Romney rebuts conservative criticism of his campaign trajectory
September 21st, 2012
07:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney rebuts conservative criticism of his campaign trajectory

(CNN) - Mitt Romney responded in an interview broadcast Friday to recent conservative criticism of his campaign's direction, saying his effort to win the presidency is on the right track.

"I've got a very effective campaign," he said in the CBS News interview. "It's doing a very good job. But not everything I say is elegant."

The remark about his word choice was in reference to secretly recorded clips of fundraiser he held last spring which were posted online this week. In his remarks at the fundraiser, Romney said 47% of the electorate views themselves as victims, are dependent upon government services, and will vote for President Barack Obama.

The Romney campaign responded aggressively, with the candidate holding a press conference hours after the comments emerged. But the comments, Romney's response to them, and his criticism of Obama over violence in the Arab world in the previous week was all fuel to a narrative advanced by some conservative thought leaders.

Peggy Noonan, whose conservative columns appear in The Wall Street Journal, this week described Romney's campaign as "incompetent," and stood by her comments in a Thursday Column. Her word choice, she said, was "only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity.' "

And Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative publication The Weekly Standard, likened Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as "two presidential candidates who - when they thought they were speaking privately to their fellow 1 percenters - have shown contempt for fellow Americans."

In his CBS interview, Romney pushed back against charges that his 47% comment meant he was writing off nearly half of the country.

"I want to make it very clear, I want to help 100 percent of the American people," he said, echoing a new line he debuted on the campaign trail this week after the fundraiser video emerged.

Asked if he would apply his skills turning around businesses - a reputation which he and his supporters tout - Romney said his campaign "doesn't need a turnaround."

He also pushed back on recent national and battleground state polling which appears to give Obama a slight edge over Romney, either within or just outside of the sampling error for each survey.
"We've got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States," Romney said.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Also see:

- Ryan gives House GOP a 'pep talk'

- Defending Romney, McCain cites 2008 campaign trail misspeak

- Romney to ramp up campaign schedule with bus tour

- Pawlenty takes post at Financial Services Roundtable

- Letterman: No hard feelings toward Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Nameqrta

    You talk to much mitt

    September 22, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  2. The Elephant in the Room

    Willard Mitt Romney is in DENIAL.

    Using my best, raspy, disgusted, Bill Cosby voice; " PITYFUL!

    September 22, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  3. Romney Hood's a FRAUD

    Yeah, Williard. You need to find a more elegant way to tell "those people" that they are a bunch of worthless, hopeless, sorry, moochers who need to get off their duffs and stop depending on the government! All 47% of them. Rich and poor. Young and old. Sick and well. Military and veteran. Retired and working. Black and White. Yep....all of "them"!

    September 22, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  4. Marry

    Mitt, we know what you mean; we watched the videos (mother jones)! That is all we need to know to vote against you and the GOP/TP madness that has made it difficult through obstructed moving forward since the President took office! You never mention the “work” of the GOP/TP Congress (what is it – 12% approval rating?) where your “wonder boy” was so active and GOP "filibuster" Senate. Wonder why….
    Make sure you have your voter ID so you are not cheated of your rights on Nov. 6.!

    September 22, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  5. daniel

    Romney lol, we know every thing that we need to know about you ever since you decided to run for the Presidancy 6 years ago, you picked wrong time and wrong president to run against. We are happy with our President who is working hard every day to make this great country better of than yesterday. We refuse to have guys like you who are planning to work only for the elite society like you. Obama is working for your group of people and the rest. Give up yourself a favor. Stanch DEMOCRAT!!!

    September 22, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  6. David Christensen

    I am Obama's employer and I do not believe he is putting in the necessary time in my interests. I demand to see his work schedules for the last 3 one-half years. I want to know why he is hiding this information and why.

    September 22, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has come out as a birther, a proponent of vouchers for seniors, an advocate against women's rights, a war mongering chicken hawk, a tax evader, an opponent of the 47%, and he wants to increase our national debt by $5 trillion. That is about as conservative as any right wingnut.

    September 22, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Steven Colo

    I am SO glad to hear that Romney thinks he's doing a great job.

    September 22, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. Recher

    I just think this guy is a shallow person just like he says he is playing to the Latin vote what you mean he is just
    getting around to it some 40 days till the election ...WOW.

    September 22, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Rick Former Marine

    That's the ticket! Go for the throat! Republicans in opposite corners...gloves off!

    September 22, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. BBunsen

    Somehow, I would expect a man who graduated from BYU and Harvard, successfully ran a business, governed Massachusetts, and has essentially been running for political office since 1993 to be able to speak a bit more . . . elegantly. And coherently.

    September 22, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Mila93

    If you can't run a campaign,you sure as hell can't run a country.NEXT»»»»»»»»»»

    September 22, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. NameThe Film Professor

    The way this is going, Romney will head out on that bus tour and the wheels will come off!

    September 22, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Mk

    He can afford to run next time. Jk

    September 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Namegreta518

    To David Christensen....the President's schedule can be checked on line everyday! I would say 99% of people couldn't keep up with it.

    September 22, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. chill485

    When will the arch conservatives realize that if Mitt really told the American people what he has in mind for us, he'd get about 35% of the vote.

    September 22, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. myopinion180

    Releasing 2011 tax returns that don’t even matter with less than 60 days left till the election? Pure smokescreen on Mitt Romney’s part; what’s insulting about this is Mitt Romney is taking American as fools. What’s even more disparaging is some Americans will not take the time to read, following his every word. Mitt Romney RELEASE YOUR LAST 10 YEARS OF TAXES! What are you hiding? Mitt Romney says, he wants to lead America, but how can he, when he can’t even be honest with America?

    September 22, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. tom

    The chattering class lament but GOP Senators clamoring over each other for "Mitt Who?" bumper stickers has to be more worrisome. .

    September 22, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Mike

    Keep talking Mitt or are you having trouble keeping track of all your positions?

    September 22, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Dave

    Dear Mr Romney, when we run out of bread please send Ann out in one of her Caddies or better yet her dancing horse to bring us the left over cake from your fund raising dinners.

    September 22, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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