Video: Romney says Santorum is at the “desperate end of his campaign”

posted at 1:20 pm on March 14, 2012 by Tina Korbe

When Allah mentioned this briefly yesterday, he pegged it exactly: “Right message, wrong target.” If Mitt Romney had said last night that Newt Gingrich is at the “desperate end of his campaign,” that would have made sense. But if Romney thinks a guy who just beat him in two major primaries is gasping for breath to stay alive, what does that say about Romney’s weakness as a frontrunner? If Santorum was really at the end of his campaign, wouldn’t Romney have been able to beat him in the South?

Much has already been said about how last night reshapes the race. It’s effectively a two-man race now. His twin wins in Alabama and Mississippi strengthen Santorum’s case that he is the official “not Romney.” If Santorum continues to beat Romney from here, he’ll be able to make the case at the convention that he lost to Mitt in the early primaries because he and Gingrich split the “true conservative” vote.

Still, Mitt Romney didn’t misspeak in any way when he said this minutes before Mississippi and Alabama were called for Santorum. He said it partially to cast doubt on Santorum’s ability to win the nomination and partly because it still is doubtful that Santorum will win the nomination. Even on Santorum’s best night, Mitt Romney still won the overall delegate count (expected). The math still favors him heavily. Maybe a brokered convention would favor Santorum, but it wouldn’t favor the GOP as it heads into the general. GOP voters haven’t done it yet, but they’re still probably going to have to make peace with Mitt.


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