Will Ideas or Money be the Key to Victory in 2012?

Thoughts on the Romney-Santorum battle for the Republican nomination

Illinois Sheriff: Santorum Is Competitive Because ‘He’s the Real Deal’

In Illinois, Rick Santorum was hugely outspent—10-1 throughout the state and 21-1 in Chicago. In the face of this fiscal challenge, a Lake County sheriff said why he supports Santorum:

“Santorum is being outspent 10-1, he is being destroyed in misleading ads, but he’s still there. Why? Because when people meet him, they see he’s the real deal, his authenticity.” –Sheriff Mark Curan (find the quotation here).

Sowell: Romney’s Money Advantage Will Mean Nothing in General Election

Thomas Sowell, the always insightful economist and political philosopher, warns Republicans about the dangers of a Romney nomination:

“In the general election, President Obama will have all the advantages against Romney that Romney currently has against his Republican rivals. … And the mainstream media will give Obama more publicity than Romney can buy. How does anyone ever defeat a sitting president then? They do it because they have a message that rings and resonates. … The question is not which Republican looks better against Barack Obama in the polls today, before the general election campaign begins. The question is which Republican can take the fight to Barack Obama, as Reagan took the fight to Carter, and win the poll that ultimately matters, the vote on Election Day.” –Thomas Sowell

Bill Kristol says Romney’s rhetoric is pretty hollow. Just when the nation needs someone to bring us back to Constitutional principles, after four years of President Obama’s gross disregard for limited government, we need a candidate who can articulate the ideas of freedom. But Romney instead speaks in hackneyed, and empty, phrases about how the business of America is business, how we need to “believe in America again.” Is that the rhetoric needed to restore the idea of limited government in America?

It’s not just about business, as important as that is: People shed their blood for higher things. And as Santorum has said, Big Business too often colludes with Big Government to restrict the freedom and flourishing of the people.

Kristol writes:

“Watching Mitt Romney’s victory speech in Illinois didn’t reassure me about his chances against President Obama. (Watch it yourself [29:23] to see if I’m being unfair.) Romney’s remarks consisted basically of the claim that the business of America is business, that he’s a businessman who understands business, and that we need “economic freedom” not for the sake of freedom but to allow business to fuel the economy.”

Read the rest of Kristol’s comments here (less than a page/397 words).

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