The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier Monday, January 30, 2012

On Gingrich’s prospects after Florida:

He is talking about hanging in there. Presumably he is going to lose in Florida, but he says he will remain undaunted and go all the way to Tampa, the convention.

I don’t think it’s a bluff. It’s not just because, as he said, from here on out, most of the races are proportional, so it’s extremely unlikely — unless everybody drops out — that Romney would have an absolute majority [of delegates at the convention].

But there is also a new rule by the Republicans: If you have a plurality of delegates in just five of the states… it could be Guam or Virgin Islands and DC, then you have your name [placed in nomination] in the convention.

That wouldn’t be just a thumb in the eye, presumably if Romney is the nominee, it would be way to vindicate his campaign. And also would keep alive the idea, if there is a fractured [convention] in Tampa, that somehow — if the delegates decided, after they’re released after a ballot, they want a conservative candidate, it could be him. So I think he is in it. I think it’s going to get much more nasty. And I don’t see him dropping out along the way.

On Rick Santorum’s prospects after Florida:

I think [he’s] staying in. I think the real sleeper event could be in Missouri. Missouri doesn’t have any delegates. It’s only a beauty contest. But Gingrich isn’t on the ballot. I think for Santorum, this is his great opportunity. He’d be essentially one-on-one with Romney. Of course, Ron Paul will get his share of the vote as he always does.

But it would be a place where he [Santorum] could say, assuming he were to win [Missouri] — he could say, look, if Gingrich is the one that drops out and not me, I’m the one who can unite the non-establishment… grassroots against Romney and win in a general election.

I think this is his one opportunity — particularly because he has tried to take the high road, as we saw in the debate last week where he said: It is OK that Newt worked in Washington and it’s OK if Romney is a rich guy, he earned it. He [Santorum] is the one who is probably the least toxic as the compromise nominee if you’re either in the Romney camp or the Newt camp.

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