Mitt never seems to get break

Published 9:49 am Friday, August 24, 2012

Have you ever seen a presidential candidate with worse luck than Mitt Romney?

First, the Obama team front loads its campaign spending to brand Romney as a rich guy out of touch, and it seems to stick as Romney’s negatives have reached 50 percent. Ouch! Who saw that one coming?

Then Mitt takes a European trip to places where he is well liked and can expect to be warmly received.

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From the minute he got off the plane in London things just did not go as planned. And while it was probably a successful trip from a fundraising perspective, not so much for burnishing his foreign policy credentials.

Romney comes home to talk about the economy only to find, thanks to the unfair charge of Senator Harry Reid, that he must still defend his taxes. And even his defense that he never paid less than 13 percent in taxes doesn’t seem to end the topic.

OK, so after those few bumps in the road he names his VP candidate, Paul Ryan, Representative from Wisconsin and reputed Republican future star and budget guru.

But Romney doesn’t get the 4-5 point bump than McCain got when he chose Palin. Instead he gets a one point bump. Sometimes life just is not fair.

The Ryan choice did excite the base, but it isn’t like the base was considering voting for Obama, so no new votes there.

Once again the Romney campaign prepares to pounce on the Obama economy, only to discover that Ryan’s views on Medicare are sucking all the oxygen out of the campaign. So the campaign decides, wisely or not, to be aggressive on defending their ideas for changing Medicare in the next decade.

Both candidates hit to campaign trail welcoming a serious discussion about Medicare. But many Republicans running for re-election this year are not as confident that this issue won’t come back and bite the whole party in November.

Well the first polling results are in now on Medicare and those results are not good for the Romney campaign. Overall 58 percent of respondents in a new poll want Medicare to remain as is. Worse still, 55 percent of Republicans wanted it unchanged.

Once again the Romney campaign starts talking about the economy, continues the sell they must try to win on Medicare, and looks forward to a great convention in Tampa, Florida.

But Romney of course never gets a break, so along comes Todd Akin, Missouri senate candidate and Tea Party favorite talking in an interview about what he calls “legitimate” rape and how women’s bodies can reject unwanted sperm and avoid pregnancy.

The firestorm on this one will spill over into the convention as Akin and Ryan hold abortion views almost identical. Ryan denies the word “legitimate” rape declaring “rape is rape” but avoiding that he offered legislation last year citing “forcible” rape, a concept not so very different from Akins.

And Ryan’s position is that rape or incest are not grounds for abortion anyhow, so the terms would not matter much. In this view 16 percent of Americans share Ryan’s position.

Romney’s own position, granting abortion for rape or incest, also has complexities because he has supported a “life begins at conception” approach on the Mike Huckabee show that would outlaw several forms of birth control.

None of these arguments are helping the Romney ticket with the women’s vote, where Romney trails by as much as 15 points.

Still not convinced Romney never gets a break?

There may be a hurricane in Tampa this week as the convention begins.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.