According to liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow, "Rick Santorum scares the bejesus out of people" and could never be elected President. The journalist appeared on MSNBC, Tuesday, to dismiss the idea that the Republican could appeal to independents, should he get the nomination.
Blow, who just last week made an ugly, anti-Mormon remark about Mitt Romney, did his best to portray Santorum as unable to broaden his appeal: "You cannot pivot from 'college is where Satan is having his biggest impact' and pivot that into an economic issue. That's just a fallacy. That's not going to happen." [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
Asked by Jansing and Co. Anchor Chris Jansing if people were starting to think the former Pennsylvania governor could win, Blow derided, "No. Maybe they think it, but no one else thinks it. Rick Santorum scares the bejesus out of people."
Of course, despite the over-the-top rhetoric by people like Mr. Blow, Santorum only trails Barack Obama by three points, according to the latest Rasmussen tracking poll.
On February 23, Blow mocked the Mormon Romney for a comment the Republican made about children being born out of wedlock. Blow spewed, "Let me just tell you this Mitt 'Muddle Mouth': I'm a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear." The Times columnist later apologized and deleted the tweet.
Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto on Monday highlighted other Blow outbursts:
On Friday we took note of a pair of tweets, one bigoted and one hateful, by New York Times columnist Charles Blow. The first gratuitously mocked Mitt Romney for being Mormon; the second described Blow's Twitter detractors as "lice."
Blow apologized for the anti-Mormon tweet but not for the "lice" one, which in our opinion was worse because it was downright dehumanizing. Likening one's foes to vermin has been a rhetorical trope of some of the worst regimes in history.
A partial transcript of the February 28 segment, which aired at 10:05am EST, follows:
CHRIS JANSING: To my point on the establishment, Charles, are they thinking, maybe Rick Santorum can win?
CHARLES BLOW: No. Maybe they think it, but no one else thinks it. Rick Santorum scares the bejesus out of people.
S.E. CUPP: Clearly people think it. His poll numbers are up, Charles.
BLOW: No, no. People in the Republican Party may think that, but-
S.E. CUPP: Well, right. Democrats wouldn't.
BLOW: Excuse me, Christine O'Donnell won the Republican primary. That doesn't mean she can win the general. What the Republican establishment wants is to win the general election. And Rick Santorum is making himself completely unelectable by continuing to not be the son of a coal miner, which is actually a good message to run on and to be a family man and to be a man of faith. But to be, you know, craziness.
JANSING: But do you wonder where this would be right now if he had done that? Where would we be if he stuck with that economic mantra?
CUPP: Obviously, the past few weeks and the news cycle has helped Rick Santorum. He's doing well in the polls. He's challenging in Michigan. He won Colorado. When I was at CPAC, I would younger voters who they liked. It was Rick Santorum and most of them said it was because of the three-fer election night in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. All of a sudden, he seemed electable where didn't before. Now, where you are right, Charles is that he has to pivot. He cannot depend on this news cycle for the rest of the election season. He has to make the argument that the social issue, these moral issues are also economic issues. He can do that. I have seen him do it on the stump. He needs to do it on the national stage.
BLOW: You cannot pivot from college is where Satan is having his biggest impact and pivot that into an economic issue. That's just a fallacy. That's not going to happen.
CUPP: Sure you can. Of course you can.
BLOW: Of course you can.
BLOW: He's been on this hobby horse [contraception] for a very long time. It has nothing to do with that. If you look back at his record, the speeches he has given, this is part of who Rick Santorum is. And it is always going to surface. It has nothing to do with what happens in the news. He wants this. He has always wanted to fight on this ground and that's what he's doing. And that is going to hurt him.
CUPP: Clearly, he's a conservative. He's always been one and he's never hid that from view. He's always been a social conservative. And anyone who has any knowledge of Rick Santorum before this election knew him has a social conservative if nothing else. But that was an economic issue that he was talking about.