Friday, March 30, 2012

Santorum doesn't think Ryan's budget goes far enough


Rick Santorum seems to be trying to lock down the voters who consider themselves "very conservative" (also known as the "voters he already has locked down").

The Hill's Daniel Strauss reports:

Rick Santorum signaled partial but not total support for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's 2013 budget plan, which was approved by the House earlier Thursday.

During a speech in California, which the Santorum campaign billed as a "major" foreign policy address, Santorum signaled that while he supported Ryan's plan, it didn't go far enough slashing government spending.

"It's five trillion dollars over 10 years," Santorum said. "We need five trillion over five years."

Santorum's comment is somewhat of a departure from previous statements he'd made on support for Ryan's plan while also touting his own economic proposals. He had previously stressed his unwavering support for the similar budget proposal from last year.

This is a pretty common phenomenon; one we've seen in this cycle already. A struggling candidate moves even further to the right in an effort to shake things up and galvanize support.

After all, there's nothing to really lose when you're really losing big and know you won't have to face general election questions over what you say. And if you, improbably, do actually get to the general election, well, you'll cross that bridge in the low chance it comes.

So, besides Santorum, the guy who did this the most in '12 was Jon Huntsman. He entered the race with the general election clearly in mind and positioned himself as Mitt Romney without the flip-flops and health care.

But then, as he realized that Morning Joe votes didn't translate into real ones, and as he struggled to move from 1% to 2% in polls, he suddenly decided to move to the right of Mitt Romney. When that didn't work, he moved further to the right. Problem was that it was too late, and no one really bought his shakeup.