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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."

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."

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."  

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."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 08:08:26 AM PDT

  •  !!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psilocynic, Losty

    NO! We will have to deal with his stupid ass in 2016 now!? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  Damnit. Just when I was certain there wasn't a god (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrazyHorse

    Santorum is the new Ron Paul. Santurdem would rather let it burn than let someone else have it. How typically republican of him.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 08:25:35 AM PDT

  •  Follow the Money (0+ / 0-)

    and the money is certainly not following Santorum.  He will never attract enough big money to mount a serious presidential campaign, this year or in 2016.  

    However, the rancor and animosity between the Romney and Santorum camps is surprising.  Santorum is the little train whose "I think I can, I think I can" mentality is taking a serious toll on Romney.  

    •  Mo Money... (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I think that's why Santorum is literally giving up his bid for 2012 and looking at next time around.  Romney has pretty deep pockets and it's obvious that within the convention Republican circles it's "his turn" to be the nominee.  I think Santorum wants to tap into that narrative for next time around.  

      Honestly, if Romney loses then Santorum can come back and paint himself as a "true" conservative.  In addition he won't be running against an incumbent president but by what all accounts will likely be a fairly large panel of Democrats as well.  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 08:32:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  May be wishful thinking on my part, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CrazyHorse

        I do not see the arch conservative, Santorum mentality, movement surviving the next four years presuming Obama wins the election.  The Tea Party has played all the cards in their hand and their numbers remain static and losing numbers.  The Religious Right has over played their hands to the point of absurdity and the Corporatists are finally being exposed.  "Normalcy" is showing signs of reemergence.

        •  Oh, yeah... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JFinNe

          I totally agree with you.  I think this plan is actually wishful thinking on SANTORUM's part!!!

          I think the Democratic primary is going to suck all the air out of the room in four years.  

          No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

          by CrazyHorse on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 08:46:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  He is also correct. President Obama is better at (0+ / 0-)

    being Romney, then Romney. The both agreed on TARP.  However the President supported and continued the Auto Industry bailout that was started under Bush.

    They both championed an HCR bill that had mandatory coverage at it's core with almost no obvious reform that will reduce escalating costs and premiums.

    On the foreign policy/war side he has proved to far less inflammatory and much more competent then his republican predecssor. On a side note, he seems to have swept some of the constitutional abuses of the last administration under the rug, and continued some of them.

    He, has at least on his 11th demensional chess board has been willing to cut SS and medicare and dole out more, unfunded, corporate tax cits that will create a furthur budget hole and add fuel to the cut social programs fire.

    He has an public ed-reform policy that republicans love and has continued the Bush tax plan and debt orgy to increase our gross debt as a share of the GDP by 33.5% over the last 4 years to furthur "Starve the Beast".

  •  Santorum 2016??? (0+ / 0-)

    It's no better than even money now that Obama beats Romney, and there are plenty of ways those odds might go down.  I can't worry about 2016.

    If Obama were to win a second term I don't think that Santorum would be the GOP choice.  I doubt that Wall Street has much use for him, and I doubt that the state pols would relish having that sanctimonious scold heading their ticket.  The GOP loves the guy next in line, but I see them drawing the line at supporting Santorum.

  •  I don't think Romney understands... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the deep doodoo he and his campaign have created for themselves. His campaign spokesman's Etch-a-Sketch comment spoke to a deeper truth-- that Romney is a serial liar and flip-flopper who is willing to say anything, however false, to further his aspirations. When Rick Santorum was saying, in effect, that if that's the sort of nominee the GOP is about to nominate, you might as well vote for President Obama. He might as well have said that Romney is a lying phony who so lacking in basic principles that conservatives might as well vote for President Obama if this is the best the GOP has to offer. I never thought I'd see this from any Republican, even the tea nut extremist Santorum.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:32:06 AM PDT

    •  Cynicism. (0+ / 0-)

      Romney's campaign is the most cynical in 20th century memory.  He seems to have brought the same contempt the buy-out artist has for the company he's about to flush to the GOP primary.  I'm surprised MORE GOP'ers haven't seen through that.  His support must be driven entirely by hatred for Obama.  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:33:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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