Arizona GOP Primary: Rick Santorum rally at El Zaribah Shrine

The entire political world has descended on Arizona for the GOP Debate and the ensuing primary. Senator Rick Santorum lit up the crowd at an evening event in Phoenix. Photo: @CPAC by Jacquie Kubin

PHOENIX, February 21, 2012 – The 2012 GOP race for the White House has gotten white hot, and Arizona is now ground zero. The evening before the critical presidential debate in Mesa, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum held a rally at the El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium in Phoenix.

The crowd was fairly small, with only about 200 people showing up. However, this is understandable given that the primary itself is still several days away. The crowd was electrified, as parents brought their children to hear a man with a deep, committed following that appears to be growing based on his rising national polls.  

Signs in the audience included, “Integrity Matters, not Media Matters” and “Got values?”

One thing that benefits Senator Santorum is that the liberal media despises him. Their behavior during the event left something to be desired.

One media person hoped that he would not campaign on Thursday so they could go to the Grand Canyon rather than cover him.

Some of the media refused to get out of their seats and put down their laptops for the Pledge of Allegiance. Those who did, did so very slowly. When the Star Spangled Banner was sung, most of them stood, but not one of them had their hands on their hearts.

Several of them refused to put down their laptops.

Yet this event (as all of them should be) was about the candidate, and Senator Santorum did not disappoint. One irony was that while his warmup speakers emphasized his social conservatism, he offered very little of that in his own lengthy remarks. His credentials on social issues are so well-established that he wanted to show that he is more than a social conservative. He succeeded.

“All I have in life, all I ever needed, is my wife Karen.”

He spoke about:

  • How he took on corruption while in Congress, from the check kiting scandal to the house post office scandal. 
  • He helped to usher in the first House Majority in 40 years in 1994.
  • He holds Town Halls with no teleprompters, no hidden speeches. For Senator Santorum this is an opportunity to meet people and hear what they think.
  • He is “someone who people can trust, someone who is authentic.”
  • Without mentioning names he criticized “structured candidates, commoditized candidates.” 
  • He made it clear that he would not allow the media to demonize him like they do all other conservatives, especially religious ones.
  • People should not worry about everything he says because “I’ll defend everything I say. “

Senator Santorum spoke from the heart about remarks made by Lach Walesa when he came to Chicago a couple of years ago. Quoting Walesa, he said “The world always looked to America to do the right thing.”

“Yes there are forces of evil in the world.”

“America would stand up and call evil by its name.”

“Ronald Reagan did that. He called the Soviet Union an Evil Empire and the media went wild.”

“He didn’t sugarcoat it. He told the truth.”

Yet Santorum also echoed Walesa’s deep lamentation over what has transpired in America since.

“America is no longer that voice and the world is a scarier place because of it.”

Santorum spoke of “Radical Islamists in Iran and around the world,” and asked the simple question of “Who are we, what do we stand for?”

Santorum is not backing down from Islamists or leftists.

“I get a kick out of the left when they attack conservatives and call us intolerant,” while pointing out that conservatives are the more tolerant compared to the intolerant left.

In lambasting President Obama, Mr. Santorum pointed out that: “He has alienated our friends to the point they don’t trust us and emboldened our enemies to the point they no longer fear us or respect us.”

“This is a man who is managing the decline of America as the dominant force in the world.” Santorum emphatically stated “That is not the kind of leader this country deserves.”

He called Israel “the true democracy in the Middle East,” speaking of  “our friend and steadfast ally, the U.K.”

He spent several minutes on Honduras, who tried to become a democracy until Barack Obama got in the way and sabotaged this chance. It was an “egregious act, the way we treated a small country in Central America…you don’t hear about that.”

“Do you understand what signals our country is sending around the world about respect for liberty?” He echoed the same sentiments concerning human rights.

“Obama sided with two- bit dictators in Cuba and Venezuela” over Honduras trying to become a democracy.

He pointed out that the Iran threat is not just about Israel. It threatens “the economic security and stability of the world.”

Rick Santorum forcefully pointed out that what this country has always stood for is believing in free people, free markets, small businesses, and the opportunity to achieve in America under limited government.

“That is what is at stake in this election.”

He mentioned that every aspect of business, from financial services to farmers, contains uncertainty over what they are going to do next because of the current government.

There is a “coordinated effort to have government micromanage everything we do.”

In Barack Obama’s world, we need higher gas prices because he was concerned about global warming. There is a “systematic plan in place by this President to reduce drilling of oil and gas in America.” He shut off deep water drilling, blocked ANWR, and prevented the building of the Keystone Pipeline. He mentions increasing production, but that is because hydraulic fracking in Ohio and Pennsylvania led to the increase in oil production.

He threatens to shut that down as well.

Our Natural gas prices are one-fifth what they are around the world.

Then taking an Obama metaphor and turning the tables, Santorum said that President Obama is:

  •  “He is driving the economy into the ditch through global regulation and government control.”
  • “What is he doing to the young people?” The answer is saddling them with “five trillion in new debt.”
  • “We are only just a little bit behind Europe” in terms of austerity measures.

After delivering the bad news, Santorum offered some optimism that had the crowd cheering with approval.

“With all these problems comes a great opportunity.”

“America is struggling because we have a President who doesn’t understand the greatness of our country.”

He quoted Barack Obama on entitlements when he said that “America was not a great country until these commitments.”

Referencing the Comedy Central show “The Simpsons,” Santorum said regarding Obama that “He thinks we are all a bunch of Homers.”

The crowd went ballistic when Santorum said that “We are a great country because we were founded as a great country.”

Mentioning his modest way of living, he said “I do my own taxes.”

“We can reinvigorate the private sector.” This would be done by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% in half to 17.5%.

On the economy, “We’re not the party of security and equal results.” We believe in creating an opportunity for people. Yet when we say it, “we have to mean it.”

He supports a 0% tax on manufacturers. Some say this creates an uneven playing field. Yet unlike most other businesses, manufacturers compete with Mexico, India, Indonesia.

“They want that wealth creation in their country and understand the strategic importance of having stuff made here.”

On foreign policy, Radical Islamists, Russia, and China all want us to have less influence. Having those countries make us dependent on them hurts us. This is a threat “not just to economic security, but national security.”

On healthcare, he proudly pointed out that he “was the original author of Health Savings Accounts.” He worked with John Kasich on it twenty years ago. He ran for the Senate against and defeated a supporter of Hillarycare.

“I haven’t been for bailouts. I was not for the bailouts of Wall Street or Detroit.” He was there last week in Detroit and told the people that.

“There is only one way we will win this election. Barack Obama will have the money and the media on his side. Yet someone with ‘less money, better ideas, sharper contrasts, good grassroots energy, who can win swing states’ and manufacturing states, can win if they ‘make Obama the issue in this race.’”

Thunderous applause from the crowd followed. 

Senator Santorum mentioned that he had a lifetime A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, and was surprised that there was “not one question in twenty debates about the Second Amendment. He spoke of the 5-4 vote on the Heller case that barely preserved the Second Amendment.

A hypothetical Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led majority “means no right to bear arms.”

As for how he would unify the country, Senator Santorum began by lacing into the current Oval Office divider.

“What this president does, pitting straw man vs. straw man, one group against another…” Santorum would do what he has done throughout America which is talk to people, listen to them, and working on making improvements. “I believe it can happen.”

He would not be afraid to touch entitlements. “The third rail of American politics? I’ll ride that rail on a skateboard.” He spoke to an elderly group in the Villages in Florida about this and they supported him.

He was asked about his electability.

“I’ve run 5 times.”

“I represented the Steel Valley of Pittsburgh.”

Now they are “shells of steel mills, poverty, and hopelessness” under the current administration. 

His congressional district “had not elected a Republican since the Great Depression.”

“I got 60% when George W. Bush got 29%.

In 1994, he “beat a guy managed by James Carville.”

“All this time I am voting as a strong principled conservative.”

“I was the only conservative to win in a state George W. Bush lost.”

Senator Santorum briefly mentioned his primary opponent.

“Romney has run as a liberal, a  moderate, and a conservative.”

“He ran to the left of Ted Kennedy. Try getting there some day.”

“I ran as a conservative every time I ran.”

He mentioned that winning happens when you put Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana in play. This happens when people hear “a grandson of a coal miner talking about manufacturing.” This is a guy “who shares their values.”

He was asked how he would encourage more responsibility and less dependence on government.

“You can’t have limited government without strong families and strong communities in America.”

“Repeal Obamacare.”

He took pride years ago in that he debated with the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Santorum vigorously asserted that “poverty is not a disability.”

“Dependence is destructive to human nature.” It “Undermines the ability to rise in America.”

“Struggle is not a bad thing.”

“Allow people the dignity to succeed and fail.”

“Failure is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new world.”

Senatorum Santorum knows where he speaks. He lost badly in his 2006 Senate race, his only political loss. That year the GOP got wiped out everywhere. Yet six years later, he is now a top tier contender for the highest office in the land.

Win or lose, people know where he stands. His detractors can call him many things, and they do, but they never call him a liar. They can’t.

Because of his strong positions, he has become the target of left-wing hate activists. He was “glitter-bombed” in South Carolina, 24 inches from where I was standing. Now he has Secret Service protection, and his Arizona speech went off without the slightest incident of trouble.

In South Carolina, an illness on my part prevented me from shaking his hand. We did the “elbow bump.” This time he smiled when he saw me and a vigorous handshake and words of support were offered.

The best way to describe Rick Santorum is what virtually everybody in that Arizona school would say about him. While agreeing with him 100% of the time is not the case, trusting him is. When he speaks, people believe him.

On this evening, his earnestness and sincerity shined through.

Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.

Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.

Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS

Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.


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Eric Golub

Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger, author, public speaker, and comedian. His book trilogy is “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and  “Ideological Idiocy.” 

He is Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Judaism, and his MBA from USC. A stockbrokerage professional since 1994, he began blogging on March 11th, 2007, the three year anniversary of the Madrid bombings and the midpoint of 9/11. He has been inflicting his world view on his unfortunate readers since then. He blogs about politics Monday through Friday, and about football and other human interest items on weekends.

 

 

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