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DiabloViejo
09-19-2012, 05:27 PM
<span style='font-size: 17pt'>How Mitt Romney and his campaign finally jumped the shark</span>
ELECTION 12 / SEPTEMBER 19, 2012
BY: ROBERT SOBEL
Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/article/how-mitt-romney-and-his-campaign-finally-jumped-the-shark)

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Following the release of a secret video of a Mitt Romney fundraiser, did the Romney campaign finally dig themselves a hole they can't get out of?

Heading into the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney and his campaign were feeling good about the former CEO of Bain Capital's chances at becoming president. For the first time in the race, Mitt Romney was polling ahead of President Obama and the momentum was on the side of the Republican challenger. After the three-day event in Tampa, FL proved to be a disappointment for Mitt Romney, conservatives across the country were crossing their fingers in hopes that the Democratic National Convention would bomb, keeping the slim lead on the side of Mitt Romney.

As day one of the DNC came to a close, Republicans knew they were in trouble. First Lady Michelle Obama brought down the house in North Carolina and momentum was starting to return to the other side. As day two continued, the DNC highlighted women, students, health care advocates and most importantly, veterans who Mitt Romney failed to mention during his speech the week earlier. Former president, Bill Clinton, gave a speech that lasted nearly 50 minutes, breaking down all recent Republican talking points and making a strong case for a second term for President Obama. The final day of the DNC wrapped up three strong days for the Democrats as Sen. John Kerry and Vice President Biden set the stage for President Obama who closed out the convention in classic Obama style.

Unlike Mitt Romney, President Obama gained the convention bounce all campaigns hope for. In most polls, President Obama gained at least a four point lead following the convention, putting Mitt Romney on the defensive once again. After attacks in Libya killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, Mitt Romney attempted to cut into the president's lead by sending out a press release and doing a press conference hours after the attack. Without proper information, Mitt Romney blamed President Obama for appearing weak and allegedly "apologizing" and "sympathizing" with the attackers. Romney was forced to walk back his statements, but the damage was already done. President Obama was cool, calm and collected in how he handled the situation in the Middle East and Mitt Romney just appeared nervous and too anxious. According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, only 26% of Americans approved of Romney's reaction to the unrest in the Middle East.

With his campaign sinking right in front of him, Romney decided to shift focus back to the economy, playing on his strength as a businessman. As team Romney brought the focus back to economic issues, Mother Jones magazine released a secret video of a Romney fundraiser where Romney is heard stating that 47% of Americans are reliant on government and that he doesn't concern himself with them. The video went viral, reaching 2 million people in less than 24 hours. The backlash came fast and furious, and the Romney campaign did their best to embrace the video instead of push back at it.

Never fully embraced by conservatives, Mitt Romney is seen as the default option for Republicans. Following the "47 percent video" many on the right have already started to jump off the Romney ship. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MS) has distanced himself from Romney, calling his remarks in the "47 percent" video "not the way I view the world.' In Connecticut, Republican candidate for Senate, Linda McMahon, also disagreed with Mitt Romney and his comments. The biggest attack came from former Ronald Reagan speech writer and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan. Noonan was critical of Romney's handling of the situation in Libya and has finally appeared to throw in the towel on the Romney campaign.

"It's time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It's not big, it's not brave, it's not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It's always been too small for the moment."

As the election comes to a close, Mitt Romney and his campaign looks to have jumped the shark. With constant gaffes and missteps, Mitt Romney will have to hope for a Hail Mary during the upcoming debates to get himself back in the race.