Guy Benson

First, here's the set-your-hair-on-fire clip about which we're all supposed to be enraged, via Rick Santorum on the stump:
 


 

"I don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be.  It doesn't matter to me..."


The horror!  Rick Santorum doesn't care about the unemployment rate!  Except, the former Senator's sentence went on: "...my campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It's something more foundational that's going on."  What Santorum was conveying -- albeit terribly ham-handedly -- is that his candidacy is about more than mere economic issues.  He's arguing that while Mitt Romney's campaign relies on harnessing and exploiting Americans' transient economic jitters, his own focus is "more foundational."  You may think that's an attractive message, or you may think it's a foolish approach in an age of crushing debt, very high unemployment, and lackluster growth.  In either case, it should be plainly obvious that no presidential candidate would ever utter and mean such a tone deaf statement -- of only because of the political damage it could wreak.  Romney's camp quickly blasted out an email highlighting the edited quote, asking, "he said what?!" and Romney himself has started hitting Santorum over the remarks at rallies.

I understand that political campaigns try to capitalize on their opponents' gaffes.  Part of the game.  But you'd think the Romney campaign might be a tad more forgiving of a fellow Republican who -- oh, I don't know -- says something silly that he doesn't really believe, but is easily clippable and taken out of context:
 


There are plenty of elements of Rick Santorum's record and campaign messaging strategy to question and attack.  This is just weak sauce.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography