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Romney Ad: Hey, Look At All These Leftists Voting for Santorum

Despite severely overplaying their righteous indignation card over Rick Santorum's (admittedly jaw-dropping) robocalls in Michigan, Mitt Romney's team has struck political gold with their new web ad on the controversy.  It resurrects the same line of criticism, but does so in a less whiny, more compelling way:



"It's my way of protecting Obama."

Team Romney shouldn't go too overboard with the "open primary" criticism, considering that prominent Mitt supporters pushed open primary in Michigan, but this ad still packs a punch.  Meanwhile, Romney continued his fun pattern of causing an unnecessary stir the day after an important win.  Just after his Florida victory, he dropped the infamous "not concerned about the very poor" line on CNN.  Now, basking in the glow of his double-barrelled wins in Michigan and Arizona, he flubbed an answer on the Blunt Amendment, mistakenly telling an Ohio journalist that he opposed it.  His campaign spent a few hours cleaning up that mess, assuring conservatives that of course the former governor supports the Blunt Amendment.  (In context, they're probably correct, but the candidate should have listened to the question more carefully, or asked for a clarification).  Romney eventually appeared on Boston's Howie Carr show to explain himself:

HOWIE CARR: Listen I got to ask you here about there’s a -- the Washington Post has got a blog out here, saying that Jim Heath, a reporter for a TV station in Ohio just tweeted a remarkable piece of news: Mitt Romney told him he does not support the Blunt amendment which would empower employers and insurers to deny health coverage they find morally objectionable. What happened here, did you –

MITT ROMNEY: I didn’t understand his question, of course I support the Blunt amendment. I thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraception so I was simply -- misunderstood the question and of course I support the Blunt amendment...I simply misunderstood what he was talking about. I thought it was some Ohio legislation that -- where employers were prevented from providing contraceptives, and so I talked about contraceptives and so forth, so I really misunderstood the question. Of course Roy Blunt who is my liaison to the Senate is someone I support and of course I support that amendment. I clearly want to have religious exemption from Obamacare.


Issue resolved?

UPDATE - In the wake of his twin wins, Mitt Romney has vaulted ahead to a 16-point lead over Rick Santorum among national Republicans:

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, coming off his primary wins in Arizona and Michigan, has jumped to a 16-point lead over Rick Santorum in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters shows Romney with 40% support to 24% for the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. This is Romney's biggest lead to date and the highest level of support any GOP candidate has earned in regular surveying of the race. Two weeks ago, it was Santorum 39%, Romney 27%.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earns 16% support, closely followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 12%.

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