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. drake mallard

    Well how about this? mitt romney is starting to stink, and guess what? You're allowed to take it out with the other Garbage. Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ' "The public sucks. Elect me." Put the blame where it belongs: on the people.”

    September 21, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Ann

    This is really funny.. unemployment is high, foreign policy a disaster, the national debt is growing, Mr. Obama's cult of personality is over the hill.. and people are still questioning how good or bad would be a Romney presidency? At least the guy took some Economics and Business classes. What do you have on the other side? Propaganda 101?

    September 21, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Slightly Left of Center

    "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,

    Soooooo, you did it without knowing?

    September 21, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. kiwisepp

    Romney probably think, voters are stupid and he can easily fool them.

    September 21, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. ljjm

    He cannot show who he really is because he doesn't know who he really is.

    September 21, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Bumbling ahead

    If Mitt is such a great leader, why is his campaign nothing but a mess. He can't go a week without shooting himself in the foot with something that he has said. How can anyone think that Mitt can fix the mess if he can't even run an effective campaign? Obama's record is mediocre, but I don't think Mitt measures up to that level...pretty sad!

    September 21, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Chris

    Well they could have picked Dr. Ron Paul, but I guess his anti-war, anti-corporate welfare stance doesn't sit well with rich politically connected neo-cons.

    September 21, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Mike

    Well, if you are supporting a candidate now matter how much he stumbles and bumbles around, you are bound to get frustrated. Vote for the other guy . . .

    September 21, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Patriot

    Make no mistake, these people are using all their power and wealth to buy America and establish a plutocracy. Now that Romney has no chance to win the election, they will pour money into the Senate races in the hope of blocking any progress in the Nation once again.

    September 21, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Gotta Be Kiddin

    He can't even run a campaign, so how is he going to create jobs? And what about all that cash he's raising? He can't even manage that spending correctly so how is he going to handle the spending of this country? He can manage to give his campaign managers bonuses though! Looking at how he runs this campaign I can't figure out how he made all that money at Bain.

    September 21, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. lee23

    Would someone please explain to why a corporate raider would make a good president? I live in a town that was hit by 2 corporate raiders in the 1980's, we have yet to recover to the point we were before they came to town. Look it up: T. Boone Pickens and Carl Ichan raided Phillips Petroleum co. I consider them bullies and thieves.

    September 21, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    Willard had the "desperate housewife" out telling us we are lucky to have him represent us. Really?

    November can't get here fast enough so I can see both of them FULLY humiliated.

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

    Continue is the key word. It sounds like this clown wants Willard to continue calling the American people "victims" and accusing them of being dependent on government. I guess the speech wasn't enough for him. Most of us know exactly who he is and why we should continue to keep him in the country club and out of the White House.

    September 21, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Gotta Be Kiddin

    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.

    So whose ignorance was responsible for the thousands who died on 9/11. Don't think you want to go there buddy! And let's not forget all those who died in Kuwait during Reagan's administration.

    September 21, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Jim

    It's simple: the American people do not like Romney!

    September 21, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. sarge

    Be prepared to lose big money!

    September 21, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Ash

    LOL, If he really reveals who he is, not even the trailer trash will vote for him.... just the 2% that have high dividend income and some of the Whites who cannot put Obama's race behind them.

    September 21, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. CanadaONE

    I want to fair but every time I turn to the CNN channel I see and read a different response from Romney/Ryan.

    I don’t know that they have a fixed stance on anything – it is like their platform is floating left then right then the middle then off to the left then back to the right…– if this keeps up I think their platform is going to SINK.

    As a Canadian – what is hard for me to understand is that many Americans see this normal…if this happened in Canada the politicians with this kind of “wishy washy stance” would be THROWN OUT!

    So my question is CNN – has the American peoples’ intelligence declined so much or is there so much hatred in your country that THE TRUTH HAS BECOME SECONDARY?

    Thanks

    You neighbour to the North

    September 21, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Chuck

    To Obama America 2016.
    No more wars please. We are going broke trying to police the world. Let's use our money to get things going here at home. Take care of home first.

    September 21, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. tigrr

    This is what the last GOP WH did...
    see youtube - CIA Asset Susan Lindauer Can Now Speak 10 years after 9-11.

    Yeah, they did it . McCain and Most of Congress knew. Likely Romney too.
    More on Veterans Today site. Grrrrrrrrrr!

    September 21, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Marlene

    I can't wait for the debates. Mitt Romney will be shut down by Obama. Saturday Night Live: Get your pencils and paper out, you're going to get a lot of material! (But it can never be as funny as Will Ferrell as Bush during those debates. When asked a difficult question, Bush hesitates and then says "Pass.") hahahahhahahaha!

    September 21, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Al

    Romney needs to go on the offense, Obama has left himself open on so many fronts that Romney could attack and keep attacking and the Obama campaign would be doing damage control and cover up.

    And after 3PM today after the release of the Romney tax return he can start showing the people that he does not take three years to produce paperwork.

    September 21, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. Boo

    Obama's America 2016 – and what would you have Obama do, genuis?

    September 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. MaryM

    Lyin Ryan just got a great big BOOOOOOOO from the AARP seniors

    September 21, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. SPLAT!~

    Obama's America 2016
    Proof is the fact that Americans are dying in our embassy's because of this administrations ignorance.
    -------------------------------------------

    Yeah, he's blowing the opportunity to have thousands of our troops die like Cheney did in Iraq.

    September 21, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. cocoman

    he's done and he knows it and gave up...

    September 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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