Riding the Romney roller coaster
Last week, I wrote a column, “Tell us what you really think, Mitt, and you’ll have your 10-pt lead in the polls.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be happening, at least not to any great extent, yet. With 45 days to November 6, it is deeply troubling. This morning on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), called upon Romney to “show some passion,” and that the “R behind your name is not only for Republican, but for reform and recovery.” If this is the message Romney brings to swing voters and independents this coming week, then he could carry Wisconsin and the election.
But is Romney listening? What I find most disconcerting about Romney and his campaign is what Peggy Noonan referred to in her most recent opinion column as his “tin ear.” “60 Minutes” released a preview of this evening’s broadcast, which features an interview with Romney by Scott Pelley.
PELLEY: “You’re the CEO of this campaign. A lot of Republicans would like to know, a lot of your donors would like to know, how do you turn this thing around? You’ve got a little more than six weeks. What do you do?
ROMNEY: “Well, it doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent President to the United States.”
Really Mr. Romney? You equate a campaign that’s tied with the President at this stage of the race, as not being in need of a turn-around? a shake-up? With the President’s abysmal record on everything from the economy to foreign policy, you should be 10 points ahead in the polls, not tied.
Rupert Murdoch tweeted back in July, “met Romney last week. Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.” Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric followed with,” @jack_welch Hope Mitt Romney is listening to Murdoch advice ont campaign staff..playing in league with Chicago pols..No room for amateurs.”
There was abundant enthusiasm and excitement when the selection of Paul Ryan was announced. So where is Paul Ryan? Instead of Mitt becoming more Paul-ish, Paul has become a mini-Mitt, muzzled by the campaign. Here is a bright, articulate Congressman who can take mind-boggling facts and figures and break them down so the common person can understand why an unbridled national debt matters, why we need to undertake comprehensive tax and entitlement reform, and how out-of-control regulations are to a large part responsible for companies not hiring, why wages aren’t growing, and people can’t find jobs. Romney assumes that everyone understands “debt as a percentage of GDP” and other economic jargon. No, Mitt, and that’s part of your problem.
It is not enough for Romney to say this campaign is a referendum on Obama, and his “failed economic policies.” He must articulate his vision for America and what steps he’ll take to get on the road to economic recovery with, as Scott Walker said, “fire in the belly.”
Further, why is Romney remaining silent on the foreign policy debacle known as Libya? Because he was taken to task for his earlier comment of the State Dept. apologizing to the Egyptian jihadists? Why is Romney silent about the 47% comment, instead of defining the 47%, which includes people who wouldn’t be on public assistance were it not for Obama’s policies?
Romney’s traditional caution is not enough to win this election. In these final weeks, he has to “set his hair on fire,” or he’s going down in flames, and taking the dreams, hopes and fate of so many hard-working Americans who still believe in the Dream.