Trashing Rick Santorum as an extremist for his social conservatism and faith has become a daily, if not hourly, ritual on MSNBC. On Wednesday’s episode of NewsNation, anchor Tamron Hall took up the torch, furthering the sort of spin one would expect from a partisan Democrat about how Santorum is too far right for the general electorate:
[H]e's great ad libbing and giving a speech that can connect, but as long as he appears on shows like "Meet The Press" and other programs and he takes on, of all people JFK, and he comes off as this for some people, even Republicans as this frightening character, the reality is, does he look like a general election candidate? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In order to justify such inflammatory comments, Hall had to promote the spin that significant numbers of Republicans share this sentiment. Hall added fuel to the fire by further suggesting that Santorum dug himself a hole that, “made him very unattractive to voters” and that, “it wasn't Romney who defeated him. He defeated himself.”
Of course, the media, including MSNBC, has done its level best to paint Santorum in a negative light, even twisting his campaign statements to make his criticisms of Obama sound like they're criticisms of everyday Americans.
Below is the relevant transcript.
News Nation with Tamron Hall
TAMRON HALL: But Erin [McPike of Real Clear Politics], what about the conventional wisdom. Listen, we went into Michigan. This was a do or die state. Rick Santorum was leading in the polls. It was about manufacturing. It was about the inability for Mitt Romney to connect on what I think it was Chris Matthews or somebody described on some kind of human level here. Nevertheless, fast forward to today. It's the same talking points about whether he can win Ohio. Is the reality here Rick Santorum talked himself into a hole that made him very unattractive to voters in Michigan and the reality is, Mitt Romney's never going to be a better candidate than he is now, but he's the best they've got?
ERIN MCPIKE: You know, that all may be true, but remember, Tamron, that Mitt Romney is originally from Michigan.
MCPIKE: His father was Governor there. He had that home field advantage that he doesn't have in Ohio. You know, so that's a big part of it, Tamron. And also, Mitt Romney competed in Michigan in 2008 against John McCain and won by nine or ten points. He was not competing in Ohio. He had dropped out by that time. So he doesn't have the same connection to Ohio.
HALL: You're absolutely right. You point that out in your piece. But Bill, I go back again to what we saw with Rick Santorum with the coal in his hand. He's great ad libbing and giving a speech that can connect, but as long as he appears on shows like "Meet The Press" and other programs and he takes on of all people JFK and he comes off as this for some people, even Republicans as this frightening character, the reality is, does he look like a general election candidate?
BILL BALLINGER: No, I don't think he does. I think he's hurt himself badly as a general election.
HALL: It was his to lose last night and he lost it, even though it was just by three points. You know, we called Mitt Romney the 3 percenter here. It was only three points but going in, Santorum had a lead in the polls and he dug himself -- it wasn't Romney who defeated him. He defeated himself.