. . . coming out of the Wall Street Journal today is that his greatest benefactor, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, may be dumping more cash into his campaign — though he may not necessarily do it with an eye toward helping Newt. Interestingly, if not surprisingly, Adelson appears to be in a default (if not explicit) anybody-but-Santorum position according to associates who cited the former Pennsylvania senator’s outspoken social conservatism as a sticking point.
Elsewhere, Bill Kristol is taking Team Mitt to task for what he describes as “juvenile” attacks on Rick Santorum.
But does his super PAC—following public (and therefore legal) guidance from his own campaign—have to go after Santorum in so juvenile a way? Santorum voted to raise the debt limit! (Along with every virtually other Republican when the GOP controlled the Senate—and does Romney think they shouldn’t have raised the debt limit?). Santorum voted to raise his own pay! (As part of an appropriations bill—and does Romney think senators are overpaid?)
If these are the kinds of attacks Team Mitt is producing, one can only imagine the mature, serious-minded approach (Cecile Richards?) we can expect Team Newt to take with another potential infusion of Adelson’s millions.
Of course, there’s some discussion as to whether or not Adelson is actively coordinating with Team Mitt in a supremely Machiavellian maneuver to take down Romney’s biggest threat by exploiting Newt’s Super Pac. You have to figure the Gingrich camp, while not thrilled about the possibility that Adelson is in cahoots with Mitt, is more than happy to have another $10 million infusion. That kind of money goes a long way toward placating nervous paid staffers, after all.
At any rate, it appears the good people of Michigan and the upcoming Super Tuesday states are set to witness an aerial raid on Rick Santorum the likes of which have yet to be seen in this campaign. By the time the Romney and Gingrich Super PACs are through with him, it doesn’t seem unlikely that we’ll see a reemergence of the old, whiny Santorum who languished at the bottom of the polls until the establishment conservative press miraculously discovered him — just in time for the Iowa caucuses.
Having cleared the deck of every plausible threat to Romney’s ascendancy, the establishment conservative press is now making a pretty good show of boosting Santorum, knowing full well he’ll never be the GOP nominee. Were it not for their increasingly well documented duplicity, one might be inclined to actually take them seriously. Alas, it seems we’ve all grown a bit cynical at all the posturing.