John McCain's Conservative Problem Remains
Republican Senator John McCain is slowly putting the building blocks in place to cement his hold on his party's nomination for president. Thursday his one-time chief rival, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney announced his support for McCain and asked his delegates to switch their alliegance to McCain. Friday former President George H. W. Bush announced that he will give his endorsement to the Arizona senator.
But that darn conservative problem won't go away.
Take this opinion piece written by former Pennsylvania Senator (and prominent conservative) Rick Santorum in the Philadelphia Inquirer about McCain: 'The Elephant in the Room: The conservative jury is still out on backing McCain"
Santorum notes that if McCain does get the nomination (which looks increasingly likely), he won't be the first moderate to carry the Republican banner into an election campaign. In fact, he writes, until 1980 almost all the GOP nominees were moderates. But that was then, Santorum says, this is now. Before that date, the two parties had both "liberal" and "conservative" wings. But after the 60s, when Democrats moved more to the left and the GOP adopted Nixon's "Southern Strategy" to lure conservative Democrats away from their party, things have changed. Now Santorum see the Democrats as liberal and the Republican as conservative. Period.
"Conservatives understand just how consequential the 2008 election will be. It could very well result in the election of a Democratic president who's prepared to reshape America culturally and economically and unprepared to defend the nation against our foreign enemies. Yet we see a presumptive Republican nominee who has too often joined the very people who seek to destroy and replace what we fight to conserve and improve. And so we wonder: Is this the man we can trust to take our case to the American people?
"Many of us want a leader who believes in his core that this race is a fight for the soul of America, her Judeo-Christian tradition, her sovereignty, her courage to defeat not appease or surrender to her enemies, her belief in capitalism and limited government, and her commitment to equality of opportunity, not result. We want a leader who's not interested in moving the country in the same direction as Clinton and Obama, only slower."
In the end, Santorum writes, conservatives have yet to see how McCain will embrace those values listed above.
12:00 PM ET | 02-15-2008 | permalink