03/13/2012 05:57 pm ET Updated May 13, 2012

Santorum's Governor Only Goes in Reverse

Rick Santorum's wife has a problem: Rick Santorum's mouth.

Sunday on Meet the Press, Santorum said his wife "is a very good governor for me" after she reprimanded him for calling President Obama "a snob" because he wants all American youth to have the opportunity to go to college. Santorum's religious beliefs would indicate that as the man he is the head of his household, so surely he doesn't mean that his bride is his chief executive. Instead he must mean governor the way the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "a feedback device on a machine or engine that is used to provide automatic control, as of speed, pressure, or temperature."

The problem for Rick Santorum's governor is that she seems to only work in reverse, helping to slow down or cool off Santorum after he is already too hot.

Besides calling the president "a snob" for wanting young people to go to college, a desire held by an overwhelming majority of Americans, Santorum defended an earlier remark that John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech on the separation of church and state made him want to "throw up." For most Americans JFK is among only a few great presidents of the 20th century including the Roosevelts, Reagan and Clinton and the separation of Church and State is -- you know -- a founding principle of the republic. After Santorum, a Catholic, lost the Catholic vote in the Michigan primary to Romney 44%-37%, he took that comment back too. Santorum has also had to recently defend his beliefs that contraception, which 98% of Catholic women have used, is a bad thing.

Mitt Romney's pudding-like reaction to these comments and Rush Limbaugh's "slut" attack on a Georgetown University law student have shown America that he may lack the leadership ability and spine to be president. If Romney can't stand up for college, the separation of church and state and the rights of women to speak up without being called sluts, what will he stand up for?

Santorum however, has a different problem. He is proving not to have the temperament to hold our nation's fate in his hands.

John McCain had a reputation for being a hot head too and in 2008 the Democrats were looking for a moment when the bad McCain would reveal himself. Would it be a rope line outburst or debate meltdown? It turned out to be the financial crisis. As the movie Game Change reminded us, when the financial collapse struck in September 2008, John McCain and his team panicked. They suspended their campaign and tried to cancel a presidential debate, ultimately abandoning that strategy after Barack Obama calmly explained that he would march on because the President must be able to handle multiple problems at the same time.

Beginning with choosing the untested and unprepared Sarah Palin for Vice President, McCain showed he liked to throw Hail Mary's and America wasn't interested in a president who would take those kinds of uncalculated risks with our country. McCain never recovered and my guess is Santorum is headed down the same path.

However wonderful and commonsensical Karen Santorum may be, an American president needs an internal governor to regulate his temperament before he makes silly mistakes. Rick Santorum just runs too hot and his governor may not be able to clean up the mess he creates with an offhand remark about Islam, Vladimir Putin or "'Lil" Kim Jong Un of North Korea.