Santorum: Sue Obama Over Recess Appointsments

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 4 2012 9:17 PM

Santorum: Sue Obama Over Recess Appointsments

BRENTWOOD, N.H. -- Rick Santorum's first post-Iowa town hall meeting had confidence steaming out the windows. The former senator, arriving shortly after a TV interview, gave the crowd more than an hour of Q&A. The reporters in the room -- two from the Washington Post, three from the Huffington Post, Newsweek, etc, etc -- got to see the candidate tackle everything from climate change to SSI to the Tax Policy Center's scoring of the Affordable Care Act to why the Chilean model for Social Security wasn't workable to why Medicare's cost ratio was "phony." ("Because it's government... it's not a market, it's not real.")

Before Santorum got there I talked to Jamie Fitzpatrick, a Santorum fan (he had a first edition of his book), who wanted to hear the senator talk about today's recess appointments to the CFPB and NLRB. He got it. According to Santorum, what Obama did was probably illegal. "The Senate should go and take the president to court," he said. In a long event, with a fairly rapt and quiet crowd, it was one of the biggest applause lines.

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I've seen candidates, riding some sort of wave, come into a primary state just to give a speech. Santorum was untiring and game. A young Massachusetts voter, obviously trying to rattle him (Santorum jokingly banned any more questions from non-Granite staters), read out a column that one of Santorum's nephews had written, calling him a big government stooge.

"He's a Ron Paul supporter," sighed Santorum. "God bless him. It's a phase." Later, dismissively: "The people who call me a big government guy are libertarians."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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