Republican candidates ignoring issues on Main Street

Andrew Justus

Michigan’s presidential primary is eight days away, and in the mean time, candidates and their totally unrelated and uncoordinated Super PACs will continue shelling voters with nice and not-so-nice ads trying to win votes. A man in a sweater vest now leads the polling by a healthy margin. Don’t worry though, disgraced Ohio State University ex-football coach Jim Tressel is not atop any polls in Michigan.

The sweater vest in this case belongs to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is running for the presidency after being voted out of office after only one term in 2006. Unwanted by the people of Pennsylvania, Santorum is not the man Michiganders should want either.

His focus on divisive social issues like gay marriage and contraception is sure to rile up many regular church-goers but ignores what matters most for the people of Michigan, jobs.

Santorum reaffirmed his opposition to the 2008 bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors while in Detroit recently, despite successful turnarounds for both automakers.

Mitt Romney also opposed the successful auto bailouts, even after the government recouped roughly half of its $79 billion investment in Chrysler and GM. While less socially divisive than Santorum, Romney makes up for it by being completely unable to relate to the everyman. Before being elected governor of Massachusetts, Romney worked for a private equity firm, where he was able to make money even if the company he bought went into bankruptcy and laid off all its workers.

Newt Gingrich, not a real candidate. Gingrich cheated on multiple wives and as far as I’m concerned the only presidents allowed to do that are Jack Kennedy — because what else is a man to do when Marilyn Monroe shows an interest in you — and Franklin Roosevelt, because he had Polio, so cut the guy some slack.

Ron Paul, a current congressman from Texas, is by far the best candidate in this field. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force at at time when many were trying to avoid being drafted into the military. While his desire to cut the size of government spending seems a bit extreme, I’m glad he practices what he says.

Paul’s congressional office routinely returns part of its budget to the federal treasury. Last year it gave back 10 percent of its budget, or $140,000. Paul was also one of few Republicans who opposed the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which, as of last June, had cost the government $3.7 trillion.