Candidates sometimes get caught up in the heat of the moment with campaign rhetoric, but this one is way off base.

A little background…

A recent claim by a top Romney adviser made news when he stated that the former Governor of Massachusetts could shift his campaign from trying to win conservative voters, to trying to win moderate voters, rather easily.

“It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch.  You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”

The comment shook conservatives who already view Romney as a flip-flopping moderate.  Yesterday, Rick Santorum responded to the Etch a Sketch comment.

Via CBS-DC:

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee and for a second day compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy.
Santorum reiterated an argument he has made before: The former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough to offer voters a clear choice in the fall election and that only he can provide that contrast.
“You win by giving people a choice,” Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. “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 added: “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

The problem with such hyperbolic rhetoric is that it is simply false and makes the candidate dishing it out look petty.  Yes, saying and doing things just to get elected, as the Romney adviser is asserting, is concerning.  But the bottom line remains that Romney is an infinitely better choice than Obama for the Presidency.

Yid With Lid, who had endorsed Santorum for President, was so dismayed with the comment that he rescinded that endorsement today…

I am sure Santorum will try and walk back the statement but is too late, the damage has been done.  Rick Santorum committed the ultimate sin for a 2012 GOP candidate —saying Barack Obama would be preferred over his opponents. This was hyperbole, which is both false and irresponsible.

Barack Obama represents the biggest threat to individual freedom in my lifetime (Joe Biden might even say in the past 500 years). Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney would be FAR superior to Barack Obama. With his suggestion to the contrary, Santorum proves himself to be less than ready to handle the job. 

As long as we’re comparing Presidential candidates to toys from the ’60s, I’m going to have to disagree with Santorum on this one.  I’ll take the Etch a Sketch candidate any day, over the candidate who has been lighting up the Constitution in an Easy Bake Oven.