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. Ancient Texan

    Mitt must get more aggressive and not pursue the "good old boy" passive path of Dole and McCain. He could point out the world situation; Obama is up to his neck in alligators with our embassies under attack all over the world, the economy, high unemployment, and he's ignoring it all to run for re-election and do fund raisers.

    September 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Fact

    It's clear. This is not the party of Reagan!

    September 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    They don't have a clue. They don't have a plan and they're lost in their own failed and ineffective campaign of pointless rhetoric filled hate and division. Maybe he needs to shakee up his campaign a little as he goes along, somewhat like an Etch-A-Shetch, remember? Hehe. Trike three. GAME OVER!

    Obama/Biden 2012 by a LANDSLIDE!

    September 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. 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 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Dumont Dermon

    When they start telling you "it's not too late" it's way past too late. There is forward momentum and backward momentum. There is also inertia. Romney is either stuck in the quicksand of his self made inertia or going backward fast. He will have to stop going backward, come too a halt and then try to gain forward momentum. Get out the butter and Jam because he is toast.

    September 21, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Nodack

    Republicans are getting desperate. I think they should turn Romney loose to just say whatever he wants. Whenever he does that he sticks his foot in his mouth and says something he regrets later. He has a real problem speaking and not insulting somebody. It must be really hard to be that disconected with the average American.

    September 21, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. MadmanMike

    Poor "Etch-A-Sketch" Romney, you can't erase the stink of failure off of you like you can with an Etch-A-Sketch. Just like you can't spell "M0rm0n" without "M0r0n". The only difference is the one letter that's missing from m0r0n, to become M0rm0n. And that is the letter "M", as in "Mitt".

    Why can't you share more than 2 years of your tax returns Mitt? Your dad did,. Every other candidate did. What do you have to hide?

    September 21, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. yep

    Romney has shown exactly who he is and what he stands for. You either agree with it or you don't. As for his campaign, it has been one mis-step after another. Everytime he tries to look Presidential he comes off looking like an Idiot. And the polls are bunch of malarky. Dead even, yeah right. The only reason we keep seeing that they are dead even is because the media, which happens to be the biggest financial winner during election times, wants us to keep looking at what they have to offer. THis election will be the biggest landslide win for Obama in decades. People aren't as stupid as you think Romney, and even thought they may not like Obama, as I don't particulary do, he at least doesn't look like an idiot every time he speaks.

    September 21, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Patriot Awesome

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

    I'm pretty sure he showed who he is in that 47% video.

    September 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. KOLOB

    Romney can't show us who he is, BECAUSE THERE'S NO ONE THERE. He's just a creepy plastic Mormon robot.

    September 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. I'm one of the 47%

    Romney needs to start saying "lock box" a lot. Worked for Gore.

    September 21, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. WillH85

    He is showing people who he is, and that's someone that hates people who aren't rich. Seems pretty clear to me and it should seem to clear to the rest of Americans too.

    September 21, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. John

    Ir doesn't make any different how much money you Millionaire and Billionaire give to Mitt Romney campaign ,he Till going to be Mitt Romney, and Most American people just believe he should be President. All he does Is LIE or Flip-Flop on all most everything. And President Obama Isn't Ignoring what going on In the Middle East, what do you want him to do attack every Middle East Country. This Would be pretty dumb on any body part. What really need done Is have the Idiot over here In American that keep causing them to do all the Protecting they are doing. You know people like the so call pastier Jerry Jones, he Is Really getting these people kill with his ignorance.

    September 21, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Gladitsfriday

    @Obama's America 2016
    dont you know that the President gets updates of everything that is happening when it concerns the USA. No matter where he is the Presidsent can know what is going on. Just because you not seeing it all over the news and newspaper, doesn't mean that he is not up to date and making decisions.

    September 21, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

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

    Um, I think he showed who he is, and I don't think he held back.

    September 21, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What's Mitt Romney's unlucky numbet? Well, its 47. For example, as governor, his state of MA finished 47 in job growth. Then the gaffe he made on this video about the 47% who he said is going to vote for President Obama is actually going to doom his campaign. Want to bet the President carries 47 states in November? Hehe!

    Obama/Biden 2012 by a LANDSLIDE!

    September 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Ken from CA

    ""The polls are deceiving"....? Yup, that's your best hope, because your candidate is not helping you. Dems to take back the house and work you right wing nuts over in the next 4 years, yeah!

    September 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. TexDoc

    Quck quiz liberals. Which number is greater for August, more new food stamp participants or people who found jobs?

    September 21, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. teatbag

    America is dissatisfied with the Romney campaign. Never thought I would say it but even Palin ran a better campaign.

    September 21, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. spinGolly

    I used to think how can Mitt, a very smart man, be so dumb and inept? After all, it takes some smarts to build a financial empire like Bain. Yet, he is running his campaign as if he is a bumbling idiot. Then it occurred to me. Romney is not dumb at all. In fact, he is quite brilliant. What Romney is doing is trying to save the Republican Party. All the gaffes, all the distortions and all the lies and mistakes. He’s been taking extreme right wing nutbag positions, alienating huge masses of the electorate. It’s all part of a bigger plan. You see, the Tea Party has pushed him so far to the right that he knows he has no chance of winning the general election. In fact, he knows as long as the Tea Party is in control, the republicans have no chance of winning the presidency…ever! So he is sacrificing himself to save the party.

    It’s like the ship captain who knowingly sails too close to jagged rocks so he can sink the ship. Well, this week Romney, as he expected, hit a rock. A big sharp 47% rock. And it put a huge gash in the side of the ship. Now, like the captain of the Concordia, he is trying to run the ship aground before it completely sinks and kills off his entire party. By doing this, he knows he will never captain another ship. But, his hope is that, as the ship takes on water; the Tea Party will abandon ship (or get thrown overboard). That way he can rid it of the Tea Party infestation. Then, maybe someday the Republicans will be able to right the ship, repair it and put it back on course towards the middle of the electorate without the TP. And, maybe win a future presidential election. Absolutely BRILLIANT! All reasonable minded, fiscal conservative republicans should be thanking Romney for saving their party

    September 21, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. mpouxesas

    Obama 2012. Romney 1040.

    p.s. (we accept the EZ form too).

    September 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Macmaven

    How can they expect Romney to show who he is, when he has so many different masters to appease? There are 3 exactly. The Republican establishment base, the Tea Party, and the Evangelicals. All 3 want Romney to be a different person, this is why there are a dump load of snippets with Romney contradicting himself. Just depends on which of the 3 has his ear for that day.

    September 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. mark

    If Pres. Obama is to be held accountable for the embassy attack, then Bush should have been held accountable for 9/11. The difference is there was no evidence for the embassy attack, but there was evidence about the pending 9/11 attacks.

    The 9/11 attacks happened because George W. Bush was/is incompetent. Probably the worse President in history – makes Carter look like Washington!!!!

    Bush is responsible for almost 3000 dead, Obama may be responsible for 4 dead!!!

    September 21, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Luke,AZ

    His backers are being nice to Gov Romney. This man is NOT presidential material, and everyone knows it. How long are his backers going to keep putting more money into Romney's campaign is the question. Gov Romney's yacht is sinking.

    September 21, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. carlos

    truth hurts and Obama's America are telling us that you are not a legitimate human being.....maybe from kolob...hehehehe

    September 21, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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