In case anyone was worried that Rick Santorum had taken his Republican primary election loss, or the GOP’s presidential election blow-out too much to heart, they need fear no longer.
RealClearPolitics reports that, undeterred by the now undeniable shift away from his socially regressive, paternalistic, authoritarian positions on just about all social issues, he is laying the groundwork to run for the Republican nomination once again in 2016.
Scott Conroy from RealClearPolitics writes:
The main event during Santorum’s impending return to Iowa will be his keynote speech in Urbandale at the annual spring fundraising dinner for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, a Christian conservative group that holds deep influence among evangelical caucus-goers in the state. He also is slated to participate in a Des Moines luncheon on behalf of a pro-life medical research group.
In both appearances, Santorum is expected to defend what he has called the “soul of the Republican Party” against forces within it that are increasingly eager to downplay or reconsider longstanding aspects of its platform.
His eagerness to remain on the front lines of this intra-party fight comes after Santorum spent much of the 2012 campaign defending his hard-line positions on social issues while also aiming to expand his appeal by touting his blue-collar credentials and economic populism.
Apparently, Rick Santorum is particularly eager to ensure that the GOP does not follow in the footsteps of Senator Rob Portman and others, and continue to “evolve” on those social issues where they are increasingly at odds with public sentiment:
But well before the 2016 GOP field begins to take shape, Santorum’s paramount political priority is to push back against the winds of change within the party. In particular, he’s focused on a de-emphasis — and in some cases an evolution — of stances on social issues in order to attract more moderate voters in general elections and acknowledge shifts in the broader electorate’s views.
In an interview with the Des Moines Register this week that set the stage for his upcoming visit, Santorum was asked about the recent avowals of support for gay marriage made by Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Mark Kirk of Illinois.
Santorum dismissed the growing notion that further movement within the GOP on the issue is inevitable, given polls showing a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage.
“The Republican Party’s not going to change on this issue,” he said. “In my opinion, it would be suicidal if it did.”
I suppose one must admire Santorum’s consistency. He doesn’t believe that the GOP should evolve politically in terms of their stance on gay marriage, just as he rejects the notion of biological evolution in nature.
Two universal truths of politics in the United States of America – Iowa will continue to play a disproportionately large role in vetting and selecting presidential candidates given it’s sparse population and lack of relative real importance in the union; and Rick Santorum will remain thoroughly uncompromising on all matters social and “moral”.