Wineke: Santorum's endorsement doesn't do Romney any favors

Santorum suggests smart people won't support Romney

Published On: Sep 17 2012 04:15:58 PM CDT

You can't make this stuff up department, chapter two: Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a group of conservative leaders over the weekend that Republicans might just as well forget about appealing to voters' intelligence because "smart" people will never be with them.

"We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country," he said. "We will never have elites, smart people, on our side because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do."

Now, set aside for just a moment the fact that Santorum is a leading national figure in the campaign to deprive women of the right to have abortions -- even if they are raped or are victims of incest -- and that he once suggested Republicans ought to stand four-square against birth control as well.

Santorum, who once led Mitt Romney among Republican voters, is hardly a good spokesman for those who don't believe government should tell you what to do.

Santorum went on to concede that college and university people are also among those who will never agree with the conservative take on things.

Set that aside, and think about this: Santorum made his remarks in the context of endorsing Romney for president.

How, in heaven's name, does it help Romney to have a campaign surrogate proclaim that only dumb people believe his message?

Oh, I do understand that Santorum would place his emphasis on the "elite" part of his statement. Politicians love bleating about the "elite." The late George Wallace rode his resentments against "pointy-headed intellectuals" almost to the White House.

Conservative politicians tend to believe that ordinary Americans harbor resentments against smart people, especially against successful smart people.

But the Romney campaign has been aimed specifically at honoring the elites. The candidate is, famously, an elite, smart guy who boasts of making a quarter-billion dollars through his wise ability to force his will on lesser beings. He is precisely the kind of guy Santorum tells us we shouldn't trust.

So, I ask again: Do these guys ever think about what they're saying?