Editorial hits Romney during campaign blitz
Mitt Romney greets workers and guests during a campaign stop on December 16, 2011 in Sioux City, Iowa.
December 23rd, 2011
09:12 AM ET
7 years ago

Editorial hits Romney during campaign blitz

Tilton, New Hampshire (CNN) - The New Hampshire Union Leader dressed down Mitt Romney in a Friday editorial for campaigning at "arms-length" in New Hampshire, and accused the governor of hiding from voters' questions.

The editorial was published a day after Romney attended six events in the northern part of the state, including hosting two town halls. Over the course of the GOP candidate's four-day state bus tour he planned to attend 14 events with voters, stopping at a spaghetti dinner, a pizza restaurant, a coffee shop and more than one diner.

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The Union Leader endorsed Newt Gingrich in late November, injecting the former speaker's campaign with a surge of momentum in New Hampshire.

Romney has stepped up his retail politicking in recent weeks as Gingrich surged in the polls in New Hampshire. The campaign has branded the redoubled effort "Earn It," and the roll-out comes after months of cautious campaigning and infrequent retail stops in Romney's firewall state.

The former Massachusetts governor has hosted 19 town halls in the New Hampshire since entering the race in June.

The Union Leader editorial pointed to an event Romney hosted in Bedford on Tuesday, where he gave a formal speech and did not take questions as he kicked off his "Earn It" bus tour.

"Romney is playing it safe, trying to avoid being asked questions to which he does not have scripted, well-rehearsed answers," the editorial said. "Since when is that 'earning it' in New Hampshire?"

The former governor shook hands with voters and signed autographs for more than 15 minutes after the Bedford event.

The editorial said early state voters should "demand" Romney sit down for a one-on-one debate with Gingrich. This week the former House speaker challenged Romney to a debate after the two skirmished over negative advertisements aimed at Gingrich.

"New Hampshire voters should tell Romney that if he really wants to earn it, he can join Gingrich for a real New Hampshire town hall meeting - one in which voters get to ask questions and hear the candidates answer in more than 30-second sound bites," the editorial said.

Romney declined the debate request during a press conference, saying it would not be respectful to the other GOP candidates.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. American

    Romney is too scared to debate Newt one-on-one, and now Mitt runs away from voters' questions.
    Romney "not" earning it...

    December 23, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Good call. They have identified one his biggest weaknesses, his comfort zone.

    Romney is most comfortable making decisions without ever having to face the people most affected by those decisions. That is just simply not wanting to take responsibility for your decisions and actions. Failure means a subordinate failed, because the plan was perfect but the execution of it was flawed. Romney, despite his great experience at being a salesman, is not a "people person". He likes to think of himself as the master power player, who doesn't answer to anyone or anything except the almighty dollar.

    December 23, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Seriously, Mittens just doesn't have it... He really doesn't even make a good opponent. No wonder he can't get above 25%.

    December 23, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. diridi

    As I said, He will be front-runner, but not winnable, and does not pull through...because, he shipped jobs Overseas, and aid to Pakistan....that's it. Just another Corporate idiot....stands for Rich, Oil, Greed.....

    December 23, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Morpunkt

    Mitt Romney is going to become our next president, in spite of the Obama media creation complex. That includes CNN.
    Thank goodness.

    December 23, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. ryland

    Wow it looks like mitt romney is playing it a little bit too safe, but if he ends up being the g.o.p nominee he won't be able to do this type of ducking away from voter's questions in the general election because the media is going to eat him up alive.

    December 23, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. Larry L

    Romney learned from Perry that allowing people to hear your actual ideas can be harmful to your chances. This is especially harmful to a candidate who is quoted on both sides of every issue.

    December 23, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The Union Leader editorial pointed to an event Romney hosted in Bedford on Tuesday, where he gave a formal speech and did not take questions as he kicked off his "Earn It" bus tour."

    Earn It? Nah. More like "Deserve It" ...

    I hear that Mr. Willard Romney isn't ready to release his tax records. Most candidates do, you know. Wonder what he's hiding? His wealth, or his actual paid tax percentage? All those blind trust funds he and Ann have set up as tax shelters over the years would be a good read. Bottom line is Romney and family are very savvy on sticking it to the government when it suits them. In 2007, he advocated selling off certain stocks because there was the perception that those stocks might be reaping profits from Iran ... and here it is 2012, with Romney now appearing to approve the bombing of Iran instead. Go figure these elitists out. I know I can't.

    December 23, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Justaminit

    Electing Romney would be a like a bad B movie, where some "pretty boy" plays the president in an inane comedy. His specialty is downsizing companies, firing people, and making millions of dollars. Some will say this is necessary. O.K. ,but the jerk doing it does not need to be the President of the USA.

    December 23, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. anagram_kid

    What possible difference would it make if he answered questions? The simple fact is that he reverses his position on his prior statements when he believes it will garner votes. Along with his notorious flip-flopping, Governor Romney will continue to make absurd statements in the hopes of winning an election. He promised a questioner at another event that if he were elected she would have a job after college and that if President Obama were re-elected she would not.
    I really think the smart move by the GOP this year would have been to not run anyone. The current crop of contenders is tarnishing their brand for years to come.

    December 23, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. T'sah from Virginia

    Romney talks too fast and when you sit him down to REALLY debate, he will LOSE IT. You saw him on Fox News with Bret – he was put against the wall and could not handle it; he got fidgety and was not at ease. And this is what we want running America?

    Obama 2012 – The safe choice!!!

    December 23, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Justaminit

    I heard that Romney obtained the endorsement of Richard M. Nixon via a seance. Coupled with a Bush endorsement, that should torpedo his chances permanently.

    December 23, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Dennis B.

    I think it would be a good idea for Romney and Gingrich to have a debate between themselves where they can be challenged to say something beyond their soundbite and stump speeches.

    December 23, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Bill

    Romney will never be president, despite the brylcreemed hairdo.

    December 23, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. ShellyGirl

    I doubt we will ever go back to the days of civility and respect. Journalism is a huge disappointment anymore. Hey Mitt, there is a silent majority of us backing you. You will see it when the time comes to vote. We don't want the nut cases you have to bark at everyone to get out of hand in public, so just know we see through the half truths posted about you. We know you are the best there is in this campaign.

    December 23, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |