Struggling Romney Campaign Tries To Retool

Looks To Regain Footing After Stumbles Leave Obama Ahead

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By Reuters

Published September 17, 2012.
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Romney plans three new advertisements and a series of speeches highlighting a 5-point economic policy to create jobs, cut taxes, bolster small businesses and achieve energy independence.

BAD WEEK

The shift came after a tough week that saw Romney come under fire from conservatives to be more specific in his policy proposals, and stumble with a quick response to the crisis in the Middle East that critics in both parties said smelled of political opportunism.

The conservative calls for Romney to be more specific peaked after he struggled during a television interview last week to explain what tax loopholes he might close to help offset the cost of his tax cuts, or whether he would keep portions of Obama’s healthcare overhaul.

At a campaign appearance in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Monday, Obama ridiculed Romney for his lack of specifics.

“They want your vote but they don’t want to tell you their plans,” he said of Republicans.

Romney has long had trouble winning over the Republican Party’s most ardent conservatives, who distrust him because of his moderate stances as Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007, when he backed a state healthcare overhaul that became a model for Obama’s national plan.

But many of the party’s political professionals in Washington and elsewhere also wonder why Romney is not doing better against Obama given the 8.1 percent unemployment rate.

“People are concerned. They figured that he would use the convention to explain what a Romney administration would look like. But he didn’t do it,” a top Republican congressional aide said.

The Politico story portrayed a dysfunctional Romney team that produced multiple versions of his convention acceptance speech right up until the time it was delivered, then failed to mention Afghanistan or U.S. military troops.

Polls showed Romney received no boost from his convention, while Obama got a solid bounce in polls from his gathering a week later. Several polls have shown that Obama bounce beginning to recede, however.

Saul Anuzis, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, said Romney’s supporters should be patient given there are seven weeks and three presidential debates - and one vice presidential debate - remaining in the campaign.

“The campaign is adjusting to the political realities by adjusting its message,” he said. “It’s easy to second-guess from the sidelines, but they have been one of the more disciplined campaigns I have seen as far as messaging and organization.” =


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