In a CBS 60 Minutes interview with Scott Pelley, Mitt Romney denied that his campaign is in trouble. He seems to believe that if he keeps telling everyone that he’s tied with the President, it will be true. Pelley asked him about the secret video tape of his comments that 47% of Americans are victims who are dependent upon government, and Romney claimed that those comments were him, not his campaign.
Read an excerpt and weep:
Scott Pelley: You are slipping in the polls at this moment. A lot of Republicans are concerned about this campaign. You bill yourself as a turnaround artist. How are you going to turn this campaign around?
Mitt Romney: Well, actually, we’re tied in the polls. We’re all within the margin of error. We bounce aroun — week to week– day to day. There are some days we’re up. There are some days we’re down. We go forward with my message, that this is a time to reinvigorate the American economy, not by expanding government and raising taxes on people, but instead by making sure government encourages entrepreneurship and innovation and gets the private sector hiring again.
Scott Pelley: Governor, I appreciate your message very much. But that wasn’t precisely the question. You’re the CEO of this campaign. A lot of Republicans would like to know, a lot of your donors would like to know, how do you turn this thing around? You’ve got a little more than six weeks. What do you do?
Mitt Romney: Well, it doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States.
Scott Pelley: Well– as you know, a lot of people were concerned about the video of the fundraiser in which you talked about the 47 percent of the American people who don’t pay taxes. Peggy Noonan, a very well-known conservative columnist, said that it was an example of this campaign being incompetent. And I wonder if any of that criticism gets through to you and whether you’re concerned about it at all, whether–
Mitt Romney: Well, that’s not–
Scott Pelley: –the concerns of Republicans–
Mitt Romney: That’s not…that’s not the campaign. That was me, right? I– that’s not a campaign.
Scott Pelley: You are the campaign–
Mitt Romney: I’ve got a very effective campaign. It’s doing a very good job. But not everything I say is elegant. And I want to make it very clear, I want to help 100 percent of the American people.
Not only does Romney deny that he’s “slipping” in the polls right now, but he now thinks he can sell that his campaign that is selling him as a CEO turnaround Mr. Fix It is not about him.
It sorta makes you long for Sarah Palin.
Mitt Romney is, in fact, trailing in national polls as well as in swing states. Romney is also losing his home states right now by wide margins, and losing his Vice Presidential candidate’s home state. This is not a good thing, as no candidate since 1916 has won the White House while losing their home state.
Congressional Republicans and Republican Governors are running away from Romney, blaming him for their falling poll numbers. The campaign sent Paul Ryan out to soothe the fears of Republicans yesterday, and he told them that out on the trail, the “energy” was high. Indeed it was, as Ryan was booed today at his AARP speech, but I doubt this is the kind of energy he meant.
The Romney campaign also released his 2011 tax returns today, and he included a top sheet of a “summary” of his tax returns for previous years, which has caused political brains to ask “is this a joke”? Had Romney not deferred his deductions, his rate could have been as low as 9.6%, making him one of the 47% that he loathes, but no matter — Romney can always amend his returns after the election and get a big check from Uncle Sam like a good conservative.
No, indeed, Romney isn’t kidding. This is Romney’s idea of an “effective” campaign. If Mitt Romney really believes that, he has no business billing himself as a “turnaround” artist, let alone a good manager. Denial has never been high on the list of attributes for successful business owners.
This announcement that his campaign is fine is as deluded as McCain’s “the fundamentals of the economy are fine” moment. How can someone be running for the leader of the free world and yet be so unwilling to deal with reality? Republicans are wishing Romney could sell Romney off and “turnaround” the Romney campaign sans Romney.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.