Rick Santorum Calls Out Big GOP Donors for “Truce Strategy”

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Rush Limbaugh is not the only one finally noticing what American Principles in Action pointed out a year ago: a donor driven truce strategy on social issues is a pathway to political defeat.

Rick Santorum targeted the Republican donor class Monday, blaming them for a failed “truce strategy” that has muzzled Republican candidates on abortion, even when Democrats are at a clear disadvantage:

“The establishment has decided we shouldn’t be talking about these issues,” Santorum said. “We should just simply play defense.”

He asked the room of about 40 if anyone knew when Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois he voted for a bill, which legalized partial-birth abortion.

According to Santorum, Obama spoke on the floor of the Illinois senate before voting for the bill, which said children who are born prematurely can be killed before they are 40 weeks old.

“Not one of our candidates mentioned that. You think that might be an issue he would have a hard time defending?” Santorum said about the 2012 race. “But what happened, I guarantee you, is all of the people in the Republican Party would say shut up about it. Don’t talk about this or you’re not going to get my money.”

Santorum also denounced the culture in the Senate and media that allows leadership to push aside anyone who shows too much interest in social issues, citing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s surrender on Planned Parenthood as the latest example:

“I’ve been out here on the front lines on all of these issues for a long time. And do you know where that gets you?” Santorum asked. “That gets you put at the kids table. That gets you the ‘oh he’s just a social conservative’.”

Santorum said he’d test his knowledge on national security with anyone in the race but the press will never talk about it because he will always be the ultra-conservative pro-life guy.

“I’m just going to tell you this is what happens, this is why you get betrayed all the time,” Santorum said. “Because people are all well-meaning and whatever, but when push comes to shove they get pushed and you get shoved.”

Santorum makes a good point about a pro-life vacuum in leadership, and the latest shutdown crisis hints at major dissatisfaction in the base that could help someone like the 2012 runner-up win the nomination in 2016.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.