Can Romney Destroy Santorum?

Feb 13 2012 @ 4:41pm

Maybe not:

Mr Santorum's surge provides a distinct problem for Mr Romney, who hasn't been able to cement his position as front-runner. Whereas Newt Gingrich left himself open to attacks from the right, on his ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and attacks on his character, due to his resignation from Congress and his chequered marital history, Mr Santorum provides few such targets.

The squeaky-clean former senator is most vulnerable to attacks from the left, on contraception, homosexuality, the role of women in society, the role of science in government, etc. But Mr Romney cannot approach Mr Santorum from this angle, lest he reinforce the view that he is a conservative of convenience, that he is "a vaporous and shifting mirage", as David Remnick calls him. So thus far his attacks have been lame. As National Review notes, "Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?"

Along the same lines, Ed Kilgore asks whether Romney is willing to "go after Ricky the way he did Newt in Florida, at the risk of boosting his own rising negatives"