Thinning the First in the Nation herd: Santorum, Paul step aside

The New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary is less than a week away, and in the past few hours, two presidential candidates have dropped out of the race on the GOP side. Both have supported pro-life measures in the past.

Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum (E. Kolb photo)
Rick Santorum (E. Kolb photo)

I backed Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign early in the 2012 cycle, and stuck with him until he bowed out.  No regrets there.

Never forget that in 2003, when he was a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, he introduced the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. He saw it through to President Bush’s signature the same year, and the law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007. He also played an important role in constructive welfare reform legislation in the 1990s.

He has worked consistently to help the nation move past Roe v. Wade. I don’t expect that to change.

I still love his blunt question at CPAC in 2014. “Blunt” is the only way he knows how to be when an election is at stake.

Rand Paul

Whenever I’ve heard Rand Paul, whether it’s been at the March for Life in Washington or in the WMUR studio in Manchester, I’ve been favorably impressed. Anyone who calls the Hobby Lobby decision a “net win” for liberty is on the right track.

His speech at the 2013 March for Life was two minutes of inspiration. I’m sorry he’s out of the presidential race, but listening to this again confirms how valuable he is in the Senate.

(By the way, I haven’t spoken publicly about who I’ll vote for in the primary, although that could change at any moment. I will note any such endorsement on this blog.)

Santorum’s blunt question

“How did it work out for the Republican establishment running ‘moderate’ candidates the last two elections?…After we leave here, we’ve got a job to do. We’ve got to win. We win by uniting.”

–former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, speaking at CPAC 2014

Rick Santorum (E. Kolb photo)
Rick Santorum (E. Kolb photo)

March for Life 2013 Belonged to the Young

Nothing underscores the tenacity of the pro-life movement like the overwhelming number of college students from all over the country who converged on Washington, DC today for the 39th March for Life.  In the best way, I felt my age as I rejoiced in the fact that opposition to Roe is not a one-generation phenomenon. Moreover, as I listened to these young people today, it’s clear that their commitment to respect for life is not limited to the preborn. Roe v. Wade at 40 looked creaky today.

Thousands upon thousands of us, of all ages, marched together from the Mall past the Capitol to the Supreme Court. It took well over two hours. Under the watchful eyes of Capitol police, a few counter-protesters demonstrated on the sidewalk in front of the Court. Perhaps the light snow kept their numbers down.

We rallied on the Mall near the Washington Monument for an hour and a quarter before the March began. The biggest cheers at the rally went to former Sen. Rick Santorum who addressed the crowd with his wife Karen and several of their children alongside. Sen. Rand Paul had a well-received turn at the mic as well.

I lost count of the college groups, identified by the banners they carried. My photos show only a few. I didn’t get pictures of the groups from Yale, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Dartmouth, Northeastern, University of Michigan … I could list about twenty more. That doesn’t count the groups without banners.

Whenever the March gets news coverage, the participation by Catholic groups is impossible to miss. Less heralded are other religious communities along with groups like students from secular colleges and health care professionals. With my photos, I’ve tried to show some of the marchers who ordinarily fly under the radar. Respect for life is more widespread than you might think. So is opposition to Roe.

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This was one of the subtler references to the President on the signs at the March.
This was one of the subtler references to the President on the signs at the March.

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Florida State
Florida State

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keep calm preMFL2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaking at the pre-March rally
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaking at the pre-March rally
Ruben Verastegui of Students for Life got a huge ovation.
Ruben Verastegui of Students for Life got a huge ovation.