"You know who's the winner here? Romney," Meade said to me. He explains that Rush's statement begins with "For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity," and that tracks Santorum's response to Limbaugh's misstep:
Well, he's taking - you know, he's being absurd. But that's, you know, an entertainer can be absurd. And - and he's taking the absurd, you know, the... absurd, you know, sort of, you know, point of view here as to how - how far do you go? And, look, I'm - he's - he's in a very different business than I am. I'm... concerned about the public policy of this president imposing his values... on people of faith who morally object to - to the government telling them they have to do something which they believe is a grave moral wrong.So Santorum sounded like Limbaugh himself, defending his approach. But Limbaugh now says he did it wrong this time: "In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation." And that tracks the way Romney originally responded:
"I'll just say this, which is, it's not the language I would have used... I'm focusing on the issues that I think are significant in the country today, and that's why I'm here talking about jobs and Ohio."So Limbaugh's new statement demonstrates that Romney had the better instinct.
Note that both Santorum and Romney went on to state what they wanted to focus on. Santorum wanted to focus on the freedom of religion aspect of the birth control controversy. Romney wanted to get back to the economy. There too, I'd say, Romney had the better instinct.
ADDED: Here's my post from this morning chastising Rush. It has over 500 comments, many of which are mine, arguing with people who insisted on defending Rush.