WASHINGTON -- Fox News host Chris Wallace took a not-so-gentle jab at Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney on Sunday for ducking his show.
The moment came after Wallace had just completed a lengthy sit-down interview with Rick Perry, during which the two discussed the gamut of campaign issues.
"With Governor Perry's appearance, we have now interviewed all of the major Republican candidates in our 2012 one-on-one series except Mitt Romney," said Wallace. "He's not appeared on this program or any Sunday talk show since March of 2010. We invited Governor Mitt Romney again this week, but his campaign says he's still not ready to sit down for an interview."
The complaint is more a matter of professional obligation than actual hurt feelings, bringing to mind the clock that Fox News ran marking down the time that had lapsed since Barack Obama had done an interview with the network. Indeed, Wallace's displeasure seems likely to disappear the moment Romney actually steps on his set.
And yet Wallace is now the second established conservative-leaning media voice to poke at him in as many days, suggesting something less than a drama-free ride to the nomination for Romney. On Saturday, George Will's column went online comparing Romney to Michael Dukakis, another onetime Massachusetts governor who ran for president.
"A straddle is not a political philosophy; it is what you do when you do not have one," Will wrote. "[Romney] is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. ... Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis."