Can Mitt Romney, Now Unmasked, Win Wednesdayâ€™s Presidential Debate?
In some ways, the unmasking of the real Mitt Romney reminds me of the â€œLonesome Rhodesâ€ character from the now critically acclaimed 1957 movie â€œFace in the Crowd."
[Speaking Truth To Power]
Wednesday, Mitt Romney will try to shore-up his sinking campaign against President Barack Obama, when they face-off in the first of three presidential debates before the fast approaching November Presidential Elections of 2012.
Can Mr. Romney win the debate and turn around his chances, at winning the White House, as some Republicans are suggesting?
On Monday, Mr. Romney arrived in Colorado in preparation for his debate against President Obama. Reportedly, some conservatives say they believe Mr. Romney can do well in Wednesday’s debate—in part, because they say the former governor of Massachusetts has been practicing hard in mock debates with the likes of Ohio Senator Rob Portman. Mr. Romney’s campaign is allegedly counting on the debates to elevate their falling numbers, which signal ominous signs for Republicans as they try to take back the White House.
The year’s first presidential debate will be held at the University of Denver. Jim Lehrer, of the PBS News Hour, will sit in the moderator’s chair. The next two presidential debates will be held on October 16, at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York and October 22, at Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Florida. The Hofstra University debate will be moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley and the Lynn University debate will be moderated by CBS’s Bob Schieffer. The lone vice presidential debate will be held on October 11, at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with Martha Raddatz of ABC News serving as moderator.
At a Monday rally, Mr. Romney told voters at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, in Colorado, that "Jobs is job one under my administration. We're going to get America working again by helping small business." Speaking of the election, Mr. Romney commented "In my view it's not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves, the president and myself — it's about something bigger than that."
The Romney camp has been trying taper down expectations for Wednesday’s debate, especially, since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “come Thursday morning the entire narrative is going to change.” Mr. Christie added “You saw the change in those polls happen very quickly, and I’m here to tell you this morning it can happen very quickly back the other way. And I think the beginning of that is Wednesday night, when Governor Romney, for the first time, gets on the same stage as the President of the United States, and people can make a direct comparison about them and their visions for the future.’’
Surely, Wednesday’s debate is extremely important for Mr. Romney if he expects to have a legitimate chance of winning this election with only a few weeks to go. But Mr. Romney has dug himself a deep hole that is virtually impossible for him to escape from. The Republican candidate had shown himself to be an uninspiring, uninformed and inept candidate from the launch of his calamitous campaign—and that was before his 47 percent problem appeared.
Unfortunately, for Mr. Romney he needs President Obama to do something excessively damaging that will distract Americans from the clearly arrogant, elitist and uncaring person they saw in the now infamous 47 percent video speaking to his wealthy friends. The chance of that happening is about as likely as Mr. Romney showing us more of his tax returns.
In the 47 percent video, Mr. Romney is caught saying "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing. My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
How is Mr. Romney going to convince the American people he cares about them when he shows such disdain for nearly half of them? How is he going to explain his utter hypocrisy for labeling 47 percent of the nation as tax-cheats and mooching freeloaders—while he hides money in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands and wherever else he’s stashing his money? Shouldn’t we ask him why he wants to be president if he believes it’s not his job “to worry about those” 47 percent of the American people? Another curious thing is this: many politicians don’t seem to understand that government is entitled to provide healthcare, jobs, food and housing for its citizens—and citizens are entitled to these things as humans.
How can Americans seriously think of electing politicians who don’t understand this—especially, after the international economic disaster that was precipitated by the greed of Wall Street continues to wreak havoc and social chaos worldwide?
In some ways, the unmasking of the real Mitt Romney reminds me of the “Lonesome Rhodes” character from the now critically acclaimed 1957 movie “Face in the Crowd." In that movie, the vaingloriously pompous character, Larry Rhodes—played by the recently deceased Andy Griffith—is exposed when his true feelings, for his fans, are aired unknown to him. After this occurs, his once adoring fans attack him and he is quickly discredited and tuned out.
Hasn’t Mr. Romney eviscerated his credibility with the insensitive comments he spews on that video?
Since the emergence of the 47 percent video, Mr. Romney’s poll numbers have gotten worse. According to the Pew Research Center for The People and Press, 55 percent of registered voters said they had a “negative reaction,” to Mr. Romney’s comment. Moreover, 55 percent of registered voters, who identify as Independents, also viewed those comments negatively. This is interesting, especially, since, on the tape, Mr. Romney admits he must win the independent vote.
As if repairing his damaged campaign—and image—wasn’t enough, Mr. Romney will also have to try to out duel President Obama. President Obama is clearly in the driver’s seat. Mr. Romney will surely be squirming on the hot seat.
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