Did Santorum Lose on Social Issues in 2012?

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In a story on Santorum’s kind words about Bruce Jenner, the Washington Examiner‘s political reporter Susan Ferrechio makes this very odd and embarrasing (to the Examiner) claim: “Santorum ran a vigorous presidential campaign in 2012 and belatedly won the Iowa caucus, but he was derailed in primary states, often after answering questions about social issues like gay marriage and abortion.”

The truth is Santorum was derailed by Romney’s blanketing the airwaves with negative ads like this one, which attacked him for being too liberal economically (voting to raise the debt ceiling, for example).  Unlike the Washington Examiner, the Romney campaign was not silly enough to imagine  that being a social conservative would hurt you in a Republican primary campaign.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at American Principles in Action.