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Entries in New Hamshire (3)

Friday
Jan062012

Rick Santorum in the Hot Seat Again for Gay Marriage Stance

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Rick Santorum became an internet sensation -- and the subject of many jabs -- when a website mocking him turned up at the top of every Google search.

The website, launched by sex commentator and gay activist Dan Savage, was prompted by Santorum’s comments in 2003 talking “man on dog” relationships when explaining his views on same-sex marriage.

Now the former senator from Pennsylvania is once again in the hot seat as he campaigns in socially liberal New Hampshire.

For the second day in a row, Santorum was booed Friday after an exchange with an older gentleman about same-sex marriage. This came a day after the former senator from Pennsylvania tried to explain his logic to a group of students in New Hampshire and compared homosexual union to polygamy.

“So anyone can marry anybody else? So if that’s the case, then everyone can marry several people … so you can be married to five people. Is that O.K.?” Santorum questioned a student in Concord, N.H.

Santorum was loudly booed at the end of that event.

Santorum’s sentiments on homosexuality have also often contradicted his own statements. He has spoken in favor of personal freedoms, opposing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill in 2002 on the grounds that it was an “affront to personal freedom and liberty.” But at the same time, he argues that states do have a right to “limit individuals’ wants and passions.”

His views didn’t affect Santorum in Iowa, where evangelical Christians make up a large part of the Republican electorate. The religious groups voted heavily in his favor and helped propel him to top status just days before the Iowa caucus.

But the story is different in New Hampshire, a state where gay marriage is legal and which boasts a much more moderate set of Republicans. Santorum’s views could be problematic for him there, if recent events are any evidence.

He is likely to receive a more friendly reception in South Carolina, but nationally, Santorum’s views could come back to haunt him.

One of his former aides who is openly gay recently jumped to Santorum’s defense, saying the former senator is not homophobic but simply opposes gay marriage.

“From a legal standpoint, he’s kind of right. The word privacy is nowhere in the Constitution,” Robert Traynham, who worked for Santorum when he was a senator, said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

When asked if Santorum is against the idea of homosexuality, Traynham testily responded, “I worked for him for 10 years. I was openly out to him. I never ever heard him say anything remotely like that at all.  If I ever thought he thought that, I would have never worked for him.”

Santorum has also received heavy criticism for his opinions against birth control and abortion. He supports outlawing abortion in all cases, even rape and incest, and supports criminal prosecution for doctors who perform abortions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan052012

Analysis: Rick Santorum Struggles to Transition to Major Candidate

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Rick Santorum’s transition from scrappy Iowa underdog to national contender hit some bumps in his first full day campaigning in New Hampshire since his near-upset in the Hawkeye State.

During a stop Thursday at the Merrimack train station in Northfield, N.H., the former senator from Pennsylvania charmed the crowd, telling his life story, making his pitch and winning them over. Diving into the traditional engagement that New Hampshire voters demand, Santorum excelled in the back-and-forth.

But at the New Hampshire College Convention, at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H., he seemed lecturing and occasionally prickly. And while perhaps an instructive tone is not entirely inappropriate in front of students, he did some of the same Wednesday night at a senior center in Brentwood, N.H.

His debate with college students about same-sex marriage grew contentious.

“Why shouldn’t marriage [be] between three men?” he asked at one point.

His position on the issue is one that certainly will have appeal for the social conservatives in this state, where same-sex marriage is legal, and even more so for his next audience in South Carolina. But the extensive back-and-forth -- he clearly relishes debate -- distracted from his task at hand: introducing himself to voters, explaining his rationale for his candidacy, and becoming a contender. While his bona fides as a social conservative are part of that, his task is to now expand beyond those base Republican voters. Even before that debate over marriage, Santorum’s stump speech was long on history lessons, short on rallying supporters.

Santorum at one point asked for a show of hands as to who knew the national motto. He expressed a shocked disgust that “only five percent of you are raising your hands.”

Moreover, he was wrong. He said the motto was “E Pluribus Unum.” It isn’t. It’s “In God We Trust” -- as Republicans pointed out two months ago in a House resolution after President Obama made the same mistake.

Presidential campaigns provide opportunities for candidates to grow and mature, to step into the role of a national leader. Not every candidate is able to meet the moment -- witness Howard Dean, for example, or Mike Huckabee. Sometimes the thinking is: Well, this worked for me up until now, so I might as well continue doing it. But that is a fallacy. Campaigns are opportunities to grow into something else. No nominee starts the same as he ends.

Santorum will need his campaign to grow in infrastructure, fundraising, endorsements and national reach. After New Hampshire, as the candidates move to states that depend less on retail politics and more on money, TV ads and major rallies, this will become a resource war.  But that won’t be enough. He will need to grow, as well.

Conservatives are looking for a candidate around whom they can rally. Santorum will need to rise to the occasion, or like others before him, he could fall.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Perry Delegate Signs on to Work for Gingrich in New Hampshire

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(BEDFORD, N.H.) -- A delegate previously committed to Rick Perry has switched his allegiance and signed on with Newt Gingrich’s campaign in New Hampshire.

Bob Burns, who is listed on Perry’s New Hampshire delegate roster, which was submitted on Nov. 18, will be a deputy state director for Gingrich.

“Anybody who wants to come over, we’re taking with open arms. But him coming from Perry was good for us, along with his stature and different positions he’s held in the state. He will be helping out head a lot of the phone-banking. But this organization is pretty hands-on-deck, so all of us are helping out with everything,” Matt LeDuc, communications director for Gingrich in New Hampshire, told ABC News.

Burns of Bedford, N.H., is the treasurer of Hillsborough County.

The Perry campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio