Some Romney backers still frustrated with state of campaign
September 21st, 2012
01:06 PM ET
10 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. Xman

    Romney the bafoon.
    Romney the gaffe factory.
    Romney the crook.
    Romney the tax dogdging dolt.
    Romney the poor speaker.
    Romney the mormon.
    Romney the job outsourcing CEO.
    Romney the "retroactively retired from Bain" (lol!)
    Romney the loser Republican, from a losing party, no matter how much money it has.

    I think we already "know" Mitt Romney. It's why he will lose in November.

    September 21, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Jason

    Bush never existed! It was Obama that created the undunded and illegal wars and medicare Pharma DOLE. If you donot believe this you need to be left in a room with one radio that only plays a right wing station and a TV that only plays fox news fair and balanced

    September 21, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Sam

    I guess his supporters are just as out of touch as he is.

    September 21, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Jason

    If Robmey wins, America loses

    September 21, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. faboge

    why is he creating a tax for himself and folks with his financial muscle? Dont you think a middle income tax break would be more in order?

    September 21, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. realitybites

    It's not so much about what he has said and done last week that should be worrisome for them but, what he's said and done over the past year of campaigning. What's to come out of him next week or the next? It's like watchig a star player be on fire one game, dull and boring the next, followed by fight or injury that could jeopardize the team leaving the them in tepid striking distance hoping to make it through the final round of playoff to the big game. What kind of president do you expect this kind of play on the court to make? Insult this one, bash that one, step on that one, bungle this, bungle that --- Oh but, he's a wealthy business man who has the experience to do the right thing. I tell ya...that sounds like a gosh darned disaster waiting to happen.

    September 21, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. John Patrick Grace

    Romney never showed us as much of his real self as he did on that surreptiously shot video of him addressing his fellow billionaires in Boca Raton, Florida, and oozing disdain for the 47 per cent receiving govt. assistance but paying no income taxes. The supreme irony is that a good chunk of the other 53 per cent who do pay income taxes are Obama supporters and a similar good chunk of the 47 per cent he referenced are retired seniors who actually form part of Romney's own base. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot–dissing your own voters.

    John Patrick Grace
    Huntington, West Virginia

    September 21, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. gggg

    My current favorite is Romney attacking because Obama stated that We The People of America have more influence of congress and change than the President does. I always thought that's the way it was supposed to be, so what's the problem?

    September 21, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    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 |
    Oh...and when the Marines died in Lebanon, was that Reagan's ignorance? I see you will be one of those to require anger management when O wins in November....

    September 21, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. demrules

    Although she loves her husband- Ann Romney has made Mitt soft and spineless! It's obvious that he is afraid to make a move without clinging to her dress hem. Don't get me wrong, he has a great looking family and of course they would endorse him. However, they are product of biased opinions and to them he can do no wrong. But, when fellow conservatives start publicly voicing their frustration- then something is really wrong.

    September 21, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Lee Tutt

    I don't understand why Mitt Romeny rich supporters are shock that the polls show President ahead and that Mitt has a real problem talking.

    September 21, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. michael

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

    And yes, there is a reason why he's holding back. If he continues to show his true nature such as the way he did with the 47% comment, he will lose by the biggest landslide in the history of U.S. politics.

    September 21, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. jdluil

    The problem with the "Romney" Campaign is not about his "business background" or "business skills" when compared to Obama's. The problem is that I vote on the entire platform.
    The republicans unfortunately and willingly have been kidnapped by a "fringe" group. This fringe does not want to compromise, removed flexibility from their leadership by demanding signature pledges on not raising taxes. This same group wants only to address gay marriage, birth control (so when they want to "take back our country", they want to take it back to the '50's), abortion, global warming, evolution, the birther issue, 2$ a gallon gasoline, Obama's a Muslim, Obama wants to destroy America and promote world order... whew!
    Romney sold his soul to this group to get the republican nomination .. and now he's stuck. He may be a qualilfied candidate, but his platform does him in for me.
    Our economic problems ( and yes that is the key issue) from joblessness to national debt to our interdependence with the world economy demand novelty and flexibility not rigid and mindless negativism that consistently lump all attempts at solving our problems under the really old bugaboo of – dare I say it – socialism.

    September 21, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. ConsiderThis, FL

    The rich would do better to pay the 47% a billion dollars to vote for Romney than flushing their money down the toilet on trying to sell an obviously unqualified candidate. Romney is a rich, spoiled, privileged, bratty, out of touch, incompetent Sara Palin. He can't run a campaign effectively. What makes anyone think he can do the job of president? Mitt and Ann want to be King and Queen of America. As Ann said, "Stop it! This is hard." She doesn't have a clue how hard it is to be president. I think, by now, the both would be happy to lose the election and go back to being Ozzie and Harriet.

    September 21, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |

    Wow. Look at them sprint away from Mitt the twit. A businessman in over his head.

    September 21, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. myviewis


    If Robmey wins, America loses

    And if Obama wins he'll be expecting you to do the job for him from the outside because he can't change Washington from the inside but Obama still wants to keep the chair of president even if you and all of us have to do his job for him.

    September 21, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Here we go again with another gimmick by the Democrats, it so happens the person wants to be kept anonymous, like the video taken in secrecy and some minutes or perhaps many minutes are missing.

    If you've got something to say than tell us who you are so you can be validated.
    "Specifically, this bundler who requested anonymity in order to frankly discuss his views of the Romney campaign"."

    Really? REALLY? With the hundreds of millions of dollars secretly donated to Crossroads and other plutocrat organizations to fund misinformation campaigns on Mittens' behalf and you have the unmitigated gall to complain about one Obama bundler wanting to remain anonymous about soething he says? Hahahaha. You guys are pathetic.

    BTW, deary, Obama releases the names of all his bundlers. MITTENS DOESN'T. The only thing you're being kept from knowing here is which one said this so you can't go attacking him or his family personally.

    September 21, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. RSVP

    Mittens knows how to create jobs, but only over seas.

    MIttens needs to scared that his tax returns really have been hacked and that they will show that he earned income from a medical-waste disposal firm called Stericycle that disposes aborted fetuses from family planning clinics.

    Mittens needs toget out, not out talking to folks on the stump but out of politics.

    September 21, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Jay in GA

    There is such disarray with both Mitt's campaign and his supporters. Some repubs want him to attack, attack, attack. Others want him to strees his business experience. He is between a rock and a hard place. There is no repub base anymore and it shows with the R&R campaign. You can only serve so many masters.
    How about this; be honest, tell America specifically what he will do to help average Americans, stop flip flopping and own his political record, stop listening to political hacks who are clueless, and just be real. He might be surprised.

    September 21, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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