Will rift report distract from new economic message?
September 17th, 2012
10:58 AM ET
2 years ago

Will rift report distract from new economic message?

Los Angeles (CNN) - After a tumultuous week marked by Republican hand-wringing over his comments on unrest in Libya and Egypt, Mitt Romney is going back to the beginning. The GOP nominee is refocusing his message on the issue repeatedly singled-out by campaign advisers as the one that will decide the election: the economy.

Based on excerpts released from a speech Romney is scheduled to deliver to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday in Los Angeles and two new TV ads, Romney appears to be starting the week with a simpler, easier to understand economic pitch to voters.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"I know how to balance budgets. We balanced our budget in my business, in the Olympics, and every year in my state," Romney is expected to say in his address.

Romney echoes that message with plain language in his new ad. "Gotta balance the budget. You gotta cut the deficit," he says in the spot.

In one excerpt from his speech Monday, Romney will recommend "combining agencies and departments" of the federal government, a remedy for red ink he has rarely talked about publicly.

Romney's address is "consistent with what we've done on the economic message but also adding more details on exact measures to grow the economy," senior adviser Kevin Madden told CNN.

"Contrast that with Obama who has no second term agenda," Madden added.

With polls showing him trailing badly among Latino voters, Romney will also tailor his message on immigration. Absent from the excerpts released by his campaign is any talk of self-deportation.

The return to the economy follows days of open criticism from some top Republican strategists and pundits about Romney's comments on the recent diplomatic attacks in Libya and his overall strategy for winning in November.

A new distraction for the campaign emerged late Sunday night in a glaring report from POLITICO, which revealed some of the tensions brewing among Romney's top advisers. In the report, Romney strategist Stuart Stevens is blamed for some of the perceived mishaps at the Republican Convention, most notably Clint Eastwood's memorable, yet bizarre speech to an empty chair.

A senior Romney adviser dismissed the POLITICO piece as inside baseball gossip. "Stu is part of the team," the adviser said.

Reports of internal strife plagued John McCain's campaign in the weeks before the 2008 election. Stories about the infighting surrounding McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate eventually interfered with the Arizona senator's campaign message.

The POLITICO story on the Romney campaign is beginning to have the same effect, but for how long remains unclear.

On Twitter, former speechwriter to President George W. Bush and CNN contributor David Frum said the POLITICO piece "utterly misses the point."

"The Romney campaign has a messaging problem because it has a policy problem," Frum tweeted.

The Republican nominee, however, responded to the reports in an interview to air on Telemnundo Monday, saying he has a has a "terrific campaign" and there will be "no changes" to his team.

"I've got a terrific campaign," Romney said, according to a transcript of the interview. "My senior campaign people work extraordinarily well together. I work well with them. Our campaign is doing well."

Pressed further about whether he'll make adjustments to his campaign staff, Romney said: "No, I– I've got a good team."

And on a campaign conference call, top Romney adviser Ed Gillespie appeared to offer up a defense of the convention while discussing the agenda ahead.

"After a successful convention where people learned a lot about Mitt Romney as a person, they’re eager to hear more about policies."

READ MORE:

Romney campaign re-tools message for final stretch

As Romney makes another push for Hispanic voters, rivals call foul

Obama hits China with trade complaint


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (619 Responses)
  1. pjoe

    Clinton said "the era of big government is over". Well it returned with a vengance during the Obama administration.

    Overall government payouts, including middle-class entitlements and anti-poverty / welfare programs, now account for more than a third of all wages and salaries in the United States. Worse, if one includes salaries from government employment, more than half of Americans receive a substantial portion of their income from the government.

    Search for CATO Institute Report "How We Spend Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty – And Fail"

    September 17, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Art

    Listen to Rush Limbaugh radio. I think he will explain to you how everything a republican does is right and everything a democrat does is oh so wrong.

    September 17, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Poor Poor American

    Pleae go read the Article in September issue of Rolling stone. Scary. Romney/Ryan no way. No going backwards.

    September 17, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. us_1776

    Your choices are simple:

    D) A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR *ALL* AMERICANS
    R) A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR ONLY BILLIONAIRES

    Please register to vote.

    Push 'D' on all congressional and senate races.

    Obama | Biden 2012

    .

    September 17, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Matt Lundgren

    No problem. GW Bush was down 13 points to Gore at this time. George HW Bush was down 17 points to Dukakis!

    September 17, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Homer

    "Republican hand wringing" ? I don't think so. Obama's policies have been terrible. CNN has lost all it's credibility. It's become as bias as Fox News and MSNBC.

    September 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. lou

    His campaign has been one disaster after another. I expected more from someone who claims to be such a great leader in business.

    September 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. yoshi

    Mitt – I love you, but take it from Bill Clinton – "It's the economy stupid." You might think everybody wants to hear how you will handle foreign policy but most Americans are sick of our foreign policy – we lost our young boys lives, spent trillions and got us nowhere. That's because we can't tell the rest of the world how to live. You heard the applause Ron Paul got. Obama's achilles heel is jobs, jobs, jobs – even the poor and college students want decent jobs....go after them with this message....

    September 17, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. us_1776

    Your choices are simple:

    D) A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR *ALL* AMERICANS
    R) A COUNTRY THAT WORKS FOR ONLY BILLIONAIRES

    Please register to vote.

    Push 'D' on all congressional and senate races.

    Obama | Biden 2012

    September 17, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. bill

    Hey mitt, why don't you "retool" the GOP instead. The GOP is a failed party at promoting a positive inclusive message, at addressing American needs, with failed trickle down economic policies, you are failures at effective bi-partisan legislation, you have failed miserably at upholding the principles of our Founding Fathers, you are religious hypocrites and extremists, You lie to the American public, you cheat America of its rightful tax revenues, and you are destroying the middle class. The policies of the GOP have NEVER worked for America and we don't need another GOP president to figure that out.

    September 17, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. jeansees

    OK The BIG FISH is FLIP FLOPPING AGAIN.... He is uncomfortable in the bed he has LIED down in so he is tossing and turning again.. LOL....Only problem is he trying to use the same pillow and mattress he has had.. That wont work.. Get it Romney you have LOST!!!! Ryan your political career is over... The latest Romney blaming Obama for China jobs lost that is such a JOKE Mr. Bain CO.. what about your investments in China Mr. Romney? Oh I know you will be asked questions during the Debates that you dont want or know how to answer so you are putting out the message Obama will just Lie... Wow that is really inciteful.. You a Forturne Teller now too... LOL

    September 17, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. myviewis

    Clint Eastwood's empty chair joke vs DNC using Russian ships to honor our U.S. Veterans. Ummmm, I think DNC's use of Russian ships wins the Memorable Award.

    September 17, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Tax breaks for the rich to create a new GOP economic message!!!!!!!

    September 17, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. EdR

    Romney can't talk about any specifics about anything, because if he does he will either A) Make a fool of himself (again), or B) lose half his voting base because then he will have to actually take a position on something. Not that he couldn't change his mind, depending on who he's talking to. He's good at that.

    September 17, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. liberal disease

    Obama needs to retool his presidency

    September 17, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. sammieb51

    What is he blathering on about now? He changes his mind so much I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out and says he's part black too. What a spineless schlub.

    September 17, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. SugarKube

    Hand wringing? You gotta be kidding. Mitt had the only coherent comments on the Libya fiasco.

    September 17, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Mike

    It's not just about balancing the budget. The economy is an intricate interplay of several factors, some of which is the leadership demonstrated by the President, some of which is a balance sheet. As a business leader, Mitt should know this. He has shown that he doesn't quite have what it takes for a big position like President, in my opinion. I'm tired of his condescending attitude towards Americans – we're not stupid, Mitt. Stop dumbing down your message...it stinks of desperation.

    September 17, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. myviewis

    Poor Poor American

    Pleae go read the Article in September issue of Rolling stone. Scary. Romney/Ryan no way. No going backwards.
    ---------------------–

    Rolling stone magazine is Democrat, anything they write will favor Obama.

    September 17, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Rosslaw

    Mittens also plans to offer some really out of the box thinking on infrastructure. Instead of repairing bridges, Mittens and co. will simply repeal the law of gravity. Et Voila!,

    September 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. nolongerarepublican

    Romney's basic plan – more tax cuts for the wealthy, ZERO taxes on their investment income.
    Same basic plan of GW Bush.
    Foreign policy or not, if that appeals to you vote Romney.
    It does not appeal to me, so I am voting Obama.
    Romney should simply run on the platform of more money for the wealthy.

    September 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Really??

    Really, "The American people will not allow such dishonesty and contempt from the GOP ticket" What about obama, He LIED about being a NATURAL born US citizen. He LIED about a whole lot of things. Romney wants people to get off their butts and get a job, and stop being SO LAZY. but people dont want to because OBAMA basically said, "hey, Since you wanna stay at home and sit on your butts, I'm going to give you benefits that WILL go away when you get a job" the Government assistance is to HELP the needy, not the FUND the LAZY! People go and sell their food stamps, to get drugs, while their children are at home starving.. that's OBAMA for you!

    September 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Tell It Like It Is

    Liberal media and Republicans 'hand wringing'? Really? Don't think his recent comments on what is going on over there in Africa and the Middle East is any worse than Obama's. Anyhow, since the media thinks Romney should concentrate on pounding Obama with the economy, then maybe Mitt should do just that.

    September 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. myviewis

    Art

    Listen to Rush Limbaugh radio. I think he will explain to you how everything a republican does is right and everything a democrat does is oh so wrong.
    ------------------------

    Seems to me Democrats proved it all by themselves by using Russian ships to honor our Veterans.

    September 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Adam

    My vote is for whichever candidate will not attack a country for no reason. The Rebublicans don't have the best track record in that department (in the past 12 years or so). I like Romney, but I have a feeling he wants to pick a fight and that concerns me.

    September 17, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25