Rachel Alexander
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The anyone-but-Romney conservatives have currently latched onto Rick Santorum as their candidate du jour, providing him with a surge shortly into the Republican primary elections. But is he really that conservative? Santorum is known for taking strong stands on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. As a result of his outspokenness on the sanctity of marriage, he has been the target of a cruel gay activist.

Up until his surge, most people took his conservative claims for granted without closely scrutinizing his record in Congress. But his record is sketchy. Santorum’s lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union is only 88. Newt Gingrich’s lifetime rating is 90. Santorum’s record was even worse in the past; during his first two years in Congress he received ratings of 83 and 81, which dipped to a low of 70 in 1993.

Santorum really hurt his conservative record in 2004 by backing abortion-rights supporter Arlen Specter for Senate over conservative challenger Pat Toomey, deciding that Toomey was unelectable. Specter narrowly won. Toomey went on to win the next election, as Specter switched parties and lost in the Democratic primary.

Santorum is not necessarily the best candidate for the Tea Party either, considering he expressed his distaste for the Tea Party a couple of years ago, “I have some real concerns about this movement within the Republican party…to sort of refashion conservatism. And I will vocally and publicly oppose it.”

Liberty Counsel Action put together a list of not 10, not 50, but 100 of Santorum’s disappointing votes on major issues over his 16 years in office. His record on social issues does not entirely live up to his rhetoric. He voted to fund Planned Parenthood as part of an appropriations bill that provided money for Title X family planning. He voted three years in a row against bills to end the National Endowment for the Arts, famous for funding artwork like a cross in urine.

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Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.