Santorum complained yesterday that Romney chose not to run for re-election in Massachusetts:

Well, if his record was so great as governor of Massachusetts, why didn’t he run for re-election? I mean, if you didn’t want to even stand before the people of Massachusetts and run on your record, if it was that great, why didn’t — why did you bail out?

This has become one of Santorum’s preferred attacks against Romney, but it isn’t going to do him any favors. Why would Santorum go out of his way to bring up re-election bids in 2006? He is the one candidate on the stage to lose a re-election bid in a landslide. If Romney wanted to give an honest answer to this question, he would say, “I didn’t run in 2006 because I didn’t want to end up like you, Rick.” Talking about this reminds everyone why they assume Santorum wouldn’t stand a chance in a general election.

Santorum had a better attack when he drew attention to Romney’s record as a candidate in the ’90s, but he still managed to flub it:

And I stood up and fought for the conservative principles. I didn’t do what Governor Romney did in 1994. I was running the same year he ran, in 1994. I ran in a tough state of Pennsylvania against an incumbent. Governor Romney lost by almost 20 points. Why? Because at the end of that campaign, he wouldn’t stand for conservative principles [bold mine-DL]. He ran from Ronald Reagan. And he said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights, on abortion, a whole host of other issues.

Yes, Romney lost to Ted Kennedy in an otherwise very good year for Republicans, and he lost despite presenting himself as a moderate-to-liberal Republican. However, had it not been a wave election for the GOP, it’s doubtful that Romney would have done that well, and it’s absurd to think that the Massachusetts electorate was punishing Romney because he was not conservative enough. Why would Santorum want to bring up Romney’s margin of defeat, when it was almost identical to his own margin of defeat in 2006? Why point out that Romney lost to an entrenched incumbent in one of the most heavily Democratic states in the country when he lost as an incumbent in a swing state?