Once again, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace showed his pro-Romney bias. In a promo for today’s show, he described a debate between Republican Haley Barbour and Democrat Howard Dean as a “preview of what an Obama/Romney campaign might sound like.” But Wallace also may have hinted, most likely inadvertently, he thinks Romney will lose because in a separate interview with Rick Santorum, he suggested Santorum should give up the race now and run again in 2016.
In the brief promo for today’s show, Wallace first described his coming interview with Romney-opponent Rick Santorum with a not-so-subtle dig:
“With Republican leaders uniting behind Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum fights for his political life. We’ll talk with the candidate about growing pressure on him to drop out.”
As Wallace described his next segment, he more or less adjudged Santorum as irrelevant:
“Then a preview of what an Obama/Romney campaign might sound like. Two party leaders debate the key issues in the general election, from health care to rising gas prices. Republican Haley Barbour and Democrat Howard Dean.”
Wallace could have said he'd be hosting “a preview of what the 2012 presidential debate might sound like” rather than deliberately naming Romney as the nominee.
In the actual debate segment, Wallace was less blatant but his introduction still hinted at Santorum’s irrelevance:
“With President Obama and Mitt Romney setting their sights squarely on each other, we thought this a good time to look at how the general election campaign might play out.”
In his interview with Santorum, Wallace noted the campaign has been “pounding Romney” and asked, “Do you worry at all about hurting him in case he ends up being the candidate who faces Barack Obama?”
Later, Wallace reiterated Romney campaign attacks on Santorum for having “sided with big labor” and even debated Santorum as he denied the attack.
But then, at about 11:00 into the interview, Wallace offered this jaw-dropping, possible "inducment" to get out now:
“Win or lose you have done much better than a lot of the so-called experts had predicted that you were going to do this year. You talk a lot about Ronald Reagan. He lost in 1976, came back and won in 1980. Do you ever think at all about, you know, that if you were, you know, at some point if this doesn’t work out, you could come back in 2016 as the front runner?”
So was Wallace saying he thinks Romney is going to lose the general election?Tossing Santorum a disingenuous bone to convince him to leave the race? Or just misspeaking? I report, you decide.