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Michelle Malkin: 'Santorum for President

"Rick Santorum represents the most conservative candidate still standing who can articulate both fiscal and social conservative values — and live them."

In an article titled “Rick Santorum for President," conservative authoress Michelle Malkin throws her support behind the former Pennsylvania senator.

Malkin argues that, of the remaining GOP candidates, Rick Santorum is the most conservative and she backs up her claim by citing his political record. However, lest she be written off as a shameless Santorum shill, she also points out that -- like the other GOP candidates -- he has his fair share of shortcomings.

Malkin begins by highlighting Santorum’s conservative credentials: his opposition to TARP, the fact that he didn’t “cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008,” that he is not among the GOP nominees (i.e. Romney and Gingrich) who supported the bailouts and he didn’t have to “obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now, like Rick Perry and Herman Cain did.”

Furthermore, Santorum "strongly opposed the auto bailout," the Freddie and Fannie bailout, the “porkulus” bills, and he “clearly and forcefully" opposed individual health care mandates.

He also voted against cap and trade in 2003, voted "Yes" to drilling in ANWR, and, unlike some GOP candidates, he never “dabbled with eco-radicals like John Holdren, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi,” as Malkin puts it.

“Santorum is strong on border security, national security, and defense. Mitt the Flip-Flopper and Open Borders-Pandering Newt have been far less trustworthy on immigration enforcement,” Malkin writes, “Santorum is an eloquent spokesperson for the culture of life. He has been savaged and ridiculed by leftist elites for upholding traditional family values — not just in word, but in deed.”

Another feather in his cap: unlike Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and the former Speaker of the House, Santorum hasn’t used, in the words of Malkin, “contemptible Occupier rhetoric” to attack Mitt Romney’s business record at Bain Capital.

However, as mentioned in the above, Santorum also has some shortcomings.

“As I’ve said all along, every election cycle is a Pageant of the Imperfects,” Malkin writes.

Santorum “lost his Senate re-election bid in 2006, an abysmal year for conservatives" and he was a "go-along, get-along Big Government Republican in the Bush era," according to Malkin.

"He supported No Child Left Behind, the prescription drug benefit entitlement, steel tariffs, and earmarks and outraged us movement conservatives by endorsing RINO Arlen Specter over stalwart conservative Pat Toomey,” Malkin continues.

“I have no illusions about Rick Santorum. I wish he were as rock-solid on core economic issues as Ron Paul,” she writes.

So, why isn’t she writing an article titled “Ron Paul for President”?

Because, according to Malkin, the Texas congressman is a “far-out, Alex Jones-panderer” on foreign policy, defense, and national security.

Malkin writes:

If Ron Paul talked more like his son, Rand Paul, about the need for common-sense profiling of jihadists at our State Department consular offices overseas and if he talked more about the need for strengthened visa screening and airport security scrutiny of international flight manifests, I might have more than a kernel of confidence that he would take post-9/11 precautions to guard against jihadi threats and protect us from our enemies foreign and domestic. But he doesn’t, so I can’t support Ron Paul.

What about Mitt Romney?

Mitt Romney has the backing of many solid conservatives whom I will always hold in high esteem — including Kansas Secretary of State and immigration enforcement stalwart Kris Kobach, former U.N. ambassacor John Bolton, and GOP Govs. Nikki Haley and Bob McDonnell. With such conservative advisers in his camp, Romney would be better than Obama. And a GOP Congress with a staunch Tea Party-backed contingent of fresh-blood leaders in the House and Senate will help keep any GOP president in line. Romney’s private-sector experience and achievements are the best things he’s got going. Only recently has he risen to defend himself effectively. But between his health care debacle, eco-nitwittery, and expedient and unconvincing political metamorphosis, Mitt Romney had way too much ideological baggage for me in 2008 to earn an endorsement — and it still hasn’t changed for me in 2012.

Should we even ask what she thinks of Newt Gingrich?

Then there’s Newt, who has long made a career out of trashing progressive Saul Alinsky while employing his tactics at every turn. I’ve been making this point for years and have chronicled his dalliances with leftists as long as anyone in the conservative blogosphere.

Many grass-roots conservatives were awakened to Newt’s double-talk and double-dealing during the NY-23 race. Inconvenient truth: Newt’s transgressions are not from decades ago. It’s not ancient history. It’s here and now. Readers of this blog know the truth: It’s not just “the GOP establishment” that’s repulsed by Gingrich’s combination of moral baggage and K Street/Beltway culture of corruption. It’s the very grass-roots that Gingrich’s cheerleaders purport to represent.

Lest we forget, this election is not about choosing a showboat candidate to run against John King or Juan Williams or Wolf Blitzer.

It’s not about “raging against” some arbitrarily defined GOP “machine.”

For many grass-roots conservatives across the country, Romney and Gingrich are the machine.

Therefore, given that two of the four remaining GOP candidates are, in her eyes, part of “the machine,” and that she finds Paul's stances on foreign policy and national security inadequate, this leaves her with one option: the former senator from Pennsylvania.

“Rick Santorum represents the most conservative candidate still standing who can articulate both fiscal and social conservative values — and live them,” Malkin writes.

One last thing…
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