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Romney: We’re Fine. Nothing to See Here.

Mitt Romney went on 60 Minutes on Sunday night and struck the Alfred E. Newman “What, me worry?” pose, saying that his campaign is doing just fine and there’s no problem at all. I especially loved this bit of word salad:

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?”

Romney: “Well, actually, we’re tied in the polls. We’re all within the margin of error. We bounce around — 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.”

We’re going to stick with my message, which is cliche, platitude, wishful thinking, painfully obvious statement and meaningless catchphrase. Inspiring, isn’t it?

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?”

Romney: “Well, it doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to [sic] the United States.”

Right. That’s why your campaign was repeatedly saying they were going to “reboot” and “retool the messaging” last Monday — and that was before that 47% tape was revealed. Because everything was doing so well for you. I don’t think he’s insulting my intelligence here; I think he’s insulting the very idea of intelligence.

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    I’d guess he actually believes the bullshit he’s spouting, because the yes-men he surrounds himself with are still telling him what they think he wants to hear. Like most CEO’s, he’s developed the knack of completely tuning out bad news from other sources.

  2. slc1 says

    I’m beginning to think that the comment made about General Henry Halleck during the Civil War is applicable to Romney. A vast emptiness surrounded by an education.

  3. says

    You missed the part in the interview where the blue screen of death flashed in Mittbot2012′s eyes. His handler hand to run out with a paper clip to see if she could press the emergency reset button. Well, these early models still have a few kinks. I can’t wait until the Mittbot2016 model comes out.

  4. ArtK says

    @ slc1
    Great quote

    @ Trebuchet

    For a long time, I thought all of the maneuvering was cynical manipulation. Now, I’m with you that Romney (and really, the entire GOP) truly believes this stuff. Self-delusion runs deep on the right.

  5. says

    Finally, I understand. I see what Romney is, and his problem is clear to me: he is simply not intelligent. Privileged, yes. Educated, yes. But not intelligent.
    Furthermore, he is oblivious.

  6. gshelley says

    I don’t know who his target audience is, though it seems he is still focussing on the Obama haters

    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.

    is surely only going to appeal to the people who think Obama is a socialisit who opposes entrapeneurship, innovation and private sector hiring

  7. Michael Heath says

    I don’t think Mr. Romney’s response was a lack of intelligence. Instead I think he reacted in a way he thought was optimal for his campaign. The fact his campaign is actually tacking demonstrates he’s aware that he’s both behind and sinking.

  8. raven says

    Finally, I understand. I see what Romney is, and his problem is clear to me: he is simply not intelligent.

    That might well be true.

    On the Zingularity FTB, Romney is quoted babbling on about cold fusion and how it is good at conducting electricity.

    Which makes no sense. This is high school level basic science that he doesn’t seem to understand.

  9. ianken says

    The problem with the “Romney as a CEO” and his campaign as a “business” angle is this:

    As a CEO he has never run a business that MAKES STUFF and uses its own money to take the risk. Ever. He has personally never had to take any sort of risk of any kind.

    Bain, for him and his partners, was 100% risk free. What? Plan imploded? Not a problem, Bain gets a cut no matter what.

    This explains his campaign. It’s totally imploding, but none of it is his money, or his risk. He has nothing to lose. As with Bain, he’s taking others money and is blindly executing on a failing plan.

    Fun to watch, that’s for sure.

    On a side note: the ads on the right side of the site in the pop out window are mostly scams, Ed. “Redmond Mom makes $72/hr Online!” Right. “New iPad for $40?” um. Sure. Looks bad, Ed.

  10. jamessweet says

    Q: You are slipping in the polls at this moment…How are you going to turn this campaign around?”

    A: Well, actually, we’re…within the margin of error.

    Hah. This reminds me of when there is some discussion about a particular truth claim, whether it be something as profound as the existence of god(s) or something as mundane as Bigfoot, and the person who realizes reason is not on their side plays the epistemological nihilism card. “Look man, you can’t KNOW anything.” Well, yes, sort of. But regardless of whether you believe the Problem of Induction is intractable (as I happen to), that has very little real world bearing on whether I should believe that you saw Sasquatch.

    It’s the same principle Romney is employing here. “You’re behind in the polls.” “Whatever man, they’re just polls.” Well, yes, the polls could be wrong. But that wasn’t the question, was it?

  11. DaveL says

    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.”

    Mitt Romney aboard the Titanic:

    “It’s time to secure the safety of everyone on board, not by stuffing them into lifeboats, but by making the hull watertight.”

    Awesome idea, genius, but how exactly do you intend to do that? So far, your only idea seems to be to stop launching lifeboats.

  12. Randomfactor says

    According to his first mate, Paul “Gilligan” Ryan, he’s going to issue vouchers redeemable for private ship excursions.

  13. says

    Mitt Romney aboard the Titanic:

    “47% of the passengers on this ship are depending on the crew to do everything for them, instead of cooking their own meals and making their own lifeboats. That’s not the way to get this ship floating again. If I become captain, I will get rid of this culture of dependency. Oh, and our current captain doesn’t know how to deal with ice.”

  14. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Oddly enough, this “tied in the polls” or “neck and neck” bullshit has been all over the British media for months. It’s crap. Obama has had a small but extremely persistent lead all year according to Real Clear Politics – well, there were 2 days, September 5 and 6, shortly after the RNC (which contrary to another media meme, did give the Republicans a small “bounce”), when they were shown as tied.

  15. raven says

    Oddly enough, this “tied in the polls” or “neck and neck” bullshit has been all over the British media for months. It’s crap.

    It’s still bad news.

    It’s still almost half the US voting population.

    In a sane world, Romney would be polling 30% at best.

    The bad thing about having one close call after another, is the law of averages. Sooner or later, it won’t be a close call, it will be your last call.

  16. busterggi says

    He believes it you know.

    All of the Republican candidates truly believed they were hand-picked by god to become POTUS and refused to believe otherwise until forced to.

    When someone sees themselves as an agent for the divine there is no reasoning with them.

  17. says

    Nick Gotts (formerly KG) “…well, there were 2 days, September 5 and 6, shortly after the RNC (which contrary to another media meme, did give the Republicans a small ‘bounce’), when they were shown as tied.”
    To be fair, that bounce was from people who thought in Novemember they could vote for Clint Eastwood and his chair.

  18. Eric R says

    On a side note: the ads on the right side of the site in the pop out window are mostly scams, Ed. “Redmond Mom makes $72/hr Online!” Right. “New iPad for $40?” um. Sure. Looks bad, Ed.

    Theres a mom in Redmond doing that too? we got one down here in San diego making the same amount!!! /snark

    I agree, looks bad

  19. Ben P says

    Which makes no sense. This is high school level basic science that he doesn’t seem to understand.

    I think that follows naturally from the type of businessman that he was.

    A lot of companies are run by the people who specialize in the thing that the company does. This is companies that build machinery being run by engineers, and companies that sell a product, by people who have a deep interest in the product. If you read Matt Taibbi’s Bain article in Rolling stone there’s an odd anecdote about how the founder and former CEO of KB Toys went to sleep every night reading the inventory list of his company. The guy founded a toy store and grew it into the second largest toystore chain in the country because he had a slightly crazy passion for toys.

    On one level, that’s a great thing. You can’t build a company unless you have passion for what your doing, and the rare people who have passion for finances typically become investment bankers, not entrepreneurs.

    However, it’s also accurate to say a great many of those companies are successful, but not necessarily well run, and when they hit a bump in the road, the owners don’t always know how to react.

    That’s where people like Romney came in. Romney is the exact opposite of an engineer who builds a company because he loves what the company does. He is the guy who doesn’t care what the company does, but is so confident in his abilities to do market research, look at spreadsheets and ledgers and know what needs to be done to run a company *properly,* that he doesn’t need to know, and doesn’t care about the specifics involved.

  20. becca says

    That’s where people like Romney came in. Romney is the exact opposite of an engineer who builds a company because he loves what the company does. He is the guy who doesn’t care what the company does, but is so confident in his abilities to do market research, look at spreadsheets and ledgers and know what needs to be done to run a company *properly,* that he doesn’t need to know, and doesn’t care about the specifics involved.

    This is the kind of thinking that drove Borders into bankruptcy.

  21. says

    Based on the behavior of Romney and the republicans I keep expecting someone to jump out from behind a door and scream, “You’ve been punked!”. Or wake up, like Pam on Dallas.

  22. says

    I don’t think that they are being stupid I think that Mitt has no option but to play the we are doing fine card. The GOP has a bit of a cash issue at the moment and they are worried that people don’t want to give money to a losing cause. However, if it was a week before election day then the opposite will be true. You want to seem to be the underdog so that your supporters will make the effort to go out and vote.

  23. d cwilson says

    Romney has a rare gift: The ability to spew out lengthy sentences and huge volumes of words and yet not say anything at all. That skill must have served him well as a CEO telling the workers at the company Bain just took over that their jobs are perfectly safe even as he’s saddling the company with billions in debt. It also carried him through the GOP debates when Rick Perry was forgetting where he was or Michele Bachmann was arguing with the voices in her her.

    But in a time when Americans want to know that their leaders actually have a specific plan or vision on how to steer the country through these rough times, not so much.

  24. Michael Heath says

    Ben P writes:

    However, it’s also accurate to say a great many of those companies are successful, but not necessarily well run, and when they hit a bump in the road, the owners don’t always know how to react.

    That’s where people like Romney came in. Romney is the exact opposite of an engineer who builds a company because he loves what the company does. He is the guy who doesn’t care what the company does, but is so confident in his abilities to do market research, look at spreadsheets and ledgers and know what needs to be done to run a company *properly,* that he doesn’t need to know, and doesn’t care about the specifics involved.

    I think your entire post, not just what I quote here, is spot on; until you get to where Romney comes in. The reason Mr. Romney entrance was so destructive to many (most?) of the companies Bain Capital touched was that their priorities were different from the long-term viability of the business. Instead his focus was to turn a quick dollar for Bain Capital and its investors, even if that meant leaving the company in ruins.

    So it wasn’t a Romney or Bain Capital lack of expertise on the core excellence of these companies that caused their ruin, it was instead that Bain Capital was merely looking to extract their targeted company’s assets for the gain of Bain Capital, with no qualms on how that affected that companies other stakeholders. Even if it meant the ruin of the company, they made money and moved on to pillage other companies.

    As a businessman and someone whose constantly defending business-people in this forum, predominately because so many liberals do not appreciate the investment and value businesses bring to all of us; Mr. Romney’s one of the most reprehensible people I’ve come across. After this campaign is over and assuming he’s lost, the country’s still lost because his legacy stains the reputation of business people in general. If Mr. Romney’s behavior was the norm, than there’d be nothing to defend.

  25. StevoR says

    No beliefs besides me, me, me.
    No plans besides I wanna be POTUS.
    Not enough brains to blow smoke through an open aircraft’s window.
    Not Romney is perhaps better than Mittens,
    Till you see the alternatives,
    But Mitt has nothing, nothing good, to offer at all,
    Wipe that etch a sketch clean
    Don’t strap your dog to the roof of your car
    That’s NOT nothing.
    Come 2013
    Mitt Romeny will be
    Nothing, nothing, nothing
    At all.
    But bad dreams.

  26. Tim DeLaney says

    As a businessman and someone whose constantly defending business-people in this forum, predominately because so many liberals do not appreciate the investment and value businesses bring to all of us …

    I agree with pretty much all of your post except the above.

    Now, obviously there are “many liberals” that don’t appreciate what businesses do, but the same can be said of “many conservatives” and “many centrists”. The way you worded this makes it sound like you believe that this is predominently a liberal failing.

    Please don’t tarnish the left side of the spectrum without a scrap of evidence.

  27. abb3w says

    On most individual polls of the national electorate, he is still within the margin of error.

    Unfortuntately for Romney, the aggregate effect of multiple polls reduces that margin such that Obama’s lead becomes larger than the margin of error.

    Also unfortunately, the election is not won by the national popular vote, but state-by-state; and the aggregate state-by-state polls in the swing states has him ominously behind.

  28. says

    Michael Heath “The reason Mr. Romney entrance was so destructive to many (most?) of the companies Bain Capital touched was that their priorities were different from the long-term viability of the business. Instead his focus was to turn a quick dollar for Bain Capital and its investors, even if that meant leaving the company in ruins.”
    Yes. He’s a Job Creator.

  29. says

    So it wasn’t a Romney or Bain Capital lack of expertise on the core excellence of these companies that caused their ruin, it was instead that Bain Capital was merely looking to extract their targeted company’s assets for the gain of Bain Capital, with no qualms on how that affected that companies other stakeholders.

    Michael Heath, your description above reminds me of that scene from Goodfellas where Paul Vario takes over that bar whose owner was terrified by Tommy.

  30. Michael Heath says

    Me earlier:

    As a businessman and someone whose constantly defending business-people in this forum, predominately because so many liberals do not appreciate the investment and value businesses bring to all of us …

    Tim Delaney responds:

    I agree with pretty much all of your post except the above.

    Now, obviously there are “many liberals” that don’t appreciate what businesses do, but the same can be said of “many conservatives” and “many centrists”. The way you worded this makes it sound like you believe that this is predominently a liberal failing.

    Please don’t tarnish the left side of the spectrum without a scrap of evidence.

    I think you missed the “in this forum” framing I wrote above. You could very well be correct if I was referencing the country and lacked empirical data to support this assertion. But that’s not the context of my assertion, it’s instead my observations within Ed’s blog, where we have no conservatives or centrists making anti-business cases or caricaturing business in general. Only liberals do that here, where I’ve repeatedly also noted how this percentage on the left is both dwindling and now effectively bereft of power in national politics, even within the Democratic party itself which is now run by pro-business centrists and moderates.

  31. eldinalver says

    So yeah, you all hate Romney. I agree; Romney’s a condescending out of touch douche. However, why do you guys like Obama? I think Obama’s an alright guy but I don’t think he’s been a remotely good president.

  32. Michael Heath says

    eldinalver writes:

    I think Obama’s an alright guy but I don’t think he’s been a remotely good president.

    Do you disagree with the president’s nominations to the Supreme Court?

    What do you think about Senate Republicans successfully filibustering all the president’s annual budgets? How does that play into the president’s performance and how do you parse out culpability?

    The Federal Reserve Bank has taken extraordinary expansionary measures given the depth of the recession which was amplified by the financial crisis. We empirically understand that recessionary economics works best when there is a complimentary effort of expansionary policies between The Fed and the federal and state governments; neither on its own is sufficient, especially in a deep recession.

    State governments have largely passed laws that require contractionary policies in the business down cycle, the very opposite fiscal policy needed to fight a recession and instead one that amplifies a recession. Senate Republicans and in this Congress, House Republicans, have been able to obstruct nearly all expansion-biased fiscal policies the president promoted with the exception of the original stimulus, which performed as predicted*, along with allowing some extensions to unemployment insurance. For example, Congressional Republcians successfully stopped all the jobs bills the president’s presented to them in this Congress. Responding that Democrats had 60 votes in the first Congress attendant to this president’s tenure doesn’t cut it as an excuse given the Senate had a quorum of 60 Democrats for mere weeks given the ill health of two of those Democratic presidents who since died, Senators Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy, which was the time the president had passed a stimulus that was successful relative to its size and components. In addition even when the Senate had 60 Democrats in the quorum in early- to mid-2009, four Democratic-caucusing Senators in the last Congress were largely conservative in their voting patterns, to the point they frequently filibustered their own caucus. That’d be Senators Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, and Joe Lieberman. So even beyond the partisan battle in the Congress – and the unprecedented rate those two Congress’ Republicans have filibustered, the president’s administration has been obstructed by conservatives, an ideological population that not only totally controls the Republican party, but also was able to impact Democratic caucuses.

    So, how do you weigh Congress performance when weighing the president? Do you downgrade the president because he wasn’t able to conjure up a spell that reversed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s clearly stated #1 objective – to insure this presidency was a failure? My point? President’s don’t perform in a vacuum, they don’t have absolute power but are instead checked by other forces, and not just the Congress but as we observe in this period, state government fiscal policies as well. I suggest judging presidential performance based on what they control and then judge them mercifully on their ability to change the context within which their opponents engage.

    The two primary factors the Reagan presidency enjoyed legislative success working with Congress was because Congressional Democrats prioritized the country’s interests over partisanship and worked with Mr. Reagan. In return President Reagan frequently abandoned conservative dogma to cut deals that were centrist, non-conservative, and in some cases liberal. We do not observe such bipartisanship from Republicans in Congress; so who do we assign responsibility for that towards? President Obama?

    *Those who’ve created the false meme regarding a promised rate that didn’t happen do so to avoid the real metric, which is the change in jobs. The rate at the time the stimulus was developed was vastly underestimated, jobs were actually being lost in CY Q4’08/-Q1’09 much worse than understood in Q1’09 and into Q2’09. Where the stimulus impacted job growth correlative to its size and the weighted average of its stimulative factors.

  33. Chiroptera says

    eldinalver, #36: However, why do you guys like Obama?

    If you’d read the comments and the posts on this blog, I think you’d find that most people here don’t “like” Obama as much as they view him as the far, far better choice when compared to Romney (or to any of the other clowns the Republicans were putting up during the nomination).

  34. Michael Heath says

    Chiroptera,

    I agree with your point, however I do want to point out I think this president has done very well in the context within which he’s performed. Not great, not amazing, but very well.

    Amazing would have required the president to get Congressional Republicans to stop denying climate change, work to mitigate it, and end their unprecedented rate of filibustering on items of great national performance. From this context I think this president has the capacity to be a great president, but isn’t able to change the context within which he operates like President Reagan did who again, confronted an opposition party willing to work with him rather than obstruct him, where Reagan returned that favor – something we know President Obama has done to the point he starts out at center-right positions like his debt reduction offer or not attempting to cut drug costs in his healthcare reform plan. I think Republican leaders (not all Republican members of Congress) know the opportunity for great Obama success, which is exactly why the sane leaders like Sen. McConnell, Kantor, and Boehner have cynically worked so hard to obstruct him. Not because they disagree with him ideologically.

    If you consider the rate of our economic recovery not against past recessions, but instead past recessions which also suffered a financial crisis, we’re actually distinguishing ourselves in the speec of this of recovery. However that just shows how ignorant economists were when it comes to economics until the 1970s; where today’s excuse is determinedly ignorant conservative policy makers who care more about politics than outcomes.

  35. dingojack says

    Michael – “… past recessions which also suffered a financial crisis…”

    Such as? *
    Dingo
    —–
    * I’m not doubting you, I’d just like some data points

  36. Michael Heath says

    DJ – here’s the most recent related graph I’ve encountered: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-an-even-scarier-jobs-chart-2012-9

    I prefer another one that tracks GDP growth/loss trends. However that was from awhile back where I lost all my bookmarks about a couple of months ago going back years.

    I use Xmarks to sync all my bookmarks across all three browsers and both devices I use (laptop and smartphone); that software is not stable where I was losing a lot of bookmarks late-last year to about mid-this year until they did something to stabilize it. While I back-up my data, I couldn’t incorporate the old saved HTML files to what I’d changed by adding more bookmarks. Technically I still have the old bookmarks in a file which is archived in my back-up drive where I’m waiting to insure recent Xmark updates make the software stable enough to add a second folder of bookmarks – especially since there’s thousands, if not 10,000 plus bookmarks in that archived file. Besides all the bookmarked pages I lost on economic findings, I lost thousands of bookmarks related to climate science findings; those bookmarks made it possible to effortlessly link to cites which falsify climate change denialist claims.

  37. Chiroptera says

    Michael Heath, #39: …however I do want to point out I think this president has done very well in the context within which he’s performed.

    I am aware that you have a more positive opinion of Obama than many here, and there are one or two more. However, I think that it is pretty clear that most people are very, very critical of Obama — to the point that it appears to me that most are even a bit negative about Obama overall — so eldinalver’s question about why so many of us “like” Obama seemed a bit strange.

    It could be that eldin meant why so many of us “prefer” Obama, but, given what is written in most posts and comments, that question would be even stranger.

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