There was a surprisingly positive consensus on Rick Santorum on today's Morning Joe. Most remarkable was the observation by Obama fan Mika Brzezinski, who said "I don't agree with anything he says, but I like the guy." H/t to NewsBusters reader D.B. for audio assistance.
Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist were also upbeat on Santorum, Scarborough astutely observing that "90% of Americans don't obsess on social issues," so that what some would cast as controversial past statements by Santorum won't hurt him nearly as much as might be imagined. Video after the jump.
Check out the panel's surprisingly positive take on Santorum.
Note: Mika's protestations notwithstanding, there is at least one significant subject on which she agreed with Santorum. Like Santorum, Brzezinski opposed the Obama administration's first formulation requiring Catholic institutions to provide health insurance services that violated their fundamental beliefs.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: This is where I disagree with the conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom is a guy like Rick Santorum has said too many crazy things, and he's too this and he's too that. I suprised a conservative activist a month or two ago, saying I thought Rick Santorum would match up better in a general election than any of these other candidates, because he does have the blue-collar background, and because at the end of the day, 90% of Americans don't obsess on social issues. And we've seen with Santorum and we've seen it this week, and when David Gregory read that part of the book, which said basically you've got feminists who've encouraged [sic] women to stay home, nine out of ten candidates would fumble around. Santorum explained it away [see NB item on that exchange.]
MIKA BRZEZINKSI: He had no problem with that question. I was fascinated by that question. I've wondered about him and the whole concept of working women and family. But stylistically, which is a part of the game, Willie, he has something that Mitt Romney doesn't. There is a connect. I mean, I don't agree with anything he says, but I like the guy.
SCARBOROUGH: Anything? That's awfully harsh.
BRZEZINKSI: That's not harsh: I don't.
WILLIE GEIST: Mark was on it before when he said he relates better, Rick Santorum does, in the state of Michign. It's that Chris Matthews question of politics: is this guy one of us? I think if you're a blue-collar worker, working-class, you look at Mitt Romney you say no, that guy is not one of us. But you do look at Rick Santorum, to some degree, and say, that guy's one of us.
BRZEZINKSI: Like I know him.
GEIST: Right, I know him.