Some Romney backers still frustrated with state of campaign
September 21st, 2012
01:06 PM ET
2 years ago

Some Romney backers still frustrated with state of campaign

Washington (CNN) - Some financial backers of Mitt Romney's campaign are still not happy with some of its messaging and execution but hope the recently announced adjustments it is enacting will help make the race more competitive.

"I wish he would continue to show who he is…I think he is holding back," one major bundler, a person who raises a large amount of money for the campaign, told CNN when asked about Romney as a candidate. "I am a little frustrated."

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Specifically, this bundler who requested anonymity in order to frankly discuss his views of the Romney campaign, said he thought the nominee should be talking more about his business background and his skills and also be more aggressive in his messaging.

This bundler who said some of his concerns are shared by other financial supporters of the campaign summarized his mood as: "worried that we are in jeopardy of losing this thing but optimistic we are still in striking distance."

The view is not shared by all of the financial backers.

"I am not concerned," major bundler John Catsimatidis, who is chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group, a grocery store chain, told CNN. He said Romney "is a level headed guy. He knows how to create jobs."

He doesn't think the problems the campaign encountered this week will be that important and said one key for Romney is his experience. Asked about the changes implemented by the campaign he said "I think they understand what they have to do."

But for those who are frustrated one point they raise is that Romney in the last few weeks has not been more active on the stump but has been fund-raising - something that is about to change as the pace of campaigning is expected to pick up substantially, aides have promised.

"He needs to be out," said the bundler who had requested anonymity.

On conference calls with donors, Romney campaign officials this week pointed to national polls now showing the race dead even and while some polls in battleground states showed President Obama with a lead they also said they were within striking distance.

"There is an opportunity" said one financial supporter. "Definitely not too late…it is not time to write this off."

Acknowledging it may put a lot of pressure on the candidate, several supporters told CNN the upcoming debates are the key - the best opportunity for Romney to change the trajectory of the race as he goes toe to toe with the president as he challenges him on the administration's record and who has the best proposals to spur the economy going forward.

One thing several of the people told CNN they thought was essential was for the nominee to show a more aggressive stance towards the president – more direct criticism of his economic record and question the specific impact on voters if he is re-elected.

"The candidate himself has to challenge the president," said the bundler who spoke to CNN.

Senior campaign aides conducted a series of conference calls with donors this week talking about how they would adjust their message by being more specific in describing Romney's economic proposals and also worked to reassure these key supporters things were fine.

"The polls are deceiving, and we really are doing a lot better than some of the polls are saying," is how bundler John Catsimatidis summarized one message coming from Friday's call.

Any lingering concerns and frustrations of the donors and bundlers could be answered by the campaign's top insiders at a retreat next month in New York.

You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Fundraising • Mitt Romney
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    They ALL need to be as Etch-A-Sketch as their candidate to avoid the frustration of working for him. If you have no core (like Mitt lacks) you could probably take the minute by minute, day by day changes in his positions in stride, without having to worry yourself about actually THINKING about them. Well oiled weathervane, indeed!

    September 21, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. cali girl

    "I wish he would continue to show who he is…I think he is holding back," one major bundler
    Aw, we already say it, the 47 minute video that no one was supposed to know about.
    They say what you do behind closed doors shows who you are. It was the proverbial fly on the wall moment that no American will soon forget.

    September 21, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    The Romney campaign has demonstrated that is a management disaster. Paul Ryan drew boos speaking to the AARP by attacking 'Obamacare' and pledging to repeal it, just a little whle ago.

    September 21, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Romney has to appeal more to people. He is looking desperate and still as Al Gore did during campaigns. This isn't going to help him.

    September 21, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. rosco

    Frustrated lawmakers call on Obama administration to get its story straight on what happened in last week's deadly attack on the US Consulate in Libya, with one congressman saying: 'You hate to think that the president would purposely mislead the American people, but it sure looks like it to me

    September 21, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Media Deviating from the Issues..

    The Media's Blitz on romney's 47% is an over-kill...seves purley to deflect to what's happening in the Middle East
    which puts into question Pres Obama's foreign-policy.."His Ace Card" Not only does Pres Obama not have in check
    his Home-Policy-Affairs to campaign on but now his applauded Foreign-Policy-Affairs comes into question as well
    ...which suddenly went......."puff-puff"...

    September 21, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. truth hurts

    Of course the debates will be be THE key to the election. People will be able to see both, side by side. Romney needs some training from Newt Gingrich on how to be a pitbull in the debates. If he doesn't go for Obama's jugular, he's going to lose. Obama will be spewing the usual lies and Romney to needs to be prepared to counter them FORCEFULLY. He'd better come out on stage with brass knuckles, not white gloves.

    September 21, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. aalisa31

    Mitt need to be out .. period.. he is a mess, his campaign is a mess , it is taking atoll on others in the republican party and for the economy to be in such bad shape as he syas.. why isn't he leading by a substantial margin.... the republicans are living in a fantasy world.. Mitt will lose.....and by a landslide

    September 21, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Obama's America 2016

    Obama just ignoring what's happening in the middle east. Proof is the fact that Americans are dying in our embassy's because of this administrations ignorance.

    September 21, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Reject Repugs

    Bishop Flip is nothing and at the same time everything!
    Just trust him to make our lives perfect!
    now hold your breath.......

    September 21, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Captain Moroni

    Obama has paid off the Liberal media so they can spew immoral behavior in people's homes. In return, they continue to bash Romney. Romney not only has to beat Obama but he has to beat the the liberal networks and Hollywood as well.

    September 21, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Joe The Plumber

    Catsimatidis's belief that "polls are deceiving" sounds like wishful thinking. The card board candidate is blowing it.

    September 21, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. truth hurts

    rosco
    Frustrated lawmakers call on Obama administration to get its story straight on what happened in last week's deadly attack on the US Consulate in Libya, with one congressman saying: 'You hate to think that the president would purposely mislead the American people, but it sure looks like it to me
    ==================================================================================================

    The Obama administration LYING???!!! Shocking I tell you, shocking!!

    Just like they lie every month about the employment numbers, then correct then DOWN the folloeing month when nobody is paying attention.

    September 21, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Blue Khakis

    I'd be frustrated too if I invested millions of dollars into shadowy SuperPACs to buy my candidate of choice, only to learn he's not only dumb enough to control like a puppet but he's so dumb that he can't even get elected in the first place.

    September 21, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Raven

    I hope Romney does come out like a Pit Bull, all people who are full of Bull need to be like that. It's all about the power, not about us! The people, we don't matter, monmey is God in our country, and the money Gods are buying the election!

    September 21, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Johnson

    What do you mean who he is? Another rich person totally disconnected comment about another totally rich person completely disconnected.

    September 21, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. John N. Seattle, WA

    Awww, too bad, guys! It's a shame the candidate you nominated is totally incompetent at campaigning! It's also a shame that the American public is too smart to fall for his lies. Hope you enjoy the next 4 years under Obama!

    The only question now is, how much DAMAGE is Romney/Ryan going to do to the GOP races in Congress?

    September 21, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Facts don't Lie

    looks like so far if you can't "LIE IT' then "BUY IT" isn't working out so well for the Romney campaign.....perhaps if they had a better candidate worst run campaign I have ever seen and I don't think I am alone in this comment.

    September 21, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Maxx

    That's funny to say Mitt should get out more – that has been his problem.

    September 21, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. mittsrealnamne

    His real name is Metterand a French name...

    September 21, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Scott

    Am I the only one wondering whether "he's a great buy" is a typo or a Freudian slip?

    September 21, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Herman Munster

    Now... Republicans have been decrying Romney's poor showing on a poor campaign staff.
    Newsflash: It isn't the staff!

    September 21, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. eciam

    Release your taxes, Mr. 47%

    September 21, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "There is an opportunity" said one financial supporter. "Definitely not too late…it is not time to write this off."

    It's over. Even Mrs. Mittens clearly understands Mr. Mittens will never become President of the United States. It wasn't the media. It wasn't Mitt's campaign managers. It is Mitt Romney himself ... who is flawed. Time to accept it and move on, GOPers. He's grovelling now. And that in itself is beneath the dignity of a presidential wannabe.

    September 21, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Captain Obvious

    "I wish he would continue to show who he is…I think he is holding back,"

    The problem is he doesn't know who he is. He takes on the personality of whoever happens to be in the same room. One day he'll be at a KKK rally, telling them how he's going to round them Mexicans up. The next he'll be on Telemundo talking about how much he loves tacos.

    September 21, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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