Mitt Romney: The most fortunate candidate in the race?
November 29th, 2011
07:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Mitt Romney: The most fortunate candidate in the race?

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - You've heard of the Dos Equis beer pitch-man, "The Most Interesting Man in the World." Perhaps it's time to dub Mitt Romney "The Most Fortunate Candidate in the Race."

The former Massachusetts governor has led what has been a relatively charmed campaign. While Romney has spent the last few weeks polishing his attack lines for the president, several of his rivals have had near implosions. Witness Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

At a fruit processing plant in Miami, Romney charged the president has a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy.

"He's never had a job. I think to create jobs it helps to have had a job. I have," Romney said.

The statement is flatly false. President Obama has had jobs before. But it fits neatly into the Romney playbook. Attack the president. Ignore the GOP field.

Romney welcomed a new Democratic National Committee attack ad that paints the former Massachusetts governor as a flip-flopper.

"It shows that they are awfully afraid of facing me in the general election. They want to throw the primary process to anybody but me. So, bring it on, we are ready for them," Romney said.

The DNC ad took out of context some of Romney's past comments on health care and abortion. It was a response to last week's Romney campaign ad that basically did the same thing to the president on the issue of the economy.

After an event in Tampa, Romney refused to answer repeated questions from CNN on why his campaign purposefully took the president's words out of context.

"Guys we have press avails or press conferences almost every day and that’s when I answer the questions," Romney told reporters. That's not quite true. At best, Romney fields questions from reporters a few times a week.

The former governor has played it safe for weeks, granting few national TV interviews and holding only brief news conferences with reporters.

He has also maneuvered key members of the Republican establishment behind his candidacy. This week, he secured the endorsement of Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen, a prominent leader in Miami's Cuban American community. Last week he received the support of two U.S. Senators, John Thune R-South Dakota and Kelly Ayotte R-New Hampshire.

On a day when Cain's staff said the conservative businessman was reassessing his campaign after accusations of marital infidelity, Romney fortified his.

"Can I just say that Mitt Romney is the luckiest man on the planet?" Romney critic and conservative CNN contributor Eric Erickson asked on CNN's "John King USA." "All of these guys just keep imploding. Their campaigns implode. And Romney just holds steady at like 22 to 25 percent," he continued.

Making that luck last is the trick in the final month of campaigning before voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney still has to hold back his latest surging rival, Newt Gingrich.

The former House Speaker just won the endorsement of New Hampshire's major newspaper, The Union Leader.

A new poll released by the American Research Group in South Carolina shows Gingrich with a commanding lead, well ahead of Romney and the fading Cain.

In an interview with a talk radio host in South Carolina Monday, Gingrich suggested Romney is not a reliable conservative.

"I wouldn't switch my positions for political reason," Gingrich said in a reference to Romney's past shifts on key issues.

When asked about Gingrich's comments Tuesday, Romney ducked into his SUV, back below the radar.

A Cain exit from the race could cut two ways for Romney. Support could drift to such rivals as Gingrich and Perry. But it could send a message to Republicans to end the GOP reality show and get behind a contender who has a decent shot of beating the president.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ArmyCSM

    He's not the one.

    November 29, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Ben Dover

    Willard flip flop...yeah you got it made !

    November 29, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Mike Retter

    The fact is, the GOP don't want to get behind Romney because he is a Mormon. You cant really fault the guy on policy anymore than anyone else in the race. The Evangelical block of voters will think he is part of a cult. I don't believe anyone will be be victorious over Obama but Romney clearly has the widest political appeal. He isn't an extremist. In a time that the highest taxing Governments around the world are the only ones weathering the financial storm, Tea Party philosophy is quickly losing support. Romney's healthcare ideas make a lot more sense than leaving people to die, treating people like market forces, like the rest of the GOP field are in-effect suggesting. He also believes scientists on the evidence of global warming. This is all relatively rational. But I don't know if the GOP will be able to get behind a Mormon. In all the articles it is rarely brought up but is surely the elephant in the room.

    November 29, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    As governor Mass was 47 out of 50 in job creation. He's no job expert. He's a shill for the elists and establishment RINOs.

    November 29, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Rhino40

    I think this article is confuising luck with preperation and principles. It's time to get behind Romney. Gingritch is not going to be president. How can conservatives honestly get behind a known womanizer and call him conservative? A man who pushed so hard to get Clinton impeached for having an affair, all the while having one of his own. Talk about having no core! Cain is finnished for the same reason. That man has been a gospel preacher for crying out loud and he has been having affairs the whole time. Perry can't hold up under pressure. Bachman keeps drifting toward crazy. Ron Paul is crazy.

    Social conservatives can pick Romney's comments apart all they want but none of them can deny his actions. The man is the poster child for family values. Fiscal conservatives can't complain either. The man knows how to balance a budget. Independants should love him, he has proven he can work across the party lines. The only other qualified candidate is Hunstman, which unfortunately for the biggoted (not a slur, it's a fact) evangelicals, is also Mormon. So if you going to have to pick a Mormon anyway, then pick the one who can actually beet Obama.

    November 29, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Rik

    Mitt Romney...most fortunate candidate? Perhaps he is the least tainted candidate of all the frontrunners (more on that later).

    Fortunate Candidate makes me think of "Fortunate Son" (John Fogerty) Which totally fits Mitt Romney, who was a draft dodger and passes that legacy on to his sons who have never served a day on active duty...

    But Mittts squeaky clean record will not withstand the scrutiny of the fact that his "handler' is Mel Sembler, the same handler as GW Bush...and the results will be much the same...a chicken hawk President who sends our troops out to die on behalf of the wishes of his money handler...Mel Sembler.

    In Ameica....everything is for sale...including our morals and integrity....

    November 29, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. Harry Baxter

    I guess that there are worse things than being the smartest guy in the dumb class.

    November 29, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. CBR

    Mr. Romney would have us believe that he is the only candidate to have held a job and therefore knows about economics. People in MA might just oppose that view. He has long touted his knowledge of economics. What he has not done is understood the workers. He has very little understanding of the military and those who serve. What he understands well is how to take the results of polling and then change his stance accordingly.

    November 29, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    You have to at least give the man credit for being smarter than the average GOP candidate.

    November 29, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. DAWH

    Romney's too far removed from regular people . It seems to me , he considers "The Economy" as an entity unto itself and doesn't realize it's built through the endeavers of real people .

    November 29, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Lisa

    He is correct. Republican voters don't like Romney..........and there is a reason there have been so many "flavor of the months" thing he should be clear out – there are TWO goals we Republicans have in 2012. We want ANYONE but Obama, first and foremost........and anyone but Romney, if there is anyway possible to manage it. Personally, I know there is no perfect candidate, as after all, it will be a MALE, HUMAN we are electing. Bachman is not Presidential material, sorry. – signed, A fiscal and social conservative who will be voting for Newt for the GOP nomination if given the chance, with his warts and all. I would give up sex for the year to watch Newt and Obama debate. Honestly, Newt is the only GOP candidate who would not be getting on the job training. I don't approve of a good bit about Newt, but he's the man I'd hire hands down for the he has my vote. No question.

    November 29, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. mtta

    Romney is the only one who can take America out of the economic mess. We moderate Democrats and Independents should change our party registration to Republican temporarily to have a say in the nomination process. With Republicans playing their flavor of the month game repeatedly you can't really trust them to back the most reasonable candidate.

    November 29, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  13. George H

    Acosta, I gotta hand it to ya, while you sound positively petulant about the limited interviews, you finally admitted that the reality show needs to end. And with that ending, Mitt Romney is the one contender who can beat BHO.

    November 29, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. A disgusted former Republican

    Old Willard has been lucky all his charmed life. Take away his silver foot and he is a republican loser like the rest of them.

    November 29, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Bushper

    Do not feel sorry for Mitten, he is a lair and a flip-floper. Case closed.

    November 29, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. sid

    Romney is their best shot. Wow that says a lot about these GOP clowns. Obama will easily win a 2nd term.

    November 29, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Bushper

    And one more thing, if you live in a glass house, don't you dare throw stones. Take my advice Mitt am a DOCTOR.

    November 29, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. FreedomFighter

    That is all he is, fortunate. He doesn't gain support and as soon as more and more people learn about the Man you try to keep hidden Mitt will be going down and Ron Paul will pass him right up! We know who the real frontrunner is and he don't need luck! He has honesty and real solutions! Ron Paul is our only hope!

    November 29, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Luke Brown

    Herman and Rick know who they are and why they are running for office. I don't think Romney has a clue who he is, except a guy who is obsessed with being President.

    November 29, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  20. Marie MD

    He is just sitting back waiting for the newter man to implode as he will most certainly will.
    Newter man is missing a lot of things in his life including any self respect. After having to leave congress in disgrace or face the music he is now the leading candidate (this is what, the fourth or fifth) of the conservative party who threw him out on his butt before they became so anti anything but making sure they got rich before anyone else.
    I hope his wife is wearing that helmet of hers so that her hair doesn't get all dirty from the scandals and dirt coming her way.

    November 29, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |