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. Tammy

    Of COURSE he knows how to create jobs!

    In countries OTHER than the USA.

    The man has flipflipped and 'tweeked' his campaign so much and so often that I've got whiplash.

    When you get caught saying it's not your job to worry about 47% of the population, your Presidential campaign is pretty much over.

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

    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".

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

    When your backers doubt you? probably one of them is responsible for secret tape? Mitt really thinks he's doing a great job which should show a lot of his supporters he's out of touch!

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

    Poor Flip the Twit, everybody hates him now.

    It's been a few days since he insulted our military, or hispanics, or the Office of the President, or the Palestinians, or rape victims, or 50% of the US population, or the British.

    I think he's resting up before sticking his foot back into his mouth.

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

    I don't consider waiting for the facts as ignoring a proplem. The only way we could get facts was from those that did the killing which Lybia is doing. And if you think any president would have all the details for everything that happens as soon as it happens is more to our own instant info and give me now lifestyles. I don't like waiting , but I do.

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

    Frustrated? Why? Romney is just showing us who he really is. He background is about half-stories. For example, the most recent misstep calling 47% of the nation, "victims", "irresponsible" and "he doesn't care about them", prompted Romney's campaign to release the story about his own mother and father being on welfare when they were "refugees" from Mexico. The other half of the story not being told is why did they leave the great U.S. for Mexico. It was that Mormons wanted to perform polygamy when it was illegal in the U.S.

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


    Have you noticed how republicans always refuse to give their names?

    I agree with you which leads me to believe this person is not a Republican or does not exist.

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

    Obama is going to eat Mittens alive in the debates. Mittens record of flip-flopping is going to handicap him on whatever the issues discussed are. He is just too inconsistent.

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

    "I thought I was paying for better and more convincing lying."

    September 21, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Bill

    The endgame is at hand. I am sure all his donors are fuming.

    September 21, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Sniffit

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

    Indeed. It would be simpler for everyone involved if he would just say publicly the kinds of things he says behind closed doors to the billionaire donors who own him.

    September 21, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Mindie in Indie

    “Stop critizing my husband” the bottled blond botox billionaire bimbo Ann Romeny said – and went on to say “This is hard – you want to try it?” Ohhh…poor little rich girl. If you can’t handle the heat from all the lies your husband and his running tool told, then GET OUT OF THE RING deary.

    The Romney's are not leadership material.

    September 21, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Lee Oates

    If Romney is the best Republicans can offer, the party is dead. If Romney wins, the US is finished as a nation.

    September 21, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Mindie in Indie

    Man – Mittens is really looked stressed out these days.
    What's the matter Mittens? Frustrated because you can't sell your lying flip flopping "tax the poor in order to keep the rich rich" plan to the American People?

    Listen mitt – the working class pay way more than 14% of their HARD EARNED INCOME in taxes (that's your tax rate). Why do you get a tax break? Oh yea – that's why you're running – to make sure the poor keep the rich rich.

    September 21, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Core republican Values

    Poor Mr. Romney is tied up in knots. If there was ever a decent person inside the suit, its long since been twisted into a worthless bundle of hypocrisy by Karl Rove and the republican hate machine.

    Its super to see all the hundreds of $ millions of blood money go down the sewer.

    September 21, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. SouthlandDenny

    Wow, this article is VERY poorly written. I guess this is what we can expect if, God forbid, there's a Romney administration. The guy's campaign can't even spell America correctly on an iPhone app.

    September 21, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. cnnife

    What an advice. After an independent analysis showed repeatedly that his numbers don’t add up, Instead of telling him to be more specific in his explanation on how he would increase military spending by trillions of dollars, cut more taxes for the rich, cut spending tremendously, balance the budget, they are asking him to attack his opponent.

    September 21, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. us_1776

    So was this change-up a FLIP or was it a FLOP?

    I'm losing track of Mr. Romney.


    September 21, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. B.

    Romney and Ryan has become Radioactive to other Republicans and they are keeping their distance.
    It is like getting close to Donald one wants to get any of it on them.

    Smart move.

    September 21, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Mike

    The man writes off millions of veterans, seniors, and hard working people in low paying jobs as "free-loaders" and "victims". He has disdain for the American Dream and wants to make sure that those at the bottom or the middle never even have a chance to achieve it. Americans will reject Romney, and reject the Republican party on November.

    September 21, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. tom

    The bundlers are worried because Mitt keeps putting that dog back up on the roof; they should be.

    September 21, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Fact

    Why does Mr. Romney keep adjusting his campaign? Donors (Investors) might be really concerned. If Mr. Romney were running a business and he had a negative current and forecasted ROI, it would make some current and future donors (investors) nervous. Primarily because the issues that keep popping-up are not "actually" unexpected events (Romney/Ryan's response to the violence in the Mid-East and Romney's comments). These two issues were entirely controllable and should have been managed better.

    September 21, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. rickp202

    Stop worrying and just be sure to get out the vote...if that happens the results won't even be close because of all the pent up anger against OBAMA. Romney in 2012

    September 21, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. bks

    Republicans have been telling that Romney is a job creator because of his experience at Bain.
    Any body can tell that is not true. Which company did Romney started ? I do not find any one. But if you asked which companies went down you can find plenty of them.
    Romney is tuned to making money and he should have been in that business and not in politics.

    September 21, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. us_1776

    Romney, am man whose been running for president for SIX YEARS now.

    And still he cannot get a consistent message going.


    And he thinks he could manage the whole country?


    September 21, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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