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Political insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue the troubled campaign of GOP Presidential contender Mitt Romney is imploding.
Increasing staff dissension, loud arguments between top strategists and increasing impatience from the candidate is “ripping the campaign apart,” a top staffer confides. “We’re imploding.”
The internal strife escalated during the recent GOP convention when top Romney strategist Stuart Stevens scrapped Romney’s planned acceptance speech and started a last-minute scramble to come up with new messages and themes.
Romney’s convention stumbles have provoked weeks of public griping and internal sniping about not only Romney but also his mercurial campaign muse, Stevens. Viewed warily by conservatives, known for his impulsiveness and described by a colleague as a “tortured artist,” Stevens has become the leading staff scapegoat for a campaign that suddenly is behind in a race that had been expected to stay neck and neck through Nov. 6.
Release of a hidden camera video from a May fundraiser has increased finger pointing and dissension within Romney’s campaign. The problem is heightened by mounting criticism from fellow Republicans.
Writes Peggy Noonan:
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. All the activists, party supporters and big donors should be pushing for change. People want to focus on who at the top is least constructive and most responsible. Fine, but Mitt Romney is no puppet: He chooses who to listen to. An intervention is in order. “Mitt, this isn’t working.”
It’s worth recalling that a good chunk of the 47 percent who don’t pay income taxes are Romney supporters—especially of course seniors (who might well “believe they are entitled to heath care,” a position Romney agrees with), as well as many lower-income Americans (including men and women serving in the military) who think conservative policies are better for the country even if they’re not getting a tax cut under the Romney plan. So Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.
In other words, turn out the lights. Mitt Romney’s party is over.