As we reported Monday evening, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is pulling out all the stops to get a victory in the Michigan GOP primary today, including pleading for Democrats to lend him their votes. Predictably, Santorum's opponents are slamming him for his "dirty tricks." When it comes to strategic politicking, however, it seems like there's a fine line between "dirty tricks" and smart politics.
With this robocall, Santorum has taken a great risk in alienating conservative Republicans. First of all, he's aligning himself with Democrats and using class warfare to stoke the fires of liberal discontent by complaining how Romney supports his "billionaire buddies" but didn't support the auto bailout to help "every Michigan worker." Does this mean that Santorum supports the auto bailout? It seems to suggest that, but Santorum has taken a strong stance against industry bailouts in the past.
In addition, Santorum's alliance with Michigan Dems is a win for President Obama's reelection campaign. When it comes to a general election showdown, Romney is a bigger threat to the president than Santorum. Bottom line: Santorum is looking to score delegates in Michigan, regardless of the political fallout.
By ignoring these realities, Santorum is counting on strategy -- not substance -- to pull out a win in Michigan. Personally, I think two-faced strategic "tricks" like this are one of the biggest reasons why so many Americans are turned off from politics today, but I'm interested in hearing what you all think. Take the poll and let me know what you think in the comments.
Update: Case and point. Santorum's newest supporter? Michael Moore. (h/t Beltway Confidential)