I just finished watching the 482nd Republican presidential debate and am convinced that the candidate most deserving of the nomination is former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Let me point out that I didn't come to this conclusion without much internal struggle. Like most Americans, I've been torn these past several months between the intellectual superiority of Rep. Michele Bachmann, the debating mastery of Gov. Rick Perry, the vision of Herman Cain, the conviction of Mitt Romney, the integrity of Newt Gingrich, the clarity and coherence of Rep. Ron Paul, the Svengali-like charisma of Jon Huntsman, Jr., and the humility of Santorum.
But I've been aided in this process. One by one, many of these campaigns have imploded, leaving just Gingrich, Paul, Romney and Santorum standing before Saturday's critical South Carolina primary. But make no mistake: Santorum is the real deal. While he may come off as arrogant, insolent, temperamental, smug, self-aggrandizing, narrow-minded, intolerant and bigoted, it's not political expediency talking. He's not pretending. With Rick, what you see is exactly what you get.
Romney, the so-called "inevitable" nominee whose campaign just happens to be on its own brink of implosion, is a fairly loathsome chap. He twists and turns more than the Taconic Parkway, and it's impossible to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. He's the ultimate opportunist, shamelessly shifting his positions more often than I change my underwear. Just try to figure out what he really believes about abortion, health care, immigration, the Bush tax cuts, climate change, gun control, gay marriage and Don't Ask Don't Tell, for example. You'll get a migraine just from the conflicting research.
The Stormin' Mormon is 100% fake. From his comically dark-dyed hair to his disingenuous answers to every question. And he's a colossal hypocrite. He rails on about making one's own way without government handouts, yet he's the proverbial rich kid who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. Ironic how it's always the silver-spooners who tell the rest of us how to be financially responsible and independent. No wonder he can't gain any more traction than a snowbound '77 Pinto. He's now officially the loser in Iowa and, according to new polls out Friday morning, he's trailing Gingrich in South Carolina. Sorry Mitt, winning New Hampshire, where you own a vacation home and which borders your home state of Massachusetts, doesn't make for "inevitability."
Gingrich, on the other hand, has tremendous momentum and has just picked up the all-important endorsement of Perry, who Thursday said, "Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?" Exactly. What's a few marital indiscretions among conservatives, right? Perry added: "I have no question that Newt Gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer..." That is, of course, if what he's reforming is the sacred institution of marriage he so honorably defends. Apparently, Newt never met a mistress he didn't like... or married. When asked by debate moderator John King of CNN about the ABC interview that aired Thursday with his second wife Marianne, in which she claimed Newt asked her to be in an "open marriage," the feisty former House Speaker lashed out with a fury never before seen in a presidential debate.
"The destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that," Gingrich sanctimoniously scolded. "I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate."
King, looking like a post-neuter Poodle pup, said that it was ABC News which broke the story, not CNN.
"Don't try to blame somebody else," Gingrich angrily barked, wagging his finger at King to the cheers of the highly-conservative-yet-apparently-infidelity-supporting crowd. "You and your staff chose to start this debate with it."
Booyah! I gotta say, I agree 100% with Newt. Can't a self-righteous, hypocritical blowhard propose a kinky extra-marital-sex relationship to his wife without the damn lamestream liberal media attacking him two days before a crucial election?
Gingrich is not one to shy away from a tough battle, especially where America's needs come before his. "Callista and I have a wonderful relationship. We knew we'd get beaten up, we knew we'd get lied about, we knew we'd get smeared, we knew there would be nasty attack ads. And we decided the country was worth the pain." Just like last year when he defended his adultery on the grounds of patriotism. I'm tellin' ya, there's nothing this modern day Thomas Paine won't do for his country.
Which brings us to Santorum. As his campaign manager Michael Biundo said, "If you're supporting Rick Santorum, you're never going to have to worry about opening the newspaper and being surprised at what you see." That's because he is genuinely despicable. No pretension. He sincerely believes his abhorrent rhetoric and backward positions. He'll be the perfect foil for the Euro-loving socialist President Obama. And for this we must respect and support Rick Santorum.