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July 16, 2012

"Take the Mitts Off, Mitt"

Mark Thiessen:

ere is the state of the presidential race in a nutshell: The Obama campaign charges that Mitt Romney might have committed a felony by misrepresenting his position at Bain Capital to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Outraged, Romney fires off this response:

“He sure as heck ought to say he’s sorry.”

Ward Cleaver, call your office.

Not surprisingly, President Obama brushed off Romney’s request and continued to hammer him over the weekend. Obama is playing by the brass-knuckle rules of Chicago politics. Rather than calling for apologies, Romney needs grab a bottle, break it on the bar and start fighting back.

This may not come naturally to Romney, but we know he can do it.

I think it does come naturally to Romney. I think he likes going for the throat. But I think he's wary of coming off as "the bad guy."

I don't mind this slow-to-anger posture. I believe (my speculation) this is his way of preparing the ground -- noting the justification -- for what comes after.

Thiessen notes, by the way, that the race should not be a tie:

Obama is coming off of the worst three months of an incumbent president during an election year in recent memory... Three months ago, Gallup had Romney with a five-point lead over the president; today, they are at 46-46.

Framed this way, the picture for Romney does not look so pretty.

No, not framed that way. But as I keep saying, I think the underlying structure of this race favors Romney. Polls will say what they say. The basic circumstances of this country are not changing for the better.

On Fox&Friends, Romney ripped Obama for running a fundamentally dishonest campaign -- one that might work in "Chicago," but not in "America" -- and added:

“If we want to talk about transparency, the real issue is, why has this president used his presidential power and executive privilege to keep the information about the Fast and Furious program from being explained to the American people?"

We'll see. I believe Romney will go after Obama with the tongs; but he'd prefer not to, for both political and personal reasons. But now that he's gotten a taste of Chicago politics, I think he's weighing when he's made enough of a case against Obama's negative campaign that he can start hitting him hard in return.

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posted by Ace at 04:50 PM

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