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

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"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."


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. maine liberal

    balanced budget in the Olympics ?

    Mitt Romney said he would have been unable to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, had it not been for the "enormous spending and services of the federal government."

    The words, uttered by Romney in 2002, are in direct contrast to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's relentless attacks on President Barack Obama over his "you didn't build that" comments.

    According to Romney at the time, former President George W. Bush specifically included Olympic items in the budget he submitted to Congress.

    Romney's own telling of the story, is how that hope for the 2002 Olympics was also restored through $342 million in direct federal funding and an additional $1.1 billion in indirect financing from Washington.

    September 17, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. 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. CIA knew. McCain knew. Most of Congress knew.

    Mitt will be another puppet for Senior and Cheney, as were Junior and actor Regan.
    The Bush Dynasty of Corporate Nazism trashing America for private agendas. Wake Up.

    September 17, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Frank

    WIll the retooling include releasing his tax returns? If not, he'll need to re-retool at some point.

    September 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. zandhcats

    Retool more lies. A quote from TIME:'"....with polling that showed that the attack was working, stuck with it anyway."

    September 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Mike

    balanced the Olympic budget? With a huge federal bailout.

    September 17, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. yes!

    where's your tax returns?????? what are you hiding so dearly at any cost?????

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. logi_101

    No good news for the Pashas of prevarication: Noplan Romney and Lyin' Ryan . I wonder if Romney was granted amnesty for his Swiss accounts.? With yet another story showing that republican reverse Robin Hood tax plans are a complete failure (and have been for 65 years), maybe people will actually do the calculation on the National and find out that all of the debt that Obama inherited was caused by the failed policies of Reagan, Bush and Bus and the rest was (except for 1.5 trillion interest on the RBB debt) has been used to bolster an economic collapse caused by selling bad debt.

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. geest

    Tool is the accurate word when describing Romney. Disrespectful dirt bag that he is.

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. jon

    Sure, let's just elect another Republican President, and have him promptly rip us a new one just like before.

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. ted

    Funny, Obama's actions and reactions with his idealistic unproductive weak foreign policies are covered up daily by CNN and the mainstream press is disgraceful and disservice to all Americans, god forbid if this was George Bush doing these screw ups. PS Egypt is ally, oh but we know the greatest story teller in the world is just misunderstood. Free speech is our most important value, but hell our own news orgs cant even tell the truth like CNN! We were attacked the last week over and over as the Obama admin uses a movie for a excuse who are on the same page as our enemies who are doing the same! Disgusting!!

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Romney 1040 or Obama 2012.

    Republican budgets, deregulation, tax cuts for wealthy, war spending DESTROYED the ECONOMY!!

    Republican stonewalling OUR government has DESTROYED the RECOVERY!!

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Joe The Plumber

    His foreign policy gaffs are being to scare me. Especially since he has the Bush's neo-cons advising him. Remember, this is the squirrel who protested for the Vietnam War. Why does the GOP keep nominating service dodging idiots that keep finding ways to get us into foreign quagmires? That alone should cost him the race!

    September 17, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Patriot

    Just go away Mitt, you're giving me a headache with all the flip flops, walking away from statements, and re-toolings.

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. ll

    Romney – not even remotely near Ready for Prime Time.

    Why didn't the GOP even vet this loser?

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. czar33

    Romney I wish to God that you and your special treated Golden boys get a Stage #4 cancer or get into a very bad plane crash and do not make it until November 2012

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Trade complaint too little, too late."

    Oh please. When is CNN goign to report the facts? Fact: Obama's policies and agreements with China have reduced China's undervaluation of their currency by over 20%. Mittens is just desperately searching for a boogeyman. It's why he insulted Russia with his cold-war rhetoric. It's why he yammers on endlessly about Iran and Israel and ignores the high praise Obama has received from Israel's top officials. And it's why he's seeking to boogeymanify China. China's doing some bad things, but they're also a strategic ally in many ways. It doesn't pay to simply armp up the rhetoric, label them a curency manipulator and thereby trigger sanctions and...lo and behold just like what's happening now with respect to this complaint...instigate a war of trade sanctions and tarriffs/duties in retaliation for our own. Mittens would have China closing its doors to trade with us within a month.

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Jonathan

    I am shocked that this man will say something different to win his election – certainly with his clear history of staying on target and not just flip-flopping to whatever is convenient. This behavior certainly is shocking. I clearly wouldn't expect any further changes from his campaign. They're strong and don't need to pander to their base.

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Paul

    Just as promised by his handlers, he needs to hit the RESET button and I quote, " It is kind of like an etch-a-sketch" when we prepare for the general election, he will articulate his campaign accordingly with the polls.

    This is a very nice way of saying, he will do and say ANYTHING that will give them the best chance of winning. Regardless of truth or facts, regardless of accuracy, regardless of even ethics, Romney and his boy wonder Ryan are so shallow in their commitment to the middle class and bringing jobs to America, they can;t remember the tales they tell from campaign to campaign stop.
    Ryan said, if you knew the man the way I know this man ( he was speaking of Romney), you would know he is the man for the job. Well, a couple points to deflate this windbag. First, why do we not know this man since he has been running for the office of the President for the six years? Could it be Romney has been long on general feel-good speeches and short on specifics? Yeah, these guys are the problem in Washington.

    Keep on the path to recovery now. Obama 2012.

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Mike, Albany

    Mitt doesn't know how to ":retool", he just know how to be a "tool". He's a panderer of the worst kind. So far, he's shown that he's incompetent at foreign policy, he's generally uncaring and unlikeable, and we're supposed to forget all that and believe that he can do something novel to help the economy.

    Beyond this, what's with his new add slogan:

    "Gotta balance the budget. You gotta cut the deficit."

    Is he now trying to show that he's just an average guy with this folksy language? How did that work out for Palin?

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. reality

    it is hilarious to see these posts that are wanting Romney to help them. HELLO!!! He doesn't acknowledge you unless you sign one of his political donation checks.

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Dave

    Sorry, Romney – but more flip-flopping won't help.

    September 17, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. What's New?

    Romney's been changing his message and his position every day since the republican primarys and since he "Officially" got the republican nomination he's been changing them on the hour or is it half hour now!

    September 17, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Debbie

    Romney was a so so Governor. Low on creating jobs. He thinks making $200K is middle class. He thinks corporations are people. I was a Republican for 35 years (GWBush was the end for me he lied on WMD, expanded government on DHS, spent wildly on defense thus increased debt) now an Independent. The GOP has lost its way from conservative to radical right. Romney is neither conservative nor radical right he is just for Romney. He is a disconnect.

    September 17, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. dfeaster

    Romney and the Republicans believe that a smaller government is best for our country. Others of us believe that the government is the best way to address some of those problems. Not every problem has a free market, private sector solution.

    September 17, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. herrick9

    "Myth" can't retool what is ostensibly Myth's DNA..two steps forward and three steps back..My impression is that he is serving too many masters and as such no consistent central message. Meanwhile his selection for vp is even worse
    with semi- factless and attacking presentations. Foreign affairs or policy is clearly not their long suit either so stick with the economy and tell people EXACTLY where those 12 MIILLION jobs in this country are coming from again.
    Inquiring minds would really like to know...

    September 17, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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