On ABC’s This Week Obama campaign chairman Rahm Emanuel had a message for Mitt Romney, stop whining.
Transcript from This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you really believe, as Stephanie Cutter suggested just the other day, that Mitt Romney might have committed a felony when he signed those SEC reports?
EMANUEL: I think there’s — well, first of all, Stephanie cited the law, and it’s very clear. Either the filing with the SEC is accurate and his personal financial disclosure is not honest, or that’s honest and the SEC isn’t, but both can’t be accurate. Both cannot be accurate depicting a time where he said he was doing one thing or another. It’s just not possible.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He says it was just a formality…
STEPHANOPOULOS: … and he was untangling his — during the time he was untangling his involvement with Bain.
EMANUEL: He has — George, he has made Bain Capital his calling card for the presidency. And when you look at it, it doesn’t measure up to what he claims. And, number two, on both of those filings, one is accurate and one isn’t, and they both have consequences when one is not accurate. And that is what she stated.
And the second thing is, give it up about Stephanie. Don’t worry about that. What are you going to do when the Chinese leader says something to you or Putin says something to you? Going to whine it away (ph)? You cannot do that.
And as Mitt Romney said once to his own Republican colleagues, stop whining. I give him his own advice. Stop whining. Defend — if you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card to the White House, then defend what happened to Bain Capital and what happened to those jobs that went overseas, those jobs that were actually cut and eliminated, the companies that went into bankruptcy.
And the very companies at Bain that went into bankruptcy while Bain was still getting paid, same philosophy that led to him advocating that the auto industry go bankrupt. The president of the United States said, no, we’re going to defend Chrysler, we’re going to defend G.M., and today America’s auto industry is thriving, not in bankruptcy, as Mitt Romney had recommended.
To borrow a phrase from Christine O’Donnell, the Obama campaign is telling Romney to put his man pants on. As the man at the top of the organization, Mitt Romney isn’t used to being challenged by anyone. What he says goes. Due to his position of extreme wealth, Romney is never challenged in his daily life either.
Romney is having trouble operating in the world of presidential electoral politics where declaring that voters don’t need to see his tax returns, and that he left Bain when he said he did, isn’t enough. Romney s acting like an insulated, spoiled rich boy who can’t handle not getting his own way.
The Romney campaign’s pathological demands for apologies and retractions show a campaign that can’t take a punch.
After Mitt Romney demanded an apology, the Obama the campaign told him to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Romney has continued to moan and groan, so they are telling him to stop whining and start campaigning.
The Obama campaign is painting Romney as a soft, weak, whiner. A man who beneath all of the attacks he deploys is someone who can’t be trusted and lacks the strength to be president.
Americans love presidents who portray or exhibit strength. JFK did it. Ronald Reagan portrayed himself as the presidential embodiment of America’s Cold War strength. Obama did it when he gave the successful order to kill Bin Laden. Every successful president has had a moment when they embodied America’s collective self perception of strength.
Candidates who were defined as soft like George H.W. Bush, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry all lost presidential elections. What started out as an attack on Romney’s shady finances is morphing into public image that will be hard to shake.
The Obama campaign is successfully creating an image of Romney as someone who voters shouldn’t like and want as president. Calling Romney a whiner is the equivalent of George H.W. Bush being called a wimp.
The Obama campaign knows that nobody likes a whiner, and nobody wants a whiner to be president.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association