Analysts: Romney Campaign Struggling

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to reporters about a secretly-taped video from one of his campaign fundraising events in Costa Mesa, California, September 17, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to reporters about a secretly-taped video from one of his campaign fundraising events in Costa Mesa, California, September 17, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is on the defensive again, this time over comments he made at a private fundraising event months ago that supporters of his Democratic opponent, President Barack Obama, depend on government and see themselves as “victims.”  Political analysts say it is the latest in a series of missteps for the Romney campaign at a crucial time in the U.S. presidential race.

The Romney comments come from a secretly recorded video obtained by the liberal magazine Mother Jones magazine of a private campaign fundraiser in Florida in May.

Romney told donors that 47 percent of voters will vote for President Obama no matter what.  He then went on to characterize those voters as dependent on government help and people who see themselves as “victims.”

“There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it," said Romney.

Romney is also seen commenting on the situation in the Middle East, telling donors that the Palestinians are committed to eliminating Israel and have no interest in peace.

The Romney comments drew a sharp response from the Obama campaign.  A statement said Romney's remarks are “shocking” and that the candidate had “disdainfully written off half the nation.”

Romney spoke about the leaked video clips at a news conference.



“It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way," said Romney. "I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question, and I’m sure I could state it more clearly and in a more effective way.”

The Obama campaign quickly issued out a Web video ad with voters reacting to the Romney comments.

WOMAN #1:  “I think the fact that Mitt Romney made all these comments behind closed doors really shows his character.”

WOMAN #2:  “I just think it sends a bad message.  I think it’s not the person I would want representing me.”

Political analysts say the comments could keep Romney on the defensive for a while.

Analyst Scot Faulkner is a Republican who worked for President Ronald Reagan and for Republican congressional leaders during the 1990s.

“It’s going to hurt [former Massachusetts] Governor Romney for several reasons and the first one is that people are worried about the economy, not social warfare," said Faulkner. "At best, it puts him on to a side track.  And at worst, it could be a sound bite that could be replayed in countless numbers of commercials going into the election.”

Analysts say Romney is in the midst of a bad two week period for his campaign that began with little in the way of a boost in the public opinion surveys following the Republican Party's national convention in Tampa.

Romney then criticized the Obama administration’s handling of protests targeting the United States in the Middle East, especially those directed at the American embassy in Egypt.  Even some Republicans thought his remarks were ill-timed given the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, after an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Longtime political observer Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News says the recent controversies have taken Romney off of his core campaign message about restoring the U.S. economy.

“I think this has not been a very good several days for Governor Romney.  He looked opportunistic," said DeFrank. "He looked like jumped to say something critical before the facts were in.  This has not been a wise situation for him to have waded into.”

Political strategist Matthew Dowd told ABC television’s "Good Morning America" program that Romney’s best chance to reassert himself in the presidential campaign will come with the first of three presidential debates next month.

“I think it all comes down to that first debate on October 3," said Dowd. "It is the only opportunity he is going to have to shift from these unforced errors, to shift from these cracks in the foundation and try to repair it and move on in the final 30 days [of the campaign].”

Public opinion surveys show that voters still find President Obama more likeable than Romney.

Analyst Scot Faulkner says that remains a key challenge for the Romney camp in the closing weeks of the campaign.  

“Americans want a leader, but they want a leader they can relate to," said Faulkner. "In many ways, Americans are looking at a president who is not only running for president, but almost running for neighbor.  And if they can’t relate to him, that is going to harm him.”

Recent surveys show President Obama pulling into a modest lead over Romney since the Democratic Party's national convention, both nationally and in several so-called battleground states where the two candidates are waging fierce campaigns.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alex Nitup from: Russia
September 19, 2012 2:43 PM
I think that Mitt Romney is right when he says about. But I think he needs a steps to allure a voters from a democrats camp to his one. The victory is an art.
Remark: Do that step at right moment.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 19, 2012 1:56 PM
These polls are grossly insincere. I hope this is not the picture of American democracy. If it is, then Romney should quietly go home and sleep, because the election has already been rigged by VOA. It should not be only pro-Obama contributions you to publish if you are serving the reading and listening public.

by: stan chaz from: New York City
September 19, 2012 5:36 AM
Romney and Co. smile and smirk and say to us:
To HELL with all those “moochers” and “free-loaders”
on Medicare, or Veterans Benefits, or Pell Grants,
or Social Security, or Unemployment,
or Medicaid, or Food Stamps, or on Disability,
To HELL with all those struggling to stay afloat,
and to those in the Middle-class, or hoping to get there.
To HELL with the hungry, the homeless, the helpless,
and the hopeless, to all the biblical “least of these”.
To HELL with the “48% of America”
that Romney so easily dismisses and disrespects.
“Cause -- for sure -- they’re just shamelessly sponging off
of him, and his poor-poor-poor super-rich friends
...all those super-rich folks who want to buy this election,
... and the rest of this proud country.
Trickle-down....let them eat cake...it’s all the same. Always has been.
Crumbs for us, Cadillacs and car elevators, loopholes & lower taxes for them.
That is, if they pay ANY taxes at all....
But tell me - who are the REAL takers,
who are the REAL creators, the TRUE workers?
Whose sweat, on whose brows, has built this great country?
The Romney’s of this world ...or us?
But we still have a voice. It’s called our VOTE.
Use it. Tell them. Refute them. Challenge them.
Just say NO. Loud and Clear.
Say no to Romney & Co. ...and what they stand for.
This is STILL our country. Our children’s country.
And we mean to keep it that way.

by: Godwin from: Accra
September 19, 2012 5:30 AM
But is it really true that Romney's choice of vice president was ever on social security? So why lump everyone on social security together as being victims when people could genuinely be on social security through no fault of theirs just as his vice was once on it?

by: Islam from: Algeria
September 18, 2012 6:05 PM
I think that campaign of presidential , is to make israel strong and steel the mid- east's natural power that allah almighity bestowed it ... and you know america is just serving israel country which will never be .... because for me ( they are dreaming)

by: Marine from: USA
September 18, 2012 2:58 PM
hey what is so controversial...??? we know that Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis... all of them are the same people... they are all Arabs...!!!! i wish the Iranians will destroy them already...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs