That process reached its peak when he told a tea party crowd outside Detroit that President Obama wants to send more kids to college so he could turn them into liberals. The comment went viral, and likely did not do Santorum many favors outside the ultra-conservative base.
The social issues fight has left Santorum severely wounded when it comes to courting independents and moderate Republicans. None of the views he espoused in the run-up to Michigan were new, but they were resurfaced all at once, taking his campaign’s blue collar economic message off track. Now, no matter what Santorum says, he’s the social issue guy.
Then there were Santorum’s on-the-ground tactics. He didn’t have much time to assemble a campaign here, and was notoriously understaffed throughout. Still, his message resonated and polls showed things were very close heading into Tuesday’s vote. Then Santorum decided to pull out all the stops, firing up a robocall effort that appeared to piggyback off the existing progressive effort to get Democrats to crossover and vote for Santorum as a means to hurt Romney.
Though it may have seemed like smart politics, the optics proved hard to swallow even for his supporters.
Too bad. All of the entertaining ones have shot themselves in the foot. When even the crazy people think you're too crazy, you got problems. It would be nice if Mitt had a little of that. Ineptitude ain't as entertaining as bug house loony.