Mitt Romney can’t stand the gaff(e).
Fred Barnes highlighted the problem in a recent Weekly Standard column:
Mitt Romney is leading the league in gaffes. We know this because the media are counting. The Weeklists his “9 worst clueless-rich-man gaffes.” The Wall Street Journal trumps that with “Romney’s Top 10 Wealth Gaffes.” The Christian Science Monitor refers to the “Mitt Romney gaffe monster.”
This is bad for Romney. Next to being called racist or a homophobe, the worst thing that can be said about a candidate is he’s gaffe-prone. It suggests his brain-to-mouth hookup is faulty when he talks off-the-cuff, and he lacks a grip on political reality. Thus the candidate’s image and campaign suffer.
And boy, is Romney suffering now. He’s consistently had day-after gaffes (gaffeshow via ABC News) in the wake of primary victories, but now he’s contagious to the point of staff-gaffe.
From today’s New York Times:
Romney’s Day to Relish Is Marred by Aide’s Gaffe
The “relish” part involved an endorsement of Romney by former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R-George Is Fredo, I’m Michael).
The “marred” part is this:
That’s right – Romney gunsel Eric Fehrnstrom actually said:
“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”
Hey! Just like Romney himself!
At that point, it was all over but the moonwalking.
Fehrnstrom’s moonwalk (via The Christian Science Monitor):
“[A]s we move from the primary to the general election, the campaign changes. It’s a different race, with different candidates, and the main issue now becomes President Obama’s failure to create jobs and get this economy moving.”
Romney’s moonwalk (via the Times):
“The issues I’m running on will be exactly the same,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m running as a conservative Republican, I was a conservative Republican governor, I’ll be running as a conservative Republican nominee — or, excuse me, at that point, hopefully, nominee for president.”
Clearly, this is a campaign that can’t moonwalk and chew gum at the same time.