Pickups Are Getting Political, Again

Rick Santorum inside RamWhile Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich toured Iowa in luxury-appointed and multi-couched large buses, Rick Santorum was driven to all 99 counties in a 2006 four-door Ram 1500 Mega Cab (reported to have more than 178,000 miles on it) purchased by campaign aide Chuck Laudner. In fact, some in the campaign have started calling the Ram the "Chuck Truck," and it is beginning to draw more attention as Santorum's momentum grows.  

Apparently, the Ram is frequently mentioned by Santorum in his speeches and is used as something of a prop at his events. And he has admitted to owning a second Ram with more than 300,000 miles on the odometer.

Critics argue the Ram is a blatant campaign tactic to engratiate Santorum with the truck-loving, no-nonsense voters. Others say the candidate is "just keeping it real." 

This certainly isn't be the first time pickup trucks have been dragged into a political argument; all you have to do is read some of the PUTC posts for a little while to see that. And with GM and Chrysler benefiting from financial support from the federal government (some say loans; others say bailouts), it seems destined that someone's vehicle of choice will become an issue as we get closer to Election Day in November. 

And it looks like it worked. Santorum, the heavy underdog before the Iowa caucus, lost to favorite Romney by the narrowest of margins. This could mean we'll hear more about the Chuck Truck in upcoming state caucuses. No word yet as to how the other candidates will respond. 

Rick Santorum Dodge Ram

Rick Santorum townhall

Rick_santorum_ram_1500

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum (left) with campaign aide Chuck Laudner in a Ram 1500.

 

Comments

I guess this is in the same vein as Scott Brown's S-10 (WAY back in 2010).

I do hope it was flex-fuel so he can claim to run it on E-85 to show support for Iowa corn (sarcasim intended)

On a serious note though, does it even matter what they drive? (within reason of course) I wouldn't be down on someone from LA having a small econo car or even a big highway cruiser or someone from Fairbanks, AK having a 4x4 truck to plow through the winters there.

Interesting tactic. It doesn't get any more grass roots conservative than a pickup.

I've noticed a decidedly different approach between Mike Levine and Mark Williams. Mike was more of a PC (Politically Correct) editor. Mark likes to take on the controversial topics e.g. "Dumbest post", or "Anyone Can Hand Out an Award", or bold coments like "some say loans; others say bailouts", and allow more "combat" in the blogs.

I like both styles. I'd prefer a more aggressive stance on trolls.

atleast he not dumb and wasteing a 1 ton or 3/4 ton for just driving around

What I'm curious to know is how many gallons of santorum (lowercase s) can be hauled in a Dodge Ram 1500 megacab? Does anyone know what a gallon of santorum weighs? I'd imagine it would be highly variable and dependent on the level of froth.

He has my vote !

Mopar guys are honest,straight up hard working people !!

Max, something tells me most folks here won't know what santorum vs Santorum is..... if you don't try google. Be warned though, it's pretty gross!

That thing is huge! Wonder what the MPG's are? The ECOFREEKS will not be pleased.

atleast he not dumb and wasteing a 1 ton or 3/4 ton for just driving around


I'm pretty sure the mega cab Rams are actually 2500s with a 1500 badge. Check out the wheel lugs. I think half tons get 5 lug wheels.

Killer truck btw

@Max & Justin - that isn't something that pops up in normal coversation, unless that is a lifestyle choice. I learned a new word today.

Looks like this 1500 Megacab is actually a 2500 with a 1500 badge on it. Look at the wheels. This shows that Santorum is a "down to earth" guy. I heard his speech last night after the caucuses and was really impressed. Even though Romney may eventually get the nomination (especially if the "mainstream media" has its way), I've got a good feeling that he could pick Santorum as his running mate. Of course, Santorum did win TWO terms as a US Senator where Romney only had one term as governor.

@ Wayne - the megacab 1500 is a rebadged 3/4 ton. Same as Ram's Tradesman HD.

He would be safer in a mid-sized sedan with the safety features they have today and better on fuel economy...

I question his logic with a big pickup that is hauling next to nothing less even a trailer!

A sedan could have done the job safer and more econimical!

Oxi

Santorum says no Japanese Taco for him!

It was a gray 2005 GMC Canyon 4 wheel drive crewcab that Scott Brown campaigned in with over 200k miles. Fred Thompson campaigned in 1996 in a red fullsize half ton Chevy with a manual transmission when he was running for US Senate in Tennessee. My local Congressman, Geoff Davis, campaigned in a metallic red 1996 Ford F-250 4 wheel drive crewcab with a Powerstroke which I am sure he bought new (I have known him for over 10 years and he has had the same truck). Davis still has that F-250 and it has at least a couple of hundred thousand miles and looks like new. With the politicians campaigning in trucks I doubt that they will downsize the trucks too much even with the new fuel standards. That would be political suicide.

How many politicos even know how to do real work, let alone real work with a truck?

Showboats, the lot of them. Bah.

@johnny doe

The ram 1500 mega cab is a 3/4 ton truck. (solid front axle and 8 lug)

Santorum...ugh.

http://www.google.com/search?q=Santorum&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=

Disgusting.

@Lou
Yes, thumbs up for Mark Williams
@Wayne
Yes, thumbs up for Rick Santorum

Some of you guys are worried that he's wasting gas running a pickup when many of the other candidates are using luxury buses? That makes no sense.

yawn its not like the trucks done any real work

santorum is so full of crap, 23% gain in 1 day.... the media really likes this guy. Hey Mark how bout Ron Paul and his Ford tractor that he bought brand new idk how many years ago. Just so you guys know santorum voted very liberally as senator of Pennsylvania, LOOK AT HIS RECORD.

http://www.dailypaul.com/11664/thought-you-might-like-some-of-our-new-family-pics

Ron Paul 2012

Its impressive he is making his trek around America in a Ram!



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