Is Senator Rick Santorum Just a Social Conservative?

It appears to be common knowledge that Senator Rick Santorum is a strong social conservative. Many seem to think he is too far right on those issues and not strong enough on the other issues. Are they correct?

Quote from Was Santorum a Senate Spendthrift? (Emphasis mine)

For each session of Congress, NTU scores each member on an A-to-F scale. NTU weights members’ votes based on those votes’ perceived effect on both the immediate and future size of the federal budget. Those who get A’s are among “the strongest supporters of responsible tax and spending policies”; they receive NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.” B’s are “good” scores, C’s are “minimally acceptable” scores, D’s are “poor” scores, and F’s earn their recipients membership in the “Big Spender” category. There is no grade inflation whatsoever, as we shall see.

NTU’s scoring paints a radically different picture of Santorum’s 12-year tenure in the Senate (1995 through 2006) than one would glean from the rhetoric of the Romney campaign. Fifty senators served throughout Santorum’s two terms: 25 Republicans, 24 Democrats, and 1 Republican/Independent. On a 4-point scale (awarding 4 for an A, 3.3 for a B+, 3 for a B, 2.7 for a B-, etc.), those 50 senators’ collective grade point average (GPA) across the 12 years was 1.69 — which amounts to a C-. Meanwhile, Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-. Santorum’s GPA placed him in the top 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50.

Across the 12 years in question, only 6 of the 50 senators got A’s in more than half the years. Santorum was one of them. He was also one of only 7 senators who never got less than a B. (Jim Talent served only during Santorum’s final four years, but he always got less than a B, earning a B- every year and a GPA of 2.7.) Moreover, while much of the Republican party lost its fiscal footing after George W. Bush took office — although it would be erroneous to say that the Republicans were nearly as profligate as the Democrats — Santorum was the only senator who got A’s in every year of Bush’s first term. None of the other 49 senators could match Santorum’s 4.0 GPA over that span.

This much alone would paint an impressive portrait of fiscal conservatism on Santorum’s part. Yet it doesn’t even take into account a crucial point: Santorum was representing Pennsylvania.

Let’s use the Club for Growth’s information available by clicking on the individual presidential candidates’ pictures at the CFG website.


Rick Santorum spent sixteen years in Congress – four years in the House followed by 12 years in the Senate – before losing to Democrat Bob Casey in 2006. In the last two years of his Senate career, he had an average Club for Growth rating of 77%, compared to an average of 73% for all Senate Republicans over that same time period. In the previous thirteen years before the Club had a scorecard, Santorum accumulated an average score of 76% on the National Taxpayers Union scorecard. This compares to a 71% average among all Republicans. NTU is a non-partisan group that advocates for limited government.


The Club for Growth wrote a white paper on Governor Mitt Romney back in 2007. Most of the information below is from that report, but since Romney has been outspoken on several issues since then, we’ve updated his record to reflect those positions. The Cato Institute, a free market think tank rates the country’s governors on a biennial basis. In both their 2004 and 2006 reports, they gave then-Governor Romney a “C” on tax and spending issues.


The Club for Growth did not have its own scorecard for members of Congress during Gingrich’s tenure from 1979-98, but the non-partisan and pro-free market National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has been issuing a congressional scorecard for decades and Gingrich’s record on economic issues, as provided by NTU, is worth analyzing. From 1979-98, Gingrich had an average score of 61% (with 100% being a perfect score on supporting lower taxes and limited government). The average Republican score over this time period was slightly lower at 56%.

Summary from the information in the presidential candidates’ introductions at CFG:

Sen. Santorum received a rating of 4 points above the Republicans’ average during his “last two years” in the Senate and 5 points above average during his previous 13 years in the House and Senate.

Gov. Romney earned a “C” during his years as Governor. I don’t know if that “C” is among only Republican governors or if it is among governors from both parties.

Rep. Gingrich received a rating of 5 points above the Republican’s average.

It is really hard to compare their records using this. IMO Santorum’s fiscal conservative record doesn’t look all that bad.

Published in: on February-06:00bMon, 20 Feb 2012 15:58:20 -0600000000pmMon, 20 Feb 2012 15:58:20 -060012 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm  Comments (1)  

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

America used to be “the land of opportunity” where Americans were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Many Americans were able to achieve “The American Dream” with ingenuity and hard work.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve read several stories of changes in America that have caused me to write this blog. Here are just a few examples:

Most of us are aware of Obama’s contraception mandate that goes against religious freedom. But, are you aware that Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) points out that exemptions are being granted to various organizations, including unions, but religious ones still face a mandate?

I read an article pointed out by a fellow HucksArmy member earlier this week informing us Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water

In Dependence at an all-time high Neil Boortz says:

It’s no secret that more Americans are dependent on government than ever before. The Heritage Foundation released its 2012 Index of Dependence on Government. The results emphasize our slide toward a European welfare nation.

This morning I read an article that got me even more upset. Food Inspector Confiscates Kid’s Homemade Lunch

NONE of our GOP presidential candidates are perfect. EVERY one of them has something that goes against some conservative views. Our liberties are being trampled on and instead of uniting together against the Democrats’ socialistic agenda – Republicans are fighting against each other.

Republicans had a better chance of defeating Obama before campaigns and Super PACS resorted to tearing their fellow soldiers down. Why can’t all of that money be used to point out the positives for their chosen candidate instead of negatives against their opposition?

The Republican Party and America needs a leader that will stand up and show us why he is the one to lead the fight to restore our liberties that are being taken away one by one.

I’m ready to fight to keep our freedom. America needs a Patrick Henry willing to lead the charge, “Give me liberty or give me death!” – before we are no longer a free Republic.

Published in: on February-06:00bWed, 15 Feb 2012 09:38:45 -0600000000amWed, 15 Feb 2012 09:38:45 -060012 4, 2008 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment