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A Talent for Mischief

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s not every day a Republican attacks a Republican and Democrats step in to defend the accused.

But that’s what happened Tuesday afternoon when former Sen. Jim Talent (Mo.) accused former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) of being a member of the GOP’s liberal wing. Before you knew it, the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century leapt to Santorum’s defense.

Now, perhaps there’s a little bit of presidential politicking going on here. Santorum has surged recently to come even with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Talent is one of Romney’s economic advisers and staunch supporters. But bear with us.

After hearing about Talent’s plans, American Bridge PAC’s war room director, Ty Matsdorf, took the Missourian to task.

“Jim Talent is going to hold a conference call attacking Rick Santorum over spending,” Matsdorf wrote in a morning email. “Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.”

The Bridge kids then had fun quoting their buds at the conservative Club for Growth on Talent’s voting record.

Matsdorf pulled out a February 2010 Club for Growth missive about the possibility Talent might try for a rematch with Sen. Claire McCaskill, who defeated him in 2006.

“[Former] Senator Jim Talent is also reportedly considering running for U.S. Senate in Missouri in 2012,” the club wrote. “In his previous time in the Senate, prior to losing to McCaskill in 2006, Talent voted to raid the Social Security Trust Fund, for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere earmark, and for other pork-laden budget busters.”

We get why the Democratic super friends are not fans of Talent. But why love Santorum so hard?

“[American Bridge 21st Century President Rodell Mollineau] is a huge wrestling fan,” Matsdorf explains, referring to Santorum’s old campaign ad in which he appeared in the wrestling ring. Also, Matsdorf tells us that he digs a good sweater vest. (Really, who doesn’t?)

“So why wouldn’t we attack Romney’s Death Star?” Matsdorf asked.

Hmm. Say what you want about Talent, but the bespectacled policy wonk does not come across as a planet-destroying space station. Just a thought.

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