R.M. at Democracy in America doesn’t think Romney’s attacks will have much of an effect on Santorum (via Andrew):

And Mr Santorum’s surge provides a distinct problem for Mr Romney, who hasn’t been able to cement his position as front-runner. Whereas Newt Gingrich left himself open to attacks from the right, on his ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and attacks on his character, due to his resignation from Congress and his chequered marital history, Mr Santorum provides few such targets.

There are quite a few vulnerabilities that leave Santorum exposed on the right if Romney were willing to exploit them. On role of government and fiscal issues, Romney could criticize Santorum for his votes for NCLB and Medicare Part D. Santorum is in many respects the embodiment of so-called big-government and “compassionate” conservatism, and this was especially true during his second term in the Senate. In other words, he represented everything that conservatives now think went wrong during the Bush years. Hammering Santorum on Bush-era fiscal irresponsibility hits Santorum where he is weakest with conservative Republicans, and it does so without forcing Romney to risk the backlash of any party faction. If Romney tried to make an issue out of Santorum’s record on social policy or even foreign policy in terms of electability in the general election, this has the potential of angering constituencies Romney wants to placate. Pointing out that Santorum has no credibility as a fiscal conservative would be effective, and unusually for something coming from the Romney campaign it would also have the virtue of being true.

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