The media is abuzz this morning over the leaked video of Mitt Romney speaking in what he believed to be a closed meeting, claiming that 47 percent of Americans are hopelessly dependent on government, pay no taxes, and that he was “not to worry about those people.” This is the latest gaffe for a Romney campaign that has been full of them, and the press has reacted according to script.The Washington Post has a short summary of his remarks:
In one clip, Mr. Romney describes how his campaign would not try to appeal to “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what.” They are, he says, “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”He says those people “pay no income tax,” and “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.” Mr. Romney adds: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Romney supporters are blaming a biased press; opponents argue that he’s a flawed candidate.The reality is a little bit of both. Most people outside the MSM believe that the mainstream media tends to be quite favorable to the current president, due in part to a core staff that agrees with him on many key issues and is likely to support his reelection. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the press has made hay out of a questionable remark made by a challenger, and it won’t be the last.But at the same, time, Romney just can’t seem to stop the kerfuffles or deal with them quickly and effectively when they erupt. With unemployment stubbornly high and Obama’s Middle East policy looking worse with each passing day, Romney has real opportunities to make serious arguments against Obama. Every day that Romney’s gaffes, real or concocted, lead the news is a day lost to the campaign.Should Romney win the election and get to the White House, the press will be just as hostile as it is now. As the American people watch the campaign, one of the questions people are asking is whether this particular candidate can fight the headwind of a relentlessly hostile press corps. It’s an unfair situation, perhaps, but under the circumstances it is a fair question to ask. If Governor Romney and his staff can’t get the job done on the campaign trail due to press hostility and obstruction, it’s a real question whether a Romney administration could succeed in the teeth of even tougher opposition from a press corps that will do its best to check him at almost every turn.