Opening Act: Two-Month Campaign

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 27 2012 8:11 AM

Opening Act: Two-Month Campaign

Romney-Santorum: Feel the momentum!

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The No. 2 in the sweepstakes for the GOP nomination reasoned that he’d be open to being Romney’s veep candidate because he can’t stomach a second term for President Obama.

“I don't want to be the guy who has to sit with my granddaughter, 20 years from now, and tell stories about an America where people once were free. I don't want to have that conversation,” he said.
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Did John Roberts give away an anti-Obamacare argument?

“It’s a command. A mandate is a command. If there is nothing behind the command, it’s sort of, well what happens if you don’t file the mandate? And the answer is nothing. It seems very artificial to separate the punishment from the crime. … Why would you have a requirement that is completely toothless? You know, buy insurance or else. Or else what? Or else nothing.”
That wasn’t what the challengers wanted to hear. A key feature of their argument is that the individual mandate is distinct from the fine the government will assess on people who fail to purchase insurance.

Rick Santorum can win if the campaign never ends.

“If we have only a two-month campaign, their money advantage — and it will be an advantage — won’t make as much difference,” Santorum says, “because there’s only so much money you can spend in two months, there are diminishing returns after a while. But if we have a nominee next week, all of the money advantages they have now are going to be trained on destroying whoever the nominee is.”
“It’s the best-case scenario for us because it shortens the campaign,” Santorum told a small group of reporters at a breakfast in Washington on Monday. “Resources don’t matter as much. I mean, they matter, but the advantage they would have over any Republican nominee, resource-wise, would be diminished because of the short time frame.”

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.