Tag Archives: santorum

Campfield, Dunn Disappointed with Santorum Suspending Campaign

State Rep. Bill Dunn, a Knoxville Republican who was instrumental in organizing Santorum’s successful campaign in Tennessee, said he was disappointed that the Pennsylvania senator had decided to suspend his campaign. (Story on Santorum’s announcement HERE.)
“I guess the other states dropped the ball,” Dunn said.
“I know he worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices to give people a choice,” said Dunn, adding he stands ready now to support the party nominee, presumably Romney.
“I am ready to beat Barack Obama. He is so bad and dangerous that whoever comes out of the primary, I’ll be supporting him,” Dunn said.
State Sen. Stacey Campfield, who abandoned his role as co-chairman of Newt Gingrich’s campaign to endorse Santorum, voiced similar sentiments.
“I’ll support Mitt Romney if he is going to be the nominee,” said Campfield. “I was hoping for somebody more conservative. But he (Romney) is better than what we have in there now, a raging liberal….a train wreck.”

Santorum Gets 29 TN Delegates Under Final Super Tuesday Count

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won half of Tennessee’s delegates to the Republican National Convention from Super Tuesday presidential primary voting this month, according to the Tennessean report from the state GOP after results were certified Thursday.
Santorum won 29 of the 55 committed delegates, easily outpacing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 17 and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s nine. The state’s final three delegates — the state party chairman, RNC national committeewoman and RNC national committeeman — are uncommitted.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, the other remaining contender for the Republican nomination, did not win any delegates. Santorum won eight of the state’s nine congressional districts on March 6, trailing Romney only in the Memphis-based 9 District.
With each district offering three delegates, Santorum took home two in each of the districts he won, plus one in the 9th, for a total of 17 of a possible 27. He added those to the 12 at-large delegates he had already picked up out of 28 that were available.
Romney finished second to Santorum in six of those eight congressional districts, including the Nashville-based 5th and the 7th, which includes Williamson County.

Super Tuesday Affirms Social Conservative Rule of Tennessee GOP

Going into Super Tuesday, it seemed possible that the Tennessee Republican primary tradition of conservatives splitting their votes to assure plurality victory for a moderate would hold true.
Coming out of Super Tuesday, just maybe a new normal has been achieved wherein the conservative wing of the Republican party can believe in better.

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TN GOP Delegate Count: Santorum 29, Romney 16, Gingrich 10

The Republican National Committee on Friday issued its breakdown of the candidate delegate count in Tennessee based on results of the Super Tuesday presidential primary results:

Rick Santorum 29

Mitt Romney 16

Newt Gingrich 10

But Adam Nickas, executive director of the state Republican Party, says some of the congressional district results are so close that the state party won’t say what the breakdown is until the results are officially certified. And the RNC says its count is subject to change.

Tennessee will send a total of 58 delegates to the Republican National Convention, 55 based on Super Tuesday voting and the other three uncommitted as RNC delegates.

 

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Tennessee Mattered in 2012 Presidential Primary by Keeping the Matter Muddled

If not for Tennessee, the slugfest for the GOP presidential nomination might already be over, writes Michael Collins.
Rick Santorum’s solid victory over Mitt Romney in Tennessee in the Super Tuesday presidential primary enables the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania to stay in the race and all but guarantees that the bloody battle for the GOP nomination will drag on for weeks.
“That’s the most important take-away here: The race will continue, and Tennessee had something to do with that — for better or worse,” said Anthony Nownes, a political scientist at the University of Tennessee.
Romney walked away with the most wins in the Super Tuesday elections. The former Massachusetts governor won six of the 10 states that held nominating contests on Tuesday, while Santorum took three and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won one.
A strong showing in the two most competitive contests — Tennessee and Ohio — would have solidified Romney’s standing as the frontrunner in the race. But Romney failed to deliver the knockout punch he needed. His 9-point loss in Tennessee and his narrow win over Santorum in Ohio again raised doubts about his appeal to conservative voters and served to prolong the nomination fight.
“If Romney had won in Tennessee, there would be a fair number of calls today for Santorum and Gingrich to ensure party unity by getting out,” said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. “Well, I haven’t heard anybody say that Santorum and Gingrich should drop out and endorse Romney. I think Tennessee had a lot to do with that.”
Tuesday’s election marked the first time in more than a decade that Tennessee has played a significant role in a presidential contest. The last time the state had such an impact on a presidential race was when Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 general election. Gore’s disappointing loss in his home state ultimately kept him out of the White House.
Tennessee mattered this year for a number of reasons.
Of the 10 states that held nominating contests on Tuesday, only Georgia and Ohio had more delegates to the Republican National Convention at stake than Tennessee. But Georgia was Gingrich’s home state, so the election outcome there was never really in doubt.

GOP’s Social Conservatives Send Santorum to Tennessee Victory

Rick Santorum rode a wave of social conservative support to victory in Tennessee’s Super Tuesday Republican presidential primary, overcoming the solid support for Mitt Romney from many state GOP leaders.
The Tennessee results were a disappointment for Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, who finished third in a state he had hoped would help his campaign rebound.
The results were also marked a rare win for a candidate who was hugely outspent in Tennessee campaigning. Pro-Romney forces, including a “Super PAC,” spent about $1.6 million advertising in the state – much of the money going to TV ads that attacked Santorum – while Gingrich’s forces spent about $470,000, according the most recently-reported figures.
Only about $100,000 was spent on Santorum advertising in the state, but the candidate had made trips to the state – the last including an appearance at a Memphis Baptist Church on Sunday. Romney visited Knoxville Sunday while Gingrich campaigned through East Tennessee on Monday.
“I think what he stands for is the closest to how Tennesseans feel about things,” said state Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, who is co-chairman of the Santorum campaign in Tennessee.
“He is the candidate who recognizes you have to be both socicially conservative and fiscally conservative because, when morals go down, taxes go up,” said Dunn in an interview after Santorum’s Tennessee victory was clear.
Latest unofficial returns Tuesday night, with about 58 percent of the vote counted, showed former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Santorum with 38 percent of the total, followed by Romney with 28 percent. Gingrich had 23 percent followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul with 9 percent.
Fifty-five delegates will be sent to the Republican National Convention from Tennessee. It appeared Tuesday night that Santorum had won at least 19 of the 28 delegates that will be allocated on the basis of statewide results. The remaining 27 are based on the voting in each of the state’s nine Congressional districts and the allocation was unclear late Tuesday.
The Associated Press said exit polling of 1,769 Tennessee Republican primary voters found that about seven in 10 identified themselves as born-again Christians.. About three-quarters said it mattered at least somewhat that a candidate shared their religious beliefs.
Romney is a Mormon while Santorum is Catholic.
Dunn, a Catholic who accepts the born-again label for himself, said the born-again majority in Tennessee is not surprising and ties into the belief that “You have to fix your social problems or you’re never going to fix your money problems.”
Dunn was the first state legislator to endorse Santorum, though 11 others eventually joined him. Six backed Gingrich. Twenty-two state legislators backed Romney, including House Speaker Beth Harwell.
Gov. Bill Haslam served as chairman of the Romney campaign in Tennessee and traveled the state last week to urge support for the former Massachusetts governor. Romney was also backed by four of the state’s GOP congressmen – the others did not endorse anyone – along with Sen. Lamar Alexander, former Gov. Winfield Dunn and many of the state’s leading Republican fundraisers.
It remains to be seen how significant Santorum’s victory in Tennessee, one of ten state’s voting or holding caucuses on “Super Tuesday,” will be in the national presidential nomination picture. In 2008, Tennessee Republicans gave a state victory to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who presented himself as the most socially conservative candidate in that year’s campaign. Arizona Sen. John McCain finished as Tennessee runnerup in 2008 and went on to win the GOP nomination. Romney finished third in Tennessee’s 2008 contest.
President Obama was unopposed in the Democratic primary. State Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester sent out a statement Tuesday night criticizing Romney, who many Democrats believe will be the ultimate winner of the Republican contest.
“Mitt Romney’s loss tonight shows that he is out-of-touch with Tennesseans and it raises serious concerns about his chances in November — if he can make it to the general election,” said Forrester. “Not only did he and Tennessee’s Republican establishment fail to convince GOP voters to support his candidacy; he also wounded himself among women, moderate and blue-collar workers, without whose support he simply cannot win.”

Another TN Poll: Santorum 34, Romney 29, Gingrich 27, Paul 8

News release from Public Policy Polling:
The news is good for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and bad for Rick Santorum in PPP’s final polls of the three biggest Super Tuesday states.
In Ohio Romney leads with 37% to 36% for Santorum, 15% for Gingrich, and 11% for Ron Paul.
In Tennessee Santorum leads with 34% to 29% for Romney, 27% for Gingrich, and 8% for Paul.
In Georgia Gingrich leads with 47% to 24% for Romney, 19% for Santorum, and 8% for Paul.
A week ago Santorum had a huge lead in Tennessee, a decent sized one in Ohio, and seemed like he had a good chance for second in Georgia. Now he’s barely holding on in Tennessee, ever so slightly behind in Ohio, and seems doomed for third in Georgia.

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With Romney Rising in TN Polls, Santorum in ‘Game of Survivor’

From the Commercial Appeal’s Monday report on Rick Santorum’s Sunday visit to Memphis:
In comments to media after his lunch at Corky’s, Santorum sounded less like a candidate preparing for a triumphant Super Tuesday and more like one trying to keep hope alive.
“Every time you get into these races, as we’ve seen, Governor Romney goes out there and outspends you four, five, six to one. It’s going to take a toll. That’s what’s happened in pretty much all the states,” Santorum said. “That’s why you keep looking at this as a game of survivor.”
Two polls released Sunday showed that a 20-point Santorum advantage over Romney had all but evaporated, and that former House speaker Newt Gingrich was putting himself into position to compete for delegates here.
American Research Group’s poll of 600 likely Tennessee voters Thursday through Saturday put Santorum at 35 percent, Romney at 31 percent, Gingrich at 20 percent and Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 9 percent.
A Rasmussen Reports poll on Saturday of 750 likely Tennessee voters had similar results: Santorum at 34 percent, Romney at 30, Gingrich at 18 and Paul at 8.
Both polls list a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent, meaning the race in Tennessee is essentially a tossup.
…Santorum said Sunday a key strategy is narrowing the relevant choices for Republican voters to Romney and one other candidate.
“Again, this race, for us to ultimately win this race, it’s going to ultimately have to narrow down to two (candidates), and I think that will happen eventually,” said Santorum.
Neither Gingrich nor Paul shows signs of surrender.

AP’s Super Tuesday Roundup on Sunday — Running from Rush

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Intensifying debate over conservative social values — and Republican icon Rush Limbaugh — overshadowed the nation’s economic concerns Sunday as the Republican presidential campaign hurtled toward Super Tuesday contests that could re-shape the nomination battle and shift the direction of the Grand Old Party.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum distanced themselves from Limbaugh, who boasts a huge conservative following and recently apologized for calling a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his nationally syndicated radio program. The woman testified at a congressional hearing in favor of an Obama administration mandate that employee health plans include free contraceptive coverage. While religious institutions are exempt, their affiliates, such as hospitals and universities, were at first included in the requirement. Under harsh criticism from conservatives, President Barack Obama later said the affiliates could opt out, but insurers must pay for the coverage.
The GOP framed the issue as one of religious liberty. But Obama’s chief political strategist suggested the Limbaugh’s reaction — and Republicans slow repudiation of his comments — would benefit Democrats in the general election this fall.

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Santorum’s Sunday Worship Service in Memphis

Rick Santorum became the first Republican presidential candidate to visit the Memphis area in recent weeks with a Sunday morning appearance at Bellevue Baptist Church, reports the Commercial Appeal.
Santorum, a Catholic and a former Pennsylvania senator, arrived with his wife, Karen, and three of their children, and was seated in the front row of the Memphis mega-church, which is one of the largest Southern Baptist churches in the South. He seemed to enjoy an early hymn, nodding his head and swaying, then embracing his wife.
Bellevue pastor Steve Gaines brought Santorum and his wife onto the stage for a prayer. With the couple’s image featured on several of the arena-like sanctuary’s jumbo TV screens, Gaines quoted from I Timothy, verse two, and mentioned abortion and immorality.
“Our church is very concerned about our nation and we just believe we should turn back to God,” Gaines said in his prayer.
At one point, two parishioners placed their hands on Santorum’s shoulders, and most of the congregation raised their hands in a symbolic laying on of hands for the former Pennsylvania senator.
The appearance at one of the South’s largest Southern Baptist churches comes on the same weekend The New York Times examined Santorum’s devotion to the kind of “highly traditional Catholicism” that has historically caused tension between Baptists and Catholics.
According to The Times: “Unlike Catholics who believe that church doctrine should adapt to changing times and needs, the Santorums believe in a highly traditional Catholicism that adheres fully to what scholars call ‘the teaching authority’ of the pope and his bishops.”
The visit also comes as Santorum is working to lock down his advantage in the South over national Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, whose own Mormon faith has been a factor in his struggle to build a stronger following among religious conservatives, particularly those in the South.