Santorum Walks Back the 'Stick with Obama' Comment

The Santorum campaign has released a statement knocking down the idea that he would prefer Barack Obama over Mitt Romney:

"I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican and to suggest otherwise is preposterous," Santourm said in a statement. "I was simply making the point that there is a huge enthusiasm gap around Mitt Romney and it's easy to see why – Romney has sided with Obama on healthcare mandates, cap-and-trade, and the Wall Street bailouts."

Santorum's original comment, made at a campaign stop in San Antonio, TX:

"You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there," Santorum told supporters in San Antonio. "If you're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future."

I'm not sure the walkback precisely squares up with the original comment, but there it is.

The amateurism of these campaigns and candidates is disheartening. Setting policy preferences aside for a moment, Romney could have come out of Illinois in a mood to barnstorm the headlines and get very close to clinching the nomination, no matter what happens in Louisiana. He had just decisively won a major state, he followed that up with the Jeb Bush endorsement, and then Sen. Jim DeMint all but endorsed him. But Eric Fehrnstrom's "Etch A Sketch" comment reinforced the perception that Romney cannot be trusted by conservatives. Rick Santorum was best positioned to take advantage of that gaffe, but he managed to toss a land mine under his own feet instead with the conditional suggestion he made in San Antonio.

Can't we get some pros to get some consistently productive behavior out of these candidates?