Rick Santorum: Ron Paul “Looking for a Platform Fight”

default
127
INTERACTIONS
Credit: Salon.com

In light of former Senator Rick Santorum’s recent comments on ABC’s This Week, it is clear GOP social conservatives are becoming increasingly worried about the presence, and power, of Dr. Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention. In the case of a divided Republican Party, if Governor Mitt Romney is going to have to choose between Dr. Paul and Sen. Santorum in Tampa, he has to go with Dr. Paul.

In an earlier posting by IVN, we pointed out that at some point Gov. Romney was going to have to deal with the Paul vs. Santorum/Gingrich forces within the national Republican Party in terms of determining what will come out of Tampa. This issue has come to the surface because Rick Santorum said Sunday that he was concerned Ron Paul supporters were “looking for a platform fight” at the party convention in Tampa.

“I like the platform that we have right now,” said Santorum on ABC’s This Week. “I’m concerned that Ron Paul and some of his supporters out there are looking for a platform fight. And I want to make sure that we have strong, principled conservatives there who stood with me in our primary fight to go there and counterbalance the effect of the Paul folks.”

Sen. Santorum also stated that he was trying to get his “volunteers” elected as delegates to the Tampa GOP convention in August. If he is trying to get delegates elected, that train left the station in Louisiana.

The former Pennsylvania senator correctly pointed out the current battle, a war if you will, for the future of the Republican Party. If this truly is a war, then Sen. Santorum has a very weak hand, bringing a pocket knife to a gun fight, while the Ron Paul Campaign arrives with heavy weapons and air support. In order to go to war, you have to have an army and in this case an army of delegates for Sen. Santorum has never existed. There was a reason that the Romney campaign repeatedly noted that the Santorum campaign was not ready for prime time. Sen. Santorum’s comments on Sunday show that again. Romney’s people have never said that about the Paulites.

Sen. Santorum’s recent comments once again showed why he is not ready for a national campaign. The reason Sen. Santorum lost the race, most notably the critical Michigan primary, was that voters of his faith, particularly Catholic women, decisively rejected him. Had he done better with own base he would have won Michigan, resulting in a chance to win Ohio, and the Republican primary would look like a completely different race right now. He lost those voters because they do not like being dictated to, particularly by Sen. Santorum, and yet he continues to overstate his influence.

Last week, stating the obvious, Dr. Paul indicated while he would not be able to gain the GOP nomination, he would have at least 500 delegates in Tampa. That 500 delegate number may in fact be a low figure. As many elected politicians have noted, 90% of successful politics is showing up. Whatever one may want to say about the Dr. Paul’s supporters, the troops came ready to play. They have continually showed organizational discipline unmatched by any of the former Republican contenders. This includes Sen. Santorum, whose presidential campaign continually showed a lack of grassroots organization that ultimately crippled the operation. Remember there were only two candidates on the Virginia ballot: Gov. Romney and Dr. Paul.

As IVN has noted before, due to the Republican allocation rules a candidate does not generally choose his or her delegates. Instead, these delegates are chosen in a more involved process where delegates are selected discreetly in a convention setting. It is now general knowledge the Romney campaign’s strategy relies on state conventions – not the candidates themselves – choosing the candidate’s “pledged” delegates.

While these allocation systems maybe stupid and cynical, state conventions choosing delegates and other new Republican National Committee rules were pressed for by the Romney campaign. They knew under the previous rules, Gov. Romney would likely be at a severe disadvantage. However it is now June and all signs point to the Paul campaign taking full advantage of these rather bizarre new changes.

The folly of Sen. Santorum’s effort was shown once again in Arkansas. Arkansas is a convention “binding” process to the primary winner and held its convention over the weekend to award 36 “bound” delegates. While all the delegates are pledged to the statewide winner, the Paulites won 6 of the 12 congressional district chosen delegates and elected 2 sympathizers. The Romney campaign will probably make sure all of the 21 at-large delegates are Gov. Romney loyalists.

Sen. Santorum claims in fact that he has 267 pledged delegates. The Green Papers suggest he has 251, at most. While the media claim that Dr. Paul has less than 200, the numbers tell a different story. In fact, in recent primaries Santorum is actually getting fewer votes than Dr. Paul. Accepting that 251 number as accurate, how many of those delegates are in fact “his”?

Sen. Santorum has at most – and that is being generous – 196 delegates. They are as follows: Alabama [23], Colorado [6], Hawaii [5], Illinois [12], Kansas [33], Mississippi [13] (Maybe), Missouri [13], North Carolina [6], North Dakota [6], Ohio [25], Pennsylvania [3], Tennessee [29], Washington State [1], West Virginia [2], and Wyoming [2]. He may have another 15 scattered elsewhere. On the other hand, in Alaska where he was awarded “pledged” delegates, he actually has none. In Louisiana, where he was awarded “pledged” delegates, he has none. In Michigan, where he claims to have 14 delegates, he has none. Of those 14, Gov. Romney has six and Dr. Paul eight. In Nevada, he has “pledged delegates” but in reality, none.

Sen. Santorum has to face reality: Gov. Romney probably has to side with the Paulites given the hard realities of the upcoming Convention. This was, in fact, signaled by Speaker Gingrich. Whatever one may say about Speaker Gingrich he is not stupid and managed to amass 131 delegates. Because Speaker Gingrich won the vast bulk of his delegates in the South and because the South has a very high percentage of states where candidates actually pick their delegates, he controls at least 115 of his 131 delegates

In that regard, the Paulites also have to face reality. Many of the Paul supporters confuse the Ron Paul Myth with the Ron Paul Reality. Moreover, the Paulites are blind to the fact that they helped pave the way for Gov. Romney’s nomination. In many ways the Paul campaign was indispensable to the Romney campaign.

In a number of states, Dr. Paul’s presence cut the duel Santorum-Gingrich social conservative wing off at the knees. Dr. Paul increased overall Republican turnout which in turn decreased the Santorum-Gingrich percentage of the vote. Gov. Romney, as a result, either got delegates he otherwise would not have gotten or delegates that would have gone to Sen. Santorum went to Dr. Paul instead. In a number of caucus states the Paulites denied Santorum critical delegate numbers. In the process, the Paulites in effect dried up Sen. Santorum’s financial base due to a perceived lack of momentum.

On March 3rd, Washington State held its caucuses and supporters of Dr. Paul actually had more participants than Sen. Santorum’s people. The net result was that it changed the entire methodology of the delegate selection process. Had so many Paulites not been there, the Santorum supporters probably would have been on track to win 15-16 delegates. Instead, Sen. Santorum ended up with one delegate in Washington State.

Sen. Santorum urged his supporters at the Washington State Republican Convention to support the Romney slate as a means to punish Dr. Paul supporters. The day before the convention proceedings began, Sen. Santorum delivered a video message urging supporters to back Gov. Romney. The end result was that the “Romney Slate” of delegates from Washington State to the National Convention in Tampa includes some Sen. Santorum supporters. The defunct Sen. Santorum campaign stated after the fact, “These delegates will ensure that our conservative values will be heard in Tampa and continue to influence the party for years to come.” The final amount of Sen. Santorum supporters who end up being in the Washington delegation remains to be seen. In those states where there are large numbers of LDS members, the Romney forces have had the organizational muscle to control the delegate selection process. It so happens that Washington State was one of those states.

At the end of the day, Gov. Romney has to side with the Dr. Paul on seating delegates. The allocation rules were the Romney camp’s idea even though Dr. Paul has benefitted most. The moment delegate allocations come into question the entire delegate allocation structure is thrown into chaos. The national media loves chaos and Dr. Paul supporters are good at controlling chaos.

Sen. Santorum only has two options. First, he can release his delegates. They will immediately be able to vote for whomever they want. Many of them will go to Dr. Paul or Gov. Romney. The second option is Sen. Santorum refuses to release his delegates, creating the potential for a second ballot in which case all delegates are released and vote their conscience. In that scenario, Gov. Romney still wins and it also randomly empowers Speaker Gingrich. But, a premature release of delegates gives Dr. Paul the five states needed to be placed in nomination.

What makes Sen. Santorum paranoid and provokes the kind of reaction he had on Sunday, is the possibility of his wing of the Republican Party losing influence. Gov. Romney’s nomination is revolting enough to social conservatives. Worse yet is Dr. Ron Paul, with his views and unconventional appeal, having an army of delegates at the Republican National Convention in August. Whatever the binding effect has on candidates and their delegates, one thing to keep in mind is that no delegate to the Republican National Convention is bound in any way to any candidate’s position on issues, or their vice presidential nominee. That means Paul’s 500, or more, delegates can vote any way they want and thereby threaten to eclipse the social conservative wing – and that is what has Sen. Santorum petrified.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


Learn More About IVN

Leave a Comment
  1. Kerry Deaton Sanitorium is a Neocon. Good riddance to him from this prez race. Mitt for brains is a big-govt. Statist. I'm voting for Gary Johnson!
  2. Joe Scott Paul and Santorum apparently refuse to admit their irrelevance, and continue to be delusional in thinking that they have any power to alter the course steered by the people behind Romney. Good luck.
  3. Gary Bolieu RON ALL THE WAY
  4. Tina Vilches Go away....
  5. Daryl Cimat Northrop Awwww....the crazies are getting put back into the basement....
  6. ronpaulkicksass "The binding of delegates is illegal under 42 USC § 1971 – Voting Rights and 11 CFR 100.2 – Election (2 U.S.C. 431(1)), and the GOP must be held accountable and unbind the bound delegates as per the law." http://hamliniannewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/presidents-statement-on-election-fraud-remedy-and-lawyers-for-ron-paul-civil-suit/
  7. Bill Goodwin Mr. Santorum, exactly what parts of our Constitution don't you like? What part of liberty don't you like? Why should individuals and states be controlled by an overgrown bully called the federal government? Ron Paul's platform is quite basic - follow the Constitution, personal liberty trumps federal meddling, states' rights prevail over federal mandates, and government needs to shrink. Again, sir, what is wrong with our Constitution?
  8. danlomeli This annoys me that "creditable" news sources are unable to understand that only a the current governor of the state is properly titled "Governor". Romney holds no public office. Ron Paul on the other hand is a 12-term and current member of congress and his proper title is "Congressman". Others may argue that governor is a title for life and they are wrong. That right is only reserved to presidents of the United States.
  9. Thomas it's not Ron Paul that Mittens needs to worry about. We don't belong to Ron Paul. That is what a lot of the MSM does not seem to comprehend. We represent freedom and liberty. If Ron didn't even show up at the convention and demanded that all of his delegates vote for Romney it still would not happen. An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government (or any political party for that matter).
  10. jeremyhawk Just STFU Santorum. Just shut-up already...
17 comments
Kerry Deaton
Kerry Deaton

Sanitorium is a Neocon. Good riddance to him from this prez race. Mitt for brains is a big-govt. Statist. I'm voting for Gary Johnson!

Joe Scott
Joe Scott

Paul and Santorum apparently refuse to admit their irrelevance, and continue to be delusional in thinking that they have any power to alter the course steered by the people behind Romney. Good luck.

Bill Goodwin
Bill Goodwin

Mr. Santorum, exactly what parts of our Constitution don't you like? What part of liberty don't you like? Why should individuals and states be controlled by an overgrown bully called the federal government?

Ron Paul's platform is quite basic - follow the Constitution, personal liberty trumps federal meddling, states' rights prevail over federal mandates, and government needs to shrink.

Again, sir, what is wrong with our Constitution?

danlomeli
danlomeli

This annoys me that "creditable" news sources are unable to understand that only a the current governor of the state is properly titled "Governor". Romney holds no public office. Ron Paul on the other hand is a 12-term and current member of congress and his proper title is "Congressman". Others may argue that governor is a title for life and they are wrong. That right is only reserved to presidents of the United States.

Thomas
Thomas

it's not Ron Paul that Mittens needs to worry about. We don't belong to Ron Paul. That is what a lot of the MSM does not seem to comprehend. We represent freedom and liberty. If Ron didn't even show up at the convention and demanded that all of his delegates vote for Romney it still would not happen. An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government (or any political party for that matter).

jeremyhawk
jeremyhawk

Just STFU Santorum. Just shut-up already...

william d decker
william d decker

only dr ron paun would be realchang romney sounds like establishment?? im 72 and it looks ridged

siteunseen
siteunseen

Paul's faction is not over-the-top crazy anti-conservative. It consists of a lot of the young generation, but a vast majority of Paul's supporters are sick of the overspending, and unbalanced budgets, federal reserve bankrupters, and fiscal irresponsibility, and want obamacare trashed. Santorum is an "insider" and he doesn't want to CHANGE the platform to what? He doesn't want fiscal restraints? Doesn't want Lobbyists to cease paying Senators under the table and desist this crony corporatism which is killing american enterprize? Santorum should just button his mouth. He's too stupid to speak.

dreamtime
dreamtime

Since Santorum came on the national scene I have not read one positive blog about him. Who voted for this guy? Everyone I know hates. him.

saradevine
saradevine

Hate, hate, hate Rick Santorum. A more self-important, self-righteous toad has never existed. Even Newt Gingrich is more likable. That people could vote for him when there was a guy like Ron Paul in the race pretty much sums up what is wrong with this country.

Corey
Corey

Santorum is the opposite of someone that should be in our congress, or in our government, or in our presidency. He's oblivious, a bigot, and is just like the rest of our government that has NO value for individual liberty, or the constitution. I would NEVER vote for him, for anything.

brandon
brandon

Yeah Santorum wants to MAKE SURE that we stay in foreign wars and stay in debt. What a brilliant politician...