I posted last night and again this morning that Rick Santorum had a terrible debate.

But it’s fair also to point out that many of the shots Romney scored on Santorum were cheap shots, as pointed out by George  Neumayr at The American Spectator (h/t reader OccamsrazorX):

Romney, at his most hypocritical, labored hard to present himself as more socially conservative than Santorum, noting that Rick had voted for Planned Parenthood funding. Astonishingly, Santorum missed his chance at a return upper cut. Why didn’t he mention that Romney once gave money to Planned Parenthood from his own pocket? Why didn’t he mention that Romneycare dollars go to Planned Parenthood?

Romney’s sudden social conservatism invites an obvious question: How stupid does he think primary voters are? Romney’s con job here depends upon the amnesia of his audience. Here’s a politician who pled fealty to Roe v. Wade, voted for Democrat Paul Tsongas, and competed with Ted Kennedy as a champion of “gay rights.” By the way, Romney’s social conservatism didn’t even last for the whole debate. In the second hour of it, he indicated his support for women in combat.

The problem is, a cheap win is a win, and when the candidate is left — as Newt was after the Florida debates — debunking Romney’s obfuscation after the fact, it’s too late.

Neumayr finds that on balance Newt came out ahead:

Meanwhile, an unmolested Newt Gingrich, freed from the pressures of “frontrunner status,” resumed his role as the commanding, Olympian overseer at GOP debates.

I continue to believe that Newt will be the last not-Romney standing.


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