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Why Hasn't Santorum Caught Fire?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Virginia in Plantation, Florida.  Merry Christmas, and welcome to the show.

CALLER:  Oh, Rush is that you?

RUSH:  Yes, it is.

CALLER:  I've waited and I'm a little nervous. Snerdley put me at ease but then when I got on the phone here I'm a little nervous so be patient.

RUSH:  You know, I've been where you are.  I've been on hold as a caller. I know it's nerve-wracking.  You're sitting out there on hold and a lot of time goes by and all of a sudden this booming voice says, "Virginia in Plantation, Florida --"

CALLER:  It's a privilege to talk to you, though.  I listen to you almost every day.

RUSH:  I appreciate that.

CALLER:  And while I waited it wasn't downtime. I was able to empty my dishwasher, put on some soup, you know, so it wasn't --

RUSH:  I've always said that this program promotes productivity.

CALLER: (laughing) It does.  It does.  And I've learned a lot, I've learned a lot listening to you. Before I ask my question, may I wish you and your staff and all your listeners a blessed Christmas and a good new year.

RUSH:  Thank you.  Of course you can.  Thank you.

CALLER:  That's number one.  Anyway, my question is, of all the candidates that I have seen and heard and I've listened and all that, I wonder why Santorum has not done better.  I like him, and I wanted your opinion why he's not done better.

RUSH:  Well, that's a tough one to answer.  I love Rick Santorum.

CALLER:  I do, too.

RUSH:  People tend to remember public figures by virtue of the last prominent thing that they did.  Before he ran for office, the last thing that happened to Rick Santorum was he was defeated for the Senate, and prior to his defeat in the Senate he had endorsed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey, and this did not sit well with Republican conservative primary voters who did not like Specter at all, but that was what Santorum had to do.  You're a sitting member of the party, a combatant is running for reelection, it's part of the protocol of the business.  But people said, "We don't want standard operating procedure.  We want mavericks," and this kind of thing. 

I didn't hold it against him.  I understood that's what he's doing, but a lot of people, that's the last memory, so he's got that to overcome.  Then he's got the presumed nominee status of Romney to overcome. He's got the name recognition status of Romney and Gingrich to overcome.  There are a lot of real-life factors that weigh into this that have nothing to do with him.  It has to do with Romney, you know, this is his second go round running for president, he's a sitting governor, former governor of Massachusetts, Newt, Speaker of the House.  These people all have prominent name recognition.  So Santorum and Bachmann both had to do something to overcome that in all of these debates and stand out, get noticed somehow, and that's always a crapshoot.  You need so many things to fall right. 

If he runs for president again he's gonna be that much ahead of the game the next time around if he does it.  This is his first time.  But on the substance and the issues and the policy, there's one thing I know about Santorum, and I look at the endgame of this.  The campaign is one thing and the troubles that people have, but I know that if Rick Santorum were elected president, I wouldn't have one doubt any day what he would be fighting for, not one.  And it would be great if he could get there.  I totally agree with you about that.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: There's one thing about Rick Santorum.  Almost a dirty little secret about Rick Santorum, and that is that gay people really hate Rick Santorum.  Now, you might be, "So, what does that matter?"  Well, that matters because that filters down through newsrooms.  It filters down through much of the news and media conglomerate, the community, if you will, and it is going to influence and taint the kind of coverage he gets.  He's no-holds-barred on American cultural issues and what he considers to be things that are causing the culture to end up being coarsened and depraved and so forth.  His comments are not reserved just to gay people, homosexuality, but any number of things, abortion, he's fearless on this stuff and he is not afraid to take on some taboo subjects and then to speak from the heart about them.  And, of course, this makes him anathema to the New York Times, for example.  He's never going to get a mention, much less a fair one, out of the New York Times. 

They also hate Bachmann, in not so much over her reaction or attitude about -- when I say gay people, what I mean is the political gay. There's a left-wing gay political structure very active in the Democrat Party. That's who Santorum goes after and as well as Bachmann, too, so she's hated.  When you have that kind of alignment against you in so many areas of the media it's just another larger hump, if you will, to overcome.  If you want to know why Santorum is not catching on, it's not that he's not catching on with voters.  The political gay lobby is a very powerful lobby.  There's the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. What's the other one?  A human rights organization.  They're very, very politically active, one of the largest donor groups for the Democrat Party.  And they hate Santorum.  He has the same position on gay marriage as the president does, but that position on gay marriage as far as Obama's concerned is wink-wink.  There's no wink-wink with Santorum on any of that.

END TRANSCRIPT

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