The Washington Post

Candidates get courageous, ugly in South Carolina

Well, it is getting interesting down in the Palmetto State just days away from the primary. Who would have figured Rick Perry for having the courage I spoke of the other day to leave the race and try to consolidate the vote against Romney.  Sure, Perry was a goner, and his endorsement won't make that much difference, but let's give him credit for being a principled conservative who cares about  the cause of seeing a more palatable conservative in the White House than Romney.

Meanwhile Rick Santorum has a new ad that is a direct rip-off of Apple’s famous “1984” ad. It is a kind of primal scream to voters to wake up and realize they are being brainwashed — how ironic given the elder Romney — to blindly vote for a faux conservative. I don't think much of this ad; it insults voters as being lemmings led to Romney's sea. Also on Santorum, there is an amazing new story that as an adult his wife lived with the doctor who had delivered her into the world two decades prior and who also happened to perform abortions. It certainly adds an interesting new dimension to the Santorum biography.

And then there is Newt, seemingly back on track, off his Bain kick, and making his last stand in South Carolina. The stealth battle for which  South Carolina is famous — the push polls, the anonymous fliers placed under windshields in church parking lots, the whisper campaign — should get really ugly this week between the two last alternatives to Romney's inevitability.

Oh, and tonight’s debate should be interesting, too.


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