Team Obama getting worried about Santorum?; Update: DeWine to switch from Romney to Santorum?

posted at 11:35 am on February 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Until now, the Barack Obama re-election campaign has focused its rhetorical guns almost exclusively on Mitt Romney.  The Wall Street Journal reports that may soon change, however.  With Rick Santorum soaring at least for now to the top of the polls, they will begin adding him to their messaging hit list:

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has begun discussing whether to attack Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum and try to define him for a general-election audience, potentially breaking from its focus on Mitt Romney.

Obama campaign aides are stepping up their examination of Mr. Santorum’s record to assess his vulnerabilities and consider how their strategy might change if he becomes the GOP nominee.

For example, the Obama campaign has criticized Mr. Romney for shifting his policy stances and painted him as out of touch with middle-class Americans. That line of attack might not prove as effective against Mr. Santorum, who Obama advisers believe has gained ground in the nominating contest by looking more genuine and empathic to voters than Mr. Romney. …

But after Mr. Santorum’s surprise victory in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota last week, Obama campaign aides have been rethinking whether a Romney-centric approach still makes sense, campaign advisers said Thursday.

While other Republicans, notably Newt Gingrich, have risen to challenge Mr. Romney in recent months, Mr. Santorum looks to be a candidate whose appeal isn’t about to fade, they said.

In fact, Santorum’s rise seems to have caught Team Hopenchange a little flat-footed.  How else to explain this weird e-mail bleg to its supporters in Pennsylvania, trolling for dirt in the Keystone State?

The campaign sent an e-mail asking Obama’s Keystone State supporters to submit their most damning “recollections” of Santorum, who served as a congressman and a senator from Pennsylvania for 16 years before losing reelection in 2006.

Santorum became a favorite target of liberals with his passionate statements against homosexuality and abortion, but despite his deeply conservative take on social issues, he has shown some ability to connect with blue-collar voters in the GOP presidential race — voters who have been a hard sell for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and could be crucial in a general election.

“Folks across the country are just starting to learn about Rick Santorum as he enjoys his newfound wave of popularity,” says the note, which was signed by Bill Hyers, Pennsylvania state director for Obama for America. “But people here have known him for some time. . . . And it’s on us to make sure the rest of the country sees Rick Santorum’s true colors.”

Will they start asking the “bitter clingers” in Pennsylvania, too?  Team Obama seems very worried about that blue-collar vote, and they should be, especially in PA, to whom that “bitter clinger” remark was directed in 2008.  Hillary Clinton beat Obama in Pennsylvania and Ohio by winning that demographic, and Santorum would be better positioned than Romney to do the same in a general election.  Obama cannot win the White House if he loses both states in November, plus Indiana and possibly Wisconsin, where he’s already in trouble.

Meanwhile, the Santorum campaign just sent out an e-mail informing the media of a “major campaign announcement” in Ohio at 2 pm ET:

Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum will make a major campaign announcement this afternoon at the Ohio State House in Columbus, OH. All media are encouraged to attend.

I’d guess that Santorum picked up a major endorsement — perhaps Governor John Kasich.  Don’t forget that Mitt Romney fumbled his statement of support for Kasich’s controversial PEU reforms last year, although he did end up making it very clear that he backed Kasich.  If Kasich backs Santorum, that may go a long way towards rebutting Romney’s attacks on his campaign for being the candidate of Big Labor, which Santorum has vehemently disputed.  If it’s not Kasich, it had better be someone significant like Senator Rob Portman or a figure of state-wide stature.

Update: It may not be Kasich, who has been neutral so far, but a switcher instead, according to BuzzFeed:

A top Ohio supporter of Governor Mitt Romney will switch sides and endorse Rick Santorum in Columbus this afternoon, a campaign source said. …

While Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains neutral, Romney has the support of a handful of top current and former Ohio officials, including Attorney General Mike DeWine, Rep. Jim Renacci, and former Senator George Voinovich.

Voinovich is more center-right than conservative, which would actually play in Santorum’s favor.  A switcher always has some impact, but we’ll see soon enough how significant the endorser is.  Also, I wrote “Pat Toomey” when I meant Rob Portman, and I’ve corrected it above.

Update II: Maggie Haberman at Politico guesses it’s DeWine:

DeWine and Santorum have a relationship dating back to their days in the Senate, which is why he would be the likeliest of the group. If that does prove true, it will be a huge boost to Santorum, and another very hard-to-spin headline for Romney.

If it’s someone with statewide standing, she’s right — it will add to a sense of momentum in Ohio that’s already gone Santorum’s way for the last two weeks.

Update III: WaPo reporter Dan Balz says that a “knowledgeable GOP strategist” says it’s DeWine, switching away from Romney.  It’s a big deal, in part because of DeWine’s standing in the state, and in part because he’d been seen as a more moderate Republican in Ohio (like Voinovich).  Santorum could use that as an argument that he has a better electability quotient than Romney, and the momentum will reinforce that message.


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If it’s not Kasich, it had better be someone significant like Senator Pat Toomey or a figure of state-wide stature.

If it’s Toomey, wouldn’t he announce it in Pennsylvania?

Or do you mean Rob Portman?

KingGold on February 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

OF COURSE!!!! THEY PH3R HIM MOST!!!

/ABR crowd

Red Cloud on February 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Worried? Doubtful.

changer1701 on February 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

“Folks across the country are just starting to learn about Rick Santorum as he enjoys his newfound wave of popularity,” says the note, which was signed by Bill Hyers, Pennsylvania state director for Obama for America. “But people here have known him for some time. . . . And it’s on us to make sure the rest of the country sees Rick Santorum’s true colors.”

still waiting to learn about barack. unbelievable.

GhoulAid on February 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

obama has nothing to worry about concerning Santorum. obama will win without any effort campaigning.

oceansidecon on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Didn’t the Obama campaign recently admit it won’t concern itself with white middle class voters? I can understand the angst on their part since they don’t want to do any work winning such voters.

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

If it’s Toomey, wouldn’t he announce it in Pennsylvania?

Or do you mean Rob Portman?

KingGold on February 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I did mean Portman. Don’t know why I wrote Toomey. Need more coffee, apparently.

Ed Morrissey on February 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Or do you mean Rob Portman?

KingGold on February 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Sadly, Portman, I think, endorsed Romney weeks ago. All the same, he was a great choice for Ohio to put in the Senate. Now, if we, in Ohio, could torpedo Sherrod Brown in November.

BuckeyeSam on February 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

They need to know who to lie about, threaten and extort.

NoDonkey on February 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

If it’s not Kasich, it had better be someone significant like Senator Pat Toomey or a figure of state-wide stature.

How ironic would that be?

Politics and bedfellows.

JonPrichard on February 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Schadenfreude. Noun. Pleasure derived from the suffering of another, particularly a squirming liberal trying to dig up dirt that doesn’t exist.

Mr. Prodigy on February 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Obama’s toxic with anyone who likes being employed and would rather not exist on handouts and food stamps.

NoDonkey on February 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

They’re just bummed they spent all that time and money to get OWS up and running against Romney…only it to be Santorum.

He’s not the dreaded, awful, evil 1%!!

RarestRX on February 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Didn’t the Obama campaign recently admit it won’t concern itself with white middle class voters? I can understand the angst on their part since they don’t want to do any work winning such voters.

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

They meant as far as listening to us. They still need the White middle class to win, despite pundits’ opinions to the contrary.

SouthernGent on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I don’t know if Obama is worried about Santorum, but I’ve always believe Obama wants to run against Romney.

flyfisher on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Obama fearing Santorum? With the Kos kids telling people to vote for Santorum in the GOP primary to stop Romney? Those pieces don’t seem to fit together. Methinks going after Santorum just fits with their “GOP War against Women” theme right now. For them, Santorum’s a much easier target with a lot more quotes to mine than Romney.

rhombus on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

O raised $29 million for January. O needs to worry about Santorum a lot more than uninspiring Romney. It is -Santorum- that will excite the base, and raise the huge kind of $$$ that will be required to beat O.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be about issues. It will be amount money. Santorum wins hands down vs Mitt on that. We MUST have an excited base, or forget it.

anotherJoe on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

has barry stopped dyeing his hair recently? it’s looking like he is letting it go grey according to the pic and what i ahve seen of him recently. is this his way to attract younger guys at the bathhouse who like “older guys”? will larry sinclair find it sexy? does anyone know?

GhoulAid on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

This administrations if completely incapable of understanding someone with strong morals, who strictly adheres to his faith, and who is not afraid to stick to his ideals. Because of this, except for the lies and misrepresentations they will come up with, the Obama people will have a difficult time figuring out how to get to Santorum.

lukjuj on February 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Sort of off-topic, but Drudge is slaying Newt with the “2-faced” photo at the top of the page.

SouthernGent on February 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

If he were to be elected, it’s not like he would issue a stack of executive orders ramming his personal beliefs down our throats, afterall, who would ever do such a thing? (sarc)

ChicagoBlues on February 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

If it’s not Kasich, it had better be someone significant like Senator Rob Portman or a figure of state-wide stature.

Portman? Did he “unendorse” Romney while I was asleep?

http://mittromney.com/blogs/mitts-view/2012/01/senator-rob-portman-stands-mitt

BuckeyeSam on February 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I don’t know if Obama is worried about Santorum, but I’ve always believe Obama wants to run against Romney.

flyfisher on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I think they convinced themselves at the start of silly season that Romney would win the nomination, and he still might. But with Santorum surging now things become less clear.

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Ed’s still sleeping off his CPAC sauce….heh.

Team Hopenchange is a misfitted gaggle of fisters and nitwits. If they are anything like David Brock of MMFA, then they are skeered of their own shadows.

ted c on February 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Worried?

HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Praying for him more like it.

The only thing that can save Obama is the Republicans nominating a candidate he can use to scare the American public. There were more than a few of those this cycle but the ones he doesn’t want to win are Romney and Paul.

Santorum is going to get torn to shreds and Independents are going to go for Obama. Plain and simple. We have to make the economy the number one issue this election as it is the winning formula and Santorum brings nothing to the table on that as he is, in the post 2010 era speak, an old establishment big government RINO who is out of the mainstream on social issues.

60-40ish Obama in the general as Santorum becomes our Mondale.(and if you wan’t Obama to be spoken about in the same sentances as Reagan, keep up the support for Santorum)

Zybalto on February 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I was wishing they would have to worry about Newt about now.
If wishes were dollars…..

KOOLAID2 on February 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM

How about former Democratic Senator John Glenn?

I’m not sure that it would be Kasich. He’s still digging out of a hole after SB 5 (collective bargaining for public employee unions) was enacted and then overturned by a referendum of idiotic Ohioans 2 to 1.

BuckeyeSam on February 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM

It’s not a Toomey!

Bishop on February 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM

rhombus on February 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

It won’t work. Santorum is a likable family man who never said he wanted to outlaw contraceptives. I really don’t believe this lame attack will gain the kind of traction the left hopes it will. Besides, we’ve been down this road before. Bush II was attacked along the same lines if you recall. But it didn’t work and will be even less successful this time due to the fact that the economy weighs so heavily on people’s minds.

Also, Santorum is more in the mainstream on abortion and gay marriage then Obama is. And liberals have begrudgingly learned over the last 12 years that attacking conservatives on these issues does not work at the national level. So they are left with the contraception boogeyman. Good luck with that.

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I’m guessing the switcher will be Mike DeWine, who is probably looking to curry favor with the base and resuscitate his national political career. DeWine worked with Santorum in the Senate, and would already be a likely candidate for a Cabinet post in Santorum’s administration. Stepping out on a limb for Rick at a crucial time in the primaries will lock him in the pole position for U.S. Attorney General.

Lawdawg86 on February 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Team Obama getting worried about Santorum?

LOL

EddieC on February 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Santorum was on WLS here in Chicago this morning (radio signal reaches MI). He did a good job. The best part is that he did not talk in politcal platitudes. Romney’s platitudes wear thin quickly.

WashJeff on February 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Been a lot of Romney commercials here in Michigan the past few hours.

Santorum saying how much he likes earmarks.

freedomplow on February 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

They’re worried because he’d excite the conservative base far more than Mittens. Hell, just denying Romney the nomination alone would get Tea Partiers and conservatives alike revved up. He also does far better with evangelicals than Romney or Newt. The GOP insiders can hate on that part of the electorate all they want, but those people vote. Most importantly though, he appeals to blue collar types who will be essential to winning this election along with those much needed Senate seats. Those disaffected Dems and independents have been all but cast aside by the Obama campaign, so they’re ripe for the taking. But Mittens is a lousy retail politician where Santorum has been reaching out to them for months with his talk about manufacturing.

And keep this in mind, Romneybots. Obama’s entire reelection campaign is centered around class warfare and the race card. The latter will be played no matter what(although one wonders how Rubio or Jindal as the VP pick would neuter those attacks). But the former is rendered useless against Santorum. Yes he averaged about a million in income over the last few years, so he’s technically a member of the “1%”. But the Obamas made more than that and they live in the damn White House and fly around on Air Force One(plus an extra jet for the wife and kids and even the dog), so those charges will ring hollow. Santorum also has no connection to Wall Street like Mittens or Freddie Mac like Newt, so there go those attacks as well. What’s left then? Hitting him on his socially conservative views? That’ll boost his support with evangelicals and Republicans and drive up intensity within the base. Plus Santorum is very good at articulating and defending his beliefs, so it’s a losing argument by Obama. Especially when the voters will be focused on the economy anyway.

Doughboy on February 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

It’s not a Toomey!

Bishop on February 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I saw what you did there!

Darksean on February 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Barry’s quite popular with the Complete-Idiot-American community, so Santorum will have to run a formidable campaign to defeat him.

NoDonkey on February 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Ed- YOU KNOW better than most- That somewhere down the road the other pastoral shoe will drop. And it will find there was a priest- somewhere- even remotely related to Santy’s past or his Parish – that was involved in the sex abuse scandal of the Catholic church.
AND YOU KNOW, the entire sex abuse scandal of the Catholic clergy will be front and center for all Americans to decide if we want any Catholic influence of that nature. Yes, we will re-live a portion of that whole sad history of the Catholic church. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to make something of PSU alum Santy and the whole Sandusky disgrace.

Ed- Mittens maybe shooting mud – but Ocommie is gonna be shooting Tar and throwing feathers- and the liberal scum will have another shot at defecating on the Catholic Church. And all the disavowing in the world won’t change public perception of the church when they get it into the national debate.

Shameful yes, But wait for it all the same.

FlaMurph on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

WashJeff on February 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

i heard that also. don and roma. he sounded very good.

GhoulAid on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

It won’t work. Santorum is a likable family man who never said he wanted to outlaw contraceptives.

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Will they start asking the “bitter clingers” in Pennsylvania, too? Team Obama seems very worried about that blue-collar vote, and they should be, especially in PA, to whom that “bitter clinger” remark was directed in 2008. Hillary Clinton beat Obama in Pennsylvania and Ohio by winning that demographic, and Santorum would be better positioned than Romney to do the same in a general election. Obama cannot win the White House if he loses both states in November, plus Indiana and possibly Wisconsin, where he’s already in trouble.

The blue-collar vote doesn’t decide the general election in PA. The upscale Philly suburbs do. Santorum got clobbered here in 2006 and dragged down two Republican members of the House along with him. I don’t see him doing much better than McCain did in these areas.

rockmom on February 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

First they came for the Trojans and I did nothing. For I was not a rubber.

NoDonkey on February 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Romney and Paul should have let Gingrich implode on his own from too many over the top ideas. He always does.

But their multi-million dolars spent carpet bombing false attacks on proud Newt was like kicking a hornets nest. Newt’s retaliation in kind has gone on to exposed Romney’s weaknesses. That has allowed Saint-orum to coast downhill past the other wrecked campaigns.

If Santorum keeps his cool and answers well under fire, he will win it.

jimw on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Santorum would be done in by a George Voinovich endorsement.

Let’s remember that Voinovich stood for higher taxes. He single-handedly stalled John Bolton’s nomination to the United Nations. He was a sissy on national security issues, a crybaby, and a traitor to the Republican party. To call the bastard center right is incorrect. He is nothing more than a RINO.

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Been a lot of Romney commercials here in Michigan the past few hours.

Santorum saying how much he likes earmarks.

freedomplow on February 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Yeah, that one has been running here in GA a lot too. If that is the best that Mitt can do against Rick, he is going to lose. No one believes that Romney is an opponent of earmarks; the ad makes Mitt look desperate.

Lawdawg86 on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Not all female voters.

I know two who’d vote for him. My wife and my mother.

Never good to make such blanket statements.

Logus on February 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Eh… I don’t think it necessarily has to be Kasich or a flip of Portman. We all know that pols universally make announcements to make a really big deal out of something that is really a sort of moderate-to-big deal. My guess is he is getting Jim Jordan’s endorsement.

Gingotts on February 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Team Obama getting worried about Santorum?

insanely worried, i bet.

sesquipedalian on February 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Santorum cannot beat Obama. Try telling meself he can from time to time, but fact is, he can’t. Add to this that many GOP mods seem to feel increasingly alienated from the uber-conservative thrust of the Party whether realistically or not.None of it bodes well for November. Dems needn’t worry,we’ll self destroy.

jeanie on February 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

That statement is ridiculous. It all depends on your demographic, religious beliefs, and perhaps even ethnicity. My three sisters, mother, and many of my female friends will vote for him.

Just sayin’.

JoseQuinones on February 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

And I agree with that. Just as I agree states should be able to outlaw sodomy, abortion and eating ice cream on Sundays. But he has said he does not support outlawing contraceptives. There is a difference between understanding what states can do, constitutionally speaking, and actually supporting such things. While I personally believe states can do all of the above, I have no use for 3 of the 4 things I listed.

Does supporting a strong federalist position torpedo his candidacy?

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Newt’s retaliation in kind has gone on to exposed Romney’s weaknesses. That has allowed Saint-orum to coast downhill past the other wrecked campaigns.

If Santorum keeps his cool and answers well under fire, he will win it.

jimw on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Oh Please! Newt Gingrich’s campaign suffered the most from the candidate himself. He was arrogant, declaring even before Iowa that he was going to be the nominee. He has been quick to blame others for his failures, hot-headed, and has demonstrated a hubris in his one victory that makes him appear petty.

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

What’s the context? Even if he did say such a thing, two things:

1) State’s rights. Such a statement doesn’t say states should outlaw contraceptives, just that they should have the right. Your words. As in legislation and voting. Doesn’t mean it’d happen either.

2) Some contraceptives are/can be abortifaeciants. If one is against purposeful abortion, seeing it as murder, then it is a reasonable thing to try and make some contraceptives illegal.

Simple answers for a complex discussion that don’t do it justice, but that’s the nutshell.

Either way, still nothing to lambast Santorum over unless you’re a pro-choice individual or a liberal jumping at shadows.

Logus on February 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

As far I know they have the right, am I wrong?
Also I thought we were all for federalism, Isn’t Romney arguing that Obamacare is fine if the states do it?

neuquenguy on February 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

My biggest concern about this impending disaster is that we lose the house as well. The liberals are going to rile up the female vote about against republicans. Santorum’s toxicity could take down the republican party.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Does supporting a strong federalist position torpedo his candidacy?

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Let’s face it. The majority of Americans are constitutionally ignorant and the Dems. and the state run media are happy to treat them like mushrooms. Keep them in the dark and feed them chit.

they lie on February 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

ObamaCare was a loser of epic magnitude for the donks in 2010.

Against Santorum, 2012 is an up/down vote on ObamaCare. Against Romney, it’s not even an issue.

Greek Fire on February 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I think Romney safely gets a minimum of 48% in a general election. Santorum could really tank down to a 45% level. But, imo, he also has a much higher ceiling, too. If he can connect with blue collar voters, he could carry a number of rust belt states that Romney can’t.

gumbyandpokey on February 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Next thing you know the states will have to right to decide on conceal/carry laws, can’t have that.

Bishop on February 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Santorum would be done in by a George Voinovich endorsement.

Let’s remember that Voinovich stood for higher taxes. He single-handedly stalled John Bolton’s nomination to the United Nations. He was a sissy on national security issues, a crybaby, and a traitor to the Republican party. To call the bastard center right is incorrect. He is nothing more than a RINO.

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

1.) Two words: John Sununu

2.) Santorum won’t be hurt by receiving a few “centrist” endorsements. Voters do not doubt that Rick is more conservative and more genuine than Mitt; the lingering concern is that is he unelectable because of his strident stances on social issues, and his ’06 thumping. To the extent that he can show some traction with Midwest moderates, he bolsters the argument for his own electability and cuts into Mitt’s only real strength.

That being said, I think its far more likely to be DeWine than Voinovich. And if it turns out to be Kasich, well, its going to be a rough couple of weeks for Mitt.

Lawdawg86 on February 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

My biggest concern about this impending disaster is that we lose the house as well. The liberals are going to rile up the female vote about against republicans. Santorum’s toxicity could take down the republican RINO party.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

FIFY

they lie on February 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

The guy who’s switching to Santorum is DeWine. Never heard of him…

JA on February 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

As far I know they have the right, am I wrong?
Also I thought we were all for federalism, Isn’t Romney arguing that Obamacare is fine if the states do it?

neuquenguy on February 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

The Griswold v Connecticut ruling from SCOTUS prevents states from practicing their legislative authority in this realm. So even if a person is of the irrational belief that Santorum wants to confiscate your rubbers a lot of things have to happen first before that occurs. And the biggest hurdle, overturning Griswold v Connecticut, wouldn’t happen until Santorum was out of office most likely.

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

He said states should have the right to outlaw contraceptives. It’s on the record.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Pal, saying the states have the right (not the feds), ans saying he would outlaw are two totally different policies..add to that, he is running for an office that he is campaigning not to have that authority…get it, he is saying the feds, the President, the judicial system shouldn’t make those decisions, it’s a local matter….
Thanks for agreeing, now you can start supporting him since you two are now on the same page.

right2bright on February 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

“Worried” is not the word to describe how the Obama Campaign feels about Rick Santorm… Jubilant is probably more like it.

Critic2029 on February 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

My biggest concern about this impending disaster is that we lose the house as well.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

No, your biggest concern is that your aunt will come downstairs, into the basement and see your porn on the computer…or your concern is that Obama will lose…but it can’t be Rick, because he hasn’t done anything you accuse him of…

right2bright on February 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Obama fearing Santorum? With the Kos kids telling people to vote for Santorum in the GOP primary to stop Romney? Those pieces don’t seem to fit together

He’s not worried about his election. He’s worried about Congress. Obama knows that once Santorum is properly introduced to America, his second-term is secured. What he’s worried about is the possibility that Santorum will get Socons to turn out, and that could be decisive in Senate races. Honestly, I think that conservative opinion makers are playing the same game as Obama. They’re unhappy with the GOP field, and they believe that Obama is likely to win. They’d rather have Obama get a second term as a defacto lame duck facing a GOP House and Senate, and then find a better candidate in 2016. Their plan is to sacrifice the White House this year to get complete control in 2016. I think it’s foolish, but there you have it. It be nice if they’d at least admit this is their plan, but that would be foolish as well.

EricW on February 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Pretty funny they are claiming Santorum is not known while at the same time have the spectacle of Dan Savage’s national 3 year campaign to thank for making the term santorum disgusting via Google. Those that would never vote for him are already quantified. Wait until their moms find out what they’ve done though.

DanMan on February 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Don’t worry li’l bammie. All of the genius moderates posting here at Hot Air KNOW that Santorum is unelectable.

lol.

Tim_CA on February 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

In one word, no.

Obama’s campaign is probably not, and should not, be scared of Rick Santorum.

milcus on February 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Santorum would be done in by a George Voinovich endorsement.

Let’s remember that Voinovich stood for higher taxes. He single-handedly stalled John Bolton’s nomination to the United Nations. He was a sissy on national security issues, a crybaby, and a traitor to the Republican party. To call the bastard center right is incorrect. He is nothing more than a RINO.

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Wait, just a few weeks ago you Rick haters were saying he couldn’t get the independent vote…now it looks like that is all he appeals to.
Guys, go down to the coffee shop, and get your stories straight…someone is not reading their memo’s…

right2bright on February 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

EricW on February 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Seriously, I don’t understand why so many of you guys buy into the media narrative concerning social conservatism. The historical electoral record does not support the meme.

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Sweet! Santo gets the establishment endorsement of DeWine.

Notorious GOP on February 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Obama has been preparing to run against Romney since 2010 – that’s what the whole 1% thing is.

So of course he is going to be concerned if he has to throw that strategy away.

And from a liberal perspective, Romney v Obama is win/win. Do you get the competent technocratic liberal or the “idealistic dreamer”? Of course either way we lose…

18-1 on February 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Worried, as they should be. They are unprepared for this development as they have been for so many others. Caught of guard will always put’s you on defense. A defensive position is a harder win if you don’t have the high ground. 0′s team doesn’t have the high ground.

Bmore on February 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Yeah, that one has been running here in GA a lot too. If that is the best that Mitt can do against Rick, he is going to lose. No one believes that Romney is an opponent of earmarks; the ad makes Mitt look desperate.

Lawdawg86 on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I’ve seen the ads here in Michigan. Michael Savage has suggested that Mitt fire every one of his advisers. He’s probably right. Mitt has to make the case to conservatives that under his leadership, Obamacare is gone. He should renounce any belief in manmade global warming, promise to open up drilling, and build the pipeline. Right to work, no cap and trade, prioritize immigration enforcement, and punish sanctuary cities. Mitt is viewed with suspicion, and it’s a horrible strategic blunder to cast suspicion on his primary opponents.

Greek Fire on February 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Mid-west moderates are one thing but moderates on the coasts another. It is the latter group where Santorum is at risk. It will probably come down to how much one hates Obama. Given how fickle indies and many moderates can be,it will not take a lot for the left to turn things their way. We need a balanced ticket to forestall this.

jeanie on February 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Seriously, I don’t understand why so many of you guys buy into the media narrative concerning social conservatism. The historical electoral record does not support the meme.

You’ve got liberal Republicans who are pretty happy with the status quo, and real conservatives that have already emotionally invested that Romney is the best we can do.

Both will hammer Santorum for these reasons. Interestingly though, both groups are attacking him from the left. This is odd, since opposition to gay marriage or abortion shouldn’t be something conservatives are afraid of….but if you are endorsing Mitt Romney how else are you going to attach Santorum?

18-1 on February 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The guy who’s switching to Santorum is DeWine. Never heard of him…

Think of the most obtuse republican you can, like maybe Voinovich or Lugar, and you’ll be there. Not reliable.

DanMan on February 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

That is what Santy’s supporters are wishing for , but Obama and team , they are celebrating his rise in the polls, and IMO all this Contracepyion mandate timing was done to get him the frontrunner status, so he can face Obama rather than Newt.

evergreenland on February 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Why would anyone be worried about Santorum in a general election? He’s toxic with female voters.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I haven’t posted here in a while, but this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read.

I know for a fact that my mother and my wife are voting for him. Quite frankly I’m sure that my wife is happy that her mother didn’t make a different “choice” even though she had my wife when she was 17. Not that she would have because my mother-in-law believes that a baby isn’t a “choice” that can just be “dealt with”.

MobileVideoEngineer on February 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Ed- YOU KNOW better than most- That somewhere down the road the other pastoral shoe will drop. And it will find there was a priest- somewhere- even remotely related to Santy’s past or his Parish – that was involved in the sex abuse scandal of the Catholic church.
AND YOU KNOW, the entire sex abuse scandal of the Catholic clergy will be front and center for all Americans to decide if we want any Catholic influence of that nature. Yes, we will re-live a portion of that whole sad history of the Catholic church. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to make something of PSU alum Santy and the whole Sandusky disgrace.

Ed- Mittens maybe shooting mud – but Ocommie is gonna be shooting Tar and throwing feathers- and the liberal scum will have another shot at defecating on the Catholic Church. And all the disavowing in the world won’t change public perception of the church when they get it into the national debate.

Shameful yes, But wait for it all the same.

FlaMurph on February 17, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Should Romney prepare to be associated with Warren Jeffs? Or that polygamist with his own reality show? Or the numerous recent Mormon sex abuse cases? Or the mystery mountain man who is terrorizing Utah and thought to be Mormon? Or any number of scandals in one way or another tied to the LDS? I don’t like Romney whatsoever, but he’s not responsible for any of that any more than Santorum is responsible for Catholic scandals. Surely people can see through those attempts.

Romney suggested to an interviewer questioning Mormonism that he read Cleon Skousen, who was a Mormon writer considered by many to be a John Birch-type conspiracy theorist crank. Among other things, Skousen rewrote American history from an LDS perspective. That is something that ought to concern Romney supporters.

flyfisher on February 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

NEWT LIVES!!!! (btw I know Newt hating Hot Air wouldn’t post this news so here it is)

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57380147-503544/gingrich-to-get-another-$10-million-from-casino-backer-sources/?tag=contentMain;contentBody

tkyang99 on February 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Mid-west moderates are one thing but moderates on the coasts another. It is the latter group where Santorum is at risk. It will probably come down to how much one hates Obama. Given how fickle indies and many moderates can be,it will not take a lot for the left to turn things their way. We need a balanced ticket to forestall this.

jeanie on February 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Yes, because prior to this election all of those states on the two coats were solidly red…

NotCoach on February 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Thanks for agreeing, now you can start supporting him since you two are now on the same page.

right2bright on February 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I will never vote for a religious zealot. They are the most dangerous of politicians.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Mid-west moderates are one thing but moderates on the coasts another. It is the latter group where Santorum is at risk. It will probably come down to how much one hates Obama. Given how fickle indies and many moderates can be,it will not take a lot for the left to turn things their way. We need a balanced ticket to forestall this.

jeanie on February 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

“Moderates on the coasts”?

NO Republican candidate is going to win Washington, Oregon, California, DC, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Maine barring a major realignment or wipeout.

The only “moderates” that the party needs to be focusing on live in the Rust Belt, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.

teke184 on February 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Yeah, that one has been running here in GA a lot too. If that is the best that Mitt can do against Rick, he is going to lose. No one believes that Romney is an opponent of earmarks; the ad makes Mitt look desperate.

Lawdawg86 on February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Mitt started his Santorum bombing campaign in Tennessee yesterday. There were ads on the talk radio and on television.

flyfisher on February 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

The people who take offense with Santorum’s social issues are Obama voters already. Screaming about Santy and abortion won’t have much of an impact on people in OH, PA, WI who aren’t already chugging the Obama Kool Aid.

The Obama voters in the Midwest voted for him for economic reasons. And they will vote against him for economic reasons in 2012. Santorum’s social issues will be a moot point with these voters.

Santorum has the perfect story for the Midwest…blue collar kid from small town who rose up to be a lawyer and Senator. It’ll be impossible for Obama to demonize him as a lackey for billionaires the way he’ll be able to against Romney.

angryed on February 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Mid-west moderates are one thing but moderates on the coasts another. It is the latter group where Santorum is at risk. It will probably come down to how much one hates Obama. Given how fickle indies and many moderates can be,it will not take a lot for the left to turn things their way. We need a balanced ticket to forestall this.

jeanie on February 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Moderates on the coasts? What all 17 of them? Romney loses CA by 15%, Santy loses CA by 20%. Who cares?

angryed on February 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I haven’t posted here in a while, but this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read.

I know for a fact that my mother and my wife are voting for him. Quite frankly I’m sure that my wife is happy that her mother didn’t make a different “choice” even though she had my wife when she was 17. Not that she would have because my mother-in-law believes that a baby isn’t a “choice” that can just be “dealt with”.

MobileVideoEngineer on February 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I’m sure ardent conservative women will vote for him. Some probably share his values. Moderates and independents wont.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I haven’t posted here in a while, but this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read.

I know for a fact that my mother and my wife are voting for him. Quite frankly I’m sure that my wife is happy that her mother didn’t make a different “choice” even though she had my wife when she was 17. Not that she would have because my mother-in-law believes that a baby isn’t a “choice” that can just be “dealt with”.

MobileVideoEngineer on February 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Hey, take it easy, rubberneck was being sarcastic, no one is that stupid to believe what he wrote.
Normally you would be a /s tag to show it was sarcasm, but that was so outlandish, so foolish, that it wasn’t needed.
No, I don’t think anyone is so stupid as to write what he posted and actually believe it…

right2bright on February 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I will never vote for a religious zealot. They are the most dangerous of politicians.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Since Santorum is a devout Catholic and Mitt served for three years as a missionary and later as a bishop and stake president, I will go ahead and put you down for Gingrich.

flyfisher on February 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Santorum is well known for his earmarks in PA. He has also been a supporter of big government projects. He is not the pristine conser.painted by many here. But,repeat–a balanced ticket is our only chance and that an outside one.

jeanie on February 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

The guy who’s switching to Santorum is DeWine. Never heard of him…

JA on February 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

… really? How long have you been following GOP politics? DeWine was one of the top-ranking Republicans in the Senate from the crucial swing state of Ohio. He served two terms, and lost his bid for a third term to Sherrod Brown in 2006 (the same year Santorum lost). He is now Attorney General of Ohio. Before going to the Senate I think he was Lt. Gov. in Ohio too. The man is not insignificant; he has a strong organization in the state, and with Kasich staying neutral (and certainly still peeved about Mitt’s refusal to endorse him in the union reform referendum), DeWine will wield the most influence over the state party apparatus. Its a big win for Rick. Kasich would have been huge, but this is undoubtedly a good sign for Rick’s prospects in the most important primary of the entire race.

Lawdawg86 on February 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I will never vote for a religious zealot. They are the most dangerous of politicians.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Believe it or not almost a quarter of the country identify themselves as Catholics. Santorum, to my knowledge, hasn’t professed any religious beliefs outside of the teachings of the church.

neuquenguy on February 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Santorum has the perfect story for the Midwest…blue collar kid from small town who rose up to be a lawyer and Senator.

angryed on February 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

…and got drummed out of office by 20 points. Great story.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Wow, did Hot Air just censor my post about Newt?

Newt gets another 10 million, bad news for the Newt Haters!

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57380147-503544/gingrich-to-get-another-$10-million-from-casino-backer-sources

[Ed: No, the spam filter caught both because the word “casino” is in the URL. We get tons of online casino spam here.]

tkyang99 on February 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I will never vote for a religious zealot. They are the most dangerous of politicians.

rubberneck on February 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

And yet you’d vote for a guy who spent twenty years in a “church” that preached hatred against whites? Zealot refers to fanatical partisanship. And no matter how much you hate a man for showing his faith, there is no greater zealot in this race than the jug-eared incumbent.

Happy Nomad on February 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Do endorsements really do anything? It tends to annoy me if it government officials. I was amazed to hear Paul Gigot speak positively about Sen. Santorum this morning on Fox.

Cindy Munford on February 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

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