He didn't cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008. He didn't follow the pro-bailout GOP crowd including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and he didn't have to obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now, like Rick Perry and Herman Cain did. He also opposed the auto bailout, Freddie and Fannie bailout, and porkulus bills.
Santorum opposed individual health care mandates clearly and forcefully as far back as his 1994 U.S. Senate run. He has launched the most cogent, forceful fusillade against both Romney and Gingrich for their muddied, pro-individual health care mandate waters.
He voted against cap and trade in 2003, voted yes to drilling in ANWR, and unlike Romney and Gingrich, Santorum has never dabbled with eco-radicals like John Holdren, Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. He hasn't written any Contracts with the Earth.
Santorum is strong on border security, national security, and defense. Mitt the Flip-Flopper and Open Borders-Pandering Newt have been far less trustworthy on immigration enforcement.
He won Iowa through hard work and competent campaign management. Santorum has improved in every GOP debate and gave his strongest performance last week in Florida, wherein he both dismantled Romneycare and popped the Newt bubble by directly challenging the front-runners character and candor without resorting to their petty tactics.
He rose above the fray by sticking to issues.
Most commendably, he refused to join Gingrich and Perry in indulging in the contemptible Occupier rhetoric against Romney. Character and honor matter. Santorum has it.
As time has passed, my inclinations toward Gingrich have waned. I'm more and more troubled by Newt and his baggage laden-ness doesn't help. Michelle's piece makes a strong argument for Santorum and the character and honor of the man is indeed convincing.
His road ahead is daunting to say the least but if Gingrich continues to struggle, if he continues to lose traction, then Santorum will strongly play the role of the anti-Romney quite well and in that role, he'd certainly have my support.