Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Don't Worry Romney Supporters ...

... Romney's latest comments about the 47% of people not paying taxes voting for Barack Obama are not going to cause his numbers to go down. The race is just that stable.

People already think that he's dismissive of Obama voters (all of whom don't pay taxes and receive food stamps, welfare, and healthcare from the government).

What DOES hurt, however, is when Romney gets up and says he stands by it all. For the record Mitt, the right answer was to point out that 47% of Americans do not pay income tax and that's a fact. He should have emphasized that and been done with it.

Of course, 3% of Americans who pay no income tax earn more than $2 million a year (potentially Romney himself but I wonder where we'd look that up???). And a lot of the other people who pay no income tax are elderly Americans living on Social Security ... many of whom are voting for Romney.

But, today, he should have simply pointed out that 47% of Americans do not pay taxes and that is why we need tax reform. It is a stupid point to make ... but at least it would have moved him towards policy and away from the politics of this.

The problem with the Romney campaign is not that they make mistakes. Every campaign makes mistakes. The problem is that the Romney campaign compounds their mistakes by not pivoting to some larger point they DO want to make. They seem unable to make this basic presidential move - the pivot. They'd better figure it out quickly.


Dave said...

I agree, but also think his inability to pivot comes from structural (rather than personal) limitations in the makeup of the Republican selectorate; check out Ponnuru's piece in Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-17/the-right-is-wrong-to-pin-obama-s-edge-on-welfare-state.html).

Larry Becker said...

Interesting piece.