Santorum's Spotless Conservative Credentials ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jan 14, 2008 8:42 AM

As you probably know, Rick Santorum has been doing the rounds, attacking John McCain.  Fair enough.  A lot of what Santorum has to say about John McCain is true, but though he was a good Senator, it should be noted that Santorum didn't always toe the conservative line, either. 

Given the chance to support conservative challengers to liberal Senators Arlen Specter and Linc Chafee, on both occasions, Santorum backed the liberal Senator (Note:  in both cases, I opposed the liberal incumbent) ...

Here's how The American Spectator put it:

Santorum backed the pro-abortion Specter in the 2004 Senate primary against kindred conservative then-Rep. Pat Toomey.

Here's what Stephen Moore wrote over at NRO back in 2004:

... Santorum is actively working to undermine Pat Toomey's candidacy. He has discouraged donors from contributing to Toomey. He has cut TV ads for Specter that portray the senior liberal senator as a friend of the taxpayer. He has staff people in Pennsylvania actively campaigning against Toomey.

Worst of all, Rick Santorum is running around Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., perpetuating the myth that Pat Toomey is "too conservative to win in Pennsylvania."

... Now, before someone says that I am writing this because Santorum said something bad about John McCain, here's what I wrote back in March of '06:

While I am certainly for Santorum over Casey, you can't help but see the irony here.

When fellow conservative Pat Toomey was fighting an uphill battle for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Republicans (including Santorum) worked against him. In fact, in 2004, Steve Moore wrote in National Review that "Santorum is actively working to undermine Pat Toomey's candidacy."

Of course, without conservative leaders even supporting him, Toomey narrowly lost the primary election to liberal incumbent Senator Arlen Specter. Now, just two years later, Santorum finds himself down in the polls and fighting for his political life.

I'm not gonna' call it karma, but it is ironic.

... This does not undermine everything Santorum has to say -- or his admirable tenure as a Senator -- or his  pro-Life voting record -- either.  But before we start making this man the arbiter of everything conservative, it's important to note that when it comes to casting stones ...