It's Getting Dumber Out
(Editorial cartoon by Kevin Siers / The Charlotte Observer (July 16, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge and then please return.)
Poor Mitt Romney: he's having a miserable July and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. The Obama campaign has been ruthless in its attack on Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and the Romney campaign just can't find a way out of the issue. It doesn't help that the candidate himself keeps issuing sound bites that sound remarkably like whining.
Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has a pretty decent analysis of just what it going on.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to struggle to get out from under questions regarding just when he departed from his job at Bain Capital. And there’s reason to believe that he won’t be able to solve his Bain problem anytime soon.
Politics 101 says that when your campaign is bleeding — and Romney’s camp is bleeding right now — the best way to stop it is to get as many facts out as quickly as possible and then insist that it’s a dead issue and refuse to answer questions on it moving forward.
That won’t likely work for Romney because of the seeming contradictions about when he left the company — and the exotic nature of his financial life.
While most independent fact checkers agree that Romney had no involvement in Bain’s day-to-day operations after 1999, the fact that he was listed on Securities and Exchange Commission documents as chairman and president of Bain creates a fuzziness that allows President Obama’s campaign to continue to hammer away on the issue. ...
That fuzziness was furthered over the weekend by Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie who said that the former Massachusetts governor had “retroactively” retired in 1999. [Emphasis added]
Sheesh! A senior adviser offered that as an answer? I'm beginning to wonder if Mitt's judgement in whom to surround himself with took an even bigger hit by that off-the-wall comment. I mean, Ed Gillespie is supposed to know his way around campaigns. I'm not certain after that comment that Gillespie can be trusted to find the men's room for his candidate.
But wait! There's more.
GOP regulars have to be getting nervous at this point. The convention is less than a month away and the election less than four months away. The last thing Republicans want is a candidate badly wounded after Labor Day. And the Bain Capital issue isn't the only one that's tripping Romney up. There's also the issue of his refusal to release tax returns. Bill Kristol, a noted conservative commentator has some "constructive criticism" for his party's candidate:
Political analyst Bill Kristol added on Sunday to conservative criticism of Mitt Romney's failure to release multiple years of tax returns, saying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee should bear the political consequences of his tax record.
"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said on "Fox News Sunday." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."
Kristol also called on Romney to engage in a "serious" debate with President Barack Obama over capitalism and redirect the political conversation back to the president's record on the economy.
At this point, Romney continues to resist. He doesn't think he should have to because Teresa Heinz Kerry didn't release her tax returns (say what? LOL). Of course, he may have good reasons to fear doing so if there are any Bain earnings posted after 2000.
So, I've been complaining about the dog days of the campaign, but it's gotten kind of fun the past two weeks. Unfortunately, none of this helps the electorate out when it comes to seeing/hearing specific plans for the economy, foreign policy, health costs, the environment. I guess that would be asking too much.