Santorum Says ‘Real Republicans’ Curse Out Reporters

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Last night, Rick Santorum lashed out at reporters for flinging cheap "gotcha" questions like "is it really true that Mitt Romney is the worst Republican in the country?" Venerable Times campaign front man Jeff Zeleny took most of the heat. "Quit distorting my words. It's bullshit," Santorum said, visibly upset. "Come on, man ... You don't care at all about the truth!"

Well, today the nation's friendliest cable news show, Fox and Friends, gave the candidate an opportunity to laugh it all off. Grinning throughout the interview, Santorum told the hosts, "If you haven't cursed out a New York Times reporter during the course of the campaign, you're not really a real Republican."

Although Santorum's "bullsh-t" remark caused a bit of a stir in the blogosphere, realistically it's good red meat for the base. We all remember how well media-bashing plays in the GOP primaries — John King, in particular. 

And Santorum's choice to spin the slur as a Republican merit badge could be a smart one, doubling down on the comment that started the whole kerfuffle. Maybe it's a winning formula: say that your opponent isn't a real Republican, get asked about it by a reporter, cuss at them, then explain it by claiming your opponent isn't a real Republican, rinse, repeat. 

Or, as Santorum put it in today's interview, "We're the candidate that's mixing it up, and well, we're mixing it up!"