I'd like to urge Mitt Romney to disregard his fellow Republicans' warnings not to destroy Rick Santorum, and step up his attacks on Santorum's Washington insider status. Not because I'm a Romney fan. Far from it. It's just that it makes my job easier, and Santorum opened himself up to attack when he called fracking the "new bogeyman."
Rick Santorum took aim at environmental regulations Thursday at a campaign stop in Oklahoma, a hub of the domestic energy industry. The presidential hopeful told voters that opposition to fracking is nothing more than political fear-mongering, according to CNN.
"We have to have all sorts of government regulations because of the threats of hydrofracking," Santorum said. "It's the new boogey man. It's the new way to try to scare you."
Later he imitated anti-fracking politicians and environmentalists. "Ooh, all this bad stuff's going to happen, we don't know all these chemicals and all this stuff," he said. "What's going to happen? Let me tell you what's going to happen, nothing's going to happen."
Here's what Rick Santorum calls "nothing."
Why does Rick Santorum call this "nothing"? Simple. He's been paid very well to do so.
As the Center for Responsive Politics reports, Santorum is one of the top U.S. Senate recipients of campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and what makes those numbers so stunningly outsized is the fact that he remains one of the top Senate recipients even though the last time he ran for Senate was in 2006. Put another way, this is not a run-of-the-mill legislator who happened to get a few afterthought contributions from the industry; this is a guy who was such a sycophantic apostle of the industry that he received enough oil and gas money to keep him on the top-recipient list a full six years after he was voted out of office that is, a full six years after he raised a single dollar for a Senate campaign. In baseball terms, its the equivalent of Hank Aaron racking up so many home runs that he was able to hold the record well after he retired only with Santorum, its not home runs, its oil and gas cash.
For the industrys part, spending that kind of cash was clearly brilliant. With Santorum ahead in national Republican presidential primary polls, the oil and gas money has presciently purchased a potential major-party nominee who gives them an unthinkably powerful spokesperson: a candidate willing to actually cite his fracking-scarred state as reason to support less regulation of fracking. As expenditures go, thats about the best political investment money can buy.
C'mon Mitt. The opening title of the attack at pratically writes itself. "Rick Santorum – WTF?"