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Right Turn
Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 03/08/2012

Is Big Labor a big problem for Santorum in the South?

Rick Santorum, you’d think, would do well in the Deep South. His fervent rhetoric on social issues shouldn’t be a turn-off there. In fact, it should add to his popularity. However, his voting record on organized labor may become an acute problem.

As I’ve reported, Santorum’s opposition to right-to-work legislation (he has since changed his mind), support of Davis-Bacon (which unions support to keep nonunion government contractors from paying lower wages) and votes for a ban on allowing employers to replace striking workers (a Clinton favorite goodie for Big Labor) are decidedly at odds with his own party. And Newt Gingrich knows it.

Gingrich has hit Santorum before on his pro-Big Labor votes, as has Mitt Romney. On Sunday, Gingrich was at it again on “Meet the Press”:

The Santorum campaign did not reply to my questions aboutwhether Santorum now would support repeal of Davis-Bacon and as president would sign a ban on striker replacement such as the one he voted for in the Senate, nor did the campaign comment on whether, in retrospect his opposition to NAFTA (the passage of which unions furiously opposed) was in retrospect a mistake.

In previous Deep South contests, Gingrich either had home-field advantage (Georgia) or was riding a wave of media-bashing (South Carolina). On Tuesday, we’ll see if these were unique situations or if the Georgian Gingrich, either by geographical proximity or on policy, has the upper hand in Alabama and Mississippi. If it is the latter, Santorum’s votes for Big Labor will certainly play a part.

By  |  01:30 PM ET, 03/08/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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