Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney’s Super PAC is now going after Rick Santorum. Romney’s team has no choice, as Romney’s support is plummeting, yet all the negativity surrounding Romney’s attack ads is taking its toll on Romney as well. He’s a lame candidate, and his only strategy seems to be tearing apart even lamer candidates. His support among independents is tanking, and his “severely conservative” speech is making him a laughing stock with conservatives.
As for Santorum, he’s vulnerable to attack for many reasons. In a general election he’ll have to answer for his extreme positions on social issues, but he’s also the poster child for Republican mistakes during the Bush years when they spent like crazy trying to keep their majority.
Yet even with all these vulnerabilities, the Romney ad comes across as a series of cheap shots. Sure, Santorum voted to increase the debt limit, but everyone was voting that way, including practically all Republicans when Bush was president.
I still have no idea how this is going to play out, but whoever emerges from this savage primary season will be very damaged heading into a general election.
Mitt Romney has had a bad week, and his “maybe” answer regarding his willingness to release tax returns for prior years like his father did many years ago will likely go down as one of those iconic campaign moments that help define a candidate.
It was obvious to me for the past month that this would be a real issue. The tax code has been manipulated for years by lobbyists, and wealthy financiers like Romney get huge breaks, including the indefensible carried interest.
Romney is particularly vulnerable on this issue as he’s proposing to lower tax rates on the wealthy even more. Now he has compounded the problem with his muddled answers.
The ad above was created quickly after his disastrous debate performance. Right now the polls suggest he’ll lose the South Carolina primary to Newt Gingrich.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. He’s at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.
Gingrich won’t even spend time in Iowa, so I can’t imagine how he’s going to hold on against candidates who are betting their campaigns on the caucuses.
If this trend continues, you’ll see Santorum, Perry or Bachmann possibly get into the top three, so this race is still very fluid. Romney benefits from having the anti-Romney vote split up. The Iowa vote often breaks late, so anything can happen here.