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(Note to Fox News and other Murdoch ‘journalists’ – the following article is satirical –  that means it’s not true – it’s a joke.)

Republican candidates seeking to derail Mitt Romney’s march to the party’s presidential nomination are stepping up appeals to South Carolina voters, saying the former Massachusetts governor doesn’t share Republican values because he is too intelligent.

In a major attack on the Republican front-runner, one of his rivals former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said:

The problem with Mitt Romney is that, like Obama, he just knows way too much about too many things. If we run someone who is in any way too smart, 95 percent of the people in America are going to be very uncomfortable with it. We need someone with traditional Republican values of ignorance, dumbness and not knowing nothing at all about anything.

Another rival, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania urged South Carolinians not to vote for a candidate based on intelligence, saying the state’s voters pride themselves on their “strong traditional values of grade-A dumb-assness.”

In response to the attacks, Romney’s campaign released an online ad today that seeks to address concerns some voters might have about his intelligence. According to the ad:

Mitt’s just a normal American guy – he likes to have a beer, eat burgers, go bowling and bellyache about things he doesn’t know jack-shit about.

Support for Santorum

Meanwhile, a group of about 150 conservative religious leaders voted today to support Santorum. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a conference call with reporters:

There is this unanimous agreement about the need to replace Barack Obama with someone much more ignorant about things in general, and the strong consensus that emerged is that Rick Santorum is the best man for the job.

Gingrich told reporters after his remarks at the Duncan forum last night that he will use public appearances in the state to contrast Romney’s record of being a successful businessman with his own record of doing absolutely nothing of use at all except run for elected office.

A delegate heading to a public meeting with Gingrich explained the feelings of the grass roots of the party:

We don’t want no know-all like that there Obama knowing stuff we don’t know nothing about. We gotta have an average guy like George Dubya or Reagan who don’t know nothing’ about nothin’. That’s the American way and we should be proud of it.

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