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Mitt Romney's new sloga,
Mitt Romney has a problem. A big one, as it turns out:
[Haley] Barbour’s firm Resurgent Republic conducted focus groups of blue collar voters in Ohio and suburban women in Virginia who supported Obama in 2008 but are now undecided. Both are swing demographics that Romney is working to win over in order to flip each state from blue to red.

Their findings? Voters are a lot more willing to believe attacks based around Romney quotes than they are on Obama quotes.

“Whenever we showed direct quotes from President Obama over the last few years, voters consistently say that this is probably taken out of context and they don’t seem to hold that same standard with Governor Romney,” pollster Linda DiVall, who conducted the Virginia focus groups, said in a conference call announcing the findings Monday.

These voters may not be as keen on Obama as they once were, but they still find him a lot more trustworthy than the other guy. That doesn't bode well for the Romney campaign's efforts to lure them. Well, that and the part where the Romney campaign keeps saying genuinely offensive stuff (47 percent of you suck) versus things that you have to stretch considerably more in order to make offensive (who built what). So yes, I don't think it's particularly surprising that the anti-Obama stuff is sticking less.

The punditry is ablaze today with what Mitt Romney really ought to be doing in his debates, but precious little of it seems to understand the core Romney dilemma: He has nothing to ofter people like this. He's not offering them tax cuts, because they're not rich. He's not offering them freedom from government tyranny, because they're they're not energy companies or hedge fund managers. He's very, very quietly offering to cut whatever services they might rely on, and to give them worse health insurance than before, but both of those things have less-than-obvious appeal to anyone who does not need their own personal ideology validated. Mostly, he is running on the premise that America needs to be terrified of Obama because he might do a bunch of things he hasn't done—not an easy sell—or on the notion that Obama has not cleaned up the last Republican disaster quick enough, which only works if the listener has forgotten the "Republican disaster" part, which all polling indicates they haven't.

So even if Mitt Romney comes out as Mr. Swell Guy in the debates, the kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile takeover of a beer company with, I'm not sure how much that helps him. His problem is that he has no policies that help the people he needs to woo, and that his time for convincing those people that his policies might help them through trickle-down magic has largely come and gone.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't look now (11+ / 0-)

    Drudge and Hannity are crowing about some tape from six years ago that is being released tonight. You know it's got to be Obama. What's the over under on the "controversy" of the tape being lame as hell?

  •  The kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile (20+ / 0-)

    takeover of a beer company with!!!!

    That wins the Internet today.

  •  Hunter, this: (15+ / 0-)
    the kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile takeover of a beer company with
    is perfect. Just perfect.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:34:51 PM PDT

  •  They're waiting for the zingers. (4+ / 0-)

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:35:42 PM PDT

  •  Anybody care to guess (0+ / 0-)

    what Drudge is on about with this teaser?

    CAMPAIGN DRAMA: VIDEO MADE 6 YEARS AGO SURFACES ON EVE OF FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE... DEVELOPING TONIGHT...

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:35:56 PM PDT

  •  Please stop (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarrieS1217, deep, bontemps2012

    obsessing over polls and let's focus on Republican voter suppression and other forms of cheating that they are well known for. It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:36:59 PM PDT

  •  Rmoney's message is like Judge Smails'... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012
    You'll get nothing and like it!

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:37:04 PM PDT

  •  Polling shows it's worse than that: (4+ / 0-)
    The punditry is ablaze today with what Mitt Romney really ought to be doing in his debates, but precious little of it seems to understand the core Romney dilemma: He has nothing to ofter people like this.
    Polling shows that people like them don't think Romney wants to help people like them.  And that was before he suggested forty seven percent were getting something that they didn't desere and only take due to character flaws.  Even if he were to offer something, people aren't going to believe the offer is bona fide.

    "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

    by Inland on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:38:29 PM PDT

  •  But but but Drudge has a secret tape of PBO to be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, bontemps2012

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:41:55 PM PDT

  •  because they're they're not energy (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up ! ! !
    Stop it. This is hard !

    by Churchill on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:45:25 PM PDT

  •  I want to know how tan he'll be. Tan? Brown? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012

    White?

    Yes, the Independents are favorable toward Obama. But Right Wingers are still talking the same old stuff, per an email sent by one today:

    Blaming Obama for Bailout, for Unemployment, for Hunger, for Mortgage problems, for factories closing, high taxes and poverty.

    Email ends with:

    But I wish I was a dog,
    and Obama was a tree!
    Where does one get this sticker?
    PRAY FOR YOUR PRESIDENT !

    When we got home my wife got out the Bible and opened it
    up to the scripture. She started laughing and laughing. Then sheread it to me. I couldn't believe what it said. I had a good
    laugh, too.

    Psalm 109:8 ~ "Let his days be few and brief;
    And let others step forward to replace him."

    At last -- I can honestly voice a biblical prayer for our
    President! Let us all bow our heads and pray.

    Then says:
    Proud to be a Christian!

    HA! Some Christian.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:47:12 PM PDT

  •  it's a corollary... (0+ / 0-)

    of the unrelenting onslaught against Obama for the past 45 months.

    And again, I think Bill Clinton's comments about hatred made a lot of people who harbored negative feelings towards Obama reassess exactly why they have them and if they're justified.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:51:06 PM PDT

  •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abelia
    the kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile takeover of a beer company with,
    I wish I'd thought of that one! Ha!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:53:06 PM PDT

  •  Biden's Comments today (0+ / 0-)

    Anyone hear about this? Wolf Blitzer was saying that Biden said that the "middle class has been buried over these last four years" and that Romney is already jumping on it...he had Pelosi on The Situation Room

  •  Even people who aren't really (0+ / 0-)

    politically savvy or invested are doubting Romney?  I wonder why.  Could it be that the Republican brand is what stinks?  He's a lousy candidate with Zee-ro interest in what Grover, Dick, and Karl may ask him to sign someday.  

    The GOP pundits and insiders need to stop blaming it all on Mitt, though.  They're a toxic waste dump.  Obama couldn't sell their shit, and he's a damn fine politician.

    Just a side note, I'm waiting patiently to see which of the top RNC people try to take the fall for Registration Fraud and vote theft.  With luck some of the Obama administration's evil spying on Americans will have been aimed at Sproule, Rove, Cheney et al.  I want to see Cheney go down for this shit.  Even the wacky right will have trouble defending treason and sedition.  They'd have loved a torture prosecution, this will make them cringe.  (most of them?  many of them?  a couple?  hell who knows, they're beyond comprehension.)

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:54:51 PM PDT

  •  Co-signed... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2
    He has nothing to ofter people like this. He's not offering them tax cuts, because they're not rich. He's not offering them freedom from government tyranny, because they're they're not energy companies or hedge fund managers. He's very, very quietly offering to cut whatever services they might rely on, and to give them worse health insurance than before, but both of those things have less-than-obvious appeal to anyone who does not need their own personal ideology validated. Mostly, he is running on the premise that America needs to be terrified of Obama because he might do a bunch of things he hasn't done—not an easy sell—or on the notion that Obama has not cleaned up the last Republican disaster quick enough, which only works if the listener has forgotten the "Republican disaster" part, which all polling indicates they haven't.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

    by tuma on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:55:17 PM PDT

  •  I'm not so sure it's entirely based on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, vcmvo2, chrismorgan

    trustworthiness. This has to be in some part based on the fact that after almost four years of his presidency, people have some notion that Obama is a decent guy, and after 6 years of running for president, that Romney is an ass nugget.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:55:23 PM PDT

  •  that ones easy. Building your entire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2

    Convention around a false quote has an impact.   Starting your campaign with a lie and saying screw the fact checkers may not be the brightest idea.  

    It is too easy.  Think of all the ads the President ran saying Mitt took me out of context. Here is the real quote.

    As they say, it ain't no fun when the rabbits got the gun.  

    “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” Former Democratic Congressman - Tom Perriello "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - MHP

    by justmy2 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:56:22 PM PDT

  •  I believe Romney has been OVER-preparing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueEyed In NC

    and it will bite him in the butt.  He's been obsessively hunkered down, memorizing zingers, taking twenty different advisers' suggestions about how to loosen up his face, friendly-fy his body language, really pin that president dude against the wall on his lack of plans or um...falsehoods or....what was I supposed to do again?  

    I think Romney is going to pull a Palin and spontaneously combust due to all the noise swimming in his brain.  Because the one thing Romney can't afford to do is relax and be himself.  Which is actually how you win debates.

  •  voters believe (0+ / 0-)

    the obama quotes are taken out of context because they are.

  •  Barbor kept pushing the 'failure' meme last (0+ / 0-)

    Sunday on This Week with George.  Cause I guess if Haley Barbor says it...  

  •  I'd stick with the devil (0+ / 0-)

    I'm with too, knowing what I have learned about Romney and company.

    I know a few people who've fallen out of the Obama fold and probably won't vote at all or will tout their moral superiority by taking a "principled stand", (I know, I was there for awhile and feel qualified to criticize this approach). But there is nothing I've been able to say to dissuade them.

    However,

    Many of us who were legitimately upset with certain Obama policies realize that, even if it is a well-worn argument to say that this is the most critical election of our time, that while it may not have been as true of other elections, it isnow!

    We know how high those stakes are...

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:00:43 PM PDT

  •  What's wrong can't be cured by zingers (0+ / 0-)

    Romney hit on the strategy of saying as little as possible in order to get elected because to say anything honest is to reveal insurmountable contradictions.  

    He says anything reasonable and people at this point won't believe him.  The right wing will climb his frame and he will have to retract it in a few hours or a few days.  

    If he says anything too right wing, the swing vote evaporates.  

    He is riding two dancing ponies that are dancing further apart.

    About all he can do is fall into deep poop.  

    There just isn't anything that he can say that won't just reveal that he really is the guy who led a gang to hold down a guy and cut his hair.  That is what he did for a living and how he made a huge amount of money.

    He doesn't have a clue how clueless he is.  Why is he running? because he thought he was entitled.  

    I can't wait until we don't hear any more from him.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:01:37 PM PDT

  •  Best Mitt Description Ever (0+ / 0-)
    the kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile takeover of a beer company with
  •  Love this: (0+ / 0-)
    So even if Mitt Romney comes out as Mr. Swell Guy in the debates, the kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile takeover of a beer company with

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:24:17 PM PDT

  •  One of the best lines ever written (0+ / 0-)
    So even if Mitt Romney comes out as Mr. Swell Guy in the debates, the kind of guy you'd like to have a hostile takeover of a beer company with,
    I'm eating lunch and almost choked when I read that line.  It's sublime.  

    I would never vote for a candidate just because they were likeable; after all Shrub came off as much more likeable than Gore and I'm sure it went a long way toward getting him within stealing distance of the election but it didn't work out so well as president.  However it doesn't hurt that a candidate is likeable.  Romney fails on both counts.  I wouldn't have voted for him anyway but he really is a very unlikable character.  And even when Obama has arguable sold liberals out he is still a likeable person who at least seems to have a life and a family I can relate to.    

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:33:02 PM PDT

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