Rick Santorum Drops the Mic

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 5 2012 2:09 PM

Rick Santorum Drops the Mic

Political reporters are restless, busy creatures. They fancy themselves experts on what campaigns do right and what they screw up. They can't write about the same campaign speeches every day. Give them some process story to chew on, and the mastication will commence.

And so, at 12:32, Rick Santorum's campaign announced a "MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL" to begin at 1:30. The candidate himself would speak: "Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum will hold a tele-press conference call today to discuss the multiple smoking gunS that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney supported federal healthcare mandates and urged President Obama to join with him to do the same on a federal level." The "guns" were articles, in BuzzFeed and other outlets, demonstrating that Mitt Romney had talked up Massachussetts's mandate model of health care coverage up through 2009.

Advertisement

The call began. Santorum talked for a little while about how well his campaign was doing in Ohio. "To suggest this is David and Goliath is probably a little bit of an understatement," he said. Well, sure. On to the new Smoking GunS. "People are starting to realize that what you have with Governor Romney is someone who's simply not a genuine article," said Santorum.

What was new about this? Reporters got no chance to ask; his national spokesman J. Hogan Gidley announced that Santorum had to return to the trail and participate in more interviews, and that reporters could follow up if needed. This was odd, as Santorum has remained fairly accessible to the press even when he's surged. The attempt to break into Mitt Romney's favorable news cycle had succeeded only making Santorum sound like he was scrambling.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?