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Comments about ‘Explaining Mitt Romney's loss: Messaging or messenger?’

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Published: Monday, March 4 2013 4:25 p.m. MST

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andyjaggy
American Fork, UT

A little bit of both I believe. I wanted to vote Republican this election, but at the end I just couldn't do it. The 47% comment was the clincher for me. Anyone who honestly and truly believes that half of the nation are lazy freeloader does not deserve to be in the white house.

The 47% were those not paying federal income tax, they still paid plenty of other taxes. It also included seniors and military personnel. It also included a whole lot of Utahns who get lots of tax breaks because of the child tax credit and our large families. Yet somehow everyone in Utah thought that it was only referring to everyone else.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

The nation is moving on. Romney, however, was tied to the republican party, and it is firmly and stodgily tied to all the baggage and anger that is the tea party. We're movin' on.

ThornBirds
St.George, Utah

Many of us are undoubtedly curious how the Romney family can ever put this behind them if the DN continues to publish endless stories about why Mitt lost.
Perhaps Mitt and Ann could avoid those interviews if no one was interested any longer?
Really, after all, does all this conversation change their lot in life?

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

@andyjaggy 5:07 p.m. March 4, 2013

Exactly right. This was a case of a lousy message promoted by a lousy messenger. Contrary to what Mitt wants to whine, his message was fully and accurately understood by the voters (and found to be wanting). And, especially when Mitt was himself, he showed how unqualiied he was to be president for anyone but the extremly privileged, and what an unappealing candidate and person he really was and is. The majority of the voters had the discretion to see through him and his message, and rejected him. Much as I don't like Obama, and didn't vote for him, Romney (by his own words and actions) showed that he would have been infinitely worse. The country dodged a huge disaster when Romney was defeated.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

The problem with the Republican Party is they treat you like your worthless unless your a job creator. Not every one wants to be a business owner but they want to go to work earn a wage their family can live on.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Richard Nixon's formula for winning the White House was to "run to the right" to get the Republican Nomination, then "run to the middle" to win the General Election. But what happens when "running to the right" takes you so far to the fringes of the political landscape that a journey back to the center cannot be accommodated? Isn't that what happened here? The more the Radical Right monopolizes the Republican Party, the more they are going to put it out of business. Ronald Regan could not win the nomination of today's GOP.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

The GOP had organizational and message problems across the board. Although I was never predisposed to support them, among the more galling things were putting out the false (but easily rebutted) statements about outsourcing Ohio auto jobs to China and "legitimate" rape. The blatant attempts to suppress minority voting by cutting election hours and inhibiting early registration in several states also was offputting.

As to Gov. Romney himself, his pandering to the Tea Party wing was a dealbreaker. The man had solid centrist credentials with a state run health care plan that was the model for Obamacare, support for climate change initiatives, and tolerance for LGBT rights. He unnecessarily distanced himself from those stands to win the nomination against a weak field of ultra-rightwingers already prone to self-destruction. His shift to the right was transparent to anyone. You could tell that he was uncomfortable saying some of the things he had to say to win delegates. It revealed him to be a man without principle or conviction, willing to say anything to get elected. In the end, ironically, it boiled down to his character. He might have won as a center-right candidate, but threw it away.

Aggielove
Cache county, USA

Neither.
Ballot cheating

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

@ Shaun

The problem with the Republican Party is they treat you like your worthless unless your a job creator. Not every one wants to be a business owner but they want to go to work earn a wage their family can live on.

No Shaun, but this is undoubtedly the message you took out of the Republican Party. I would guess that you are not a job-creator or business owner. Having said that, if the Republican Party thought everyone else was "worthless", than there wouldn't be a purpose for job creators would there?

the truth
Holladay, UT

It was definitely the message.

Liberal republicanism does not sell.

It just compromises and stands for nothing.

It lets the opposition define them.

It does not rouse the base.

BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

Mitt Romney is a good man and would have made a great President. We would be solving some of the economic mess we have now if he were president! All the freebies BHO handed out won him the election. Plus, some people were able to vote numerous times, i.e. Florida and Iowa. Voter fraud played a huge part. Mitt's executive experience was turning around businesses and making them profitable. He could have done the same for our country. No wonder he is frustrated. BHO continues to spend huge amounts of money touring around in campaign mode instead of staying home and showing leadership! He blames, blames, blames when he should take responsibility and begin to unite this country.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Look at the field of GOP candidates who ran. I still shake my head in amazement.

That Romney was considered the best the GOP could muster in 2012, even with high unemployment and a struggling economy, speaks volumes about how weak the GOP bench has become.

Emajor_
Ogden, UT

I had almost forgotten about what a cast of characters the GOP primary field was. Bachmann, Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, Perry. You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Romney was the best of a truly uncompetitive lot. Rather than running as the thoughtful moderate Republican he seemed to be as governor, he proceeded to flip-flop across the general election, changing his position, offering vague & meaningless platitudes instead of specifics, throwing bones to Tea Party voters while insulting 47% of the nation by lying to rich constituents at a $50K a plate fundraiser. Romney was a chameleon who rarely showed his true colors, and when he did (like the 47% comment), they weren't colors many people liked. Then there were the strategic and logistic flaws in his campaign.

Message or messenger? Both.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

There was nothing wrong with Mitt Romney, nor his message. If the opposing side would have listened and considered the strength of his ideas, things would have turned out differently. But unfortunately, MSM,lefties, Hollywood and the Obama-phoners drowned out and distorted his message to the point that it was unrecognizable. Such a shame! We could be on the road to recovery if just a fraction more of the country had listened and used their brains.

Emajor_
Ogden, UT

BYUalum
"We would be solving some of the economic mess we have now if he were president!"

There's some wild unfounded speculation. All through the campaign season, people were badly overstating the role the President has in directing the economy of this country. The economic collapse wasn't caused by a President, and it isn't going to be solved by one. One case in point: during the campaign, Romney promised X-millions of new jobs over 4 years if he won. But economists were predicting that many jobs regardless of who occupied the White House.

"Mitt's executive experience was turning around businesses and making them profitable. He could have done the same for our country"

Ronald Reagan's Budget Director, David Stockman, strongly disagrees with that one. He argued in a very lengthy analysis that Romney was a financial speculator, not a job creator or true businessman who actually creates and markets a product. And as such, his corporate experience would be of little benefit in shaping national economic policy. Because it will never be tested, it is easy to keep believing Romney would have saved the economy. But you're probably wrong.

wrz
Pheonix, AZ

@andyjaggy:
"The 47% comment was the clincher for me."

The comment was accurate. He didn't say they were lazy. He said they were on government dole. And they are/were.

"Anyone who honestly and truly believes that half of the nation are lazy freeloader does not deserve to be in the white house."

Many of the 47% are sucking up unemployment benefits and are not seeking employment until the benefits are about to run out. That's freeloading. In any event, Romney made a mistake by dissing these folks. If you want to win an election you must not be found dissing anyone... in public or elsewhere.

@ThornBirds:
"Many of us are undoubtedly curious how the Romney family can ever put this behind them if the DN continues to publish endless stories about why Mitt lost."

How can you say that...? This is the first story since the election.

"Perhaps Mitt and Ann could avoid those interviews if no one was interested any longer?"

You seem interested since you apparently read the article and took the time to comment.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

wrz,
"The comment was accurate. He didn't say they were lazy. He said they were on government dole. And they are/were"

Lots to deal with here. The comment was only accurate in that he had the correct percentage of people who were paying no federal income taxes. That's where accuracy ends. They still pay FICA payroll taxes, which are substantial. And the 47% did not vote exclusively for Obama as Romney stated, a very sizable proportion vote Republican. Really, this was debunked quickly after Romney said it, so why do you still believe it months later? Now about the government dole comment. If qualifying for a lower tax rate is "being on the dole", then everyone is. If you get tax breaks for your kids, you are on the dole. If you deduct your mortgage interest you are on the dole. If you are contributing to an IRA and taking the deduction, you are on the dole. Romney pays a lower percent tax rate on his capital gains. Well, he's on the dole.

"Many of the 47% are sucking up unemployment benefits.."

Many? How many? Care to give a percentage?

JimInSLC
Salt Lake City, UT

Mitt impressed me as a person that could easily have become a war monger if given the position of President and Commander in Chief.

In the third debate w/ Obama on foreign relations, Romney was almost one hundred percent in agreement with Obama's policy. Romney pledged to put even more money into military spending.

I voted for Obama his first term because he promised to end the wars. He got elected and escalated the wars. I did not vote for him again, he had proven himself not to be a man of his word.

Both Obama and Romney are controlled by corporate interests that are profiting from war. The US has become the terrorist of the world. Iraq was for oil, Afghanistan is for real estate for a pipeline. The next war will be to try to save our collapsing currency. I count it a blessing to live in america, and have served in the military, but our current government policies make me sick. It is we the people responsible for putting them in office. We have the best government that corporate money can buy; The best government for corporations that is.

DanO
Mission Viejo, CA

Mitt and Ann still don't understand why he lost. That's reason enough to be glad they aren't in the White House. As for Republicans and "job creators", they don't understand who the job creators actually are. It's not the business owner, it's the consumer. Demand creates jobs. It's basic economics.

Springvillepoet
Springville, UT

The simple facts of election history shows us that no president in the 20th Century, other than FDR, could really be called anything but a moderate within his chosen party. And truthfully, FDR was only farther left because the times dictated what he referred to as "bold experimentation" in order to try and alleviate the economic disaster of The Great Depression.

Even President Obama is a centrist. The political spectrum demands it, because no president can get elected without a majority of support of those in the center. 10% of the population (both left and right combined) are in the extreme wings of the political spectrum, but about 80% of Americans are in the middle 10% of the political spectrum, with only a few differences in opinion/belief separating them. Without that base, no president gets elected.

Romney messed around with the group which actually defines an inability to present a unified message in American politics---The Tea Party. Coming back to the center was what he needed to do, but in doing so, he lost the only gain he made with his swing to the right---that Tea Party.

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