Breaking Down Rick Santorum vs. Rand Paul

On last night’s Crossfire, Rick Santorum shared some thoughts about Rand Paul. CNN reports:

Rick Santorum said Monday he doubts a Libertarian-leaning candidate, like Rand Paul, could be nominated to lead the Republican Party in a presidential election.

Asked by co-host Van Jones on CNN’s “Crossfire” if he could support the Kentucky senator if he winds up running and is nominated in 2016, Santorum said he doesn’t think he’ll have to consider that ultimately.

“Well, first off, I don’t think that will happen because a Republican Party is not a Libertarian Party. It is a conservative party and it will nominate a conservative, not a libertarian,” Santorum said.

With respect to Rand Paul, Santorum was asked by Van Jones, “Is this the new face of the Republican Party, is this your leader?”

He replied, “Well — no he’s not my leader, I can tell you that for sure. His father and I had some disagreements during the last campaign.”

So much to say, so little time. Here’s the short version, to start…

1) Don’t judge a man by his dad’s policies. My dad and I agree roughly 50% of the time on matters of the head and heart. That goes for politics too. I’m not sure what Ron Paul’s policy has to do with his son’s. If you disagree with the man in question, leave his dad out of it. (That goes for moms, sisters, and great aunts too.)

2) I agree that the GOP establishment will likely line up heavily behind the likes of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. But is that part of the problem? Didn’t those same folks line up heavily behind Mitt Romney and John McCain? And Santorum’s assessment that the GOP “is a conservative party and it will nominate a conservative” is, well, flawed. I’m not sure many conservatives would file Romney and McCain in the conservative folder.

3) Is the Republican Party of yesterday the same as the Republican Party of tomorrow? In other words, will future right-leaning leaders be more libertarian in nature? My guess is yes. Take a look at polling with respect to young Republicans on gay marriage and young people in general on privacy issues and the NSA. Rand Paul got a standing ovation at Berkeley for a reason. Given all of this, is a “Republican Party is not a Libertarian Party” strategy smart? (No. No, it is not.)

I repeatedly hear people saying that young people are the future of this country. They’re right.

Let’s be honest. If you were to poll young, right-leaning people on a Rick Santorum vs. Rand Paul race, do you have any doubts about where those numbers would fall?

I don’t.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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