When in doubt, pick a fight with the New York Times

Updated
 

His primary win in Louisiana notwithstanding, Rick Santorum’s campaign hasn’t been going especially well lately, and his odds of winning the Republican presidential nomination continue to dwindle as the party coalesces around Mitt Romney.

Under the circumstances, it’s not too surprising that the pressure would start to get to Santorum.

Take yesterday, for example. Santorum, campaigning in Wisconsin, pointed to a series of issues where he believes Romney would match up poorly against President Obama. He concluded, “Pick any other Republican in the country. He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama. Why would Wisconsin want to vote for someone like that?”

After the speech, the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny asked Santorum, “You said Mitt Romney is ‘the worst Republican in the country.’ Is that true?” Clearly, the question could have been worded much better, but note the former senator’s angry reaction in this video.

Given Santorum’s concern about the breakdown about American culture, his use of the word “bulls**t” stands out.

Of course, how one perceives a clip like this one varies depending on perspective. When I saw this I thought, “Wow, Santorum is starting to lose his cool, cracking under the pressure.” When Santorum’s campaign aides saw this, they thought, “Wow, this is a great opportunity.”

The former senator appeared on Fox News this morning, after Santorum’s remarks started to get some attention, and said, “If you haven’t cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of a campaign, you’re not really a real Republican is the way I look at it.” Soon after, the campaign began a fundraising push, hoping donors hate the newspaper – and enjoyed Santorum’s outrage – too.

It seems unlikely the campaign will have great success leveraging this, but Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary by effectively running against the media, so it stands to reason Santorum and his team would at least give this a try.

Rick Santorum

When in doubt, pick a fight with the New York Times

Updated