What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 22, 2006

Some More Flip Flop-ing from Rick Santorum

There's a pair of articles (here and here) on Rick Santorum by Charles Hurt in today's Washington Times.

The Washington Times was Ronald Reagan's favorite newspaper and kos himself has called Charles Hurt a "craptacular partisan hack."

So we know where the articles are coming from.

Seems that our Lil Ricky's got a problem with his conservative base, poor guy. Take a look. Hurt starts out with the regular stuff, Rick's got elected to Congress 16 years ago, he's in a tough campaign - that sort of thing.

Then he tells us of a bit of pork our junior Senator brought back from DC.:
Typical of his campaigning these days was a stop earlier this month at the Pittsburgh Zoo, where he boasted to local reporters about how he'd fetched $500,000 from federal taxpayers to build one of the most luxurious polar-bear exhibits outside Arctic climes.
Then adds Ricky's explanation:
"If the pot of money is there, I'm going to make sure we get a piece of that money," said Mr. Santorum, who defended his record of support for "lean" budgets.
That got someone's gander up.
That's the wrong answer for some of his longtime supporters.

"Where does the federal government get the constitutional right to take $500,000 from people to build a polar-bear exhibit?" asked Charlie Clift, who has supported Mr. Santorum in every past election.
Oops. Mr Fiscal Responsibility might be in a bit of a pickle.
To be sure, conservative Republicans such as Mr. Clift, who lives in Bucks County north of Philadelphia, aren't upset at Mr. Santorum simply because he directed federal funding for the polar-bear exhibit. They say that after 16 years in Washington, he has "lost touch" with the vision of smaller, more responsible federal government that he promised.
The fact that this is in the Washington Times is profoundly important. Someone is sending Lil Ricky a message. But that was just prologue. Here's the real deal.
And while Mr. Casey has not proved himself any more loyal to such beliefs, his campaign is certainly capitalizing on conservative dissatisfaction with Mr. Santorum.

A favorite line in Mr. Casey's stump speech is that Mr. Santorum has steadfastly opposed increases in the federal minimum wage even as he has voted three times to raise his own salary.

It gets worse when Casey staffers dredge up statements that Mr. Santorum made 16 years ago that he would never accept a pay raise, even a cost-of-living adjustment.

The public is fed up with members of Congress having no limits on their ability to increase their salaries," the Associated Press quoted Mr. Santorum saying in 1990.
"And members do not seem willing to voluntarily limit their salaries like I have, vowing never to accept any more salary than what is provided upon taking office."
Something I did not know about Ricky. Now, of course, he sings a different tune. All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. I guess.
"I believe that members of Congress should, by and large, receive cost-of-living adjustments," he said when asked about Mr. Casey's charges. "If we'd left the salary what it was when I first took office, we'd be getting a third of the value of the dollar than what I got when I came in."
I would think this is officially a "flip-flop."

In the interview, Ricky 'splains himself:
In the 16 years that I have been in office, I think I have voted three times for three cost-of-living adjustments. I don't know too many people who over a 16-year period of time have only asked for three 2-percent cost-of-living adjustments.
Uh, but wait. Take a look at this - Ricky's misleading us. Again.
Given the climate, the Casey campaign was quick to point out Tuesday that Santorum had voted against blocking automatic cost-of-living increases for Congress three times since 2001.
Uh, Rick? You voted to raise your own salary three times in five years, not three times in sixteen. I don't know too many people who can confuse "5" with "16."

Rick Santorum - Voted for his own pay raise before he voted against it.


A Big Fat Slob said...

Hurt is a reporter in the same way the FOX News is a news organization. Look at his first question to Santorum where he incorporates as fact the conservative lie that the compromise immigration package contained an amnesty.

He's a craporter.

EdHeath said...

See, I don’t care to expend the effort to find out the Washington Times exact relationship to the Republican Party. But to me it is absolutely extraordinary that they went after Santorum like that. I mean, the GOP can’t afford to lose any Senators, and surely the WT knows that.
The fact the Casey started with a huge lead over the incumbent, and that despite some efforts by Santorum continues to lead, has to be galling to the GOP. Apparently some conservatives might not have gotten over Toomey’s not having been elected last time either. Perhaps the GOP are taking a page from the democrats disarray and turning on the weak members of their party.