RUSH: I thought Newt was outstanding last night. Once again, Newt illustrated a point: When the pressure’s off is when you do best. And Newt’s pulled out of Michigan. Not really “pulled out,” but he’s not going to make any effort in Michigan. And Newt claims that he expects Santorum to win Michigan. So he’s pulling out.
Ron Paul… Get this, now: Ron Paul is not really competing in Michigan, but he’s running anti-Santorum ads in Michigan. Even though Ron Paul is not viable in Michigan, he’s still running anti-Santorum ads. But Newt pulling out is gonna coalesce support to Santorum, and Paul pulling out… See, I don’t know. The thing that’s interesting to me about the Paul-Romney alliance is I don’t know how the Ron Paul camp is gonna feel about that.
If this allianceis actually a purposeful strategically assembled alliance and if it has an electoral purpose here to benefit Romney, I don’t know how Ron Paul’s crowd is gonna react to that. They may love it. I don’t know how Ron Paul supporters feel about Romney. I don’t know if Romney’s their second choice or not. If they don’t like it, and if they figure out there’s this alliance, who knows? But this is gonna increase Santorum’s odds in Michigan with Gingrich putting no effort forward there. Now, I don’t think Gingrich is doing this to benefit Santorum, per se. I think Newt still wants to win this himself.
He’s positioning himself so that a poor finish cannot be talked up to a poor finish following a full-fledged, all-out effort to win. If you don’t make a big effort, if you make no effort at all in state and you don’t do well, “Well, it’s not unexpected that you wouldn’t do well.” So Michigan and Arizona are next Tuesday, and we shall see. But I thought Newt, with no pressure on him, hit Obama better than anybody did last night. (read more)