The real conservative in the race. Unfortunately he had his chance in 2012 and the voters preferred Romney.
I don’t know if I thought no he is any more conservative than the rest. He’s certainly not on fiscal and economic matters. Maybe on social.
While Santorum’s conservatism was called into question on several counts at Wednesday night’s debate, it was Romney’s attack on his endorsement of Specter that really seemed to sting the most.
The Specter endorsement has absolutely haunted Santorum for the past eight years. Nearly everywhere he goes, it’s the one thing he did as a senator for which the activist conservative base simply cannot or will not forgive him.
The Post’s Paul Kane wrote a piece on the endorsement in 2004, which provides some insight as to why the grudge remains:
Specter’s primary campaign offered the most obvious example of how Santorum has sought to put the work of the Republican Conference ahead of the ideological purity that his conservative supporters and his liberal detractors alike have come to expect.
Santorum, the third highest ranking Republican in the Senate leadership, makes no apologies for his decision to back Specter. Santorum said that once he made the decision to support his home-state colleague, there was only one way for him go about it -- full throttle.
Some conservatives argue that Santorum’s efforts on behalf of Specter went well beyond a general endorsement. They accuse him of actively undermining Toomey’s conservative supporters and, in the process, putting at risk Santorum’s normally strong ties to activists.
“He made it a crusade,” said Paul Weyrich, a doyen of the right and founder of the Free Congress Foundation. “He left no stone unturned. He went out of his way to try to prevent Toomey from winning.”
And conservatives’ hatred for Specter grew exponentially when he switched parties to become a Democrat in 2009 and gave his new party a 60th vote on President Obama’s health care bill.