Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday, began his discussion with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum by saying, "You were not considered among your Republican colleagues to be the most popular member of the class in the Senate. I don’t think that’s an understatement."
After co-host Mika Brzezinski incredulously asked, "What do you mean by that, Carl," the former Pennsylvania Senator pushed back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CARL BERNSTEIN, VANITY FAIR: You were not considered among your Republican colleagues to be the most popular member of the class in the Senate. I don’t think that’s an understatement. And, so my question to you…
RICK SANTORUM: Well, hold on, whoa, whoa, whoa.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST: What do you mean by that, Carl?
SANTORUM: Let me just, let me just say that I was elected to leadership…
SANTORUM: …as a 42-year-old Senator to the number three leadership position in the United States Senate because of the fact that I was out there. Yes, I mean, I wasn’t popular in the sense that I was taking on a lot of tough conservative issues, but I wasn’t maybe popular, but I certainly was respected enough to be in a position of leadership then reelected twice and was actually in position to take a higher leadership position had I won my election.
Interesting that even Brzezinski thought this was a tad over the top.
The reality is that Santorum became Senator at the early age of 36, and six years later became the GOP's third-ranking member in that chamber. Couldn't have been unpopular to achieve that.
In addition, as he noted to Bernstein, Santorum was in position to possibly take Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) position as Whip if he had won in 2006.
But the bigger issue here is that with Santorum's huge trifecta win in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri Tuesday, the Obama-loving media are going to be sharpening their knives to cut him down at every turn.
Bernstein's unpopularity comment is just the beginning.
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