was in Iowa and scored an interview with Senator Santorum. See the video here. In my blog on that interview, I said the following:

I’m on record saying I can support Rick Santorum’s political positions, fully. What a great and true conservative he is.

Santorum grabbed some early attention (at least mine) by declaring that the would meet Islamic Jihad head-on.

From my post Rick Santorum: Define It – Call It What It Is –  Jihad is Evil: Sharia Incompatible with American Jurisprudence, Constitution:

Former U.S. Senator, Rick Santorum (R-PA) has made a bold decision to campaign for the presidency by speaking the bald truth. He is known to do so regularly. Speaking at a New Hampshire Lincoln-Reagan dinner he “defined” terrorism – something our Department of Homeland Security still has not done – as “evil,” and “jihadism.” Santorum said Sharia Law is not compatible with America because of our Constitution, and made the point that a vast majority of Muslims living in the West want no part of Shariah Law, speculating their decision to leave their home country was likely due to living under Shariah Law.

In January I blogged Santorum’s appearance on Hannity with Al Sharpton. Rick tied life at conception, the Fourteenth Amendment and Barack Obama together. The Left stroked out. Find out why by clicking the link to the video interview below.

Santorum has a powerful set of inconvenient facts that he argues to Sharpton. Sharpton is faced with the fact that the Black population has been greatly reduced through abortion, almost by half.  At about 5 minutes in, it heats up. Sharpton does all he can to avoid the fact that Blacks kill their children at appalling rates.

Sean Hannity put some facts on the table: Black women have abortions 5 times that of Whites and twice that of Hispanics. Black women average 50 abortions out of 1000 pregnancies, 28 out of 1000 for Hispanic women, and 11 abortions for White women out of 1000 pregnancies. More heat at about 11 minutes in (see the video here)…

He is considering a run for President in 2012. I would love to see him move into the Oval or take his Senate seat back, if the presidency doesn’t work out. We need him either place. Rick, I encourage you to do so.

To end my excellent day with the opportunity to speak with Rick Santorum, I’ve added my notes on his answers as I live-blogged several of the debates. Be aware that I am not quoting the candidate, but giving my interpretation of the questions and answers, at least what I could get down before the next candidate began speaking. I’m sure I missed some salient points.

Spartanburg, South Carolina – Foreign Policy Debate – November 12, 2011:

SANTORUM: On stamina in Afghanistan. The Taliban is no longer a security threat. The issue now is Iran and nuclears. I’ve been working on Iran since 2004 and have proposed what Mitt and Newt has just proposed. I was opposed by Bush. We passed an act to support the opposition. Bush didn’t fund, and Obama cut it. We should be working with Israel to help them do what they did in Iran and Syria.

SANTORUM: I disagree with those wanting to cut foreign aid to Pakistan, out of caution that a situation will be created with their nuclear. They must be our friend. Engage them as a friend. We must retain a relationship. Keep a solid relationship. The Haqqani Network works against the government of Pakistan. Continue the aid relationship. The aid we send is mainly equipment, weaponry that creates jobs in the U.S. Much of the aid money stays in the U.S.

SANTORUM: My clear agenda: I will get people together who share my point of view. It will be crystal clear – our goals. I will follow through and will surround myself with people who will execute what we promised the American people. Iran must not get a nuclear weapon – No. 1 security, and covert activity. Scientists have been turning up dead, computer viruses have been shutting down Iran for a time. My focus is no nuclear Iran.

SANTORUM: I agree with Cain. Gitmo is essential. We have to use enhanced interrogation techniques. It has been proven successful. It is critical in the War against Terror. Using civilian courts is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. Terrorists do not have rights under our Constitution.

SANTORUM: What would you do about the vulnerability of nuclear weapons in Pakistan, where nukes are moved unsafely in non-containment vehicles, with insurgents wanting to get their hands on those weapons? I would be working with the intelligence community within Pakistan. We have to have intelligence – human or other types of surveillance. We don’t cowboy this one. We don’t interdict a nuclear weapon without working with the Pakistanis.

Michigan Debate – Your Money, Your Vote – November 9, 2011 (paraphrased):

(Note, the Senator was given almost no time in this debate. In my live blog I said that he did not look good that evening – was a bit whiney, but with good reason, and “frustrated” would have been a better assessment. He was not welcomed into the discussion.)

SANTORUM: The tax rate is down for some sectors. Government has made us uncompetitive through regulations. We must repeal ObamaCare. We must send a clear message that America will compete. I want an atmosphere of lower taxes, zero tax if you repatriate back to the U.S. We must produce energy here and cut all subsidies.

SANTORUM: In 1992 I introduced the first health savings bill. I proposed a block grant in the 1990′s. I am for keeping the Government out of health care.

I didn’t get to talk about Housing. I was on the banking committee. I wrote the letter pleading to let us bring up putting curbs on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

SANTORUM: What can you offer to Democrats in exchange for ‘no tax increases?’ You build a foundation. If the Republicans are just about keeping the top rate lower, we have to have a plan for manufacturing. I’m picking one sector over others and I don’t care that the WSJ doesn’t like that. I’m picking manufacturing. Democrats and Republicans can agree with that.

Fox-Google Debate – September 22, 2011:

SANTORUM: Will support no public unions for the purpose of wages and benefits to be negotiated.

SANTORUM: The Department of Education does not serve the customer. The customer is the parent, who has the job of seeing to it that their children are educated.

SANTORUM: Says Perry is soft on immigration. Said Perry once suggested buying national health insurance between Mexico and the US.

SANTORUM: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Sexual preference should not be an issue, and there should be no discussion of heterosexual or homosexual. Keep it out of military policy.

At the end of the debate, the candidates were asked who on the stage they would pick for Vice President [with nothing binding – just one of those odd questions]: Newt refused to answer. Paul refused. Santorum picked Newt. Cain would pick Romney if he throws out his health care plan and adopts 9-9-9, but if not, he picks Newt. Can’t believe that. Romney? Huntsman picks Cain.

I am most grateful for the opportunity to speak to and listen to this most-worthy presidential candidate. Those on today’s conference call with the Senator: Lisa Graas at Catholic Bandita, Karen at The Lonely Conservative, Robert Stacy McCain at The Other McCain and The American Spectator, Andrea Shea King at The Radio Patriot, Pete at Da Tech Guy Blog and WCRN Radio, Steven Ertelt at Life News, Jill at Jill StanekSissy Willis at sisu and Riehl World View and moi, one of the many Okie bloggers, Maggie.

Linked at White House 2012 – a great place for news on individual candidates.

 

 

Posted by Maggie @ Maggie’s Notebook

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  • Great work Maggie … I agree with your views on both Santorum and Bachmann. But they have an up hill fight because it’s still a good ol’ boys club.

    • Carl, they do have an uphill battle. I think Santorum has a better chance – it’s that ‘female’ thingey against Bachmann.

  • I would like Santorum as a candidate (seems like fine person, Catholic like myself) if he had ANY charisma and hadn’t had his butt kicked by 20 pts last time he ran for office

    On top of that loser’s stigma- he also comes across like Todd and Wendy Whiner lol

    His chances lie between zero and none- imho

    • RR, I’m torn between choosing now, and waiting awhile, but I will wait and after Christmas (cause things are just too busy in December) will step-up the good news about the candidates. I want the person who can win, and I believe in miracles. From the chat with the Senator last night, he realizes that people perceive him as too intense. Maybe he can turn that around.

      I think he will be a great debater, and I look forward to his debate with Newt. The thing about Newt is, he brings in so many interesting facts to illustrate his point. In a debate on the economy, he will find a way to bring Robert E. Lee (just an example) or something from the country’s past. He is fascinating to listen to.

      I believe Santorum is just as clever as Newt, but Santorum comes from bottom line Conservatism. It’s fairly simple, read the Constitution (is my take on it). In the end, I will happily support either, but will begin making distinctions in the New Year.

  • I like Rick Santorum and agree that he is a true conservative. I think he would make a good president and would have no problem supporting him, if he wins the nomination.

    • LD, Santorum is the one candidate that I NEVER disagree with. I’ve listened to all of the arguments about how to handle Pakistan, and have to admit, I don’t know the best way, but in the end Rick gets it right, I think.

    • Sergio Vieira

      Just watched another republican debate
      -finally decided that Rick Santorum is by far the best candidate.
      His only faults that I can find is he wants to Cut the corporate income tax from 35% to 17.5%. Too me, He should only cut the rates to 25-30%.

      He also wants to eliminate the corporate income tax for manufacturers from 35% to 0% . This goes way to far, cuts should be done to make americans more competitive, but it should remain at 25-30%.

      • Sergio, I just live-blogged the debate. I didn’t get all of the numbers Rick gave. Couldn’t type that fast. I’ll use yours, if you don’t mind.

        Rick Santorum is a true Conservative. Always has been. He’s a fine man. I would love to see him as president. I’m doubtful that he or Bachmann could get the moderate vote, but who knows. He is doing very, very well and he can be trusted to do what he says he will do.

        Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. If you want to see the live-blog of tonight’s debate, it is here. Live Blogging ABC Yahoo GOP Debate Iowa.

        • Maggie, saw the debate… one of the few I’ve been able to live, and I must say, the questions didn’t seem gottcha… except maybe the family values one.. for Newt. But I thought, all in all, it was a very good debate. They all showed any of them would make a great President.. Rick definatly shined tonight.

      • Sergio, I’ve heard that 17.5 rate before, from someone else… and the way they explained it. If you get the rate down to that or even 15.5 percent, then what happens, you appeal to foreign company’s and manufacturers, who’ll come here for that kind of rate. I think they do that in Ireland.. not sure on that, but seems that was the place, and they are doing bonkers on economy.. well whoever is doing it that low. Now that makes sense to me… really does. I may be wrong, but if I’m not.. OMG that would be a great job plan.

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  • Major score on your part Maggie.. Man I wish he was surging in the poles..

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  • Great coverage, Maggie! Unfortunately I was (apparently accidentally) excluded from participating in the conference call that I had been greatly looking forward to, but I did endorse Rick Santorum officially at my place because he is the strongest candidate against the islamic supremacists, the jihad and the sharia. Although I am disappointed to have not been able to participate, I am glad to see that Rick Santorum and his campaign recognize the importance of Conservative new media, unlike most of the other candidates.

    • Zilla, oh, so sorry that something fell through the cracks for you on this call. I haven’t ‘endorsed’ yet, but I am trying to support the candidates I really like. As I explained to Reaganite Republican, I’m waiting and watching. Santorum and Bachmann have always been my first choice, with Rick being first.

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