In Latina Magazine: Election 2012: Rick Santorum’s Record and Your Vote

[¿¿¿Anyone notice the "come hither," "What's a happening, hot stuff?" look on the woman's face behind Rick Santorum in this Getty Images pic???] What comes with a tsunami-worthy surge?

A spotlight, a very harsh one.

And it's shining on GOP Presidential nominee hopeful Rick Santorum.

The Republican Party is likely hoping for a Mitt Romney Super Tuesday blow-out, "super" because ten states hold their nominating contests: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.  That's the most in the march towards a party's Presidential nomination.

Think of it like a political Sábado Gigante with mucho Live Entertainment!  Contests! (Campaign provided) Human(izing) Interest segments...

...One with momentum and big stakes.  Back to the GOP establishment, a firm Mitt win could mean that the focus moves to defeating President Barack Obama, as opposed to the party self-destructing.

Although Santorum has been chafing under the bright lights of media attention--back peddling on his statement that JFK's remarks on the separation of church and state makes him wanna barf--he's showing little signs of quitting.

So what does the former Senator from Pennsylvania stand for as reflected--or not--in his record? I take a look in this Latina Magazine post, an exercise that began with President Obama's first term “report card” then a review of Mitt Romney's record.  These "briefs" serve as a starting point for undecided voters, particularly young Latinos who may be new to the political process, to begin taking in 411 that can help them decide which way to vote in November.

Election 2012: Election 2012: Rick Santorum’s Record and Your Vote

By Viviana Hurtado

Despite losing Arizona by a lot and Michigan by a hair, Rick Santorum’s standing has surged in the Republican nominating contests, going from being stuck in the single digits to giving frontrunner Mitt Romney a run for his millions. But with this popularity comes a harsh spotlight on his sixteen year record in Washington as a Congressman, then Senator representing his home state of Pennsylvania.


Santorum’s rise is largely attributed to his social conservative views which resonate with Evangelical Christians, in a way that Romney’s don’t.  He has expressed staunch opposition to samesex-marriage and women’s reproductive rights, although like his main rival, he was pro-choice; before running for Congress, he expressed support for abortion in case of incest, rape, or danger to the mother’s life, according to documents obtained by theHuffington Post.  Additionally, he endorsed then colleague Republican Senator Arlen Specter who supports abortion rights, as opposed to his anti-abortion challenger in the 2004 Pennsylvania GOP primary.

Santorum also gets props from Tea Party supporters whose main focus is less government spending and taxes.  The conservative non-profit Club for Growth gave him a 77% out of 100% in his last two years in the Senate, slightly higher than the average 73% for his Republican colleagues.  On taxes, this group has rated Santorum’s record “very strong,” voting for example “No” on the 1993 President Clinton tax hikes but “Yes” on President George W. Bush’s tax cuts.

He supports “entitlement reform”, specifically advocating Social Security become personal savings accounts.  He is opposed to President Obama’s Health Care Reform and supports overturning it in favor of allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and establish tax free health savings accounts.

But Santorum’s long record is also “mixed” for conservatives.  He voted “No” on raising the minimum wage in 2005 while sponsoring an amendment that would increase it. He supports school choice and more local control.  But in 2001, the Senator voted for President Bush’s No Child Left Behind which expanded Washington’s footprint in education, chalking it up in the Arizona debate to politics “being a team sport.”  This statement is a reality check, perhaps, but one that doesn’t blow over well with many conservatives who doubt he is the outsider he paints himself to be.  They wonder if his years in Washington made him the ultimate Insider, one that represents everything critics say is wrong with the federal government, as the Romney camp has asserted with its claim that Santorum was a big supporter of ear-marks or money for local pet projects that cost tax payers millions.

To read more of Viviana’s politics pieces in Latinaclick here.

Rick Santorum is betting that social issues such as women's reproductive rights will help him win the nomination.  But can he win the general election in November?