There comes a point in the life of every man – especially one driven to seek political office – when circumstances oblige him to take inventory of his existence and decide whether or not a change of habits and venue is warranted. This is all the more true of an otherwise good man whose drive to succeed in an effort to do good unto others ultimately has the net effect of causing more harm than he realizes or ever intended.
Such is the regrettable case of former U.S. Senator from PA and conservative GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, whose fervent desire to set right the wayward course of our nation has altered his own course and sent him careening off a rhetorical cliff.
Rick Santorum’s latest attempt to use a Mitt Romney aide’s “Etch-A-Sketch” remark against the Republican front-runner instead gave his rival a chance to fire back on Thursday, after Santorum seemed to say he’d rather see President Obama reelected than send Romney to the White House.
Speaking at an event in Texas, Santorum again made the case that Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom’s comments Wednesday on CNN about a “reset” of the campaign if Romney clinched the nomination showed the former Massachusetts governor’s efforts to appeal to conservatives were insincere.
“You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there,” Santorum told a crowd in San Antonio, according to NBC News. “If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch-A-Sketch candidate of the future.”
Romney’s campaign, eager to punch back after the Etch-A-Sketch moment went viral online, seized on the comment, emailing the this statement to reporters in the candidate’s name:
“I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America’s promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”
Truth be told, Romney’s response was measured, level-headed and absolutely accurate. Whatever RINO proclivities he may harbor congenitally, Mitt Romney is an order of magnitude more preferable as president than Barack Obama and to say that Der Mittmeister is indistinguishable from President Man-Child is to abandon empirical observation and engage in partisan navel gazing. In so doing, he failed to understand his limitations and managed only to drive over the edge of the cliff.
I understand Mr. Santorum’s zeal and share his concern over the future of a republic that is now on a trajectory of decline. He’s a good and decent man who, in another time and set of circumstances, might have had a better chance of securing his party’s nomination.
But not today. As I predicted a year ago, Romney’s nomination is a fait accompli and at this point in the race, the efforts of Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich are merely delaying Der Mittmeister’s nomination and not derailing it. In the opinion of this humble scrivener, the time has come for Messrs. Santorum and Gingrich to bow out of the race and let history unfold.
Mitt Romney will become the GOP nominee and square off against Barack Obama in November. But fear not…Mitt has revealed to us the secret weapon he will deploy to save our beleaguered republic:
…his willingness to compromise with the opposition party if elected — a message aimed squarely at the center of the electorate rather than at GOP loyalists who vote in Republican primaries.
Romney said Obama clearly recognizes he must work across the political aisle but hasn’t been able to do so as president.
“I’ve had that experience. And I will either get that done or I will die trying,” he said hours before Illinois Republicans gave him his second victory this week. “I’m going to do everything I can to bring people together to accomplish what has to be done.”
What could possibly go wrong?