Portrait of a Campaign in Free Fall
On the one hand, Romney campaign sources are telling Buzzfeed that they’re refocusing on the God and guns crowd:
This shifting campaign calculus has produced a split in Romney’s message. His talk show interviews and big ad buys continue to offer a straightforward economic focus aimed at traditional undecided voters. But out stumping day to day is a candidate who wants to talk about patriotism and God, and who is increasingly looking to connect with the right’s intense, personal dislike for President Barack Obama.
Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign’s top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they’ll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them. The earliest, ambiguous signal of this turn toward the party’s right was the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate, a top Romney aide said.
“This is going to be a base election, and we need them to come out to vote,” the aide said, explaining the pick.
But on the other hand, Romney campaign sources are telling the New York Times that they’re refocusing on the economy:
With Mr. Obama facing questions about his plans for a second term, aides said that Mr. Romney would re-emphasize “The Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” by spending two days on each of the five elements of that plan: energy independence, education changes, deficit reduction, help for small businesses and freer trade.
This completely unfocused messaging is a real indication that the Romney campaign is spinning its wheels, without a clear plan. And that’s not surprising, since they’ve articulated no clear policies at all.