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A Defense of Robocalls to Democrats

As the Romney campaign prepares to make Rick Santorum’s robocalls to Democratic voters a regular issue on the trail, the Santorum campaign tells BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray that it doesn’t regret the tactic – and may use it in the future:

The robocalls have been seen as something of a flop — attracting too much attention and not turning out enough Democrats to actually tip the scales in favor of Santorum. But two high-level campaign staffers defended the calls and downplayed the controversy surrounding them.

Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart said the campaign isn’t concerned about the Romney side’s plans to make the calls more of an issue in the run-up to Super Tuesday. …

She didn’t rule out the possibility of more calls in that vein. “In terms of what we do next in terms of making those particular kinds of calls, we’ll decide that in the next few days.”

Santorum has nothing to apologize for here. Robocalls that are intentionally designed to cause mischief, a laOperation Hilarity,” are one thing. But it’s hard to criticize Santorum for getting his message out to Democrats, who may honestly be open to supporting a Republican this season. Polls have shown nearly 20 percent of Democrats don’t approve of Obama’s job performance. Reaching out to these people early is just smart politics.



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