Wall Street Journal Editorial Says Mitt Romney ‘Squandering’ Chance Against President Obama
Prominent conservative Republicans excoriated Mitt Romney’s campaign Thursday, publicly ridiculing his longtime core team of advisers — “the Boston boys,” as the Wall Street Journal labeled them — and suggesting they are bungling the presidential race.
“Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running?” asked Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard.
The intraparty dissent has been simmering for several weeks, but the presumptive nominee’s struggle to articulate a response to last week’s Supreme Court ruling on health care inflamed critics. Specifically, the conservatives called on the campaign to start articulating a broader vision for what Romney would do as president, speak about something else besides the economy, and forcefully counter the Obama campaign’s attacks.
Much of the blame was directed at Romney’s aides, many of whom have been with him since his 2002 gubernatorial race in Massachusetts. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, an influential forum of conservative thought, called the stuttering response to the health ruling amateurish. “The campaign looks confused in addition to being politically dumb,” the editorial said, adding his “insular staff and strategy . . . are slowly squandering an historic opportunity.”
Several Republicans even poked at Romney’s advisers for allowing him to take a weeklong family vacation at his home in Wolfeboro, N.H., where he was photographed riding a Jet Ski driven by his wife, Ann.
“This is his advisers,” conservative commentator Laura Ingraham said Thursday on her radio show. “This is not Romney, this is the advisers telling him, ‘Oh, it’s fine. Take a week.’ There’s no week to spare! We have a country to save!”
Several of the critics — including Kristol; the Wall Street Journal; and its owner Rupert Murdoch — have never been extremely supportive of Romney. But the fact that the former Massachusetts governor is still taking fire from Republicans several weeks after he had appeared to unite his party could be a problem as the campaign prepares for a furious final few months.