Several days ago Mitt Romney's campaign sent out an SOS to media veteran and star of “Celebrity Apprentice” Donald Trump.
The former Massachusetts governor was apparently seeking assistance for the increasingly crucial must-win primary contest in Michigan.
At his Las Vegas casino just prior to the Nevada caucuses, Trump gave Romney his endorsement.
Now it looks as if the NBC reality star is riding to the rescue. He recently became Romney’s surrogate on local Michigan radio.
Appearing as if he may be channeling James Carville, Trump took a swipe at the candidate who is currently giving Romney staffers the most grief, former Sen. Rick Santorum.
Well known for his media flair, The Donald went for the jugular in an interview he did with WSGW radio in Saginaw, Mich.
“There’s nothing — there’s no gift, no Christmas gift — that could be given better than Rick Santorum to the Democrats,” Trump said. “And, you know, I don’t think they believe it’s going to happen. But boy, would they like it to happen because then it would be an easy election.”
A series of appearances are reportedly planned for Trump on behalf of the Romney campaign, presumably to generate some major doubts about Santorum.
Trump's jabs at Santorum look to be part of yet another series of multi-faceted attacks from the Romney campaign, which, in a series of attack ads, went after GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich in Iowa last December and Florida in January.
The bombardment via ads has been unprecedented. Negative ads have increased from six percent of the spots in 2008 to 50 percent of ads in 2012, according to a study by Kantar Media/CMAG.
The attack strategy may have had an effect on the polls. A recent Public Policy Polling survey shows Santorum with a four-point lead after having been 15 points ahead following his trifecta win in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.
In an attempt to further encourage Michigan voters to choose Romney, Trump warned that if his man does not get the nomination, he just may jump into the general presidential campaign as a third-party candidate himself.
“If he [Romney] doesn’t [win], and I hope it doesn’t happen, I would say there’s a good possibility that I would do something, yes,” Trump said.
With the combination of negative advertisements and Trump attacks, the Romney campaign would be wise to avoid repeating what ABC News did in South Carolina, i.e., creating a backlash that further propels Santorum to victory.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood.
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