In a wide-ranging segment on Friday night's The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel took a revealing look at the current state of Mitt Romney's campaign. She questioned whether the campaign's central ideological underpinnings are still valid and went on to ask whether Romney's candidacy itself is currently in jeopardy.

She pointed out that even Romney now has to admit that the economy has improved under President Obama. When the former Massachusetts governor rolled out his campaign in early summer, one of its main rhetorical points was that even though President Obama didn't cause the recession, he made it worse.

As one reporter on the campaign trail pointed out, that is no longer necessarily the case. While the economy still isn't booming, it is looking slightly better, a turn of events that Governor Romney has addressed by simply denying that he ever said that the economy was worse under Obama.

Another key strategic point of the Romney platform has been to stress the candidate's background as a corporate raider rather than to focus on his time in office. Maddow points out that this could be a risky choice given that even big-name media outlets are now starting to question the validity of Romney's claims of job creation at Bain, and that he seems pathologically incapable of giving a straight answer regarding his tax returns.

But the most damning episode of all comes from an interview Romney did with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham in which he candidly admits that the economy has improved. Rachel believes that this statement provides the Democrats the single best weapon they could have asked for in a general election fight.

Pollsters say that Romney's support is "collapsing" in South Carolina and Maddow reports that there's talk of the former governor skipping Monday's debate in Florida. Could this be the beginning of the end for Romney 2012?

The clip, embedded via MSNBC, is below:

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