Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rick Santorum Has Always Been An Agent of the Establishment

I have a lot of friends who adore Rick Santorum. They tend to be of the donor class or core support class. They tend to be evangelical. I’ve always found Santorum to be short tempered. I have a number of friends who worked for Santorum and all of them fall in the “he is short tempered” pool. In each encounter I’ve observed Santorum, he has struck me as entitled and petulant. I understand first impressions, but there have been a number of occasions to observe Santorum on the campaign trail and each time I’ve seen him snapping at somebody. Most reporters I talk to who have covered Santorum see the same thing in Santorum’s dealings with people when the lights are off and the cameras are not rolling.

Rick Santorum is also a tool of the establishment and cannot get himself elected. He only had success in 2012 because Mike Huckabee did not run that year against Romney and Santorum filled the void. This year, Santorum and Huckabee are canceling each other out. Santorum, no doubt angling for his next political job, has decided to throw in with the Establishment attacking Ted Cruz.

FairyTales from Santorum for President 2016 on Vimeo.

Santorum, you will remember, backed Arlen Specter too. Santorum could not win re-election in Pennsylvania and the odds are now he cannot win Pennsylvania. But he has nothing better to do.

Frankly, Santorum has been a huge disappointment. The history of the Republican Party shows that the runner up tends to become the nominee the second time around. Had Huckabee gotten back in for 2012, he would have been the nominee. There is no question in my mind. And he would have done better than Romney. Huckabee, instead, went into the media and capitalized on his following that way.

Santorum, on the other hand, dropped out in 2012 and did nothing to capitalize on his runner up status. He could have been laying the groundwork as the heir apparent. Given Republican Party history he would have had a strong case to make. But he did not do it. Now he has returned to a much more crowded field having done little to bolster himself. He won’t win this time either. In fact, he will do far worse now than in 2012. But he might sabotage Cruz along the way in an effort to lay ground work for a future career in appointed politics.

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Erick Erickson

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