◆ TRENDING: Michigan mischief: ‘A deal with the devil’
By Dana Bash, Eric Marrapodi (CNN)
Dearborn Heights, Michigan (CNN) – A longtime liberal radio host asking Democratic listeners to vote for Rick Santorum in Michigan’s Republican primary told CNN Tuesday he loves making mischief.
After spending nearly all of his three hour program encouraging Democrats to get out and vote for Santorum Tuesday, Tony Trupiano makes no apologies for his mischief.
… “[W]e could actually take some serious delegates away from him [Mitt Romney],” Trupiano said
… It turns out many Democrats in this state don’t need a lot of convincing to engage in this kind of strategic voting.
At a polling station in Dearborn Heights, Crystal Larson said her vote for Santorum made her “feel like I made a deal with the devil.”
“Voting for Santorum goes against everything I believe in and everything I’ve ever stood for in my life and to vote for him takes a lot of guts I think,” Larson said.
She said she hadn’t received any of the robo calls, but heard about the Democratic effort in the media and decided to vote for Santorum at the last minute.
Gary Zulinski, also voting in Dearborn Heights, said, “I was listening and Democrats were asked to us come and I said ‘Why not…’
◆ Santorum and Democrat strategist Joe Disano are two guys of one mind:
Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker.
DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney.
“Democrats can get in there and cause havoc for Romney all the way to the Republican convention,” DiSano told CNN. “If we can help set that fire in Michigan, we have a responsibility to do so,” he said. In his robo call, DiSano says “Democrats can embarrass Mitt Romney … by supporting Rick Santorum on Tuesday.” He asks the person to “press one…if you are committed to voting for Rick Santorum on Tuesday.” DiSano says over the last 7 days or so that he has been working on this, he has gotten some 12,000 commitments from Democratic voters to go to the polls and vote for Santorum.
◆ Michael Moore has also joined Team Santorum (further proof of liberals’ fear of Romney):
FLINT, Michigan — Filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore says Republicans aren’t the only ones who will decide the winner in today’s GOP presidential primary.
“A lot of my Democratic friends are going to vote for (Rick) Santorum tomorrow in something they are calling, Operation Hilarity,” Moore said Monday on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
◆ Guy Benson, political editor at Townhall.com, said this today:
… [T]his Santorum campaign robocall simply must be heard to be believed. Stick with it through the very end:
“This call is supported by hard-working Democratic men and women, and paid for by Rick Santorum for President.”
The Santorum camp has confirmed that this is their handiwork.
Thought experiment: Let’s say that exact same spot reversed the names and ended with the words, “paid for by Mitt Romney for President.” I’d imagine the truuuuuue conservative set would be experiencing coniption fits of rage, and justifiably so. For the last few cycles, the Republican mantra has been some variation of, “we can’t allow liberals to choose our nominee.” Here we have a Republican candidate for president — the guy who’s built his entire campaign around the idea that he’s the authentic, courageous conservative – explicitly appealing to liberals and asking them to cross into the GOP primary to swing the results. Not only that, the thrust of the call is couched in Lefty speak, hitting Romney for opposing the way the auto bailout was structured and executed — a position that Santorum shares. Yet his message to Democrats calls Romney’s position “a slap in the face to every Michigan worker.”
◆ Even FOX News’ Eric Bolling (The Five) said today that Santorum’s ad has conservatives scratching their heads… an ad defending the auto bailout? It’s outrageous that a self-proclaimed conservative-you-can-trust GOP presidential candidate – Rick Santorum – and his official campaign would use such deplorable tactics.
Rick Santorum and his campaign have stooped too low to be awarded with the highest office in the land.
► Jayde Wyatt
UPDATE via email from Vic – From Gov Romney today:
“I think the hardest thing about predicting what’s going to happen today is whether Sen. Santorum’s effort to call Democratic households and tell them to come out and vote against Mitt Romney is going be successful or not,” Mr. Romney said at a press conference at his Michigan campaign headquarters here. “I think Republicans have to recognize there’s an effort to kidnap our primary process.”
He added his own pitch to voters: “And if we want Republicans to nominate the Republican who takes on Barack Obama, I need Republicans to get out and vote and say no to the, the uh, dirty tricks of a desperate campaign.”
UPDATE via email from Nate – Santorum flips on Dems voting in GOP primaries
By Adam Aigner-Treworgy (CNN)
Washington (CNN) – As voters headed to the polls in Michigan on Tuesday, Rick Santorum defended a robo call his campaign used in the state urging Democrats to support its candidate as a vote against Mitt Romney.
But just a few weeks ago on a tele-town hall with Minnesota voters, Santorum decried the mere idea of open elections as polluting the entire primary process.
UPDATE from Ross: Read a “letter” from President Obama to Sen. Santorum below the fold. (more…)