Granted, it’s extremely unlikely that a single vote will be cast in today’s New Hampshire primary based on the GOP presidential candidates’ positions on global health.
Still, an Indiana law professor, David Fidler, dug up a couple of telling nuggets that give a tiny glimpse into what these guys are all about, or at least what Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney think about overseas aid. In a nutshell: Romney doesn’t think much of it, and Santorum aligns himself with the old-Bush-style compassionate conservatism that supports humanitarian assistance. Fidler writes:
Romney and Santorum perhaps represent two streams in American conservatism that, at the moment, appear to diverge on PEPFAR [the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] and global health. Santorum expressly declares in his “10 Steps to Promote Our Interests Around the World“ that the US must “keep and expand” its humanitarian aid efforts, including on HIV/AIDS. Santorum strongly supported PEPFAR when he served in Congress. He also issued a statement on World AIDS Day in December 2011 underscoring PEPFAR’s importance and the “hope that in our lifetime, we may see the end of AIDS.” In Santorum, we see a conservatism embracing global health’s foreign policy importance to American ideals and interests—what Michael Gerson called “Rick Santorum and the return of compassionate conservatism.” Continue reading