Romney blasts Santorum for robocalling Democrats in open MI primary

posted at 1:20 pm on February 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Is courting Democrats in an open primary “outrageous,” or simply good politics? Rick Santorum’s campaign funded robocalls to get Michigan Democrats to come to the state’s open primary today, attacking Romney as “Massachusetts Mitt” and slamming Romney for opposing the auto bailout — which, as Chris Cillizza points out, Santorum also opposed:

Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign is actively seeking the support of Democrats in Tuesday’s Michigan primary, running a robocall that sounds oddly like one that would be run by an organized labor group.

“Michigan Democrats can vote in the Republican primary on Tuesday,” the narrator says in a copy of the automated call to Democratic voters that was initially obtained by Talking Points Memo. “Why is it so important? (Mitt) Romney supported the bailout for his Wall Street billionaire buddies, but opposed the auto bailout. That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker. And we’re not going to let Romney get away with it.”

Then the ad closes with: “This call is supported by hard-working Democratic men and women and paid for by Rick Santorum for President.” …

It’s also an odd message considering that Santorum also opposed the auto bailout. Santorum has tried to differentiate himself on the issue by noting that he has a blanket no-bailout policy, while Romney supported the Wall Street bailout but not the auto bailout.

The Romney campaign responded last night with an e-mailed statement calling the robocalls “outrageous,” and that it proves that Santorum has “moved beyond just ‘taking one for the team;’ he is now willing to wear the other team’s jersey if he thinks it will get him more votes.”  Romney himself made TV appearances today condemning Santorum for “teaming up with the Obama people” and calling it “a new low in this campaign.” But this seems way over the top, even if you’re inclined to share some of Romney’s outrage:

Flanked by volunteers at his campaign headquarters, Romney conceded that — as recent polls suggest — Santorum might win and pointed to the Santorum robo-calls encouraging Democratic crossover voters to turn out in the open primary.
“I think the hardest thing about predicting what’s going to happen today is whether Senator Santorum’s effort to call Democrat households and tell them to come out and vote against Mitt Romney is going to be successful or not. I think Republicans have to recognize there’s a real effort to kidnap our primary process. And if we want Republicans to nominate the Republican who takes on Barack Obama, I need Republicans to get out and vote and say no to the dirty tricks of a desperate campaign,” the former Massachusetts governor said.

Romney encouraged volunteers working the phones to get Republicans to turn out for him instead. “We want this to be a process where Republicans choose our Republican nominee. We don’t want the Democrats to choose who they think is the easiest person to run against,” he added.

However, Michigan’s primary is open, which means that Democrats will make up some percentage of the vote.  In the 2008 primary, they comprised 7% of the vote despite the fact that Democrats had their own primary at the same time.  Democrats might be inclined to turn out in the same amount or more this time — so why not court them?  Kevin McCullough reminds the Romney campaign that the idea is to get Democrats to vote for Republicans at some point:

He’s expressing this morning his “outrage” and “disgust” at a concept that signals something very important to anyone watching the race from a general election perspective.

Earth to Mitt, Earth to Mitt: There are not enough pure Republican voters in the country for you to win a general election. Reaching out to Democrats isn’t only the savvy thing to do from a campaign strategy in the primary, it also makes a heck of a lot of sense in laying the groundwork for disaffected Democrats and Independents in the general election.

Mitt’s team feels sucker-punched because they have had almost no forethought on the Michigan race almost from the get-go. They weren’t paying attention when they lost Iowa. They weren’t paying attention when they lost Minnesota. They weren’t paying attention when they lost Missouri. They’re not paying attention now that they may lost Michigan, or that they are running a huge risk in possible losing Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The Team Romney scorched-earth, spend big, and no-one-challenge-us, mentality has not brought about an especially strong argument for why people should vote for their candidate.

The Boss Emeritus writes that Santorum is playing by the open-primary rules, and that Romney needs to toughen up:

Inconvenient truth: There’s nothing “dirty” and there’s no “trick” in playing by the rules set by the states. Seventeen states have open primaries. (Think the rules should be changed? Go for it. But not in the middle of the game.) One of those 17 states with open primaries is Massachusetts. And among the many voters who have crossed over to influence the outcome of an open primary is…Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney’s longtime argument is that he, not Santorum, is best equipped to appeal to the very Reagan Democrats that Rick Santorum is wooing.

Yet, in the state he considers his “home state” and where he has desperately outspent Santorum by 3-to-1, tonight’s outcome is “too close to call.”

If Romney can’t put away Santorum and can’t handle a run-of-the-mill robocall, how is he going to handle Team Obama’s Chicago goons and the Democrat deacons of truly dirty tricks?

Even the normally Romney-sympathetic Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post mostly agrees:

Aside from some strategic ambiguity as to the origin of the ad, there is nothing legally or even politically wrong with going after Democratic votes. The primary is not limited to registered Republicans. Just as GOP candidates in New Hampshire appealed to independent voters who were allowed to vote in that contest, it is perfectly acceptable to try to maximize a candidate’s votes by corralling Democrats. If the GOP wants a closed primary, it can have one.

That said, it’s rather embarrassing to be caught snuggling up to pro-union Democrats since Santorum characterizes himself to Romney’sright. The robocalls are either trying to confuse voters that Santorum supported the auto bailout (which he did not), or an admission that Santorum is perceived as the weaker candidate (Democrats, come vote for me to help you in November!). It sure does muddy his message, which is that he’s the one with the bolder contrasts to go up against Obama.

This is an inside-baseball story that is not likely to influence actual voters today (other than to inform some Democrats that the ad is from Santorum and not actual Democrats). Moreover, the number of mischief-making voters who are really going to bother to vote, I imagine, is quite small.

The impact of the story, if any, is to give Romney an excuse if he loses in Michigan and to muddle Santorum’s message. In his anxiousness to try to pull in a few Democratic voters, Santorum has undercut his own self-description as the most Republican of the Republican candidates and conveyed a certain desperation.

It has that kind of sense to me, too.  The ad doesn’t cross over into the kind of class-warfare attacks leveled by Romney and Newt Gingrich at each other a few weeks ago, and pointing out that Romney supported the Wall Street bailout while opposing the auto bailout doesn’t reach that level of Occupy rhetoric — even if it is a bit hypocritical, considering Santorum’s opposition to the auto bailout, too.  It’s hardly “outrageous” or a dirty trick, though, and it’s certainly not “kidnapping” a primary that’s already open to Democratic voters. Until Santorum’s rise, I doubt that the Romney team saw an open primary as a bad thing, anyway.

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Romney actually once voted for a Democrat.

liberal4life on February 28, 2012 at 1:22 PM

“. … I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!”

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Romney attracting independents and democrats in New Hampshire primary = demonstration of appeal outside the base

Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary = betrayal of conservative principles and proof he can’t win against Obama.

Romney running robocalls = Dont whine

Santorum running robocalls = whining about dirty tactics

I just want to make sure I understand how it works.

Marybeth on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Prediction: Scott Walker will lose in Michigan because of these “tru conservatives” class warfare and pro-unions rhetoric.
joana on February 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Walker’s Wisconsin

gracie on February 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I know, type.

And just out there: Walker behind pro-unions democrats in Wisconsin recalls!

http://t.co/npJrECXm

His approvals are now upside down.

Good job, “tru conservatives”. Supporting class warfare warriors and union stooges really did wonders for the party brand!

joana on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

These robocalls are a true enrichment of our process. Who needs great speeches and programs? Or even nice, dirty attack ads?

Rick got my vote this morning!

He is sending special calls to all former alter boys and preppies.

I got a call promising that all laws would be written in Latin.

Wow to think I could finally justify that struggle.

I’m calling Bill O’Reilly.

IlikedAUH2O on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Romney is the candidate Republican establishment is pushing.

Santorum is the candidate the Democrat Establishment is pushing.

Not good optics for Santorum.

Midwesterner on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

If it were Romney doing this, the outrage would be so thick you couldn’t breathe around here.

You pathetic hypocrites – someone should slap both your faces. I’ve heard some of the same people decrying the open primaries as an affront to Republicans picking our own nominee, but suddenly now it’s an appeal for the general?

Adjoran on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Reagan himself was a Democrat until late in life and probably voted for many Democrats before he was a Republican.

Big Deal…

SauerKraut537 on February 28, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Reagan actually sought to attract Democrat votes, too.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Santorum’s Democrats will all vote for Obama this fall and the state will go blue as it usually does. Intellectual honesty, Santorum supporters. You aren’t recruiting disaffected Reagan Democrats, you’re recruiting Michael Moore Democrats.

rhombus on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Romney attracting independents and democrats in New Hampshire primary = demonstration of appeal outside the base

Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary = betrayal of conservative principles and proof he can’t win against Obama.

Romney running robocalls = Dont whine

Santorum running robocalls = whining about dirty tactics

I just want to make sure I understand how it works.

Marybeth on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

You don’t understand how it works.

Nothing wrong with Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary or running robocalls.

That’s not the problem.

Highly doubtful if you can understand the problem even if someone explains it to you once again.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Michael Moore: “My Democratic Friends Will Vote For Santorum”

albill on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

But Santorum isn’t the only Republican presidential hopeful to make a pitch for the support of union Democrats.

As the National Journal reported on Nov. 1, 1980, the Ronald Reagan campaign, in the run-up to the general election in that year, successfully reached out to blue-collar Democrats in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.

As the article noted, “Reagan’s forces have tried to sidestep union officials and contact voters directly, using television advertisements to emphasize the issues of inflation and unemployment. Trying to attract television news coverage, Reagan makes frequent appearances with workers in hard hats at industrial sites — preferably idle ones.”

In some of his campaign literature, Reagan also played up his stint as a former union president (Screen Actors Guild).

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/santorums-appeal-michigan-democrats-dirty-trick-romney-says-reagan-did-it-too

Norwegian on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Santorum is the candidate the Democrat Establishment is pushing.

Not good optics for Santorum.

Midwesterner on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Yes, Rick Santorum IS the establishment candidate, after all.

bluegill on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Romney and McCain reaching out to Independents and Democrats = moderate candidates with broad appeal

Santorum reaching out to Independents and Democrats = a filthy evil trick!

Santorum reaching out to Independents and Democrats = selling one’s soul to the devil!

I guess you’ll just have to vote Democrat or Ron Paul then, if the Republicans are just too extreme for you.

Doomberg

If you want to quote Romney saying something to the effect of “Hey democrats, vote for me because Santorum is the stronger candidate against Obama”. Feel free. Because only then would you have a point. Otherwise Santorum is only “appealing” to democrats to hurt Romney, no other reason.

Zaggs on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

The GOP shouldn’t open its primaries to constitutencies it doesn’t want its candidates to appeal to. The primary is open because the GOP wants to mitigate the influence of hardline conservatives in those states. It explains many McLame victories in 2008. Well, now it has blown up in their creased Rockefeller faces. And in Obamney’s fake Mr. Michigan face as well.

This is fun.

Western_Civ on February 28, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Disgusting. Snyder has turned a huge deficit into a surplus in a year and a half in Michigan. We wouldn’t want Romney to do that, would we? This party and the conservative movement is lost. I used to think I could vote for Santorum, but not now EVER. He’s nothing but a slime bag politician that has never worked in the real world.
PKinMI on February 28, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Gotta agree that going after Snyder is really bad news. Next up: Jan Brewer is teh Satan…

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:02 PM

If it were Romney doing this, the outrage would be so thick you couldn’t breathe around here.

You pathetic hypocrites – someone should slap both your faces. I’ve heard some of the same people decrying the open primaries as an affront to Republicans picking our own nominee, but suddenly now it’s an appeal for the general?

Adjoran on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I think the rules should be for a closed primary. But the fact that Michigan isn’t, doesn’t mean Santorum shouldn’t use that to this advantage. I would only object to his method of using the auto bailout issue in the way he’s using it. He was against it, so why try to use Romney’s matching position against him. He is on solid ground battering Romney for his support for TARP.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Romney attracting independents and democrats in New Hampshire primary = demonstration of appeal outside the base

Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary = betrayal of conservative principles and proof he can’t win against Obama.

Actually, there is a big and significant difference. Santorum is targeting union voters. Union voters are going to vote for Obama absolutely in the next election, not Santorum. But more to the point, Santorum has tried to play down his big labor background, now he is giving his opponents plenty of ammunition.

Even if Romney loses Michigan, he’ll still be in a good position by winning Arizona. But now he and Newt will be able to hit Santorum even harder on his Big Labor background.

cd98 on February 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM

If it were Romney doing this, the outrage would be so thick you couldn’t breathe around here.

You pathetic hypocrites – someone should slap both your faces. I’ve heard some of the same people decrying the open primaries as an affront to Republicans picking our own nominee, but suddenly now it’s an appeal for the general?

Your cries of hypocrisy will have no effect on us. Sure it’s hypocritical. So what? This is politics. Winning is everything. Losers whine about how unfair it was and hold grudges about being stabbed in the back blah blah blah.

You’ll fall into line once Santorum is the nominee. You’ll have to. You have nowhere else to go. So right now, Rick’s gonna do whatever he has to do to stop the Romney Scourge, and if that requires a few liberal Democrats plus a takedown of some useless RINO northerner governor? Eh, I wouldn’t even call it collateral damage, as it’s really just bonus points. Those northern RINOs should just go follow their liberal hearts and vote Democratic if they’re so ashamed of standing for true Christian conservative principles. We don’t need you, we don’t want you. The door is thataway –> please feel free to walk out.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Nothing wrong with Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary or running robocalls.

Everything is wrong with Santorum coming out FOR the auto bailout.

That candidacy is now over.

MNHawk on February 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

. I would only object to his method of using the auto bailout issue in the way he’s using it. He was against it, so why try to use Romney’s matching position against him.
Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Why? You can’t even understand why? Because he’s trying to appeal to liberal democrats?

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I’m going to disagree, Ed. If Santorum was simply criticizing Romney for not supporting the auto bailout, that would be hypocritical. But if the criticism is that Romney supported the Wall St bailout but not the auto bailout, there’s nothing hypocritical about it.

jazz_piano on February 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Nothing wrong with Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary or running robocalls.

Everything is wrong with Santorum coming out FOR the auto bailout.

That candidacy is now over.

MNHawk on February 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Exactly.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Santorum’s Democrats will all vote for Obama this fall and the state will go blue as it usually does. Intellectual honesty, Santorum supporters. You aren’t recruiting disaffected Reagan Democrats, you’re recruiting Michael Moore Democrats.

rhombus on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Some may be Moore Dems, but not all. Some of those union Dems can’t be happy with Obama’s stance on the Keystone XL pipeline (which is denying many union members jobs), and those same union people drive cars and can’t be happy with gas prices.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Sorry, the bigot Rick Santorum won’t get the nomination. You just spent a lot of energy writing a long silly post about something you know will never happen just in order to try to annoy people. How lame.

bluegill on February 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Nope. because he is writing against Romney. Hence anything is fair game.
Zaggs on February 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

My beef continues to be with Ed’s misuse of the phrase “class warfare”. I’ve called him on this before. Ed spins it so it is when it isn’t and isn’t when it is.

I would only object to his method of using the auto bailout issue in the way he’s using it.
Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Good start. Now, would you like to defend his use of language like “millionaire buddies on Wall Street” and claim it’s not “class warfare” the way Ed did?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Hey, I could never understand how self-described Republicans and conservatives could pull the lever for Obama. But, I’m convinced many of them went for the feel-good experience of being able to say they are not racists and actually cast a vote for this thug.

Likewise, I could see black Christian Democrats (I mean real Christians, not these black theology bozos) listening to Santorum’s family values and thinking, “you know what? He’s right. The roots of black problems lie in the destruction of the black family and work ethic.”

BELIEVE.

disa on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

You are high. No democrats are voting for Santorum because they like him. They are voting for him because he is unelectable and they know it. I mean seriously what kind of sheltered life do you live where you haven’t read about unions, the DNC and Michael Moore all explicitly talking about doing this?

Maybe Democrats have figured out that we figured out that they would rather run against Romney, so they are saying that they would rather run against Santorum so conservatives will change their vote for Romney?

In other words, no one knows what’s going to happen because it is up to the people now, and that’s how it should be.

lea on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

If it were Romney doing this, the outrage would be so thick you couldn’t breathe around here.

Adjoran on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Scuuze me, but what was all that Romney chittering about all the Detroit cars he and his wife drive except a ploy to attract UAW demoncrats? Come off it.

Western_Civ on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Reagan actually sought to attract Democrat votes, too.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

So is Romney, and so is Santorum, but you don’t see Romney having his team robocall Democrats like Santorum is, do you?

It’s one thing to court Democrats with the principle of inclusion and a whole other one to do it as Santorum is.

Why do you think the Democrats want Santorum to win like the KOS kidz are doing by exhorting Democrats to vote for Santorum? They WANT Santorum because they know they can beat him to a pulp.

Wake up people! Geesh! Don’t play into the far left’s hands!

SauerKraut537 on February 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The story is already bing written if Santorum wins MI.

KBird on February 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Sorry, the bigot Rick Santorum won’t get the nomination. You just spent a lot of energy writing a long silly post about something you know will never happen just in order to try to annoy people. How lame.

The entire point of the TEA Party and this GOP primary was to silence voices like yours — forever. Again: losing with Santorum will be worth it if we can morally purify the Party and remove the RINO, glibertarian, “economics only” liberal wing that has been a parasite on true conservatism for decades. Then we can rebuild with a singular message over time, like Goldwater did.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Why? You can’t even understand why? Because he’s trying to appeal to liberal democrats?

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Maybe I shouldn’t ask “Why” so much as I should agree that it is hypocritical of Santorum to use the issue the way he’s using it. I don’t, otherwise, blame him for using the rules to his advantage in trying to woo Democrats that aren’t thrilled with Obama.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:10 PM

The fact that he picked this fight suggests that Romney knows he is going to lose Michigan and is setting the stage for the reason why. That is music to my ears.

eva3071 on February 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM

So, wouldn’t it be a good thing if Republicans got the blue collar, union member vote both in the primary and general? That’s what he’s going after.

lea on February 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM

The fact that he picked this fight suggests that Romney knows he is going to lose Michigan and is setting the stage for the reason why. That is music to my ears.

Exactly. Santorum: just win, baby. Worry about the ethics of it later. The winners WRITE the ethics books anyway.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

What’s the problem? Don’t we want these voters in the fall?

paulus1 on February 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Why do you think the Democrats want Santorum to win like the KOS kidz are doing by exhorting Democrats to vote for Santorum? They WANT Santorum because they know they can beat him to a pulp.

Wake up people! Geesh! Don’t play into the far left’s hands!

SauerKraut537 on February 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I think they overestimate their chances of beating Santorum. Just because they’re allergic to social issues doesn’t mean the populace as a whole is.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Ok, we’ll see if that happens.

In the meantime, you’ll be voting for Romney in November.

bluegill on February 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Sorry Mittens.Rick doesn’t have a bazillion dollars so he has to get creative. It also is outreach of a sort since Dems think he is a fascist or something.

Southernblogger on February 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Been getting bombarded by Romney robocalls here for the last two weeks (4 on my machine last night alone.) Still didn’t know who I was going to vote for this morning when I woke up. Wound up going for Santorum because of Romney’s latest comment about not caring to fire up the base.

Ultimately, I still believe Romney will be the nominee and I will gladly vote for him in November.

All this other stuff about courting union votes/Democrats will all be forgotten by November. I have one focus only and that is to see that Obama is done by January 2013.

jjjdad on February 28, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Again, if Rick is being a little underhanded here, then it’s in service of the greater and more noble goal of destroying Romney.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012

Hypocrites. It’s one thing to attempt to persuade Reagan Democrats to vote for your guy in an open primary. It’s another thing entirely to misrepresent your position (Santorum was against auto company bailouts, was he not?) and work in collusion with UAW President and admitted Marxist Bob King to defeat another Republican candidate in a Republican primary.

Never, ever say you’re supporting Santorum because he represents a clear moral choice between him and Romney or him and Gingrich or–if this holier-than-thou, sure to lose POS wins the GOP nomination–him and President Obama. Santorum is a weasel.

troyriser_gopftw on February 28, 2012 at 2:13 PM

albill on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Perry? Where have all the Cowboys Gone?

Have you counted how many times the ultra right has been told to get a real winner or run with Mitt?

I understand the problem, but they don’t like the guy who reminds them of the slick lawyer on LA Law or the same character who looked like a real lefty on videos.

They want a down home guy to put down his beer, crack a joke, look a little familiar and hit home runs on a nice day in the park. And be a real American every instant of his life which consisted of just that afternoon.

A real shame that life ain’t a picnic.

IlikedAUH2O on February 28, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Mitt really needs to stop whining and go after Democrat voters himself.

paulus1 on February 28, 2012 at 2:14 PM

It’s a complete perversion of the process. This has nothing to do with Reagan Democrats. Democrats voting for Santorum aren’t voting for him — they dislike him more intensely than they do Romney. That Santorum is recruiting these people is even more abhorrent. I hope it backfires on him.

bobs1196 on February 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

To be honest, I think the Romney-bashers are getting a little ahead of themselves here. I think they’re a little over eager to declare victory.

While Santorum’s dirty tricks are making life harder for Romney at the moment, I don’t doubt for a second that Romney will be the nominee. I only wish this primary season could be wrapped up sooner rather than later.

bluegill on February 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Good start. Now, would you like to defend his use of language like “millionaire buddies on Wall Street” and claim it’s not “class warfare” the way Ed did?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Well, he has buddies that work on Wall Street, they happen to be millionaries, and he supported the taxpayer fraud known as TARP. So, no, I wouldn’t agree that it is “class warfare”. At least, not when Santorum says it since he opposed TARP. Obama supported TARP, so it is “class warfare” when he trys using it.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The entire point of the TEA Party and this GOP primary was to silence voices like yours — forever. Again: losing with Santorum will be worth it if we can morally purify the Party and remove the RINO, glibertarian, “economics only” liberal wing that has been a parasite on true conservatism for decades. Then we can rebuild with a singular message over time, like Goldwater did.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Give it a rest, will you? Mitt’s biggest weakness is his fiscal policy. The entire revolt against Romney has come from fiscal conservatives. The entire list of reasons people post over and over are Romney’s FISCAL positions. The only reason Santorum is surging is because he’s the only one left standing. Raving and ranting about social conservatives is pointless because there aren’t any in this election: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx

The 2-3 percent who have prioritized social issues have not hijacked the entire Tea Party no matter how much it might make you wish otherwise. We’re not going to vote for an establishment backed spender who will continue most of Obama’s policies. There is no “socon conspiracy,” it’s really that simple.

If Romney supporters REALLY wanted a fiscon, those on Romney side of things would have compromised and found one (like Perry) who probably would have been acceptable to everyone. Instead they ran on a platform of “let’s beat down the Tea Party!” and are now reaping the rewards they so richly deserve.

Doomberg on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The entire point of the TEA Party and this GOP primary was to silence voices like yours — forever. Again: losing with Santorum will be worth it if we can morally purify the Party and remove the RINO, glibertarian, “economics only” liberal wing that has been a parasite on true conservatism for decades. Then we can rebuild with a singular message over time, like Goldwater did.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

You’re aware that Goldwater was a libertarian and economic conservative that hated the Christian Right, okay?

I can’t really tell if your posts are snark or if you’re serious. I suspect it’s snark, but if so it’s very well done, hard to tell.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I must confess that I was in error in regard to Santorum’s robocall. I had thought that he did not mention Mitten’s desire to support one bailout and not the other. I was wrong and apologize to all that stated such, especially ryandan (sp?) and joan(sp?)

Saying that, I think I see why Santorum is using this. First, it demonstrates that Romney lacks any principles. Romney said yes to Wall street and no to Auto, why? It demonstrates the inconsistency of this man.

Now, if Santorum’s robocall was claiming that Romney did not support any bailouts and vote for Santorum, then we have an issue of being disingenuous since that is Santorum’s position.

Rick is just proving that Mitten’s is a crony man who helps those who are like him.

It is a great means of making a distinction between the two candidates. Let’s go blue dogs and vote Santorum.

PuritanD71 on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Again: losing with Santorum will be worth it if we can morally purify the Party and remove the RINO, glibertarian, “economics only” liberal wing that has been a parasite on true conservatism for decades. Then we can rebuild with a singular message over time, like Goldwater did.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

You’re kidding yourself if you believe losing with Santorum is somehow a net gain, especially for conservatism. There’s no winning by losing, here…if anything, it’s likely to lead to even more moderation, because Santorum is seen as mostly a social con.

changer1701 on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

What’s the problem? Don’t we want these voters in the fall?

paulus1 on February 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

LOL.

a capella on February 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Scuuze me, but what was all that Romney chittering about all the Detroit cars he and his wife drive except a ploy to attract UAW demoncrats? Come off it.
Western_Civ on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Different situation. The State of Michigan depends on the Auto Biz – not just the UAW. Moreover, In Romney’s case he celebrates Detroit, his own success and ability to purchase Detroit cars (unless you think there should be some one Cadillac per household rule cause at some point you’ve made too much money); In Santorum’s case it’s all about stoking up resentment against “billionaires” and “Wall Street”…

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM

How sweet it would be if Romney won both Michigan and Arizona tonight.

bluegill on February 28, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Romney attracting independents and democrats in New Hampshire primary = demonstration of appeal outside the base

Santorum attracting independents and democrats in Michigan primary = betrayal of conservative principles and proof he can’t win against Obama.

Romney running robocalls = Dont whine

Santorum running robocalls = whining about dirty tactics

I just want to make sure I understand how it works.

Marybeth on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

That was a perfect comparison. Great job!

PhiKapMom on February 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Doomberg on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

From PPP poll:

With voters more concerned about economic than social issues (69% in MI) Romney leads Santorum 45-30

If Romney supporters REALLY wanted a fiscon, those on Romney side of things would have compromised and found one (like Perry) who probably would have been acceptable to everyone.

What the heck? I was even willing to support Bachmann. That doesn’t make any sense. I’ll support the more fiscal conservative candidate over the lesser one, so I’ll support Romney now. If there was a viable candidate more fiscally conservative than Romney, I’d support that candidate.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I must confess that I was in error in regard to Santorum’s robocall. I had thought that he did not mention Mitten’s desire to support one bailout and not the other. I was wrong and apologize to all that stated such, especially ryandan (sp?) and joan(sp?)

That’s honorable.

Saying that, I think I see why Santorum is using this. First, it demonstrates that Romney lacks any principles. Romney said yes to Wall street and no to Auto, why? It demonstrates the inconsistency of this man.

Now, if Santorum’s robocall was claiming that Romney did not support any bailouts and vote for Santorum, then we have an issue of being disingenuous since that is Santorum’s position.

Rick is just proving that Mitten’s is a crony man who helps those who are like him.

It is a great means of making a distinction between the two candidates. Let’s go blue dogs and vote Santorum.

PuritanD71 on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

So, you also believe Santorum opposed all the bailouts?

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

You’re kidding yourself if you believe losing with Santorum is somehow a net gain, especially for conservatism. There’s no winning by losing, here…if anything, it’s likely to lead to even more moderation, because Santorum is seen as mostly a social con.

changer1701 on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Sad resemblance to kamikaze approach regarding air warfare, isn’t it? Purity above all else,..although Rick seems to have moved that purity bar with this latest.

a capella on February 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

I have a feeling this is going to backfire on Santorum terrifically.

If Romney was robo calling Dems the Truecons™ would be in an uproar about it.

1984 in real life on February 28, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I cannot believe some of you are supporting Santorum and HA on THIS?!! As others have stated it is one thing to ask Democrats for votes that you want to STAY WITH YOU PERMANENTLY through the General Election but totally a slime ball move to ask for these votes KNOWING these people do NOT back your political stance one iota!

HA has reached a new low with believing this is OKAY! Again, as others have already posted let’s reverse the roles and say it was Romney doing this…people on here would be so fired up about it and would not be using the same freakin’ arguments they are for Santorum! Totally indefensible! Hey Santorum, WIN on your OWN MERITS!

g2825m on February 28, 2012 at 2:23 PM

The race in Michigan is much ado about nothing. Because of the closeness of the race, Romney and Santorum will split the Michigan delegates. Meanwhile, Romney will win Arizona in a landslide taking all of its delegates and widening his lead in the overall delegate tally. So, why do we even care about Michigan? As long as Romney continues to increase his delegate lead, Santorum is obviously not getting any closer to winning the nomination. It also appears clear to me that Democrats are using Santorum to promote their own version of “operation chaos.” That doesn’t look like something that conservatives should be particularly happy about.

NuclearPhysicist on February 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM

If there was a viable candidate more fiscally conservative than Romney, I’d support that candidate.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

His other positions notwithstanding, Ron Paul is more fiscally conservative than anyone else in the field. He also happens to be pro-life when Santorum was still soiling his diapers.

Archivarix on February 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Again: losing with Santorum will be worth it if we can morally purify the Party and remove the RINO, glibertarian, “economics only” liberal wing that has been a parasite on true conservatism for decades. Then we can rebuild with a singular message over time, like Goldwater did.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Adolph Hitler would be so proud of you.

JPeterman on February 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM

The entire point of the TEA Party and this GOP primary was to silence voices like yours — forever. Again: losing with Santorum will be worth it if we can morally purify the Party and remove the RINO, glibertarian, “economics only” liberal wing that has been a parasite on true conservatism for decades. Then we can rebuild with a singular message over time, like Goldwater did.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Where have you been? Do you think America is 1964? If we lose in November, you will NEVER see a conservative near the WH again.

Redford on February 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Boy I miss Rick Perry.

That is all.

gophergirl on February 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM

yep me too ….. *sigh*

conservative tarheel on February 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Marybeth on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM

The radical left, who are openly advocating for Romney right here on HA, are telling the most insane lies and spreading ridiculous propaganda. I really can’t wait till the primaries are over so we can regain some intellectual integrity around here.

tom daschle concerned on February 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

did you forget the /s tag ???

conservative tarheel on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

The Democrats voting for Santorum in the primary are doing so because they know Obama will beat Santorum in a landslide in November-pulling all the senate and congressional seats with him.

Alma on February 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Obama got 52.5% of the vote in 2008. He’s not going to gain any supporters from 2008 until now with the disgraceful record he’s established. He might win; he ain’t landsliding anybody. So stop with that meme, OK.

Right Mover on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Meanwhile…A surprise appearance at a Romney Michigan rally last night:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVy6uUHSIug&feature=related

The theme to Romney’s campaign!

g2825m on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Yes it’s wrong.

Now for the second poll question: “Do you care?”

David Blue on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

That was a perfect comparison. Great job!

PhiKapMom on February 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Well,…no. She forgot to ,mention that Santorum’s robocalls misrepresented his position on auto bailouts in order to pander to the union vote.
Other than that………

a capella on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

At least we get to use the democrats for something.. even if it does benefit the Default ABR.

FlaMurph on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

If there was a viable candidate more fiscally conservative than Romney, I’d support that candidate.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

His other positions notwithstanding, Ron Paul is more fiscally conservative than anyone else in the field. He also happens to be pro-life when Santorum was still soiling his diapers.

Archivarix on February 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I think you missed the “viable” part.

Plus, Paul’s positions on money creation are very non-conservative to me.

joana on February 28, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Is there any sane person here who at this point *still* thinks Mittens is “inevitable”?!?
Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!

Czar of Defenestration on February 28, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Mitt ‘Milquetoast’ Romney is living down to his reputation as a wimpy cry baby! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Pragmatic on February 28, 2012 at 2:28 PM

At least we get to use the democrats for something.. even if it does benefit the Default ABR.

FlaMurph on February 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Yeah, that’s the problem . . .the Repubs are trying to use ONE BIG DEMOCRAT NAMED WILLARD ROMNEY AKA MITTENS.

GO HOME MITT!

Pragmatic on February 28, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Let’s be honest, people – losing to Obama means the end of America as we have known it. That’s why I’ll vote for whoever gets the nomination (despite everything I’ve said for the past 3 years about never again voting for a RINO).

All of the candidates have baggage, but none of them are as horrible as Obama.

disa on February 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM

We should draft Rick Perry! Great idea!

Go Rick and Rick!

Pragmatic on February 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Romney was crying foul earlier. Whining about how unfair Sanitorium was. St. Romney the electable!

BWHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Grammy!

Eleventy!!1!!!11!!

Lanceman on February 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Mitt Romney must be destroyed by any means possible, the stakes are to high for anything else.

eva3071 on February 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM

We don’t want to defeat Mitt Romney, wewant to destroy him.

eva3071 on February 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Let’s try that again: We don’t want to defeat Mitt Romney, we want to destroy him.

eva3071 on February 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Well, he has buddies that work on Wall Street, they happen to be millionaries, and he supported the taxpayer fraud known as TARP. So, no, I wouldn’t agree that it is “class warfare”. At least, not when Santorum says it since he opposed TARP. Obama supported TARP, so it is “class warfare” when he trys using it.
Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:18 PM

TARP was not a “fraud” but putting that aside, Santorum’s entire campaign depends on class warfare and social con warfare. Denying that language is part of this strategy is disingenuous. Meanwhile, TARP was about saving the economy from a total meltdown – you know, a meltdown which would have pulled blue collar “workers” down too. You fine with that?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

TARP was about saving the economy from a total meltdown – you know, a meltdown which would have pulled blue collar “workers” down too. You fine with that?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I thought we were already pulled down?

Lanceman on February 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM

It won’t be any sooner than Super Tuesday, Prissy. Until then, it will still be mathematically possible for any of the three legit players to seal the deal.

gryphon202 on February 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

That’s soon enough for me, gryph ;)

Priscilla on February 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Otherwise Santorum is only “appealing” to democrats to hurt Romney, no other reason.

Zaggs on February 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

it is called politics … it happens …. Romney carpet bombs those he is running against … out spending them 3 to 1 …. and tells them not to whine ….
and when someone does something negative to him … he runs for a mic and crys about it ….
this is very telling here …

If Romney can’t put away Santorum and can’t handle a run-of-the-mill robocall, how is he going to handle Team Obama’s Chicago goons and the Democrat deacons of truly dirty tricks?

conservative tarheel on February 28, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Scuuze me, but what was all that Romney chittering about all the Detroit cars he and his wife drive except a ploy to attract UAW demoncrats? Come off it.
Western_Civ on February 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Different situation. The State of Michigan depends on the Auto Biz – not just the UAW. Moreover, In Romney’s case he celebrates Detroit, his own success and ability to purchase Detroit cars (unless you think there should be some one Cadillac per household rule cause at some point you’ve made too much money); In Santorum’s case it’s all about stoking up resentment against “billionaires” and “Wall Street”…
Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM

No, I’m not an Occuploder who thinks the govt should say when you’ve made enough dough. Put that aisde. I simply think that for a craven fellow whose entire political career is as a chameleon and whose dirty politics are legendary to now be running to the right of Santorum, Gingrich et al (ample flaws though they have) is a joke whose punchline is a few robocalls that are far from being the scandal he portrays it as. As I said elsewhere, the GOP opens these primaries to mitigate the effect of the hardline conservatives, and the party members have awoken to it and adjusted.
Let me ask you, Who in this race who has constantly smirked that politics isn’t beanbag after dropping millions to tar others (or having others do his dirty work) with bogus labels in Iowa, Florida, and New Hampshire? But now we see his fangs, because he doesn’t get his wish. I don’t play class warfare, but Romney really is spoiled and it shows.

Just remember, it’s a primary and we will coalesce to beat Barack Obortion. Yes, I will put my heart into electing Romney, even though I detest the guy’s transparency.

Western_Civ on February 28, 2012 at 2:40 PM

This goes to show what unprincipled scumbags both Romney and Santorum are. How dare Romney accuse ANYBODY of dirty campaign tricks. How dare Santorum tell outright lies (OK of omission) in a robocall?

How did we get into this mess with these two dips representing the Republican party? I’ll tell you how–Republican elites and dopey Republican pundits took Romney’s cue in bashing Newt down and making sure he doesn’t get the nomination.

For the sake of the party, more importantly for the sake of the country, Republicans need to come to their senses and make sure that Newt gets the nomination. He is the ONLY candidate clearly and intelligently laying out policy ideas to get this country back to being great. He is the ONLY candidate who will shred Obozo in the general election by not letting the narrative go negative. He will hold Obozo’s feet to the fire with intelligent, well reasoned arguments pointing out Obozo’s failures, and he will do it in a way in which people will listen.

….Hang in there Newt!!!!

NOMOBO on February 28, 2012 at 2:41 PM

….Hang in there Newt!!!!

NOMOBO on February 28, 2012 at 2:41 PM

+ 7%?

Lanceman on February 28, 2012 at 2:44 PM

DITTO GG !!!

Boy I miss Rick Perry.

That is all.

gophergirl on February 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Just got home from voting – I was #33 ?? Light turnout ?

I do live in a VERY rural area/township (up north Michigan) BUT…??? 33 ?? @2:30 pm ??

ON subject: There are Republican union members ALSO – NOT ALL union members ARE democrats – My Honey was one,(passed away 2000) his brother also.. so, to think that all union members are ‘normal’ dem votes is NOT the case…

The polls are open til 8 p.m.

kennedyk49 on February 28, 2012 at 2:46 PM

http://www.freep.com/article/20120228/NEWS15/120228029/Low-voter-turnout-far-Michigan-blamed-little-interest-primary-ballot-confusion?odyssey=mod|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE

Some voters were confused and a bit put off, she said, by the requirement they choose a partisan ballot.

“People don’t understand why they have to choose,” Davis said.

She did say that she’d seen very little evidence of Democratic voters choosing to crossover into the Republican primary.

UH OH RICK. Shot yourself in the foot?

1984 in real life on February 28, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Maybe Romney could make robocalls to Democratic womens groups claiming Santorum will take your birth control away?

What’s the difference?

Tater Salad on February 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM

If HotAir is so horrible, why don’t you just go over to Frum’s Forum? You are sure to find more like-minded bots over there.

Norwegian on February 28, 2012 at 1:38 PM

This is one day, one primary. When I first started commenting here, it right around the time of the SC primary and all of you TrueCons™ were celebrating the coronation of Newt Gingrich. A couple of weeks later, you were seething over Mitt’s FL win, which of course, didn’t mean anything because he spent a lot of money on ads. Lately, it’s the giddy excitement over the possiblity of Santorum winning a few more delegates in MI with the mocking “support” of Michael Moore Dems trying to help the least electable candidate (note: complete blackout on the winner-take-all Arizona primary which will be a landslide for Romney). It’ll continue like this for a while. Way too interesting here to go over to Frum Forum, plus, for all of his Santorum adoration, I still like to read Ed’s take on things.

Priscilla on February 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I thought we were already pulled down?
Lanceman on February 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’m talking about a total collapse of our economy…I hate how TARP was managed (and it should not have been extended to GM) but it was necessary to keep the banks from going under.

Let me ask you, Who in this race who has constantly smirked that politics isn’t beanbag after dropping millions to tar others (or having others do his dirty work) with bogus labels in Iowa, Florida, and New Hampshire?
Western_Civ on February 28, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I don’t accept your use of the word “smirked” at the outset, but more to the point, I don’t have a problem with negative ads (“tar”) per se. It depends on the content. I loathe class warfare populism/populists and loathe the abject dishonesty of Santorum pretending to his new BFF’s (Michigan Democrats union members) that he favored the auto bailouts.

This is not going to end well for Santorum. He may win the proverbial battle but it will cost him the war. Between this and his remarks about Kennedy’s speech he’s… how does one say it in Latin…toast.

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM

TARP was not a “fraud” but putting that aside, Santorum’s entire campaign depends on class warfare and social con warfare. Denying that language is part of this strategy is disingenuous. Meanwhile, TARP was about saving the economy from a total meltdown – you know, a meltdown which would have pulled blue collar “workers” down too. You fine with that?

Buy Danish on February 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

TARP was BS to the maximum. You’re not convincing me that a 700 billion dollar bailout (which some was NEVER doled out) saved the world (or American) economy. It was a “slush fund” invented by Paulson, pure and simple.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

So, Santorum is recruiting Democrats who will never vote for him in November, in order to get more votes than Romney in Michigan. Sounds like a bad thing for the GOP. Do we really want Obama supporters to participate in the process of picking our nominee and make a mockery out of the GOP nomination process? It looks like Santorum and many of his supporters are choosing to promote the Dem agenda rather than forwarding conservative causes. I realize that conservatives have the right to disagree on who they believe is the real conservative in the GOP race. But, it seems that we are helping the enemy with his grand plot to destroy us, when we use tactics like this.

NuclearPhysicist on February 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

You’re kidding yourself if you believe losing with Santorum is somehow a net gain, especially for conservatism. There’s no winning by losing, here…if anything, it’s likely to lead to even more moderation, because Santorum is seen as mostly a social con.

Rush said I was right on the radio today. He pointed out that the Establishment leaders are trying to run conservatives out of the party and using the election to do it. They apparently think that Santorum is a guaranteed loser in the general election and it will be blamed on true conservatives. Rush pointed out how wrong they were, that conservatism wins WHEREVER and WHENEVER it is tried in elections.

Rush is never wrong about these sorts of things. I’ll take his guidance rather than yours.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Santorum bravely said nothing about TARP until he launched his presidential campaign. Then he said that he did not support it. Who knew?

Priscilla on February 28, 2012 at 3:01 PM

2008: WHARRGARBL THESE DEMOCRATS ARE SADDLING US WITH MCCAIN HIBBIDYHOOBLAH!!

2012: We *want* Democrats choosing our nominee!

/”true” conservative

Red Cloud on February 28, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Where have you been? Do you think America is 1964? If we lose in November, you will NEVER see a conservative near the WH again.

Wrong. We’ll never have to see a RINO liberal in the White House again. Never have to deal with them weighing the party down in blue states, never have to make the tawdry compromises. The next time a Republican is elected, he will be an authentic Christian conservative.

Let the libs govern this wreck for the next few years if they must. It will lead to the complete discrediting of big government liberalism and RINO compromise, and lead to a new birth of conservative freedom.

Esoteric on February 28, 2012 at 3:02 PM

+ 7%?

Lanceman on February 28, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Perhaps only 7% have a clue as to what will right this ship. In California during the Davis recall, Tom McClintock was only polling around 7-10% before the election. The misinformed and uneducated voters of California were rewarded with Arnold Schwarzzeneger. Are we destined to see a national version of that election, with Romeny playing the part of Arnold?

NOMOBO on February 28, 2012 at 3:03 PM

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