After days of Mitt Romney and his advisors insisting he will win his home state of Michigan, today’s too-close-to-call polls are clearly taking a toll on his nerves. Romney lashed out at the right wing today, and again accused Rick Santorum of trying to hijack the election with dirty tricks. AP reports:
Mitt Romney says he’s struggling with the Republican Party’s right wing in Michigan because he’s unwilling to make “incendiary” comments. He also accused rival Rick Santorum of trying to “kidnap” the presidential nominating process with automated calls urging Democrats to vote in Tuesday’s primary in Michigan.
Speaking to reporters hours after the polls opened, Romney suggested his rivals are making headway with the GOP base because they are willing to say “outrageous things” that help them in the polls.
Romney says he’s not willing to light his “hair on fire” to try to earn support.
However you feel about Santorum’s robocall outreach to Democratic voters, Romney’s comments scream desperation. He needs to dial it back a notch. If there was any mistake his campaign made during the past week, it was making unequivocal statements about Romney’s certain victory in Michigan. But there’s nothing he can do to fix that at this point.
Unless, of course, Romney’s indignant tone isn’t a sign he’s gone into panic mode, but instead a sign that he’s been reading David Brooks this morning. According to Brooks, the real problem with RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) is they shrink from a fight with the right-wingers and pretend to be more conservative than they really are in order to get elected:
Leaders of a party are supposed to educate the party, to police against its worst indulgences, to guard against insular information loops. They’re supposed to define a creed and establish boundaries. Republican leaders haven’t done that. Now the old pious cliché applies:
First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me.
So maybe Romney’s just trying to take a stand for RINOs everywhere by pushing back against the conservative base. Of course, that ignores the obvious reason why Republicans are forced to tack right during primaries – because the conservative base is the one voting.