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Is Santorum Too Honest for His Own Good?

Washington Post thinks he's shooting himself in the foot
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2012 9:21 AM CDT
Is Santorum Too Honest for His Own Good?
Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum addresses supporters during an Illinois primary night event at the Gettysburg Hotel on March 20, 2012 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Rick Santorum's campaign has a problem: namely, Rick Santorum. The candidate prides himself on speaking off the cuff—he thinks teleprompters should be illegal for presidential candidates—but that's made him a veritable fountain of gaffes lately, leaving insiders questioning his ability to be the party standard bearer, the Washington Post observes. "He is going to answer the question, which is a good thing," a Santorum spokesman says. "But it's something we lament sometimes."

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"The problem is, he's a former senator, and he wants to litigate every point," says one Republican close to the candidate. Indeed, Santorum seems unable to resist any question; when a voter asked how he felt about porn, he told her. He even railed recently against 13-year-old Malia Obama's vacation to Mexico. "About a month ago, the off-message, visceral, provocative Santorum emerged," says one Pennsylvania political science professor. "I was frankly stunned that it took so long for that to happen. It’s just who he is." (Read more Rick Santorum stories.)

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