is Rick Santorum! Both Roger Simon writing for Politico.com and David Firestone writing in the New York Times Loyal Opposition column strike similar chords today.
Simon writes in “Mr. Bumble vs. Mr. Scary”
Is it possible to stumble and bumble your way to a presidential nomination?
Certainly. And Mitt Romney is determined to prove it.
Still, Romney manages to screw up.
In December, at one of the innumerable Republican debates, Rick Perry accused Romney of having changed his position on something or other. Perry had about as much chance of getting the Republican nomination as getting Texas to secede from the Union and naming him king, but he got Romney’s goat nonetheless.
Romney angrily stuck out his hand and said, “Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet?”
Grand, Mitt. Just grand. Remind everybody that $10,000 is chump change to you.
And who can forget Romney telling us that “corporations are people” or that he made “not very much” money in speaking fees in a year in which he made $374,000 in speaking fees. He wasn’t lying. It’s just that $374,000 wasn’t very much to him.
POLITICO’s Reid J. Epstein has assembled a delicious list of all these gaffes that is worth wandering through.
What it shows is a man totally sincere in his isolation from average Americans. Except for his blue jeans — which one comic says that he wears over his suit pants — Romney doesn’t pretend to be average. He is a highly successful businessman, and he is proud of it.
Firestone put it this way in the New York Times
Mr. Romney doesn’t bother to play in the deep end. His speeches now are simply strings of slogans, spliced together at random, criticizing President Obama or his rivals. He never conveys the sense of having really thought hard about an issue and reaching a deliberate decision.
Now to Santorum. Simon writes
But even with all this, Romney has one great thing going for him: Rick Santorum.
Rick Santorum doesn’t flub. He speaks from his deeply held convictions. Some of which are very scary.
Speaking in Troy, Mich., on Saturday, Santorum said, “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.”
Had Santorum gone on to say that not everyone in America wants to go to college and that there is nothing shameful about manual labor, he may have had a point.
But that’s not all Santorum was saying. He added that he doesn’t want kids to go to college because if they do they are going to be “taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them.”
I am not entirely sure what Santorum was venting about or what Satanic ritual he was made to undergo in college — paddling? beer pong? — but it obviously affected him deeply.
So much so that he left college convinced that the First Amendment was not only hooey, but stomach-turning. Literally.
Santorum says that John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech stating there should be an “absolute separation” of church and state in America “makes me throw up and it should make every American.”
Santorum went on: “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”
The Republicans are finally realizing they are in trouble. I think that Mitt Romney will get his dream and be the nominee mostly because his best friend Rick is so scary, but he really has to step up is game if he is going to defeat President Obama. I cringe at a debate between them.
Tonight we have Michigan and Arizona. It should be interesting.
“Mr. Romney doesn’t bother to play in the deep end. His speeches now are simply strings of slogans, spliced together at random, criticizing President Obama or his rivals. He never conveys the sense of having really thought hard about an issue and reaching a deliberate decision.”
To. The. Point.