Nolan Chart 
January 24, 2012
Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich each claim to be the true conservative choice in 2012. But Congressman Ron Paul teaches them what “conservative” really means.
On Monday, four candidates stood before a sedated audience in the Florida GOP Debate, each man competing for the soul of the Republican Party. With few exceptions, the tactic of most modern GOP nominees has been to move to the left during the general election season to win the support of moderates and independents. However, the candidate must first secure his own party’s nomination by moving to the right and marketing himself as a “conservative”.
On the far left of the stage was former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum. Naturally, Santorum calls himself a true conservative. But is Rick Santorum a conservative?
While serving in the US Senate, Santorum voted in favor of appropriations bills to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on AIDS research in Africa, to provide education to children in third world countries, to finance the government of Sudan, and to increase domestic welfare spending on food stamp programs. He voted five times to raise the debt ceiling, rather than to fight to balance the federal budget. He voted to double the size of the Department of Education by strongly supporting No Child Left Behind legislation and, worse, was a vocal proponent of Medicaid Part D – one of the biggest hikes in entitlement spending in US history. “Conservative” is hardly the word that describes Rick Santorum.
On stage, next to Santorum, stood former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. Clearly, Romney is the Republican establishment’s choice for 2012. Like his RINO predecessors (McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush Sr.), Romney’s struggle has been to convince the party base that, if entrusted with the nomination, he will not spring back to the far left. So far, it has been no easy task.