The Republican Establishment is fit to be tied. Mitt Romney is their guy. He’s the heir apparent to the Republican presidential nomination. Next in line. Experienced. Well-funded. Former governor. Businessman. Presidential looking. He is well organized in key primary states. But, it seems that the Republican electorate is not persuaded. Mitt can’t seem to convince more than about 25% of Republican primary voters that he’s the right choice. So what’s the deal?
By all accounts, Mitt Romney has all the traits that the typical Republican presidential candidate typically has. But, 2012 is not a typical election year. The American people are fearful and are sounding the alarm. The Obama nightmare is the beginning of the end. America is under attack and the enemy is the American President. Another 4 years of Barack Obama will seal the deal. Obama’s fundamental remaking of America will have succeeded. And America as we know it will have ceased to exist.
Republican primary voters are looking for a candidate who will take it to Obama head on. They’re looking for someone who will articulate a true, conservative vision for America. With boldness. Hard truths must be spoken and eagerly defended. Fresh, creative and big ideas are required. Americans are ready for tough solutions. And they are ready to fight for the country that they love. The fight must be extended beyond the presidency to Congress, state legislatures and local municipalities. This is an all out culture war for the future of America. Is Mitt ready for that?
Polls say no. Here’s why.
#1: He does not appear trustworthy
Is Mitt a flip flopper? Yes, but people are allowed to grow and learn and change their minds. Although, he has done it an awful lot and on fundamental core issues. Most people’s core beliefs don’t change. Apparently, Mitt’s can and have. Often.
#2: He’s got RINO (Republican In Name Only) written all over him
As the former Republican Governor of one of the most liberal states in the country, Mitt is highly suspect. Conservative voters, the backbone of the Republican party, are on the lookout for counterfeit conservatives. To conservatives, RINO’s are no better than liberal Democrats. They govern the same way. Because they talk like conservatives and walk like liberals, RINO’s are loathsome to the bulk of Republican primary voters.
It’s Obamacare Lite and he simply cannot escape it. When asked about Romneycare in debates or interviews, Mitt’s answers raise red flags as he sounds more and more like a D.C. politician engaging in D.C. doublespeak. Americans are in no mood for fast talkers and slick salesmen. The future of the nation is at stake. This is serious business. The electorate is looking for straight talk.
Candidates must jettison their well-honed, practiced answers and talk to the American people from the heart. Be genuine and authentic. If you messed up, say so. But, don’t make excuses and don’t hide behind the 10th Amendment or the voters of Massachusetts. Romneycare is a failure. It’s bankrupting Massachusetts. Man up and own up to it.
#4: Mitt is a skilled and practiced debater
In fact, he’s too practiced. His answers are canned and repetitive. Robotic. In fact, Romney is reminiscent of Hymie the robot on the 1960’s “Get Smart” television show. Stiff. Unreal. Looks human, but not the real McCoy. Having a good answer is important, but communicating and connecting with people is equally important. Study Reagan. When he spoke, America listened. Americans felt like they knew who Reagan really was. He was genuine and authentic.
It’s unpopular to say so, but the fact is that Mormonism remains an issue for Mitt. 75% of protestant pastors view Mormonism as a cult. It’s a mainstream view within protestant Christian churches. The unique theology of the Mormon Church and their proclamation that “we are Christians” is a problem for many protestant Christians and makes this an issue that will not go away.
#6: Mitt can get a little weird
When pressed and challenged on issues, Mitt Romney can lose his composure and act in strange ways. His recent interview with Fox News’ Brett Baier is one example. Baier is one of the most level-headed and fair interviewers in the business. Yet, Romney became offended when Baier touched on the issue of Romneycare. Later he told Baier that the tone of the interview was “uncalled for.” It was just plain silly. When Mitt got irritated in a debate exchange with Rick Perry, Mitt grabbed his shoulder, a clearly provocative move. Romney was lucky that Perry’s Southwest roots didn’t kick in and Perry didn’t grab Mitt’s shoulder, Texas style. Last Saturday, again irritated with Perry during a debate, Multi-Millionaire Mitt challenged Perry to a $10,000 bet. Like Rick Perry has $10,000 to burn? Like any Americans do? Dumb.
#7: Mitt’s repeated claim that he’s not a career politician
Mitt Romney ran for the Senate in 1994, Governor in 2002, President in 2007 and now again in 2011/2012. He is clearly a politician with high political ambitions. Claiming that he’s spent his life “in the private sector” ignores the fact that he’s been in the political realm since at least 1994 and, some argue, planning for a presidential run since 2005 during his first and only term as Governor of Massachusetts.
The 2012 election is widely believed to be the most important presidential election in our lifetime. It’s hard to disagree. Americans are closely watching the Republican debates. Social networking sites have changed the political landscape allowing instantaneous sharing of information and fact checking. The American Electorate is more informed today than at probably any time in history. If Mitt Romney wants to be the Republican nominee for president, he’s going to have to get very real, very fast.
For the moment, he’s behaving like a typical politician.
And that’s exactly what Americans do not want.