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Santorum: It was dumb to make Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment the theme for GOP convention
Hotair ^ | 06/14/2013 | AllahPundit

Posted on 06/14/2013 7:04:29 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

This deserves wider attention, especially at a moment when the stupid, stupid Republican leadership has convinced itself that its real problem with the electorate is being insufficiently pro-amnesty.

“One after another, [business owners who were invited to speak] talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there,” Santorum told a few hundred conservative activists at an “after-hours session” of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”…

“When all you do is talk to people who are owners, talk to folks who are ‘Type As’ who want to succeed economically, we’re talking to a very small group of people,” he said. “No wonder they don’t think we care about them. No wonder they don’t think we understand them. Folks, if we’re going to win, you just need to think about who you talk to in your life.”…

“Our leaders don’t accurately reflect who we are,” he said. “They reflect the interest groups around here who are lobbying for an advantage. Everyone who is up here is wanting an edge for their company or their industry. We’ve got to get away from that.”

“This makes so much sense to me,” writes Mollie Hemingway, “that I am confused as to how the GOP and Romney messed it up so badly last year.” I think I can explain that. The reason it caught on with the GOP, at least in part, is because it caught on first with grassroots ideologues like me. I thought, and do think, that O’s “you didn’t build that” line was a window onto his essential statism, an unusually blunt expression of contempt for private initiative. It’s one thing to demand higher taxes for the rich, it’s another to deny entrepreneurs, even rhetorically, the credit they deserve for having taken great risk to build wealth-generating enterprises. If you’re a true-believing libertarian-leaning capitalist, it’s Obama at his sneering liberal worst. But here’s the thing, and it’s something I’m reminded of constantly: Most voters aren’t ideologues. One of the lessons of last year’s campaign was that 99 percent of the daily “gaffes” and kerfuffles that political media, left and right, regularly wets its pants over mean next to nothing to the average joe. If you’re going to devote an entire convention to the other guy’s allegedly damning gaffe, you’d best be sure that gaffe is really, really damning in the eyes of most voters. It is to an ideologue like me and to America’s proud entrepreneurs. What about the other 80 percent of the electorate?

Santorum’s making a point here that should be prosaic among prominent Republicans by now but which, apart from occasional gestures from Eric Cantor and speeches by Bobby Jindal, remains mostly overlooked: You need to win America’s wage-earners too. Gun rights are great and border security is excellent, but expecting the masses who are earning 15 bucks an hour to rally behind a message that Obama’s too hard on their bosses is expecting a lot. It’s hard for an ideologue like me who works in political media to keep his eye on that particular ball in the middle of a campaign, when he’s at virtual war with the ideologues on the other side every day. The question is, why was it hard for Team Romney? Mitt is many things but an ideologue isn’t one of them. His guys were paid, very handsomely, to come up with a message that would win, ideological or not. Romney’s whole selling point with conservatives, in fact, was his alleged electability; the party nominated him in the full expectation that he’d move to the center for the general election, so he had nothing to fear by ignoring one of their ideological hobbyhorses. And yet somehow he and his advisors decided that going all in against “you didn’t build that” at the convention was the way to go. Why? Romney’s core political identity was that he’d say anything to win. Why did he think that making a stink about that would help him do it?

One footnote to all this. As much as I hate what Rubio’s doing with the immigration reform, I’m paradoxically reassured by the fact that he seems to realize it won’t much hurt him in 2016. Ideologues like me will hold it against him, but if your goal is getting elected president, who cares what ideologues think? We couldn’t stop either Romney or John McCain(!) from being nominated in the last two cycles and we’ll be the first ones at the polls on election day 2016 to pull the lever for the nominee, even if it’s Marco “Legalization First” Rubio. He doesn’t need to impress us, he needs to impress the non-ideological middle class. How he plans to do that by effectively amnestizing a huge new labor supply is … unclear to me, but voters do seem to think that immigration reform is pretty nifty. If he figures out a way to talk to blue-collar voters, he’ll be very viable. Amnesty or no.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: convention; gop; santorum
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To: ansel12

Shutting out Governor Palin and the base, probably had the biggest effect of anything related to the convention.


Romney ignored us from the beginning. He didn’t go on talk radio. He didn’t campaign with Gov Palin at his side.

I only decided to vote for him the last few days before the election.

21 posted on 06/14/2013 7:31:27 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: 2banana

I’d like to discuss this one at HotAir, but like the Obama administration thier site is closed to the public.

They don’t allow members to sign up and haven’t in years.

22 posted on 06/14/2013 7:34:01 PM PDT by NoLibZone (None here can be puzzled by why Jews walked into the cars so quietly- we are walking up the planks.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Precisely. His religious arrogance certainly didn’t help anything. Santorum became exactly why voters are scared of conservatives.

23 posted on 06/14/2013 7:46:26 PM PDT by Toespi
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To: Maelstorm

“I enjoyed a lot of it but it was not overly inspiring not in the way George W Bush and his team knew how to throw a convention and inspire. The Romney team was so worried about appearances that the convention came off like a the perfect cocktail party that everyone says was so nice but did little to touch a heart. Ann Romney came the closest but in the end it was a convention that left me wondering “is there not more?”.”

I felt exactly the same way. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but it just felt like there was something missing there. It was all economics and economics is great, but some of the other issues were ignored.

24 posted on 06/14/2013 7:46:55 PM PDT by lquist1
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To: MichaelCorleone

They didn’t sit it out in the cemeteries. They answered to a higher power . . .

25 posted on 06/14/2013 7:47:03 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: nonliberal
So our choices are run a leftist who espouses leftist views and associates them with the Republican party......

Or run a conservative and lose worse but move the party to the right.....?

26 posted on 06/14/2013 7:49:06 PM PDT by nitzy (You can avoid reality but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.)
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: nitzy

It’s libertarian mentality. They think pro life and traditional marriage conservatives are statists.

28 posted on 06/14/2013 7:58:41 PM PDT by HawkHogan
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To: sagar

” the menial laborers did not create anything.”


29 posted on 06/14/2013 8:04:16 PM PDT by logitech (It is time.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hey santorium...YOU DIDN”T BUILD THAT...or anything else

30 posted on 06/14/2013 8:05:37 PM PDT by mm427 (Repeal the 19th amendment.)
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To: Ray76


31 posted on 06/14/2013 8:08:21 PM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: SeekAndFind
And why did they win in 2010 ?

All RINO's lie. That is all they do all day long. Lie. Lie. Lie. Hey idiot RINO ! Have you been reading the news at all you dope ! Obama stole the election by suppressing the Tea Party and pro Constitution vote. And heck for some reason he even suppressed the Jewish vote. Must have done that one out of spite.

Why are you not prosecuting Obama for election fraud and abuse of office ?

32 posted on 06/14/2013 8:09:06 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: SeekAndFind

0baman knows nothing about who built what spy systems.

33 posted on 06/14/2013 8:13:31 PM PDT by Paladin2 (;-))
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To: SeekAndFind; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; Gilbo_3; NFHale; Impy; stephenjohnbanker
RE :”Santorum: It was dumb to make Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment the theme for GOP convention”

Their GOP convention was a overall disaster.
The theme was ‘we got money and you don't, so (elect us to) cut our own taxes and you will be better off for it as we are the job creators

Then on the big night prime-time they make Clinton Eastwood the main event after he downs a fifth of scotch.

34 posted on 06/14/2013 8:16:51 PM PDT by sickoflibs (To GOP : Any path to US citizenship IS putting them ahead in line. Stop lying about your position.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It was dumb that so called conservatives sat out the election because their candidate was not on the ticket. That is why we have another 4 years of Obamanation. Thanks a lot a-holes!

35 posted on 06/14/2013 8:19:31 PM PDT by willk
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To: SeekAndFind
Help! I'm talking and I can't shut up.
36 posted on 06/14/2013 8:21:38 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: sagar
Right. Just ask Joe the Plumber.
37 posted on 06/14/2013 8:24:13 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: SeekAndFind
The most popular Republican politician was kept away from the Convention, Sarah Palin. The Tea Party was not invited and not present at the Convention.

The theme I got from the convention was the $716 billion back to Medicare and we'll reform Medicare and Social Security for future generations. Nothing a socialist party convention could disagree with.

38 posted on 06/14/2013 8:25:03 PM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (.Are they stupid, malicious or evil?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hey Ricky Fecal-Matter: You didn’t build ANYTHING and its a shame that you never had a vasectomy to prevent you from creating anything.

39 posted on 06/14/2013 8:26:42 PM PDT by Clemenza ("History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil governm)
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To: Truth2012
Santorum is so retarded I bet he runs again in 2016.

Apparently has nothing better to do.

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