Skip to comments.The Trouble With Mitt
Posted on 02/20/2012 1:19:49 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
John Hinderaker encapsulates an assumption which has started to take hold among many of Mitt Romneys backers: that the fault for what appears to be an increasingly likely 2012 election loss lies with conservatives for making this a real primary. Speaking of the see-saw of not-Romney candidates, he writes:
The same pattern has been repeated more than once during the current, discouraging presidential nominating process. If the GOP loses this years presidential contest, the party will have no one to blame but its own activists.
I'm hearing this meme repeated by many increasingly dejected Romney supporters around Washington, D.C. See, if people had just gotten in line when we told them to, the theory goes, things would be looking up. But this is revisionist history, and this is a meme that deserves to die.
It is ludicrous to claim that the fault lies among conservatives for Romney's precipitous drop among independents, which hes endured over the past month (in some polls, it's been a negative swing of 20 points), the primary reason he now lags Obama in most measures. Consider: since Romney ground Newt Gingrich into pulp in Florida with his 65-1 ad ratio three weeks ago, there has been not one debate, not one major piece of scandal or breaking news, not even one major round of negative ads against Romney. There has only been a series of gaffes on Romney's part (most notably his line about not caring about the very poor) and a series of numbers which show mild economic improvement.
In reality, its those who demanded conservatives get in line ages in advance who made a fundamental mistake in how they approached this election. By demanding an ideological shift from a more populist, more fiscally conservative base they no longer direct or control, Romneys most prominent backers failed to learn any of the right lessons from what led to the 2009-2010 cycles. They failed to realize that the base expected more from a candidate, from a leader, than the politics and policy of the past. This problem worsened when their candidate put forward a meandering, maintenance-based agenda which inspires no one, not even his backers. As Jim Pethokoukis put it recently:
"Mitt Romney wants to be the next president of a country in need of serious and sweeping economic reform. And here are the first two points in his 59-point economic plan:
1. Maintain current tax rates on personal income
2. Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains
Now imagine private-equity boss Romney back at Bain Capital sitting down to read his teams 59-point turnaround plan for some troubled widget maker. And imagine if the first two action items started with the phrase Maintain current . Romney probably wouldnt bother reading any further before tossing the report in the trash, calling a meeting, and cracking heads. Heck, if Private Equity Romney were called in to turn around Romney Campaign Inc., axing CEO Romney might be the first move on his to-do listespecially after looking at last nights numbers from Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri."
Even worse than this unimpressive agenda is a failing of the candidate: that Romney has proven incapable of selling himself to the American people. In 2008, Romney failed in a horserace against McCain, Huckabee, Giuliani and Thompson. (Read Dan McLaughlin for reasons why.) Having the only real machine in the 2012 cycle and as an experienced candidate, he absolutely should have been able to stand on his own right as soon as this race came down to the far more flawed and less politically capable efforts of Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul. By all rights, he should be running circles around them all..........Continued at Richochet
Mitt does not represent the base. PERIOD. The very idea that he could run rings around the other candidates is laughable. He has to destroy them or co-opt them. He is not better than them.
It still amazes me that for the past 4 years, the ASSUMED Republican candidate for 2012 was Romney. I just don’t know how or why this happened. I mean, the guy couldn’t even beat freaking John McCain in 2008. The stupidity of the GOP establishment elite goes beyond disappointment - - it is downright discouraging.
I agree. Mitt Romney’s failure to rally the base is due to an undeniable fact, he’s not one of us. He can’t run on his own record, so his campaign is based on #1 destroying the competition, and #2 deceiving voters with a carefully crafted media image.
Now Republican faithful are complaining to GOP establishment leadership that someone other than Mitt should have been selected as the Party’s choice. And I’m reading a multiplying number of “Quick! Do this Mitt” OpEds in well known journals, along with OpEds in those same places calling for “Newt to Get Out!!”.
It would seem the establishment has nurtured Romney’s well-groomed Wall Street ties/donars and K-Street understanding/endorsements and has “discouraged” any others from entering the race (or face the “fate” of being “against” the GOP establishment).
Cries of regret are growing louder along with fingers of blame being directed at the conservative base for not getting in line. It looks like they underestimated 2010.
They keep sending me those stupid survey forms....its hardly worth the spit to seal the envelope and send them back marked .....
GOP = Dole McCain Romney = stupid looser
The Party leaders just plowed ahead, certain that their money and organization (and our loathing of Obama’s policies) was the winning formula.
They forgot to pick a leader. I guess they wanted a man they could handle.
Those envelopes hit the recycle bin and never make it into the house. I mean, really!? Do they really believe anyone is still falling for that BS?
Gotta hammer home the message: This is real life, kiddies. Wake up. Your very life depends on the outcome.
I send them back in their prepaid envelopes, devoid of any comments or money. Sometimes I just send the envelope empty. When I received the same from the Party and the RNSC during the 2010 cycle, I just printed off several copies of my Rubio bumper sticker and sent that back to them, on their dime mind you.
Mitt for Brains, as someone else here said!
...........”I understand the resistance, but I am lukewarm on the non-Romneys as well. If I had to choose a candidate among them, I would choose Romney. I think he is the least bad of the lot.
The resistance to Romney among a large part of the base of the Republican Party, however, suggests to me that Romney himself would be less than a stellar candidate against Obama. Hes got problems that the non-Romneys have successfully exploited. Romneys defense of Romneycare in the debates has been a recurrent thumb in the eye to the not inconsiderable number of Republicans for whom repeal of Obamacare is a priority along with with fiscal and economic issues.
Romney himself must know he is not long on passionate supporters. His claim has been to superior electability against Obama among a weak field of GOP candidates. But the failure to inspire affection if not passion itself reflects a weakness in a candidate for high elective office.
There are other weaknesses in Mitts candidacy; Ben Domenech explores them in The trouble with Mitt. The attack by Romney and his surrogates on Santorum for having voted to increase the debt limit when he was in the Senate reflects some of these other weaknesses. Mitt must think were really, really stupid.
The inclination of Republican primary voters and caucus goers to support Gingrich or Santorum is not the sign of a character flaw or mental defect on their part. It is a sign that Romney is a problematic candidate for the party whose standard bearer he seeks to be. Decrying the failure of Republican voters for failing to fall in line behind him seems to me something less than a winning argument.”
So will Romney’s backers now join with conservatives? I wonder.
Thanks for finding and posting this, C’sW.
I always enjoy your postings.
A lot of Republican fat cats will get skinned if Romney wins the nomination because he will not win in November. Genuine conservatives will not vote for Democrat-Lite again, after being asked to swallow McCain last time.
Thank you. As Barney Fife said, it’s a “compelsion.”
Mitt Romneys failure to rally the base is due to an undeniable fact, hes not one of us. He cant run on his own record, so his campaign is based on #1 destroying the competition, and #2 deceiving voters with a carefully crafted media image.
Hmmm.... Sounds exactly like how Obama was able to get elected in IL and later to the US Senate and POTUS.
Problem Mitt has is that Conservatives don’t buy his BS. Conservatives don’t bow down to the GOP-e anymore.
I heard the Bill Cunningham radio show last night...a snippet...waaay back, I stopped listening to him when his hatred of Perry and Newt became clear. He had Santorum on in a short interview, then said he would also interview Romney, and Santorum again in a longer form, before Super Tuesday.
Then made clear he didn’t think any of the current candidates should be selected.
He announced his support for a Mitch Daniels-Marco Rubio ticket at a deadlocked (brokered) convention.
He then had Mike Pence on, and the two of them sang Mitch’s praises at some length.
Cunningham was never for Romney, but neither will he back a red meat conservative (such as, “we like to carry guns and we like to carry them in our trucks” and “you can’t put a gun rack in a Chevy Volt”).
Mitch Daniels has been an effective governor of Indiana, by all accounts. I’m not here to deny that.
But as a candidate? As a president of the United States?
I don’t see it.
For a radio talker who became far more famous for calling Obama “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” in a warm up act for McCain in 2008, he seems strange to end up backing Mitch Daniels.
I have seen that SOME actual ROMNEY backers are thinking a Romney Santorum deal would save Mitt. They are thinking that although they want Mitt for prez, if forced they would even accept him as VP with Santorum for prez.
If you’ll note, what all of these seemingling disperate points have in common is the meme...ANYONE BUT NEWT.