Matt Lewis

Romney Super PAC goes negative on Santorum in Michigan

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

With Mitt Romney struggling in Michigan, his Super PAC has predictably decided to bring Rick Santorum down to size with a TV ad slated to run in upcoming states.

Here is the opening salvo on Santo:

The obvious point to make here is that Mitt Romney cannot seem to generate enthusiasm for his campaign organically, thus his only path to victory is to destroy his opponents. This might work in the primaries, but what happens when he faces Barack Obama?

There’s also this: When you drill down on some of the attacks, they seem a bit weak.

This ad warns that “Santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times,” but until recently, casting such a vote wasn’t viewed as conservative apostasy. In fact, it is the out-of-control spending that necessitates raising the debt limit that we should be worried about. Romney and his people, of course, know this. Santorum is guilty of having been a big spender, but Romney’s Super PAC took the easier, if misleading, path here.

But that wasn’t the only questionable accusation in the ad. While showing a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit, the narrator says that Santorum “joined Hillary Clinton to let convicted felons vote.” The misleading imagery of a prisoner, of course, implies Santorum wants inmates to vote. But as PolitiFact has noted in the past, “Santorum’s vote was actually to restore voting rights for felons who had completed their sentences and probation.”

Is this the best they can do?