MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. - Mitt Romney's campaign is blasting out automated phone calls that feature a recording of former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania raising questions about John McCain's "temperament" - a hot-button issue that Romney himself has assiduously avoided.
Santorum said in an interview yesterday that he wrote the script himself, and the campaign deferred to him and approved it.
"I think that to me it is a relevant issue for people to consider," he said. "I think it's one without question that factors into his ability to govern, to form coalitions, and to get things done."
But Romney had insisted as recently as last week that he would not make an issue of McCain's temperament, which some critics have said tends toward the hot-tempered and angry.
Santorum said he had witnessed problems with McCain's temperament, which he declined to detail. "I don't know anybody in the Senate who hasn't. Everybody has their McCain story."
The gift that keeps on giving. McCain is the weakest Republican out there and has only the support of the media and a few establishment Republicans who want to usher him off the stage (like they did with Bob Dole) once he finally shows that he can't win a national election. McCain has run through virtually every dime he's ever collected and has no chance of energizing the base of the Republican Party for more. Do you think Rush Limbaugh is going to help him raise money in South Florida? Do you think any of those US Senators who are tied to Washington Lobbyists are going to open up their rolodex and funnel money to McCain? Do you think anyone from the evangelical base of the party is going to tap the mailing lists and try to solicit funds? They may endorse him and say they support him on the surface, but underneath that surface, no way. They're not going to give money to a loser. They're going to put on a smile in public and swear to campaign for and support McCain, and then they'll go about their business and not contribute so much as a thin dime. Appearances matter. And if it ever appears that McCain is collecting millions from donors and is flush with cash, I'll certainly admit my error. I suspect he won't ever get that huge fundraising bump that Bush got in 1999 and 2000. Not even close to that.
If you can't get colleagues from your own party who served with you in the most collegial body in the country--The US Senate--then what possible chance do you have of winning? The last time the media got behind a candidate was Rudy, and Rudy ended up getting run out of town on a rail.