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Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- if you go one candidate lighter after Michelle Bachmann is departure the GOP presidential pack.
Blanketed the granite state this week ahead of Tuesday's first in the nation primary.
Rick Santorum hoping to capitalize on his Iowa momentum Newt Gingrich hoping to mount -- -- and Mitt Romney.
Hoping to maintain that double digit lead he enjoys in the polls there.
Joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal political diary editor Jason -- Assistant editorial page editor James Freeman editorial board member doors hero Ben -- what's.
And Washington columnist Kim Straus also.
James is Rick Santorum the most serious threat so far to Mitt Romney or -- He's a major threat I think Santorum could win this thing in and in its it.
It gets -- vulnerabilities.
Obviously we saw and -- was speaking to values voters that Santorum has the edge there.
But he quickly they've added to the economy and what you find is a better spending reform plan and a better tax cutting plan and the mr.
Romney and as we go to.
Republican primaries and caucuses that usually does pretty well.
Okay what that Kim what about -- santorum's weaknesses he's already being attacked for his some of his senate record the fact that he.
Supported earmarks and isn't isn't really a libertarian on the economy in terms of cutting government.
Yeah I would push back a little -- -- analysis I think what you've seen in this race so far as candidate after candidate.
Try to emerge as the guy who can unite a coalition to the right and mr.
Romney and failed to do that once they start to be analyzed by voters and what you're gonna see here with mr.
Santorum -- a look at -- earmarks to spending he's very good on taxes but on earmarks and spending.
Many people view him as as part of that bush spending crowd.
In in that period of time he's got some issues a protectionist stance some anti trade votes that's all gonna get put through the -- And Paul is also got some issues in terms of style.
And presentation is not the most nuanced guy and how you say things in politics sometimes matters.
As much as well aren't you what you say what do you mean -- can be a little -- he said some things that the process gonna jump all over Tripoli on the social.
Conservative front return concerning gay marriage and so what's so.
I think he's got some issues there but the change the real issue here is that 60% of Iowa caucus voters were evangelicals.
He's not gonna see that.
He's not gonna see those percentages in the primaries going forward and that's what -- He sure how many can he can play and other issues -- -- Tuesday night speech after the Iowa voting.
Yes he did the political equivalent of Tebow hit the start of it I think about it.
Quickly -- -- -- to the economic issues and it was a it was a very strong speech it was basically about the Obama -- -- business and he's making their case in a way that sort of more persuasive LeBron distressing freedom stressing that working class.
North you can stressed.
All he wants to put you want it's not the most -- want to undergo that statement that the -- Does -- really can't transform your core.
And as I was walking around the apartment -- with the radio in every room it was a surreal every voice -- reciting from.
One of the -- a list of things that that that the candidate Santorum had said it.
Is start laying the gay thing.
The gay thing what he's against gay marriage -- and that is I don't Barack Obama wait.
It's -- it's the discussion of bestiality.
It's Danny detain him.
It's -- discussion of whether it will be you should there.
Can use contraceptives.
And that is very detailed this is a -- -- and I heard on this week's say that TDs against contraception.
There that there are those quotes he says he's not a guarantee he -- all of these are after the fact the list is terrorizing the long and it will pursue him.
Generally when he was criticizing the contraception point he was criticizing those Supreme Court decision from the sixties which found a right to privacy which led to -- anyway but I have to tell -- where is only social issues.
Obviously he's not going to win in this city but for most of the country.
This would be a problem for Barack Obama going up against that -- and let me let me -- let me -- can -- here on Mitt -- what's the best that the Republican the rest of the -- -- -- huge lead in New -- as to what's the best the Republicans and -- the field the rest of the field and hope to do it around me.
In New Hampshire just the -- them some.
-- New Hampshire is a staging ground this is where these guys go and again.
The goal here the only way you stop Mitt Romney if you are one of his opponents is -- you somehow managed to coalesce.
Group of voters to his right.
So this is staging ground they're gonna go out there try other messages -- have to be on the economic front you've got.
Gingrich out there running a contrast campaign saying he is the growth.
Candidate -- the timid Massachusetts governor.
You're gonna have Santorum trying to rev up his own economic progress credentials Perry too and they're staging for South Carolina and Florida and beyond to not going to be even.
And let me ask you about Huntsman Jon Huntsman he's made New Hampshire his one attempt to try to break -- put all his resources there.
How's he gonna do.
Tom I think he'll do.
But good considering Romney's lead.
He'll have to do very well we'll all have to do almost as well as as Santorum did against Romney in Iowa and he's not gonna do that.
What Romney really has here is history on his side as well.
The last candidate to win.
Both Iowa and New Hampshire and not when the party nomination.
Ed Muskie 1970s if you want to roll he's got out of money you want -- roll this thing up already there's an argument Paul that at some.
A long drawn out contest will help Romney it'll it'll make them battle ready and so what I'm not so sure it can also depressed Republican turn out all right.
Newt Gingrich Dougherty is staying in this heat and that that they give lot of people are saying -- well he's just saying in terror to her probably I don't think that's right he -- really does think.
He could be the last.
-- -- -- -- -- The assembled dressed in elect an assortment of analysts over the uniformly stated of course he is doing this this but.
This really true that he has had a considerable sense of his own success.
And it has been him merit in the response to him even today so he didn't.
-- -- -- he's going forward because he really believes that he can set up the stock you'll be -- in the upcoming debates that are coming up.
And it is simply nothing he's shown to to think that she analysis is driving him -- it's it's it's it's a convenient notion that people.
You know who have essentially.
Want to come out of the race so the idea that -- simply sacrifice yourself so -- to get this beautiful on.
You know what -- -- but as long as the field is divided density of the non Romney's are splitting the vote to James then now Romney can continue to do 2530%.
And and rack up delegates -- I think -- They're probably gonna see someone emerge here Gingrich.
Santorum obviously ascendant his pretty good to even even beyond manufacture hold that.
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