5:42 PM, Jan 4, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
This morning, Rick Santorum sent out a fundraising letter that suggests he's going to cast himself as the Republican presidential candidate who can beat Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
"It's Now or Never for Conservative voters," Santorum wrote. "We can either unite now behind one candidate and have a conservative standard bearer in 2012, or have the GOP establishment choose another moderate Republican who will have a difficult time defeating Barack Obama in November. I don't think that's what you want. Neither do I. My name is Rick Santorum, and I am the only authentic, passionate conservative who can unite the GOP."
"We shocked the world last night in Iowa. We did it with a coalition of conservatives, Tea Party members, and values voters who recognized that my successful conservative record gives the GOP the best chance to defeat Barack Obama," Santorum continued.
"Now is the time to act or get stuck with a bland, boring, career politician who will lose to Barack Obama."
Santorum's critique of Romney is not unique. That the former Massachusetts is being called inauthentic, unpassionate, not a conservative, bland, boring, and a career politician is not new. But it does provide a glimpse, going forward, for how Santorum, who just a couple weeks ago was polling in the single digits, will try to frame the debate going forward.