With the presidential campaign rapidly approaching the first debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on October 3rd, new reports are surfacing portraying a Romney/Ryan campaign largely in disarray. The Romney Team and Romney himself has badly mangled his foreign policy credentials through his recent premature and proven inaccurate attacks on the president. Romney falsely accused Obama as having “apologized” for the controversial anti-Muslim film trailer released via the Internet as America’s first response to the unrest and violent demonstrations across the Muslim world that the film ignited.
It has been proven that the Cairo Embassy statement was issued in an effort to defuse the situation and not as a response to the violence that occurred later…at which time the Administration strongly condemned the attacks on American diplomatic missions. Nevertheless, instead of admitting his error, Romney and his vice presidential running mate renewed the bogus charges. The foreign policy gaffe and insensitive statements by Romney and Ryan have generated open criticism from both conservative allies and widely in newspaper editorials throughout the nation.
Now a new report at politico.com has revealed the inner workings of the Romney campaign team, revealing that it has become – in essence – ‘a circular firing squad’…with staffers “pointing fingers” at each other over gaffes and missteps by their candidate and the campaign at-large.
This certainly doesn’t bode well for the image of Romney as a great business manager, capable of turning the economy around, when he can’t even manage his own campaign. Rather than shaking up his campaign staff as past presidential campaigns have routinely done in time of crisis and low poll numbers, Mitt Romney has apparently decided to stick with these folks.
Instead of changing players, Romney has merely ‘doubled-down’ on attack ads, opting to recalibrate and emphasize the economy and concerns of unfair trade practices by China. I guess Mitt’s not as big on ‘firing people’ as we were led to believe from his business practices and public comments. At the center of this storm is Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top strategist who reportedly scrapped his candidate’s entire convention speech just days before the event.
The finished product was less than stellar, garnering much bipartisan criticism for lack of substance and detail, as well as omitting even a mention of Afghanistan or a nod to our troops serving and dying there. But, as Politico noted, the campaign team is now trying to discount the criticism and forestall panic only two-weeks before the all-important first presidential debate, citing that:
Stevens, in a lengthy interview Sunday afternoon, defended the campaign’s performance, refused to discuss internal conversations and insisted Romney is doing far better than the pundits portray. “Like all campaigns, we have good days and bad days. I’m happy to take responsibility for the bad days,” he said. “This is a tremendously talented team.”
Meanwhile, In an Electoral match-up interactive campaign map issued today on Huffington Post, the Electoral College prospects for Obama have improved significantly since recent national polls have shown the president increasing his post-convention lead over Romney. Although the race in Ohio does look more solid for Obama, going beyond the normal 3% ‘margin of error’…I find the move today – from ‘toss-up’ to ‘leaning Obama’ – in Virgina and Wisconsin highly misleading, as the margin there is only 2%.
Also suspect is the light-blue ‘leaning Obama’ shade in Florida, where the lead is also only 2% and much more ad money and voter suppression/intimidation is likely by Republicans, despite a recent favorable Federal Court Ruling that stuck down a restrictive voter registration law last month.
Additionally, the current Pennsylvania margin of 6% may be seriously impacted by a pending decision from the state’s supreme court on the controversial Voter Photo ID Law enacted in March by the Republican legislature and governor.
If the high court there upholds the lower court’s ruling maintaining the law, upwards of 750,000 voters could be disenfranchised, largely in urban areas, among largely Democratic voting demographic groups (students, minorities, the poor and elderly). Addicting Info is monitoring the status of that decision and there is a growing grass-roots effort by many progressive groups in an attempt to get more photo ID’s issued in the event the supreme court allows the law to stand.
Meanwhile, right-wing operatives and bloggers are actually becoming desperate enough to begin attacking the veracity of nearly every poll. It is nothing new in politics to try to “kill the messenger” when things aren’t going your way. However, some well-respected Republican commentators and bloggers have noted more and more, that the Republican party has hitched its wagon to a deeply flawed candidate.
As reflected by former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, host of the popular MSNBC show, “Morning Joe,” who echoed an editorial he wrote for Politico:
“And the lesson is clear: If we want to win the battle of ideas in the long term, we should be willing to face the fact that Mitt Romney is likely to lose — and should, given that he’s neither a true conservative nor a courageous moderate. He’s just an ambitious man. Nothing wrong with that, except when you want to be president. Great leaders combine ambition and ideas and conviction.”
I rarely find myself agreeing with Joe Scarborough about, well…anything. In this case – he appears to be absolutely correct.