Never too early to get ahead, right? The former US Senator from Pennsylvania is working the ground game in Iowa quietly trying to maintain a deep rapport with social conservatives ahead of the 2016 (!) Iowa caucus. Santorum, if you’ll recall, narrowly squeaked out a victory over Mitt Romney in the 2012 Iowa caucus.

Report from the Des Moines Register:

The 2016 Iowa caucus campaign is wide open for Republican presidential candidates, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum can’t claim frontrunner status despite his victory in the 2012 GOP caucuses, says U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.

“I wouldn’t consider anybody at this point to be a frontrunner,” Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said Wednesday in his weekly conference call with Iowa reporters.

Santorum hasn’t announced his intentions for the 2016 campaign, but he appears to be laying the groundwork for another presidential run. He is scheduled to return to Iowa in August for appearances at the Iowa State Fair and at an Aug. 8 fundraising dinner for the Lyon County Republican Party in northwest Iowa. On Aug. 10, Santorum is scheduled to speak in Ames at the Family Leadership Summit sponsored by the Iowa Family Leader, Citizens United, Heritage Action, and The National Organization for Marriage.

I think Santorum may have a tougher go of things in 2016 even compared to 2012. His hawkish foreign policy brand of conservatism isn’t so much in demand right now as displayed by the support being given to libertarian-leaning voices like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Santorum may be best suited to stick to the social issues which will surely be a hot-button debate among the GOP field in 2016. Do they abandon social issues and focus solely on the economy and growing government or are they all-in for the three legs of the Republican coalition stool?

36 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder what his gimmick will be this time around. Goodbye sweater vests – Hello robes trimmed with ermine (An Ermine sure does signify what Rick Santorum really is, LOL)

  2. Senator Santorum has been a strong voice for the average American and it’s great to see that people are recognizing the work he’s doing through Patriot Voices. Looking forward to 2016 and beyond!

  3. Rick Santorum may be all of the above but, from a Lady’s viewpoint, he is a flagrant hypocrite. Santorum entered the Senate as one of the least wealthy congressmen,He purchased a $2 million, 5,000 SF house in Great Falls, Virginia in 2007. It has 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, sits on 5 acres, and goes well with the 5 rental houses he had accumulated. In 2006, he received $500,000 from lobbyists, 40% more than the #2 recipient, George Allen. Universal Health Service paid Santorum $395,000 for his “insights” after he left the Senate, and appointed him to their Board of Directors. , Santorum bragged in 2006 that he had steered millions of dollars in earmarks to clients of American Continental Group, a lobbying firm. They gave him $14,000 that year in donations, and after he left office paid him $65,000 for “legislative policy consulting services.” Another firm he helped, Consol Energy, paid him $142,500 just in 2010 and 2011. This list goes on and on.

    Just had to add: Santorum talks endlessly about cutting government expenditures, and being self-reliant. While homeschooling his kids, he collected $73,000 in unwarranted tuition reimbursements from the Penn Hills Pennsylvania School District for an online charter cyber-school by using the address of a rental property– even though the family lived in Virginia.

    • The worst thing about Rick Santorum is that he is a dyed-in-the-wool Neocon. Neoconservatives are modern-day Nazis (and I don’t use that word lightly). Neocons adhere to the Principles of Hitler and Nazism when it comes to justifying war “supposedly” to protect the homeland, illegal sanctions and the removal of freedoms and liberties and invading countries that did nothing to them. These people truly believe that “the ends justifies the means” and that God and Jesus Christ are just fables and superstitions. They don’t believe in God or “His Ways” at all and they’ve “hijacked” Western Christianity, as well as Judaism in the nation of Israel (Zionism).

      Neocons are for Pre-emptive WARS of Aggression which are completely unconstitutional. Neocons are callous toward any human life that doesn’t agree with them. They condone the KILLING and MASS MURDER of innocent civilians including men, women, children and livestock through illegal droning and invading countries that did not do anything to threaten our National Security. They are “in-line” with the wealthy defense contractors and the “banksters” who COVET a countries natural resources and will create LIES and CONSPIRACIES to sway public opinion. Neocons will call anyone who disagrees with them “unpatriotic”, “liberal” and “anti-American”. They are evil and wicked to the core – and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

    • Tess, I was never a fan of Santorum, and still am not. But one thing I would like to point out (based on some assumptions, I admit). If Santorum paid school district taxes on a PA home, and if PA offers a legal way for a homeschool family to recoup those taxes, then I’d be all behind doing it. I have six children, all homeschooled from 1st through 12th grade, which makes 72 student-years that I have not cost the school system by using its resources, but nevertheless I paid a huge amount in taxes. I am not a fan of public schooling (“government day jail” is often a more appropriate term) and do not appreciate paying those taxes. Nevertheless, it is the state’s/city’s/district’s authority to have such schools and taxes if the electorate agrees. If those same bodies gave me an out, you can bet I’d take it. For the record, I do not believe the federal government has any right or responsibility to involve itself in public schooling, especially when it comes to taking taxpayer funds and sending it back to the school districts.

      • Neville: School taxes are to pay for public schools.

        When I was a kid, we were pretty poor. As the youngest, I never had “new” clothes, and somehow, we had leftovers more often than we had new meals. But my dad thought it was important to send us to Catholic school. So, yes, he paid “school taxes” to pay for public schools–AND he paid large tuition to put all three of us through 12 years of Catholic school.

        School taxes are to pay for public schools. It was fine for my parents to put a lot of the little money they had to put us into Catholic schools. It was their choice. But that doesn’t mean, as citizens, that they should not pay to support public schools. It’s a citizen’s duty–which also answer people who say they don’t have kids, so they shouldn’t have to pay school tax, at all. Well, you know, I hate war, so that would mean I wouldn’t have to pay the tax that goes to the military budget. Yeah, that would work. . . .

        I, for one, do NOT want my tax dollars siphoned out of the school budget to subsidize some nutcase who wants to keep his kids home and “teach” them freaky weird damned ideas. I mean, you can’t stop weirdos, but I don’t want my tax dollars turned into an anti-school entitlement for them.

          • Same thing. If you load up on assault weapons and say you can defend the country better than the Army, you still have to pay taxes for the army–and more importantly, I don’t want to have my taxes subsidize your weapons stash.

            • Got the stats that show Any one person can defend the country better. The law prohibits one even obtaining the weapons needed. No law prohibits you from possessing the knowledge needed to teach your kid. Hey I went to a Catholic school and it was free because the neighborhood was rich. Grade school that is.

            • Goethe seems to have turned this thing on its head. Despite the fact that I loathe public schools (with teachers doing things like demanding that students assent to their freaky weird teachings like a kilometer being longer than a mile, otherwise the student gets detention), I recognize that the local populace has the authority to direct the local government to set up such schools. I also recognize that the state have that same authority. I don’t like it, and I won’t participate in the schools. I don’t withhold my taxes anymore than I would withhold my taxes that paid for an unnecessary red light which serves more to bring in ticket revenue than it does to fix a traffic problem (yes, I’m talking about my town). But if they gave me a legal way to claim and get my school taxes back, you can bet I’d jump on it. For the record, I also want to abolish property taxes (at least in any form that amounts to the inability to truly own my property), but so far I have not refused to pay those taxes – I just want to see them go away.

              My last 3 sentences seem to have been missed. They were : “Nevertheless, it is the state’s/city’s/district’s authority to have such schools and taxes if the electorate agrees. If those same bodies gave me an out, you can bet I’d take it. For the record, I do not believe the federal government has any right or responsibility to involve itself in public schooling, especially when it comes to taking taxpayer funds and sending it back to the school districts.”

              While Billy is right that many home-schooled students perform far better than many public schooled students, that is of course not necessarily the case across the board. But I CAN tell you that I can often, in fact very often, walk up to a student and strike up a conversation and know within less than a minute whether they are from home school or public government school. The difference in demeanor, maturity of ideas and language, body language, clarity of logic, etc. can be absolutely astounding.

              Goethe, you should either start producing more public-schooled progeny or learn to live with the inevitable, that homeschoolers will soon RULE THE WORLD bwaahahahahaha 🙂 Several of my own children are already recognized statewide and nationally as public speakers and debaters, and some are already involved deeply in state-level politics. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 🙂 🙂 🙂

            • Billy: Yer not gonna twist this one. CLEARLY, I was saying IF one were to SAY you could do it wouldn’t make it so.

              And likewise, goody for your free schooling, but it’s also off-track. My point was that MY dad paid taxes to support the schools and CHOSE to pay extra NOT to use them.

              It seems that the “me generation” has really gone overboard. Want to have everything our way. My dad didn’t cry about supporting the schools, or the roads, or the bridges, or the city water system. He knew it was his responsibility for living here. We have a serious lack of sense of responsibility these days.

            • “serious lack of sense of responsibility these days” Like in Detroit. I noticed all the sidewalks are cut, all buses knell, all washrooms are handicap accessible , strict city code enforcement on the buildings and parking lots. The court houses are in great shape. I’d say the taxpayers were more than responsible. They even bought a few billion dollars in municipal bonds to to help the city over the hump. A real model city that all too many followed.

            • Billy: As usual, you’re all over the map. There is a page for Detroit, if you want to talk Detroit, but the comment is totally irrelevant here.

              We’re talking about whether people should pay taxes for schools if they don’t have kids in those schools. And should you be able to siphon off tax dollars if you want to set up a “school” in your living room.

              My point is that we have a responsibility to educate the next generations, which has nothing at all to do with Detroit. Maybe you should repost over there.

            • As 65% of property taxes are invested in public schools, the Detroit area being no exception, I’d say it was a piss poor investment. Maybe, just maybe we ought to try something else.

            • Goethe – If I may chime in …

              I fully understand what you and Billy are trying to say. You, Goethe, are making the point that it is our “responsibility” to pay for public education through taxation, because it benefits the ENTIRE Society as a whole. Billy, on the other hand, is making the point that cities like Detroit have been “irresponsible” and have mismanaged the Public Trust to educate their children because the RESULTS are that it has produced such a poor product. Because of these results, the “Tax” money has been deemed “wasted” on the public educational system. Public Education was once a great idea, (and maybe it still is) but power, control and greed have made the Public Educational institution a “playground for corruption” that the people “who are paying for it” are now DEMANDING Change! Your dad had the “means and resources” to opt-out of the Public Educational System and chose an alternative education for his children. That’s great! But people who don’t have those means and resources, BUT “who are paying taxes” are DEMANDING better! And there is much blame to go around and both of your points are valid.

              The “Players” in the “Government Controlled” Public School System:
              1) Government and Politicians
              2) Teachers Unions, Teachers and Administrators
              3) Parents and Students

              As Billy has tried to say that the Politicians are to blame for most of the mismanagement. The old adage “What the Government Pays For – It Gets!” – is just a flaming testament on how mismanaged Government “control” is over our educational system. For years and years, it has been deteriorating and NO ONE (repeat NO ONE) did anything to change the waste, fraud and abuse. NONE of THEM took into account the “value” of money or inflation – probably because they don’t understand it. NONE of THEM took into account the exponential function as it pertains to population, wages and salaries, cost-of-benefits and ever-rising costs in general – AGAIN probably because they don’t understand it. In essence, ALL the “Players” ALL decided to keep the status-quo because they WEREN’T QUALIFIED to deal with the problems that were staring them right in the face! They just kept playing the game “Kicking the Can Down the Road”. As we all know, the Politicians kept the status-quo for the purposes of re-election. The Teachers Unions, the Teachers and the Administrators kept the status-quo for their jobs and for self-preservation. The parents and the students “went along”, because they were fed all the promises and the propaganda. But the RESULTS speak for themselves and the parents, who are paying the taxes, are DEMANDING that something must change!

              The Teachers Unions are like the “Monkey and the nut”. If you cut a hole in a box, just big enough for the monkey to slip it’s hand in – the monkey will reach in and grab the nut, but the monkey’s fist won’t fit back out the hole. The monkey, because it is a monkey, will starve-to-death with the nut still clenched in it’s fist. Unions are the same way. They could CARE-LESS what happens to the Educational System because they “think” they are protected by contracts. However, Bankruptcy changes all that. If the Politicians have the “Political Will” (which most don’t), they will side with the taxpayer.

              So what’s happening? The taxpaying Parents are now realizing that NOTHING will change. Bankruptcy won’t change anything. The change in Politicians won’t change anything. And certainly the Unions won’t budge. They are doing what any “responsible” taxpaying parent would do. Enrolling their children in Alternative Education and also “fighting” to stop funding the FAILED Public School System.

    • Dave: I expected someone to answer you, so I lay back. Anyway, Santorum won the Iowa Caucus with 101. Paul had 85. But Paul’s showing was so good that it got a lot of the attention. Iowa/New Hampshire are a one-two punch. If Santorum had won there, he would have been in good shape–but he came in FIFTH. BUT Paul came in second again, adding to his status.

      I don’t think Paul had an outright win anywhere, but he had a strong showing everywhere, so some people say he really WON the most delegates going into the convention. There was a lot of juggling, rule changes, and outright theft by the GOP establishment to give Willard the nomination.

      Despite the claim by Grassley, the GOP tradition is to consider the top “also ran” as the “front runner” the next time out.

    • Yes, Dave, he did, by a long shot. The Iowa state delegation as well as the state party officials, all ended up overwhelmingly for Ron Paul. He also won a majority of delegates in Maine, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and several other states. The shenanigans that ensued in order to get his delegates declared unacceptable at the GOP Nat’l Convention read like Peyton Place, Dallas, General Hospital, etc. all thrown together into one script. Louisiana, Nevada, it was an astounding showing by someone that the old guard continues to label as a “fringe candidate”.

  4. No, he is NOT better than most of our elected officials.
    I my opinion, he is a social conservative who is NOT a conservative in other areas.
    His track record in Congress is abysmal! Look it up yourself.
    Like Obama, he can give an excellent speech and really impress people! All show and little go.

    • “Politicians”, like Rick Santorum, are NEVER who they say they are. Oh sure. Ricky can claim to be a social conservative and a Catholic simply because he opposes abortion. BUT what about killing totally innocent people overseas with drones? I suppose “Thou Shall Not Kill” and being a disciple of Jesus Christ doesn’t apply to “Politicians”, aye Ricky?

        • Goethe, please tell me that you either saw that on a T-shirt, or that you have copyrighted and trademarked it yourself and are in full-scale production.

          • Neville: Thanks, but no, but I can’t really take credit for it. There was already a saying, “Who Would Jesus Bomb,” but this works better, since it keeps the original WWJD.

  5. Neville…sorry for the delay in answering your thoughts on Santorum and his home schooling of his five children. Under public pressure for residing in Leesburg, Virginia and using a rental property address in Pennsylvania as his current address in the Penn Hills School district, Santorum withdrew his children from the cyber Charter school. Refusing to reimburse the Penn Hills School, the District went to court to get back the $100,000 – spending even more time and taxpayer dollars to get back money Santorum never should have pursued in the first place. Education is primarily a State and local responsibility. Federal contributions, from all agencies, is about 10.8 percent, this primarily funds the school lunch program. What is taught is decided by the State Education Board, elected positions. Who teaches these selected subjects is decided by each school’s board of trustees, elected positions. The No Child Left Behind Law promoted by the Bushes, pushed Educators to teach to certain tests. Texas Students must pass their classes as well as all four sections of the exit level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in order to receive a diploma and graduate from a Texas public high school. Unions have no control over the above Teachers are seriously underpaid and they are expected to teach and mold your child’s thinking. The higher salaries go to the superintendent and his many aides and the many principals. Voters and parents need to accept responsibility for the major failings of public education. I am an advocate for home schooling. Especially since my state ranks 45th in educating their students.

    • Tess, I will dump a lot of blame on Santorum for a lot of things, but this is not one of them. As far as the State of Pennsylvania was concerned, Santorum was a PA resident. As far as the U.S. House of Representatives was concerned, Santorum was a PA resident. Without both of those being true, he would not be allowed to sit in Congress as a PA representative. He owned exactly one house in PA. Elected officials serving in the D.C. are considered residents of their represented state, even though they may spend the majority of their time in the D.C. or elsewhere. It is necessarily and logically this way. Much of your post above was pasted in from news articles, so I’m not sure what part actually represents your own viewpoints on the 4 to 5 separate subjects you addressed, so I’ll stick to the ones I’ve already brought up before. Whether 70%, 10.8 %, or .001%, the federal government has no responsibility, and most definitely no authority, to involve itself in education AT ALL, even for a school lunch program. I do wholeheartedly agree with one of your last sentences: “Voters and parents need to accept responsibility for the major failings of public education”, to which I would add “and close them.”
      My sister is a high school English teacher in Tennessee (I grew up there, and I can tell you that what many Tennesseeans speak does not qualify as English 🙂 ), nevertheless I believe education in general would be better without public involvement, and most definitely without federal involvement.

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