Rick Santorum Says 1996 Endorsement of Arlen Specter Was a Mistake, Shows Poor Leadership

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has flip-flopped again, this time in regards to his 1996 endorsement of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter’s failed presidential run. Santorum’s continuous backtracking during the primaries is becoming a huge problem.

Santorum told ABC’s This Week that it was “regrettable” and “something I look back on and wish I hadn’t done” since the campaign was going nowhere and that he was just “playing along with the team.”

In backing Specter for president out of a sense of loyalty that was born from Specter’s support of Santorum's initial run for Senate in 1994, Santorum was doing what he felt was right. Eighteen years later he feels that he was wrong but doesn’t have the cajones to say it. Instead he tries to explain that, in Washington, sometimes you have to play ball to get on the field.

Santorum is not a born leader. He has used the "playing along with the team" anecdote many times in the past few months. He has proven that he follows the pack when it comes to important issues and cannot be trusted to lead in times of crises since he cannot even lead by example without any heat on him at all.

The president is the leader of the “free world.” He is looked upon as the shining light in times of darkness in both the U.S. and abroad. It is easy to ride around in a campaign bus and call upon President Obama to attack Syria or handle Afghanistan differently like he does, but how will Santorum convince anyone in his own party, let alone elsewhere in the world, to follow him if he has never led anyone before?

While I am sure he is good person, he is not a good leader. He is not fit to be president until he stops playing ball with the team and owns up to decisions he made in the past. Leaders don’t make excuses, they admit fault and move on.

Santorum instead continues to throw old allies under the bus saying “that certainly wasn’t one of my prouder moments that I look back on.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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Ryan Gorman

Ryan's work has been featured in the NY Daily News, Gothamist and the Wall Street Letter. His work has been cited by both the Colbert Report and Time Magazine's website. Ryan worked on Wall Street for five years before returning to school to finish a degree in journalism at St. John's University.

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