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Opinion CPAC Santorum

February 11, 2012 by staff 

Opinion CPAC Santorum, Rick Santorum is on fire. On the same day that a new Fox News poll put him neck and neck with Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, he received a rapturous reception at the all-important Conservative Political Action Conference.

I had hoped to be in the hall when he delivered his speech, but I couldn’t get in. The queue to see him stretched around the corridors of the Marriott for a quarter of a mile. It was peopled by an army of Young Republicans in their uniform of blue blazer and chinos, gelled hair, and Brooks Brothers tie. It looked like a casting call for “Wall Street.”

Terrifying though the CPAC kids can be, they enjoy enormous power. These are the opinion formers within the Republican grass roots. When CPAC is over, they’ll return home to Michigan and Arizona and tell their friends who they think is the most viable conservative candidate. I have no doubt that they will be pushing Santorum hard.

Timothy Stanley

What I did see of Santorum’s speech on the TV in the press room was an impressive slice of red-meat conservatism. It had two key messages. First, Mitt Romney can’t win. “Why would undecided voters vote for a candidate who the party isn’t excited about?” he asked, winning a big round of applause. Romney is too wet, too compromised by his liberal past to provide an exciting contrast with the president. Instead of doing what the establishment thinks is “politically reasonable” — a strategy that didn’t work out so well for John McCain in 2008 — Santorum insisted that the GOP must stick up for “the policies and principles that made this country great” and run a real conservative in November.

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