Politico has a story* cataloging the slings and arrows conservatives like Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, and Rupert Murdoch have been flinging at the hapless Mittens. It shows how loathed Mitt is by his own team. He’s kind of the A-Rod of the GOP. From the article:
“But in the past few weeks, the critiques have reached new levels of intensity, as columnists, commentators, operatives and donors fret that Romney is losing control of the 2012 debate amid a Democratic assault on his personal finances and stewardship of Bain Capital.
“Most of the criticism falls into one of several categories: Romney’s not a reliable conservative. He’s inarticulate about policy and light on vision. He’s not tough enough for a presidential campaign. The aides who surround Romney aren’t up to the job.”
I would add that all this was true when he ran last time, yet there was no serious Stop Mitt movement in the GOP.
I would also add that there may be years when Mitt paid no federal income taxes. Whether we assume that from his silence or we find it out because he’s eventually pushed into disclosure, that is devastating.
* “Conservative elites club Mitt Romney,” Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman
Bill Kristol expressed the fed-up sentiments of many Republicans/conservatives today when he said on Fox News Sunday that Mitt needs to release more tax returns:
“He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It’s crazy. You got to release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two.”
In interviews with five TV networks on Friday, Mitt was adamant that he won’t release more returns beyond 2010 and 2011 (so far just estimated, not final). He gave 23 years of returns to the McCain campaign when he was vetted for vice president in 2008.
Rupert Murdoch isn’t the only one beating up on Mitt and comparing him to John Kerry. Bill Kristol from TheWeeklyStandard, who helped bring us Sarah Palin, makes the same comparison and throws in Michael Dukakis for good measure.
He urges Mitt to “get off autopilot” and “actually think about the race he’s running.” But Mitt is too cautious to do the kind of fundamental campaign overhaul he needs, and besides, there’s no such thing as a personality transplant. Mitt is too “conservative” as a person to create and run the campaign conservatives want.
I don’t think the GOP’s comparing President Obama to Jimmy Carter is resonating, but their comparing their own hapless/hopeless guy to Kerry and Dukakis rings true.