That didn't take long. We said yesterday that Rick Santorum was poised to hit back at SC frontrunner Mitt Romney for his negative ads (after the camp told the Weekly Standard last week they probably wouldn't go negative) and sure enough the campaign launched a new attack ad statewide in South Carolina today. It's called "Easy Answer." Here's the script:
Obama supported the Wall Street bailouts... So did Romney.
Obama gave us radical Obamacare... that was based on Romneycare.
Obama's a liberal on social issues.
Romney once bragged he's even more liberal than Ted Kennedy on social issues.
Why would we ever vote for someone who is just like Obama?
When we can unite around Rick Santorum. And beat Obama.
Meanwhile, Romney is getting helped by Newt Gingrich, argues Jonathan Martin at Politico. The more Santorum/Gingrich squabble, the more the anybody-but-Romney crowd is weakened.
Most accounts call last night's debate more or less a draw, but in one instance Santorum scored a hit on Gingrich over Social Security, writes longtime Santorum fan Jennifer Rubin at the WashPost. Her conclusion:
So far voters have been very insistent on pinning candidates on details and have shown determination to reduce the debt. Santorum, if he wants to pull ahead of Gingrich, should pound away at the notion that Gingrich is interested in spinning interesting ideas but is entirely ill-equipped to accomplish them and to govern. That's accurate, and I think the voters understand that as well.
Here's some good news for the Santorum camp going into Saturday's primary and (maybe) beyond: billionaire Wyoming investor Foster Friess has committed up to a half-million dollars in matching funds for a pro-Santorum Super PAC. From the Center for Public Integrity:
Friess made his fortune running mutual funds and is a keen stock picker. He's a veteran supporter of conservative causes, a born-again Christian and an ally of the much-richer Koch brothers, wealthy industrialists who bankroll many conservative causes. Friess said he'd called several wealthy friends to urge them to back Santorum, a former Pennsylvania congressman and senator, by helping the super PAC.
Santorum has also picked up the endorsement of conservative direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie (RickSantorum.com)
His (7-stop) schedule for the day is after the jump: