Recent polling has Mitt Romney down in several battleground states. Believe the numbers, or don’t. But do believe this; history tells us this should be a victory “in the bag” for him, with such high unemployment. But he’s fighting against strong currents. And so far, Mitt Romney doesn’t appear to know how to swim.
One of the reasons he’s losing – and there are many – is because the president is running a better campaign. Campaigns, although not intentionally designed, have become full-fledged pop quiz’s that candidates are forced to take in front of the entire world. And while Mitt may be a smart businessman, he’s proving not to be a very good test-taker.
His muddled message on Affordable Health Care left us scratching our heads – wondering which Mitt we were listening to that day. He forgot to mention the troops during his speech in Tampa. And since he’s been under tremendous pressure to hone his foreign policy and national security credentials – especially after his series of gaffes during his overseas trips in July, in which he angered Britons with questions about London’s readiness to host the Olympics, and upset the Palestinians with offensive comments about their cultural differences with Israel – he saw an opportunity to bounce back: doubling-down with the latest crisis in Libya – only to lose. Again. Badly.
Romney issued a statement, saying he was “outraged” by these attacks and the death of the American consulate workers. Fine enough. But then he went on to say, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Two problems here.
First, whether well intentioned or not, the mere mention of the attacks left him vulnerable, giving the appearance he his was politicizing the event.
The second, and more problematic for him, is that his statement was patently false. It never happened.
The statement in which Romney was referring came from the U.S. embassy in Egypt…condemning what it called the “efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” That statement, which the White House has now distanced itself from wasn’t even talking about the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens or the other workers. It was in reference to the anti-Islam movie that would eventually spark the events in Benghazi, but up to that point, had only seen protests in Cairo.
Remember that “3AM Phone Call” ad that Hilary Clinton ran against Obama in 2008? It was effective. Obama played that cool, though. Thinking before reacting. Even when Mitt Romney seems to think, he tends to overreact. I’m not sure I want Mitt Romney anywhere near an emergency telephone call. Not at 3AM. Not at 3PM. I want someone who’s a, Ready, Aim, Fire! President. Not somebody who skips the first two altogether.
What do you think?