Democrats Start Taking Santorum Seriously

“He’s leading the national polls, so it would be crazy for us to ignore him.”

Eric Gay / AP

Democrats are finally taking Rick Santorum seriously.

After months of attacks focused on Mitt Romney, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign are now broadening their sights, with a series of jabs in Santorum’s direction.

“He’s leading the national polls, so it would be crazy for us to ignore him,” one Democratic operative told BuzzFeed.

The first came over the weekend, in response to Santorum’s comments that Obama subscribed to a “phony theology” — which seemed to be about Obama’s faith, but Santorum said was about energy policy.

Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt called the remark “the latest low in a Republican primary campaign that has been fueled by distortions, ugliness, and searing pessimism and negativity,” and “a stark contrast with the president who is focused everyday on creating jobs and restoring economic security for the middle class.”

Several prominent Democrats piled on the criticism on the Sunday morning news shows, in a sharp break of not-so-silently cheering his rise at the expense of Mitt Romney.

“We couldn’t ignore an attack this shameful,” another operative added, “but we’re still hoping he wins the nomination.”

But today, the Democratic National Committee blasted out a critique of Santorum’s economic plan — which has largely escaped scrutiny from Democrats while drawing criticism from Romney.

“Santorum’s Plan – The Same Economic Philosophy That Created the Economic Crisis, But Even Worse for Middle Class Families,” the nearly 1600-word release was titled.

Democrats won’t be going after Santorum like Romney – they’d still prefer the Pennsylvanian take the nomination — but they’re not ignoring him anymore either.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

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