QUEER VOICES

Rick Santorum: Ted Cruz Is Losing Because He’s Not 'A Huckabee Or Santorum'

Here's why Santorum thinks Cruz is falling behind in the race.
Rick Santorum has some advice for Ted Cruz.
Rick Santorum has some advice for Ted Cruz.

In an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress at the Conservative Political Action Conference, former senator Rick Santorum said he believes that Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t doing better in the GOP presidential primary and caucus races because Cruz “is not the kind of conservative that Mike Huckabee and I were.”

Santorum says he believes Cruz isn’t conservative enough when it comes to social issues. This, even though Cruz has loudly promoted anti-LGBT religious liberty laws, spoken at a virulently anti-gay conference last fall (which Rachel Maddow dubbed a "'kill the gays' call to arms") and has promised to overturn marriage equality through Supreme Court justice appointments.

“The early states have clearly favored Cruz,” Santorum said. “I mean [the early states have] been in the Deep South. They’ve been in areas where Cruz should be racking up votes. And he’s not. I think Cruz has show his weakness in not being able to take advantage of a heavily tilted playing field in his favor, of having a lot of Deep South and evangelically-heavy states early, and he hasn’t done very well in them.”

Both Huckabee, in 2008, and Santorum, in 2012, had won more states in the South on Super Tuesday than Cruz did this year, taking only his home of state Texas, as well as Oklahoma and Alaska.

“He’s not following on in the path that either Mike Huckabee or I had followed on,” Santorum said. “You saw one abortion question that I can recall during the debate, and it was headed to Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio was attacked by Jeb Bush and Chris Christie for being too pro-life. And Ted Cruz stood on that stage and didn’t say a word.” Rubio stated during a Fox News debate in August that he’s opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest. 

“Now, if Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee were on that stage,” Santorum continued, “would we have sat there silently and allowed another candidate to be attacked for being too pro-life? No, but Ted Cruz did. That tells you. Conservative voters aren’t stupid. They see what candidates talk about. Ted Cruz goes in front of evangelical groups and talks about these things but then goes to New York and talks about different things... He’s not an economic populist at all. Mike Huckabee and I were, and those have deep strains within a lot of the religious conservative voting circles. Ted is much more of a traditional libertarian-like conservative. He’s more a Paul-type conservative than he is a Huckabee or Santorum.”

But if Cruz is losing because he’s not “a Huckabee or Santorum,” why is Rubio, whom Santorum has endorsed and whom he views as more socially conservative, doing even worse, having only won one state, Minnesota?

Santorum didn’t elaborate, except to say Rubio’s time is still coming, despite the opinion of the majority of political analysts who believe Donald Trump has all but sewn up the nomination.

“I’m hoping that he’ll win a state this weekend and do well, he said, "and pick up another state on Tuesday and start to build a little momentum.” 

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Sen. Ted Cruz