Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Santorum in the A.M.

Rick Santorum rips it up on MSNBC: hits Penn State hard, draw praise from "Morning Joe" host.

Santorum in the A.M.

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, see your boy on "Morning Joe" today?

BE: I drink morning joe, I don't watch it. Rick Santorum was on?

JB: More than that. He was on and he was ON.

BE: I knew he'd mount a comeback. Gimme details.

JB: First, he went off on his alma mater, Penn State, saying the child-sex scandal there is "devastating...people at Penn State didn't do the right thing...people that you held up."

BE: Courageous. And by "people," you know he means JoPa.

JB: Had to. He was introduced by host Joe Scarborough as someone who considers Joe Paterno a "friend." Santorum then went to on explain how in Pennsylvania, "Penn State is connected to everything," and how the scandal represents "a betrayal."

BE: He's right again.

JB: Then, when questioned about one of the most troubling issues surrounding the case, why then-grad assistant Mike McQueary didn't intervene in what he testified he saw: former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky raping a 10-year boy in a football locker room shower.

BE: And Rick said?

JB: "Of all the things, that's the one...it's inexplicable...Your gut reaction would be to take a football helmet and hit him over the head with it."

BE: The new NFL helmet-to-head rules be damned, eh?

JB: Well this was, of course, before those rules. But I take your point.

BE: My point is that Rick's got answers.

JB: Speaking of which, Scarborough credited Rick with the best answer in Saturday night's GOP debate on CBS.

BE: Ah, the debate on international policy, one of Rick's areas of expertise.

JB: Yep. While others such as Perry and Newt pandered about zero-based foreign-aid budgeting, especially for Pakistan, Rick rocked some reality by pointing out that Pakistan "must be our friend" because of its nuclear capability. He noted that we kept Saudi Arabia as a friend after 9/11 even though that's were the terrorists came from.

BE: And Scarborough liked that?

JB: Called the answer "a profile in courage."

BE: Rick's on a roll!

JB: At least in his mind. He then said he'll win Iowa because "it's still early."

BE: Run, Rick, Run!

JB: Yeah, see, the problem is the Iowa caucuses are moved up to Jan. 3, a little more than six weeks from now. And the latest Des Moines Register poll shows him at 5 percent despite his having spent more time in the state than any other candidate.

BE: IT'S EARLY! The polls are shitfing. Newt's boomlet will fizzle. Cain is dropping. Perry's gone. Bachmann's gone. Hunstman was never there. Paul's an after-thought. Nobody likes Mitt. The stars are aligning for Rick.

JB: All I can say is...Grrrr.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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