Santorum: GOP Should “Not Surrender” on Pro-Life Issues

Politics   Steven Ertelt   Dec 9, 2011   |   2:30PM    Washington, DC

As the socially conservative voters in Iowa head to the polls next month to officially start the 2012 Republican presidential primary election, GOP candidate Rick Santorum says the party should “not surrender” on pro-life issues.

Santorum has been seen by some pro-life advocates as the standard bearer for pro-life and social conservative issues in the Republican election and the former Pennsylvania senator has launched a new fundraising effort tied to his recent call for not backing down on pressing pro-life themes.

“Beginning December 14, we’ll be kicking off our biggest moneybomb to date. With less than a month to go to the Iowa caucuses, the No Surrender Moneybomb will be dedicated to raising $250,000 so that I have the crucial resources to win the Iowa caucuses,” Santorum said in a new email to his supporters.

Why No Surrender?

“Because a number of Republican leaders have suggested that the best way to win back the White House is to call a truce on talking about social issues. Issues like abortion, marriage, school prayer, and immigration. In my book that’s not a truce…it’s a surrender,” Santorum continued. “But not on my watch. The day we stop fighting for the unborn child, or fighting to protect the sanctity of marriage, expel God from the public square, or decide we will no longer enforce the laws of our land, is the day we surrender all our founding fathers created.”

“I believe what makes America exceptional is not just our economic potential or our remarkable innovation, but the fact that we are a moral enterprise. As President, I will protect America’s moral foundation, empower American families and build America’s economic freedom. And I won’t compromise on my values to do it,” Santorum continued.

The fundraising drive corresponds with newspaper advertisements the Santorum campaign placed in Iowa newspapers with the same “No Surrender” message. Santorum has released print ads in several major Iowa newspapers – including The Des Moines Register – declaring that he will not surrender America on Social Issues.

In the advertisement, Rick Santorum proclaims that as President, he will never call a truce on traditional American values, because he knows that a truce really means surrender. The says Santorum was the “Author of the bill that ended partial birth abortions in America.”

Santorum previously criticized the call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion that pro-life Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels put forward that earned him negative reviews from pro-life advocates earlier this year as he considered running for the nomination.

“I think he is as far off base,” Santorum said of Daniels. “I don’t think he understands what conservatism is all about.”

“I don’t think he understands that Reagan’s three-legged stool is not just that we have three legs of the stool, the social conservative, the fiscal conservative and national security conservatives, but that the material made of all three parts of the stool is the same,” Santorum added. “And it’s a moral and cultural heritage of this country, is what that stool, the material itself that the stool is made of.”

Santorum continued: “And if we deny that, if we don’t understand that those issues are intertwined, and that without a strong and good and moral culture, we can’t have limited government, you can’t have lower taxes, you can’t, you don’t have the freedoms that we enjoy unless we have a moral code by which can all agree to live by. And for him to say that those issues need to be put in the background, I just, I’m stunned by it.”

Santorum condemned the elite Republicans who don’t care about social issues but drive a lot of the money in the GOP presidential races.

“When you go to the big cities, where the big money is, the Republican donors say shut up about those issues, or we’re not going to help you. And I don’t know if you saw George Will’s piece today, but it’s pretty clear I’m not shutting up about those issues. I think they’re important issues. Obviously, the economic issues are front and center. But you have to talk about the economic issues even in the cultural and moral context,” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “There’s an element of the party, and unfortunately, I keep coming back, it comes back to where most of the money is in the Republican Party, are folks who live in the big cities, and are more socially liberal. And they just don’t want, they don’t want the campaign to be about something that they don’t want to be able to talk to their friends at the club about.”

Last year, post-election polling showed the issue of abortion helped pro-life candidates and played a role in the Republican shellacking of pro-abortion Democrats.

A survey conducted by the Polling Company firm found pro-life candidates enjoyed a definite advantage in yesterday’s elections.

Thirty percent of all voters said that abortion “affected” their vote with 22% of all voters backing pro-life candidates and eight percent saying they supported pro-abortion candidates — giving pro-life candidates a net pro-life advantage of 14 percent among all voters.

Examined another way, of the Americans who voted based on the issue of abortion, 73 percent picked pro-life candidates while just 27 percent supported abortion advocates.

The post-election polling also found 27 percent of voters said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who opposed the health care law while just 4 percent said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who favored the law.

“This advantage is not new,” says Karen Cross, the political director for the National Right to Life Committee. “In 1980, National Right to Life Political Action Committee was organized, and in the 30 years that followed, in election after election, among those voters who base their vote on abortion, National Right to Life has consistently seen a definite advantage for pro-life candidates over pro-abortion candidates.”