In the Quest for the Republican Nomination, Romney Aims to Lick Santorum

The latest numbers from Missouri seem to support the Santorum Surge, but earlier in the week the Romney campaign turned their eye to licking Santorum once and for all. According to Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota “Rick Santorum is a nice guy, but he is simply not ready to be president.”

“Even in the face of crushing federal debt, Rick Santorum voted for the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ ” Mr. Pawlenty said. “That type of leadership will not help us rein in government and slash the unprecedented federal debt.”

But Santorum wasn’t going to let mere words or follow-up emails turn him into a puddle; no, his campaign countered with some passive-aggressive rhetoric of his own:

“Governor Romney does what he always does and directs his well-funded attack machine to destroy the opponent,” said Hogan Gidley, a spokesman for Mr. Santorum. “In the Republican Party, we have a name for someone who supports government health care mandates, big bank bailouts and radical cap-and-trade initiatives. We call them Democrats.”

While it doesn’t seem that Santorum poses a legitimate threat (a victory in Missouri awards no delegates) to Romney, Santorum will continue to flail the dead horse of Massachusetts Romneycare. I hate to burst the Santorum bubble, but a program negotiated by a Republican governor in a Democratic state that is by all accounts successful and popular is not a great target.

Stick to the money, Santorum–don’t let yourself slip through the cracks.

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