Rick Santorum: Paul Ryan’s Budget Doesn’t Cut Deep Enough

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5437541227/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>

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Like Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich before him, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announced this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America that later today he’ll officially announce his presidential candidacy in the rural Pennsylvania town where his immigrant grandfather once worked.

Santorum is arguably the most hard-line, far-right social conservative in the GOP presidential field, neck and neck with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who’s expected to jump into the race later this month. (That right-wing intransigence has earned Santorum a serious Google problem.) But on GMA, Santorum sought to burnish his right-wing fiscal credibility, too, saying Rep. Paul Ryan’s unpopular budget plan doesn’t cut deep enough. “Not even Paul Ryan and his budget now has the temerity to go after Social Security,” Santorum said.

Ryan’s plan, which claims to slash $4 trillion over the next decade, has become a political lightning rod. In the recent special election in New York’s 26th district, Democrats used the Ryan plan as a political bludgeon, bashing the Republican candidate Jane Corwin for calling it “a terrific first step.” An early favorite, Corwin went on to lose to Democrat Kathy Hochul. According to a June poll from CNN, just 35 percent of respondents said they backed Ryan’s plan, while 58 percent opposed it. Even among conservatives, 53 percent of respondents said they disagreed with Ryan’s plan. In a matter of months, the plan has become too politically toxic to touch—a dilemma that pollsters had warned of in early discussions with GOP lawmakers.

As it stands, Santorum’s presidential bid is a long-shot, Hail Mary pass for a politician once described by a former aide as a “a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate.” By embracing both far-right social and economic policies, Santorum is only steering his campaign farther into the margin—and away from any chance, however slim, of succeeding in the presidential race.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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