Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Trump’s signature focus has been on immigration and how it has hurt American jobs and wages and that economic policies here have sent American manufacturers packing to Mexico and China. He’s called for an aggressive approach to illegal, and to a lesser degree, legal immigration, and is roundly credited for being the first and only one in this race to address the problem of immigration in this light and vows to bring manufacturing back to American shores like no other. It’s going to be like, legendary HUGE. He’s going to make America great again by having America make things again. And it’s all Trump’s own ideas and policies that will accomplish this. He was the FIRST one to talk like this. At least that’s what the media, ALL media, tell us. Hmmm. I. Don’t. Think. So.
Let’s step back again in time to the Summer of 2014, way pre-Trump, when Rick Santorum first pointed out that immigration was having a devastating impact on American jobs and wages due to illegal immigration and the masses of people coming into this country legally as well. At The Family Leadership Summit in Iowa in August 2014, Santorum threw down the gauntlet on immigration policy, delivering a poignant and passionate boatrocker message how out of touch the GOP had become over the years for singularly focusing immigration policy on achieving some form of amnesty to meet the demands of big business owners seeking cheap foreign labor to bump up their profits and how Democrats push for amnesty to reclaim power via a guaranteed voter base. His message was a follow up to his Tour de Force at CPAC months earlier, shaking up a stale and tone deaf Republican Party and chastising them to refocus message and policies on the 90% of Americans who aren’t business owners and work for others for a living. It was a total departure from the boilerplate fare routinely served up at conservative political venues like this, a truly bold move by Santorum to blaze a new trail forward to not only unite the Republican Party but actually make a connection to voters who have divorced themselves from an abusive and negligent Democrat Party.
From Breitbart News March 7, 2014:
Rick Santorum Goes Populist at CPAC: ‘Do We Really Accept There Are Classes in America?’
“The speech was a surprising one. It served to distinguish Santorum from the rest of the amorphous pack of Republicans who may or may not resurface in 2016. Santorum might not be holding public office right now or showing up strongly in polls, but he remains the runner-up to Mitt Romney in 2012, and that position always carries weight in the Republican Party. He is also offering voters something no Republican is offering: a sensibility for the proletariat, a soft spot for the poor, and a desire to engage in the economic debate that other Republicans deem “class warfare.” Santorum might be calling for the abandonment of a “leftist” language, but he is speaking Democrat in economics, and doing so in a way that makes him unique in the field. “
Despite a national media blackout, Santorum’s message caught the attention of two major American worker focused immigration organizations, NumbersUSA and VDare, both who lauded him for raising the bar on the immigration debate with his unique pro-worker, pro-growth immigration policy putting Americans, not immigrants first. For over a year leading up to and in the midst of the primaries, Rick Santorum had the lone “A” grade on the NumbersUSA immigration scorecard for presidential candidates with the next closest grade a “C” by Scott Walker who did a hasty 180 on his pro amnesty plan to mimic Santorum’s policies and succeeded in bumping up his grade to a “B” and then an “A-” with Trump later following suit. Currently, Ted Cruz is under fire for his own immigration on steroids policy, exposed on the campaign trail by Santorum, and he likely will do a major flip flop to bump up his own immigration score to mirror Santorum’s. Clearly a cut and dried case of political Follow the Leader here. The national media, conservative talk hosts, and bloggers have only covered Walker and Trump and as they received praises for bumping up their initially dismal grades on the immigration scorecard. Conveniently omitted was any mention of Santorum and his rock solid steady “A.” Watch for Cruz to receive major praise when he no doubt undergoes his extreme makeover on this hot button issue now driving this election. It’s coming, folks. You just know it is.
Most of you likely heard nary a word about Rick Santorum on this because he’s the main target of the Republican establishment effort to blackball him for the 2016 presidential race. (More about this in an upcoming blog.) He is routinely the only speaker left out of media coverage of CPAC and other major political speaking venues, so it was low hanging fruit for Trump to swoop in and make off with Santorum’s message and policies as his own. Imagine Santorum’s surprise to hear HIS message, issues, and policies delivered, at times near verbatim, by Trump and Walker at the Iowa Freedom Summit this past January, the first official candidate forum of the 2016 race. Santorum’s own speech, centered around the premise of his book, was a serious and mature conversation with the audience, substantive in the depth and breadth of major issues this election needs to be framed around if we are to win in 2016 and actually unite and restore our fragile and fragmented Republic. No pie-in-the-sky promises or rhetoric, just a meaty, realistic assessment of the political landscape focused through a new lens. In contrast, Trump and Walker hit the stage using much of Santorum’s blue collar message as hollow talking points in aggressive pre-campaign stump speeches chumming the audience for cheers and those coveted standing O’s for good PR purposes. Along with Trump’s long established tabloidish celebrity came all the obligatory cameras and media, and it was he who succeeded in suctioning all the attention and shortly thereafter was crowned a blue collar champion the likes we’ve not seen since Reagan. Walker rode this new blue collar message to soaring heights for a time as well but it took the media megaphone of Rush Limbaugh to get him there. Trump being Trump, however, was carried to the top by a gold-plated, media drawn carriage.