Scarborough: How Santorum Blew It

March 3rd, 2012

Here’s Joe Scarborough on how Rick Santorum’s lack of discipline cost him a historic chance at derailing Mitt Romney’s nomination. Although the media will continue to pump up the upcoming contests, Santorum’s loss on Tuesday increasingly make it look as if Mitt Romney will go on to win this thing.

Scarborough:   

When Santorum should have been talking about his grandfather’s working-class roots, he was talking instead about your wife’s birth control pills. When he should have been connecting with blue-collar Catholics, he was instead insulting their martyred president. And when Mr. Santorum should have been talking about how the grandson of a coal miner graduated college with two advanced degrees, he instead mocked the aspirational idea that we should send more of our kids to college.

Or, as Bill Maher said in a slightly more impolitic manner, “the only thing more popular than Kennedy is fucking and college, and he attacked those too.”

Santorum had something good going. His working class midwest roots, passion and Catholicism were a contrast with Romney’s Ivy League “vulture capitalism” experience and fundamental uncomfortability in his own skin. As a frustrated GOP operative said “All Santorum had to do to win Michigan was turn his Iowa speech into a fucking TV ad and stick to it on the stump.” But Santorum couldn’t keep the focus on the economy, because that’s not really his passion. He’s a rabid cultural conservative at heart and he couldn’t hide it.  

If Romney lost in Michigan, all of the political discussion this week would have been on how Romney had shown fatal weakness and how GOP establishment members were plotting to sabotage his candidacy in order to nominate someone else at a brokered convention. Instead, the conversation is about how Santorum could have collapsed so spectacularly, why Romney keeps sabotaging himself with gaffes and flip flops after key wins, and why the GOP is arguing about issues that were settled by the American people over 50 years ago. To be sure, Romney doesn’t like this narrative either, but it sure as hell beats “how do we get rid of this stiff?”

And so, the last non-Romney falls. Certainly, Santorum and Newt may continue to dog Mitt for the months leading up to the convention, but it’s increasingly likely that Mitt will be taking on President Obama in November.

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