Republicans Show Growing Concern Over Romney Campaign


The Republican establishment is starting to give voice to serious concerns about the viability of the presidential campaign of former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney, displaying pessimism about his chances to beat President Barack Obama in November.

An editorial in the conservative Wall Street Journal, a column by influential neoconservative Bill Kristol and a series of tweets from News Corp mogul Rupert Murdoch all voice similar fears of a campaign that is playing it too safe, being too vague and giving voters no reason to vote for Romney in November.

“Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running?” Kristol asked, comparing Romney to former Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., both of whom unsuccessfully sought the presidency. “It’s possible to lose a winnable presidential election to a vulnerable incumbent in the White House.”

Kristol compared the Romney strategy to a “prevent defense” in football, where the team with the lead plays a soft defense that, in principle, allows the other team to move the ball but not score.

“Adopting a prevent defense when it’s only the second quarter and you’re not even ahead is dubious enough as a strategy,” Kristol said. “But his campaign’s monomaniacal belief that it’s about the economy and only the economy, and that they need to keep telling us stupid voters that it’s only about the economy, has gone from being an annoying tick to a dangerous self-delusion.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial agreed:

The Romney campaign thinks it can play it safe and coast to the White House by saying the economy stinks and it’s Mr. Obama’s fault…Thanks, guys, but Americans already know that. What they want to hear from the challenger is some understanding of why the President’s policies aren’t working and how Mr. Romney’s policies will do better.

Whether Obama’s policies are the problem is, of course, a matter of debate. What’s striking, however, is how the complaints by Kristol and the Wall Street Journal both say that Romney needs to do more than simply argue that Obama is bad. Instead, they ask Romney to actually put his cards on the table and say what he would do as president.

Romney has been loath to be specific so far in the campaign, in no small part because his past record has often been at odds with his current rhetoric. As governor in Massachusetts, Romney signed a health care reform law that was similar in many respects to the Affordable Care Act, which Romney claims to now vehemently oppose. Romney also supported abortion rights prior to his election as governor of Massachusetts, and he once claimed to be more pro-gay rights than the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

Republicans have started to sense that their opportunity to defeat Obama, a victory they’ve been planning for since the night Obama was inaugurated, could be slipping away. Obama has built a small but stable lead in the polls and is given a 68 percent chance of winning in November according to New York Times statistician Nate Silver. Moreover, Obama has begun to hit Romney on his record with Bain Capital and his overseas holdings, attacks that the Romney campaign has been slow to react to.

“Team Obama is now opening up a new assault on Mr. Romney as a job outsourcer with foreign bank accounts, and if the Boston boys let that one go unanswered, they ought to be fired for malpractice,” said the Wall Street Journal.

Murdoch, whose News Corp owns the Journal, agrees.

“Tough [Obama] Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless [Romney] drops old friends from team and hires some real pros,” Murdoch tweeted. “Doubtful.”


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Image Credit: Donkey Hotey


Richard B.
Richard B.4 years ago

He has a "back-seat driver" in command. And we all know how that ends. A crash.

joseph rogers
Joseph rogers4 years ago

The republicans have went to far, with there mind view of freedom and democracy, Loyalty is hard to find, Obama ran his platform to be elected, he was, part of it was affordable health care for all, not just the lucky, he was voted in by America, when republicans agreed to turn there backs on us, the people, and cause a lot of things we the people voted him in to do, it was a disgrace to over 200 years of what this country was built upon, every war we have fought, and the fallen brothers and sisters we all have lost, We all know that this country needs billionaires and millionaires, to keep people working, but at what price, the needs of all its people in the basic concept of life comes first, If you ever wont my vote again, go next door to your neighbor and check own them,

Pat B.
Pat B.4 years ago

Here's a quote from one of our favorite Republicans, Paul Ryan, "rights come from “nature and God,” not the government."

He's talking about why the health care act should be repealed. Americans apparently don't need no stinking Obamacare, god's going to take care of them.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

Mitt Romney IS the guy who laid off American workers while he pocketed millions. He outsourced jobs overseas taking away 401K's and pensions. He is a cold hearted bas.../man. His goal as President is to lower taxes on the wealthy even more. De fund Planned Parenthood, no choice for women, no contraceptives, overturn health care for millions of people. He now is under control of the tea party and the super wealthy. That is one reason that he says something completely different than he said last year or four years ago. Or even four weeks ago!

Pat B.
Pat B.4 years ago

If the GOP gets in, the country's name should be changed. I suggest the United States of Walmart, where Walmart's value of underpaying, over exploiting and abusing their employees is the golden rule that all businesses must follow.

Debra Van Way
Debra Van Way4 years ago

I begin to think ole Mitt and his wife are merely cardboard cutouts. Neither is capable of answering a simple question. I like the saying "The lights are on, but no one's home." In Mr Plastic's case-I am not even sure the lights are on, but there is definitely no one home.

Don Schneider
Don Schneider4 years ago

Check planet Kolob for the Romney plan, perhaps it is hidden there and will be magically exposed in a golden tablet that only Willard Milton can decipher for us !

Sharon H.
Sharon H.4 years ago

@Steve wouldn't know Socialism if it bit you in your ignorant right wing ass! Look up real Socialist countries and see they are happier, more prosperous, and their citizens are a hell of a lot smarter than the brainless people like you.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

Don S. knows what the Romney plan is, and he is right. Read it on his post @ 5:41am.

Bryan S., There is a great difference between Democrats and tea party Republicans. It's Huge!
Democrats are for the working people and equality. Can't say that for the tea party.

Frances C.
Frances C.4 years ago

You are right Winn, I remember when Republicans could have a conversation with those who they disagreed with. That started to change when Newt took over the Congress with his bullying, hateful tactics...then all those tea party nuts got elected. They did not know the first thing about governing, just their right wing ideology. Many of them were inexperienced, and shows.