With Michigan’s crucial Republican primary looming on Tuesday, Rick Santorum was doing his best George Wallace impression over the weekend, gunning for Tea Party votes by denouncing those “pointy-headed intellectuals” who always think they know better than real folk. “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said at an Americans for Prosperity rally. “What a snob!” The president has actually called for a substantial investment in worker training—not for everybody to attend a four-year university. But no matter: Santorum’s campaign is targeted at culturally fretful whites in industrial and Southern states—places where college often seems like a fine idea except that it turns people into liberals and atheists. “There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor,” Santorum said. “That’s why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.” Besides, he said, “Not all folks are gifted in the same way.” Not, in other words, gifted like Santorum himself. As Talking Points Memo pointed out, Santorum has three college degrees—a bachelor’s degree from Penn State, an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and a J.D. from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. That’s one more than the president. But as Santorum said on Sunday morning’s This Week, at least he didn’t enjoy his decade in academia: “You talk to most kids who go to college who are conservatives, and you are singled out, you are ridiculed, you are—I can tell you personally … I went through a process where I was docked for my conservative views. This,” he said, “is sort of a regular routine.” And so, from Wallace to Nixon to Reagan to Bush to Palin, goes the right-wing populist song-and-dance that the highly educated Pennsylvanian is performing.
So They Say
“There’s some problems where what you have to do is say, ‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life because … you clearly don’t want to hear from me how to be unmiserable.'”
—Newt Gingrich, speaking about Afghanistan in Nashville, Tennessee
Daily Meme: More Fun with Mitt
- Dave Weigel coins the term “Rommeying” for “accidentally bragging about your place high up in the economic stratosphere.”
- Romney at the Daytona 500: “I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.”
- A Seamus-eye view of vacation with the Romneys.
- Did Romney steal the $10,000 bet line from Richie Rich?
- Maybe Romney's “trees are the right height” line was a Hemingway flashback.
- Your one-stop destination for all the things Romney loves.
- Are the money gaffes awkward, or authentic?
What We're Writing
- Steve Erickson argues that we shouldn’t hesitate to ask candidates about their faith.
- In a sane world, Jamelle Bouie writes, Santorum’s desire to break down church-state separation would disqualify him as a presidential candidate.
What We're Reading
- Who's going to vote in Michigan tomorrow?
- Romney says he’s taken back the momentum in Michigan.
- By doubling down on their opposition to the auto bailout, are Republicans handing Michigan to Obama?
- Jonathan Chait: Is 2012 the Republicans’ last chance to get people to come aboard the crazy train?
- Thanks to Virginia Republicans’ overreach, Tim Kaine is now embracing President Obama as he runs for Senate.
- Republican governors “are just dreading” a Santorum nomination.
- Bob Kerrey has changed his mind and will run for Ben Nelson’s open Senate seat in Nebraska.
Poll of the Day
Four new Michigan surveys show the Romney-Santorum showdown is too close to call.