Rick Santorum should be talking about his economic agenda today. He has an op-ed titled, “My Economic Freedom Agenda,” in today’s Wall Street Journal laying out a perfectly conservative 10-point plan.* But nobody is going to be talking about it.
Instead, people well be talking about Santorum’s appearance on ABC News‘ This Week, where host George Stephanopoulos asked Santorum if he stood by comments he made just last October criticizing President Kennedy’s speech on religion on politics. In that College of Saint Mary Magdalen speech, Santorum said of Kennedy’s speech, “Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up. You should read the speech.”
Asked specifically about his use of the phrase “throw up,” Santorum replied:
To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up.
Gross. Is Santorum running for President of the United States or president of the fifth grade?
Whatever you think of Kennedy’s religion speech, or whether, as Santorum claims, it said people of faith may not participate in politics, his rhetorical attack on it is downright disgusting. But more importantly Santorum is letting himself, again, be distracted by his culture warrior instincts. Here is how Kennedy actually began his speech: “While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that we have far more critical issues to face in the 1960 election.” Kennedy then went on to list eight other issues before returning to the religion topic. Santorum should learn to do the same.
* Santorum makes no mention in his WSJ op-ed of his Obama-like manufacturing corporate tax loophole.
Michigan: Mitt Romney is now up 2 points on Santorum, 39 percent to 37 percent, among Michigan Republican primary voters, according to Public Policy Polling‘s latest survey of the state. That is exactly the same margin as Real Clear Politics‘ latest poll aggregation.
Romney: Conservative talk radio has become a big part of Romney’s closing campaign in Michigan and Arizona. He is frequently appearing on local talk radio shows in both states.
Santorum: In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Santorum lays out a 10-point “Economic Freedom Agenda.”
Obama: President Obama has recruited Oscar-winning “Waiting for Superman” documentary director Davis Guggenheim to produce a short film for his campaign. There is no set release date
for the 30-minute film about Obama’s first three years in office.
Unions: Union contributions to candidates and parties are leveling off in the 2012 election cycle, hindering Democrats’ campaign- funding plans. Unions claim they will still spend, but mostly on their own voter-mobilization efforts.
Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, European Stocks Fall: European stock markets traded lower Monday, as the Group of 20 nations expressed doubt about bailouts for other European countries. And Moody’s said the prospect of Greek default still remains high.
The New York Times, Many States Take a Wait-and-See Approach on New Insurance Exchanges: Many states are waiting for a Supreme Court decision or even the November election results, before they begin setting up the health care exchanges mandated by Obamacare. More conservative states are planning to force the federal government to set up their exchanges entirely. Research by the nonpartisan Urban Institute found that 14 states had made significant progress in creating exchanges, 16 had made little or no progress and 20 were somewhere in between.
The New York Times, Obama’s Deficit Dilemma: The New York Times claims that even though Obama rejected the Bowles-Simpson plan last year, he “has come to adopt most of the major tenets supported by a majority of the commission’s members.”
Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey posts video of Rep. Katy Hochul, D-N.Y., getting booed over her support for the HHS mandate on contraception and abortifacients at a town hall this weekend.
In The Weekly Standard, Steven F. Hayward explains why the climate skeptics are winning.
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis shows why Obama can be blamed for the weak recovery.
Steve Maley details 10 “silver bullets” Obama could fire to lower gas prices at the pump within days.
Talking Points Memo‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro reports that despite Santorum’s new found contempt for sending every American to college, he promised to send every Pennsylvanian to college in 2006.
The Huffington Post‘s Laura Bassett reports that Senate Democrats are eager to debate Sen. Roy Blunt’s conscience amendment.
Democrats, including Daily Kos‘ Jed Lewison, are calling Romney’s Friday speech the ‘Ford Field Fumble.’