David Brooks on Santorum’s ‘odd things’: ‘He thinks theologically,’ ‘dwells on the negative’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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On Friday night’s broadcast of the “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks had some criticisms of Republican presidential hopeful and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

During his regular analysis segment with syndicated columnist Mark Shields, Brooks identified what he perceived as “odd things” about Santorum — his way of thinking and how he tends to get hung up on the negative.

“He’s always been a little didactic on the stump,” Brooks said. “But he believes that. He believes — he thinks theologically. There are some odd things about Santorum. A., he thinks theologically. And very few Americans, even regular churchgoing [people] … think theologically.”

Brooks explained that the former Pennsylvania senator also had a tendency to look back upon the negative when voters are looking forward to the positive.

“The second thing — and this always interests me about it — most of us when something bad happens, we sort of skirt by it and want to think about some positive thing,” Brooks said. “Santorum, through the whole course of his career, has always looked at the tragedy in the face and dwelt upon it. And that is sort of an unusual personality trope, but I think it is a personality trope. It was most serious and most tragic for the death of his son Gabriel. But, also, in the campaigns, he dwells on the criticism, dwells on the negative, sometimes even in international affairs, dwelling on the threats.”

“So there is sort of a tragic sense about it,” he continued. “And sometimes that is not great political sense for people who want uplift. And so he didn’t do uplift so well.”

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