Rick Santorum Could Be GOP's Savior

George Will: Nobody can energize social conservatives better

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 3, 2011 12:56 PM CST

(Newser) – Rick Santorum will probably run for president in 2012, and George Will sounds pretty happy about it. With his focus on social issues—he's "passionately right-to-life and dedicated to trying to reform today's abortion culture"—Santorum might be the perfect candidate to energize social conservatives (who are "feeling neglected") and thus the larger Republican base, writes Will in the Washington Post.

True, Santorum lost his last election, but that doesn't make him washed up, writes Will: "Was Richard Nixon defunct after losing the California gubernatorial race in 1962?" The economy may be issue No. 1, but Santorum generally recasts economic problems as social ones. "He is, of course, correct that America's debt crisis is, at bottom, symptomatic of a failure of self-control, a fundamental moral failing," writes Will. And as Santorum himself says, "Never underestimate the power of the social issues."

Rick Santorum speaks at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on Jan. 25.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last year.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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