The Republican presidential primary might be ready for another twist.
Rick Santorum, the winner of the Iowa caucuses who has finished poorly in the four contests since, is showing signs of regaining momentum as the race lurches into February. Just look at how Mitt Romney’s campaign has suddenly shifted its sights onto the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania this week, blasting him for his support of congressional earmarks.
“Rick Santorum is a nice guy, but he is simply not ready to be President,” Tim Pawlenty, a Romney supporter, said in a statement. “Plus, he wants Minnesota conservatives to believe he’s as conservative as they are, but he’s not. As a U.S. Senator, he was a leading earmarker and pork-barrel spender. He described himself as ‘very proud’ of the billions of dollars in pork-barrel projects he championed, and promised to defend the wasteful spending.”
It’s the first time in a month – since Santorum won Iowa – that Romney has focused his fire on him instead of Newt Gingrich. And that reflects a sense within the Romney campaign that Santorum represents a bigger threat Tuesday as the race heads into Minnesota and Missouri.
I imagine the conversation at Politico going something like this…
“Hey Roarty, write something exciting about Rick Santorum.”
“Goddamn it, WRITE SOMETHING! We don’t pay you to just sit there on your ass!”
“I… uh… what could I write?”
“I dunno. Something about another twist, maybe. I know he’s finished badly in four straight contests, but maybe he’s regaining momentum. Damn it, we need content, and this thing goes on for another four months. Write something about the big Santorum comeback, or we’ll find someone who will.”
*scribbling madly* “Gotcha, boss.”