Santorum V Gingrich

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Keystone stater releases statement Mon. highlighting Gingrich’s disavowal of recent support of Ryan plan.

“For several years, Newt Gingrich has deserved a lot of credit for thinking through a great many issues in a serious and interesting fashion. But his criticism of Congressman Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan yesterday was a big departure from Speaker Gingrich’s often sound policy proposals. Furthermore, it was a departure from his support of Paul Ryan’s plan just a few weeks ago. Contrary to what Speaker Gingrich said yesterday, the Ryan plan does not ‘suddenly impose’ ‘radical change.’ It is a good first step toward positive reform of a program in desperate need of rescue. Paul Ryan’s plan is the first serious step by our new Congress to empower future seniors with more choices while at the same time keeping the Medicare system solvent and reigning in out-of-control federal spending.”

“As for the rest of our nation’s health care system, it is out of line with conservative principles to continue to support individual mandates as both the Speaker did yesterday and Governor Romney did last week. A mandate, be it at the state or federal level, is still a government power-grab that neither lowers costs nor enhances individual choice, principles that are the essence of the market-based reforms our party should be supporting,” Santorum concluded.

Santorum has done a smart job picking his spots for both trying to get attention and taking on his rivals. When he has the conservative upper hand over one of the candidates above of him in the pecking order, he is wise to make a principled and tough stand. He still has a long way to go to battle his way into the first tier, but at least he has a theory of the case about how to get there.
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