“He looks like Richard Nixon.” – Peggy Noonan
AFTER A BLOODY primary season, where his Republican opponents revealed Romney’s lack of talent in the political arts, the Bain Captial attacks, which were launched by the lonely pro Obama SUPER Pac created by Tim Burton and Paul Begala, started filling in the man that is Mitt Romney. Amid this avalanche of negativity, President Obama was still seen as someone Americans liked, but still doubted when it came to the stewardship of the economy. In the very recent weeks, battleground polls show Obama’s convention bounce turning into possible momentum. What the last 24 hours has brought is something else entirely and it was presented on a platter to President Obama by the Republican nominee.
This summer we got a preview into Mitt Romney, commander in chief. On the eve of the London Olympic games he insulted the host country. It was followed by a disastrous contagion of either awkward un-presidential photo ops and discordant statements, which made Romney look unprepared, or Saturday Night Live skits waiting to be made.
Sarah Palin was bad, but at least she was at the bottom of the presidential ticket.
The Republican convention just made matters worse for Romney, especially when compared to the Democratic show, which was a spectacular pageant, though certainly not flawless. Compounding the sour spectacle was the fact that the wannabe commander in chief didn’t utter the word Afghanistan once, let alone do anything remotely fitting a national party convention during a time in our history where we’re engaged in hot wars around the globe.
Then Mitt Romney came out to criticize President Obama during the Benghazi raid aftermath, at a time when an American ambassador had been killed, along with other American patriots, as well as Libyans trying to help them. To hear a potential commander in chief be so bloodless at a time of deep national crisis on the international scene, especially after Romney ignoring our foreign engagements at his nominating convention, was chilling.
So, you’d think we’d be prepared for the last 24 hours, which included Romney believing it’s best to leave the Middle East “unsolved,” and where we not only hear Mitt Romney discount 47% of the American populace who votes, but insult almost half of the American people as “victims,” then imply he’s not interested in speaking for them if he were president.
Then comes the press conference, while Mitt Romney was raising money in California, meant to do damage control on these remarks. He tried to explain his “victims” remark, which came in a moment of candor where Mitt Romney came off for the first time as someone very comfortable with his own views, instead of the calculated politician we hear every day. The problem is that comfortable Mitt is expressing views that make him unfit for the office of the presidency in every way.
From Phillip Rucker, who covered the press conference last night:
“It’s not elegantly stated… I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question,” Romney told reporters Monday night in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Asked what assurances he could give to voters that he doesn’t say different things behind closed doors to his donors than he does at his public rallies, Romney said he gives “the same message” to all audiences.
“We have a very different approach, the president and I, between a government dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams,” Romney said.
In the video, he said, he was “talking about the process of campaigns.”
“Typically I don’t talk about process in speeches because I think candidates are wiser to talk about policy and their vision than to talk about how they’re going to win a election,” Romney said. “At a fundraiser you have people say. ‘Governor how are you going to win this?’ And so I respond, ‘Well, the president has his group I have my group. I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle.’ That’s something which fundraising people who are parting with their monies are very interested in knowing can you win or not and that’s what this was addressing.”
When a reporter asked what Romney meant by the words “victims” and “personal responsibility,” Romney said that he was “talking about the political process of drawing people into my own campaign.”
“Of course individuals are going to take responsibility for their lives,” Romney said. “My campaign is about helping people take more responsibility and becoming employed again, particularly those who don’t have work. This whole campaign is based on getting people jobs again, putting people back to work,” he said. “This is ultimately a question about direction for the country. Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits or do you believe instead in a free enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams?”
Shorter: Mitt Romney stands by his remarks.
This is the perfect example of the ugly politician who resents those who won’t support him, while feeling superior to them because they are less. This is clearly represented by Romney’s belief that he won’t ever get half the American public to believe in what he wants to do for America, which to me boils down to doing something to change America for those on his side, while stuffing the policies down the throats of those others. It’s classic us versus them Republican politics. The other issue, however, is Romney’s reaction to any questions about his views, especially from reporters doing their job. It’s the grievance persona Richard M. Nixon made infamous, which Peggy Noonan remarked on days ago.
Our wealthiest presidents never had such a view of the American people that Mitt Romney has admitted to having. Throughout history, the presidency is about being a leader of all Americans. Our politics are divisive enough without someone like Mitt Romney saying it’s not his job to represent all the people, while describing his leadership in a manner that is us versus them in foundation.
You never know and rarely can predict where presidential campaigns will go, but I don’t see how Mitt Romney comes back from these latest revelations, which he himself has delivered, especially since they’re piled on top of a mountain of mis-statements that reveal a man not close to being presidential material and whom the American people have no reason to trust in the office. Romney’s own words prove it and I seriously doubt it will go unnoticed by likely voters.
If Mitt Romney loses in November, this is the moment when his fate was sealed.
Will Romney rise to the occasion and fight? Or will he retreat? Only one path can lead to victory in November. The fate of his candidacy will hinge on the answer. – Mitt’s Gettysburg Moment [NRO]
This post has been updated.