Rep. Andrew Manuse: The Devil Wears Vestments

In his 2008 speech at Ave Maria University, Rich Santorum said we are in a “spiritual war” in which Satan has his sights on the United States. Santorum is particularly under fire for his assertion that mainline Protestant churches have been overtaken by Satan and are no longer Christian.

He said the devil had exerted control over academia and then began attacking Christianity. “And of course,” he said, “we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”

Santorum’s comments were virtually unnoticed in 2008, as were similar comments by New Hampshire state Rep. Andrew Manuse last year. Manuse was responding to criticism from the Catholic Church over Republican budget cuts when he accused the Church of having been “taken over by the dark one.”

It is important to note that there are those claiming to speak for the Church right now who are not speaking for the church, but instead are speaking for the devil. Any church that urges government to do the job of the private sector and religious charity has been taken over by the dark one.


Semi-Circular Logic

Jeanine Notter has been called the Michele Bachmann of the New Hampshire House, who has been called the Jack Kimball of the New Hampshire presidential primary, where she is endorsing Rick Santorum, an icky sexual byproduct who shares a name with a politician who wants to censor Google.


CNHT Straw Poll Results (Ho Hum)

The New Hampshire Tea Party folks (about 150 of them) got together yesterday for a little politicking. The straw poll held at the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers’ annual picnic is an indication of who’s winning the hearts and minds of the GOP’s extreme right-wing activists. This year, as if to prove their irrelevance, they’re supporting Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

Ron Paul 63 (39%)
Rick Santorum 20 (12%)
Michele Bachmann 17 (11%)
Herman Cain 17 (11%)
Mitt Romney 14 (9%)
Tim Pawlenty 12 (7%)
Gary Johnson 11 (7%)
Thaddeus McCotter 3 (2%)
Rick Perry (write-in) 2 (1%)
Jon Huntsman 1 (1%)
Alan Keyes (write-in) 1 (1%)


Magellan: Romney Maintains Big NH Primary Lead

Mitt Romney continues to maintain his front-runner position in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary in a new survey from Magellan Strategies. 42% of those surveyed say if the election were held today, they would vote for Romney. His closest competitors are Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann with 10% each.

Compared to an earlier survey from Magellan, Romney has about the same level of support as he had at the beginning of the year. Michelle Bachmann, who was not included in the January poll, has gained the most, while support for Palin and Gingrich has dropped significantly.

Mitt Romney: 42% (January 2011: 39%)
Ron Paul: 10% (7%)
Michele Bachmann: 10% (n/a)
Sarah Palin 7% (16%)
Rudy Giuliani 6% (n/a)
Tim Pawlenty: 5% (4%)
Herman Cain: 4% (n/a)
Newt Gingrich: 3% (8%)
Jon Huntsman: 3% (n/a)
Rick Santorum: 2% (3%) 

A finding that could play a a significant role in the primary results is that just 63% of these likely voters self-identify as conservative on most issues. 32% identify themselves as moderate and 4% liberal. 72% of the Republicans said they are conservative compared to just 39% of Independents. Undeclared voters, those who are not registered as Republicans or Democrats, are eligible to vote in the GOP primary.

The survey results are based on an autodial survey of 727 likely Republican primary voters and undeclared voters likely to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary. The interviews were conducted June 14-15, 2011. This survey has a margin of error of +/‐ 3.63% at the 95 percent confidence interval.



On the Campaign Trail: Those Wacky Republicans

Rick Santorum on climate change:

"[T]he idea that man through the production of CO2 … is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd…. It’s just an excuse for more government control of your life, and I’ve never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative."

Herman Cain on homosexuality:

“I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin. But I know that some people make that choice. That’s their choice…. I believe it’s a choice.”


GOP Candidates Pledge to Destroy Government

John DiStaso reports anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist will be in Manchester tomorrow when GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum signs Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

Norquist told the Granite Status today that Santorum will be third presidential candidate to sign the pledge so far in the current campaign. He said businessman Herman Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson have also signed.

Norquist said all other GOP presidential candidates have indicated to him that they intend to sign the pledge as well.

Norquist says this means opposing any deficit reduction plan that increases taxes or allows current “temporary” taxes to expire. But keep them all in place and the 2015 deficit explodes to $1.1 trillion. So how do they get there from here?

Michael Linden points out the current GOP budget proposal cuts 6% from discretionary spending and would result in “hundreds of thousands of job losses, slower economic growth over the long term, massively rolling back services for children, undermining the safety and health of all Americans and seriously fraying the social safety net.”

Getting the deficit below $500 billion under the rules of Norquist’s pledge would require increasing that to a 15% across the board spending cut. Honor Paul Ryan’s pledge not to cut entitlements for those 55 and over, and you would have to cut everything else by 30%. Exempt the Pentagon, and the required cuts grow to 50%.

So there you have it. Deficit reduction brought to you by Grover Norquist: cut every basic service of the federal government — highway funding, border patrol, school lunches, Coast Guard, disease control, product safety, drug inspections, national parks, museums, and libraries, education funding, scientific research, embassies and consulates, veterans’ medical care, the FBI — fully in half.

The GOP has made a lot of promises recently: to Norquist that they won’t raise taxes, to seniors that they won’t cut their benefits, to the American people that they will reduce the deficit. The only way to keep them all is to cut nearly everything the government does by 50 percent.

Or break some promises.


ICYMI: The NH GOP’s Underwhelming Cattle Call

Five GOP presidential wannabes were in the state this weekend for back-to-back cattle calls with Granite State Republicans. The results were so underwhelming that Fergus Cullen, former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party declared, “The race needs more responsible adults who can actually do the job.”

Mitt Romney, the ostensible front runner, struggled.

Romney remains an exceptionally unnatural public speaker. To convey passion and excitement, he raises the pitch of his voice and imbues it with urgency. But it never quite clicks. His tone and affect are like that of an adult doing a dramatic reading of a pirate story to a wide-eyed three year old. It doesn’t help that he speaks too quickly and often trips over his lines. At points during his speech, Romney seemed to slip into a frenzy and start madly free associating economic buzzwords.

Romney was especially maladroit when he tried to ad-lib a Jimmy Carter-Barack Obama comparison about how Republicans need to hang the “Obama Misery Index” around Obama’s neck.

Romney repeated the “we’re going to hang him" locution once more and then, all of a sudden, in mid-sentence, seemed to realize that metaphors about hanging a black man probably wouldn’t redound to his political benefit. [VIDEO]

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Rick Santorum: On Abortion and Social Security

Yesterday, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum denied saying there are not enough people to pay into the Social Security system because so many women have had abortions.

Santorum said the comment, which has been attributed to him, was made by a caller on a radio show. While he said he could see the logic, he would never equate abortion with economics.

Here’s the direct quote from Santorum, recorded March 29, 2011, on WEZS:

"This caller is absolutely right. The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion."

You can listen for yourself. The discussion in question begins at the 50:18 mark.


Santorum: Social Security Makes You “Less of a Person”

In his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Rick Santorum has aligned himself with Tea Party activists and right wing extremists in the GOP seeking to end Social Security and Medicare.

Friday night, in a keynote speech for the Strafford County Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner, Santorum attacked Social Security and Medicare as “drugs.”

Santorum said the Democrats talk about entitlements the way dealers talk about drugs.

“Close your eyes, like you’re listening to a drug dealer outside a schoolyard,” he said. “They see entitlements as a way to make you dependent, weaker, less of a person than you are, drugging you into submission to a government who promises a high to take care of you.”


When Right-Wing Adversaries Attack

Rick Santorum suggesting Sarah Palin turned down the the keynote speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference because of more lucrative business opportunities and family responsibilities:

“I have a feeling she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them. I’m sure that she’s doing what’s best for her and her family. … I wouldn’t have turned it down, but I don’t live in Alaska. I’m not the mother to all these kids. And I don’t have … other business opportunities.”

Sarah Palin on Rick Santorum:

I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal that perhaps others want to call him, I’ll let his wife call him that instead.


Santorum vs. Santorum

While campaigning in New Hampshire, former Sen. Rick Santorum warned against intrusive governmental action as a response to the Arizona shooting that left six people dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically injured. He was less concerned when he defended the USA PATRIOT Act.

There is always the call for the state to do more. We don’t need the state to do more. We don’t need the state to come in and control the people. … We don’t need the government to come in and impose restrictions upon freedoms.

Rick Santorum, on reactions to the Arizona shooting. 

If we really believed that the Islamic fascists were a real threat to the future of our country, we would not be screaming and hollering about how our government is tracking terrorists’ money, and monitoring their telephone conversations.

Rick Santorum, in support of the USA PATRIOT Act. The law reduced restrictions on the government’s ability to search telephone, email, medical and financial records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within our borders; and expanded the government’s authority to regulate financial transactions.


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