The press pundits are unanimous: Romney is rising again. They are trying to make it a sporting contest and their representations of Santorum's debate performance were brutal. Funny, the public didn't have the same reaction, but now the full court is on. Romney is trying to pin all of George W. Bush's big government programs on Santorum and make people forget Romney's work in Big Government Massachusetts on the Big Dig and Health Care. Santorum's answers were coherent this time, and his performance is improving. However, his answers did reveal he has never been a leader. He voted sometimes against sacred conservative principles because he was told to by the Bush administration. Nonetheless, Romney has outspent Santorum by five to one trying to gain the upper hand and has only gotten a couple points to show for it. People don't like him, and they have good reason not to.
In this clip, he insults Michiganders by saying their trees are "the right height." Not only did he say it in Farmington Hills, but he said it again at a later stop, implying some handler actually vetted this comment. He didn't say the "trees are big here," which would have flattered them. That implies he thinks the trees are short in Michigan, which is not flattering. And he likes that because it is easier to see the lakes, which suggests that trees only matter to him insofar as they complement his views. He reveals himself, again, to be a psychopath.
He goes on to make a wildly exaggerated claim that when he was growing up he could identify any car by one square foot section. Obviously that would not have been possible (give him one in the middle of a door, for example), but it's the kind of over the top false claim which is normal in big business and Wall Street, but not normal in Michigan, where people don't understand that kind of "cult of the entrepreneur" fish story lying. Romney goes on to say that he always wanted a managed bankruptcy for GM when what he really always wanted was to break the union. I find it odd he didn't just say that, because Republicans in Michigan would have eaten it up. It seems an odd scruple given the audience.
Still, Michigan is his best bet to stop Santorum's momentum, and what it comes down to is not his ability to drive a wedge between Santorum's record and the tea party, but his ability to convince Michiganders that the old ways still hold and they should stick with him because he represents power and money, and if they don't they will regret it. It's a gangster's theme.