Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have withered from being Mitt Romney’s legitimate competitors into mere “hecklers,” Politico’s Jonathan Martin writes. The scenarios by which they could win the Republican nomination are becoming more and more “far-fetched,” their rhetoric becoming more desperate. The Atlantic Wire would like to take this image one step further, naming them then Statler and Waldorf of the Republican presidential primary — guys that never get to be the main characters, instead serving as a tool to lower the self-esteem of those Muppets who do. […]
The Times’ Trip Gabriel reports that even “humiliation has not changed [Newt’s] will to stay in the race.” His colleagues Jeff Zeleny and Sarah Wheaton write, “The question facing Mr. Santorum was not whether he intended to press forward with his candidacy, but whether he should.” Both men, several reports say, are making less progress towards winning the nomination than towards embarrassing Romney on the daily. Both Gingrich and Santorum toted Etch-a-Sketches last week when a Romney aide referenced the toy to explain how the candidate would pivot to a general election message. They looked cynical and trivial, just like classic hecklers from the Muppets, though without the jokes.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire.