After his remarks in San Antonio yesterday Sen. Rick Santorum has made it official. He no longer cares about seeking the presidency in 2012, he's running for the 2016 nomination. He just became President Obama's best friend.
While speaking at an event held at the USAA Insurance headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, yesterday Sen. Rick Santorum was reported by AP as stating the following:
"You win by giving people a choice," Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. "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."Both Gingrich and Romney were quick to pounce on Sen. Frothy (R-Crazyvania) for pleading Obama's case, asserting that any Republican is better than the current administration. From the point of view of insider GOP politics, Santorum has violated St. Reagan's vaunted Eleventh Commandment: "Though Shalt Not Speak Ill of Another Republican."
Santorum added: "If they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future."
Pundits are busily pondering what Santorum is up to, burning bridges and forcing Romney to spend his warchest in what is obviously a Quixotic quest for the nomination. However, after yesterday's remarks it's fairly obvious that Santorum has seen the Light (or at least done the math) and given up on his 2012 aspirations. But if Romney goes down in flames, he will have four years to run an epic "I told you so" campaign, building a massive machine to find himself at the top of the nominating heap in four years time.
Rick Santorum has no more interest in seeing any other republican in the White House, other than himself, during this election cycle. And in order for this plan to come to fruition he now has a vested interest in kneecapping Romney for as long as possible to help facilitate an Obama victory. A Romney win, of course, would put Santorum's aspirations too far out of reach for him to effectively seize the moment.
The enemy of my enemy may not be my friend, but if Sen. Sanitarium is going to spend the next several months destroying Mitt Romney from he Right, it's going to be a fun summer.
8:35 AM PT: I see from Lewison's front page story that the Romney campaign is making this assessment for themselves:
Wayne Berman, a Romney campaign national finance co-chair, emails from his iPad: "There is a keen awareness in the party, particularly among fund raisers and elected officials, that Santorum is playing to hurt Romney so that Romney loses. Santorum sees himself as the nominee in 2016, and he's playing a 2016 game. You wouldn't continue to rip at Romney and tear at Romney and try to damage Romney if you were playing the normal, second-place game. The normal second-place approach is to rally around the nominee and become part of the leadership of the party."