OK Rush: You Own Santorum Surge

A strong case could be made that Rick Santorum owes much of the credit for his recent surge to Rush Limbaugh -- whether Rush wants that credit or not.  Events of this past week seem to indicate that Senator Santorum would concur.  In the past few days his campaign has wisely exploited some of Rush's words and they are proudly featuring them everywhere. 

The implication -- if not the explicit language -- is that Rush prefers Santorum to either Newt or Mitt. 

And beyond doubt, there are a couple of show segments which could fairly be interpreted just that way.  And it may be true for all I know.

Which begs the question, if Rush is not endorsing Santorum, will he sit by and allow Santorum to use snippets of his show to lend that impression?  It also begs the question about how thoroughly Rush has checked Santorum out -- given the unusual disparity between the reality of Santorum and what Rush has said about the former Senator.

I submit that upon further review, Rush might not really want ownership of this fast rolling train.

Now to be clear, Rush has not overtly endorsed Santorum or anyone and has expressly said many times that he will not do so.  A review of his show will verify that he has had various segments that were friendly to Newt Gingrich and at times to Mitt Romney as well as his positivity for Santorum.  Meanwhile, Rush has been -- consistent with Limbaugh doctrine of many years -- critical of both Newt and Mitt on numerous occasions.  In fact he has criticized Mitt's moderate moments for many months. 

What he has expressly not said -- in addition to anything positive that I can recall about Ron Paul -- is anything negative about Santorum.  In addition to this, Rush has let it be known that his personal email universe favors Santorum -- as does his brother David.  And these are the three salient points.  These three nuances clearly separate the treatment of Santorum on his show from the treatment of Newt and Mitt.  With The Politico and many others obsessively searching for little word clues about who "the most important voter in Florida" supports -- this is a trail of bread crumbs that is not too hard to follow to a certain conclusion.

People are curious of course because Rush has earned this kind of influence with 23 years of spot on analysis.  And while he makes light of the intense curiosity around his choice, he and all of us know it really does matter.  This is especially true for an underdog candidate needing gravitas and legitimacy more than a better known figure might.

Wisely, Santorum's campaign has jumped on what Rush has said and they are blatantly featuring it on their campaign website, in stump speeches and on internet pop-up ads that are now everywhere.  They are connecting the breadcrumb dots with numerous Rush excerpts including this one:

"...as I've been saying the past couple of weeks, if you're looking for a conservative who is the least corrupted, who has the least number of periods of wandering off the reservation, if you're looking for a conservative who's never sat down with Nancy Pelosi on the couch for any reason, you get Rick Santorum.  And people know this."

Let me translate: According to Rush's (unusually incomplete) analysis -- Rick really is the 'true conservative in the race' as he claims and he has not wandered astray -- not like Newt has.  So if you're looking for the real non-Romney, it's Santorum.

Now this is stunning to me, because there is a considerable amount in Santorum's career that smacks of the very type of Republicanism that Rush openly lampoons -- an establishment  'look at me I can be a good moderate too' type of candidate or office holder.  Then there's the play to support Arlen Specter by Santorum.  That was the consummate Trent Lott type insider tool move normally so despised by Rush. In fact, Rush did not like it at the time.

In addition, Santorum's own literature from the 06 campaign is left of John McCain and Olympia Snowe on a lot of issues.  In fact, he brags about working with McCain on Campaign Finance -- and he claims a lead role in fighting for increasing the minimum wage - and a lead role in so called clean energy funding and public school funding.

Has Rush missed this? Is it possible? Didn't I just hear Rush excoriate Mitt for the minimum wage for example?

Which is only half the rub anyway.  No one in either the Romney or Gingrich campaigns has ever played the sanctimonious purity card that has been the centerpiece of Santorum's 'look at me' campaign.  It is Santorum himself who has set a higher bar for himself with regard to the 'no candidate is perfect' meme.  I totally agree with that by the way, but it is Santorum who has claimed -- with respects to conservatism -- a kind of unique perfection in this race.  

Besides, for all of Newt's ideological dalliances, most are simply arena ideas and not actually part of his legislative record or a focus of his campaign.  Santorum's are both.  This is very important.

Normally we hear these kinds of nuances from noon to three eastern time.  That's why we love those three hours each day. 

Which is why this is so confusing.  In 2008, the candidate who talked the most and the loudest about the social issues was Mike Huckabee.  With that focus, he was incorrectly labeled as a true conservative by many.  Huck's record on many other issues belied false notion however, and Rush was among those distinctly not falling for it. 

Which is why I am puzzled that Rush obviously thinks Santuckabee -- er Santorum -- is the purest conservative in the field.  Upon review, that is not an opinion I would want to own.

C. Edmund Wright is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and is currently a copy-writer and consultant for Winning Our Future, a PAC supporting Newt Gingrich and other conservative causes.

A strong case could be made that Rick Santorum owes much of the credit for his recent surge to Rush Limbaugh -- whether Rush wants that credit or not.  Events of this past week seem to indicate that Senator Santorum would concur.  In the past few days his campaign has wisely exploited some of Rush's words and they are proudly featuring them everywhere. 

The implication -- if not the explicit language -- is that Rush prefers Santorum to either Newt or Mitt. 

And beyond doubt, there are a couple of show segments which could fairly be interpreted just that way.  And it may be true for all I know.

Which begs the question, if Rush is not endorsing Santorum, will he sit by and allow Santorum to use snippets of his show to lend that impression?  It also begs the question about how thoroughly Rush has checked Santorum out -- given the unusual disparity between the reality of Santorum and what Rush has said about the former Senator.

I submit that upon further review, Rush might not really want ownership of this fast rolling train.

Now to be clear, Rush has not overtly endorsed Santorum or anyone and has expressly said many times that he will not do so.  A review of his show will verify that he has had various segments that were friendly to Newt Gingrich and at times to Mitt Romney as well as his positivity for Santorum.  Meanwhile, Rush has been -- consistent with Limbaugh doctrine of many years -- critical of both Newt and Mitt on numerous occasions.  In fact he has criticized Mitt's moderate moments for many months. 

What he has expressly not said -- in addition to anything positive that I can recall about Ron Paul -- is anything negative about Santorum.  In addition to this, Rush has let it be known that his personal email universe favors Santorum -- as does his brother David.  And these are the three salient points.  These three nuances clearly separate the treatment of Santorum on his show from the treatment of Newt and Mitt.  With The Politico and many others obsessively searching for little word clues about who "the most important voter in Florida" supports -- this is a trail of bread crumbs that is not too hard to follow to a certain conclusion.

People are curious of course because Rush has earned this kind of influence with 23 years of spot on analysis.  And while he makes light of the intense curiosity around his choice, he and all of us know it really does matter.  This is especially true for an underdog candidate needing gravitas and legitimacy more than a better known figure might.

Wisely, Santorum's campaign has jumped on what Rush has said and they are blatantly featuring it on their campaign website, in stump speeches and on internet pop-up ads that are now everywhere.  They are connecting the breadcrumb dots with numerous Rush excerpts including this one:

"...as I've been saying the past couple of weeks, if you're looking for a conservative who is the least corrupted, who has the least number of periods of wandering off the reservation, if you're looking for a conservative who's never sat down with Nancy Pelosi on the couch for any reason, you get Rick Santorum.  And people know this."

Let me translate: According to Rush's (unusually incomplete) analysis -- Rick really is the 'true conservative in the race' as he claims and he has not wandered astray -- not like Newt has.  So if you're looking for the real non-Romney, it's Santorum.

Now this is stunning to me, because there is a considerable amount in Santorum's career that smacks of the very type of Republicanism that Rush openly lampoons -- an establishment  'look at me I can be a good moderate too' type of candidate or office holder.  Then there's the play to support Arlen Specter by Santorum.  That was the consummate Trent Lott type insider tool move normally so despised by Rush. In fact, Rush did not like it at the time.

In addition, Santorum's own literature from the 06 campaign is left of John McCain and Olympia Snowe on a lot of issues.  In fact, he brags about working with McCain on Campaign Finance -- and he claims a lead role in fighting for increasing the minimum wage - and a lead role in so called clean energy funding and public school funding.

Has Rush missed this? Is it possible? Didn't I just hear Rush excoriate Mitt for the minimum wage for example?

Which is only half the rub anyway.  No one in either the Romney or Gingrich campaigns has ever played the sanctimonious purity card that has been the centerpiece of Santorum's 'look at me' campaign.  It is Santorum himself who has set a higher bar for himself with regard to the 'no candidate is perfect' meme.  I totally agree with that by the way, but it is Santorum who has claimed -- with respects to conservatism -- a kind of unique perfection in this race.  

Besides, for all of Newt's ideological dalliances, most are simply arena ideas and not actually part of his legislative record or a focus of his campaign.  Santorum's are both.  This is very important.

Normally we hear these kinds of nuances from noon to three eastern time.  That's why we love those three hours each day. 

Which is why this is so confusing.  In 2008, the candidate who talked the most and the loudest about the social issues was Mike Huckabee.  With that focus, he was incorrectly labeled as a true conservative by many.  Huck's record on many other issues belied false notion however, and Rush was among those distinctly not falling for it. 

Which is why I am puzzled that Rush obviously thinks Santuckabee -- er Santorum -- is the purest conservative in the field.  Upon review, that is not an opinion I would want to own.

C. Edmund Wright is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and is currently a copy-writer and consultant for Winning Our Future, a PAC supporting Newt Gingrich and other conservative causes.

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