Mitt Romney On Defense In Battle Over What's In His Heart
By Jon Ward | HuffPost | 07/14/2012 8:13 am
WASHINGTON - "After a January 9th speech, a woman rose from her seat and told the candidate that Republicans needed "to do a better job of telling our story." "We need to convince the masses that our vision as conservatives benefits them," the woman told Romney.
Romney agreed. "This is going to be a battle about describing my heart, my passion to help - if you will - the great majority of Americans," Romney said.
If that is indeed the way that Romney views the 2012 election, then
he and his campaign lost that battle this week. Romney will have a chance at the party convention in August to introduce himself on a national stage to the country. But from now to then, Democrats hope to bloody him like Republican Bob Dole was in 1996, sending him to the convention as damaged goods.
The melee over Romney's tenure at Bain Capital this past week was a playbook for how Democrats aim to do so.
When it comes to how Americans regard Romney the man, the Republican's campaign is on defense. For months, Obama's reelection campaign has pounded away at Romney's character, painting him as a greedy, out of touch, malicious and possibly even criminal rich white guy. Democrats claim it's working.
Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting the president, touted a survey of swing state voters this week that showed Romney's career in private equity at Bain Capital is becoming more of a liability.
A Romney campaign official said that most voters who have told pollsters Romney's business background is a negative factor were already planning to vote against him, citing data deep in the cross-tabs of a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released Tuesday.
USA Today reported Monday that "at this point, Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars" in the key states that will decide the election.
"Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney," wrote USA Today's Susan Page.
In a presidential election expected to be extremely close, voters' personal perceptions of Obama and Romney will be significant. Romney has added weight to this factor by deciding not to campaign daily on specific policy proposals.
The Romney campaign has created numerous other family-centered videos and used events like Mother's Day to put Romney's eloquent and very likable wife, Ann, in the spotlight.
But if conservatives have been ringing alarm bells for weeks, if not months, about Romney's image and campaign, they switched to a full-blown gong this week
The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger warned that Romney may be "headed for a Dukakis-like catastrophe" and lamented his decision to allow the press to take pictures of him and his wife on a jet-ski during their vacation last week.
"Did anyone in the Romney campaign warn the candidate that the beach photo would evaporate the moment the couple on that jet ski entered a lake teeming with press corps piranhas?" Henninger wrote.
Ross Douthat, a conservative New York Times columnist, said "To grasp why so many middle-class Americans are cool to his persona and achievements, Romney needs to see the 21st century economy the way they see it - as an arena in which, as Lewis puts it, 'the line between gambling and investing is artificial and thin,'" Douthat wrote.
As of now, Douthat wrote, "it’s Romney who seems detached and calculating."
Romney's own former rival from the presidential primary, Newt Gingrich, was at a loss in an interview with The Huffington Post this week to explain Romney's struggles. "When people say to me, 'Why isn't this connecting?' the truth is," Gingrich said, pausing for a few beats before exclaiming: "I don't know."
There is no question that Romney goof’d in selecting his Boston team who have been running his campaign in a very 1980’s way, while President Obama has been running his like a “man with a plan” and he has succeeded in making Romney look like a “Bain Freak that has been thoroughly laundered, spun, and set out to dry.”
This has been a clear win for Obama...after advising Romney for months to “come clean, give some IRS returns like I did” and play fair. But Romney sat behind his attack ads and belted away with snarky remarks, insults, jibes, he did his presidential campaign not an ounce of good, and we now wonder if Romney can ever recover from this political beating....after all you cannot run from your own resume.’
Most people see Romney as a self inflicted braggart, a cold and mercenary businessman, a corporate-raider, and a person that profited from struggling companies, fired their employees, and then outsourced the business overseas for cheap labor.
Romney is a very stringent man, has said he paid “only the legal amount to the IRS and NOT ONE PENNY MORE” so we can readily see that he has no great affection, respect, or love for his country...which is possibly because his parents had to flee to Mexico to practice their form of religion which included polygamy, and only returned when they promised to stick with one wife per husband.
The highly perceptible baggage Romney presents along with his candidacy dooms the republicans to yet another loss in the presidency along with other republicans in their races.