Didn't we promise hilarity? Mission accomplished.
A Mitt Romney campaign surrogate said on Wednesday that Rick Santorum should "give back" some of the delegates that he won in the Michigan primary on Tuesday, insisting that some were obtained by nefarious purposes.
"[Santorum] cheated by asking people who would never vote for him for president to vote for him in the Republican primary," Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said on a call with reporters. "I believe that he should agree to give back a percentage of the delegates that he won in the Republican primary with Democrat votes that would never support him for president."
I listened in to the conference call this quote comes from, and it was 15 minutes of nothing but whining about those mean Democrats doing exactly what Romney previously did
in Massachusetts. And heck, the Michigan primary was open precisely
because Romney allies thought he'd be able to win more Democratic crossover.
Michigan was an open primary by design of the Romney campaign. They just didn't expect the tables to be turned on them.
So rather than exult in their (however underwhelming) victory, the Romney campaign is now spending a second day in a row whining about Democratic meddling and making patently ridiculous (and seriously hilarious) demands that Santorum "give back" delegates. Reality is that Romney and Santorum split Michigan's delegates 50-50, using rules that they themselves designed. Eight of Santorum's 15 delegates came as a result of Operation Hilarity, which obviously chafes Team Romney.
All that whining has a purposes, though. The hope is that Republican voters in Super Tuesday states punish Santorum for embracing Operation Hilarity. And for sure, conservative media is harshly attacking Santorum for it today. So Romney is getting some mileage out of it.
But so are we—not only has Operation Hilarity muddled what should've been a clean Romney victory in Michigan, not only has it made his campaign spend two days talking about the evils of having Democrats vote for Republicans (screw you Reagan Democrats!), but it has had the added bonus of weakening Santorum with conservatives.
That's a win-win-win situation, all around! Of the upcoming contests, the only ones that are open to all voters are North Dakota, Vermont, and Tennessee. Let's do everything we can to keep this clownshow going!