Here's the email to what I'm told is a list of more than 500,000 conservative Catholics:[...] Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney each have qualities we can admire. But Rick Santorum has always been a candidate Catholics could trust.
No candidate is perfect, and his record isn't without blemish. But let’s be honest. Senators hate talking about life and marriage, but Rick Santorum put them on the record and advanced our issues. He is the only Senator ever to force a vote on a federal marriage amendment and he relentlessly pushed for a ban on the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion. And he understands that the renewal of the family is the only way we will truly rebuild our economy and our culture. [...]
What do you think: Should we support Rick Santorum?
As difficult as it is to believe, it seems social conservatives really are going with Santorum as their next Not-Mitt. Even the last not-Mitt, a conservative Catholic himself, is on board:
Newt Gingrich, who finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses, said Wednesday he can "absolutely" see himself teaming up with Rick Santorum.
"Of course," Gingrich told conservative Laura Ingraham on her radio show. "Rick and I have a 20-year friendship. We were both rebels, we both came into this business as reformers. ... We'll both stay in the race for a while, we'll see how our personalities wear and how our policies and ideas wear."
From a social perspective, Rick Santorum is about as hard-right as you can get. He hates all the right things, and hates them passionately, and has no inconvenient past record of appearing "moderate" on anything.
I'm torn between wanting him to stay in the race as long as possible, thus forcing Romney to continue his kowtowing to the hard-hard-right, or wanting him to just go away quickly so that conservatives can get on with trying to draft a new, less ridiculous version.