Left unsaid is that a certain candidate would never “curse out” a New York Times reporter, because a certain candidate simply doesn’t curse. Mitt Romney can’t bring himself to say “hell” in public. When, during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney was accused of publicly berating a volunteer security officer, he denied only that he swore while doing so: “I would not, have not, and never would use the f-word,” he told the press. He admitted only to saying “H-E double hockey sticks.” The irony is that Romney actually has a horrible relationship with the press, he just doesn’t make a big show of it.
When your candidate’s media strategy is total avoidance, you don’t really get conservative movement “cred” for hating the liberal media. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich lives for the attention of the press, and his ostentatious displays of media hatred are basically what Santorum was trying to emulate this weekend.
In 2007, Romney lost his cool with AP reporter Glen Johnson. Here’s Romney, unfiltered and pissed off!
“Excuse me, excuse me, Glen!” You accuse Mitt Romney of lying, you get a stern but polite response.
You attack Mitt Romney’s religion, and then accuse him of “running away” from his church, as Iowa conservative talk show host Jan Mickelson did in 2007, and you get … firm, polite debate!
This gets raw 10 minutes in, when they go off the air. “You’re wrong!” is about as salty as it gets.
Romney-hating conservatives are ignoring the candidate who hates the mainstream media most of all. If he could find some way to get that message across, keeping in mind the challenge of avoiding profanity, he might have an easier time in this endless primary.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareene