“God, he’s a foof and, god, are they selling his ass out wholesale. Somebody shipped this tape to Corn for the express purpose of confirming every single stereotype of Romney in which people already had come to despise. This is a perfect demonstration of what every other Republican candidate came to hate about him in 2008 — I’m willing to bet that old John McCain is pouring himself a nice Merlot tonight, and chuckling evilly to himself — and what drove Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich around the bend four years later. We are coming rapidly toward a devastating confluence of two colliding panics. The Romney campaign is panicking about itself, and the Republicans are panicking about the Romney campaign. He cannot come back from this, honestly. This is who he is. This is what he believes the world to be. Half the electorate already thinks he’s a fake, which means he’s not a very good one. There’s really only one campaign left to him now. Unfortunately for American politics, that means only one thing. It’s going to get extraordinarily dirty extraordinarily fast…” — Charles P. Pierce
“He was obviously inarticulate in making this point. The point we’re trying to make here is, under the Obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up. And what we’re trying to achieve is trying to get people off government dependency and back to a job that pays well, that gets them on the path to prosperity.” — Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate (and, sorry, Paul, but that’s not even close to what Romney said or intended in that video tape — REFRAMING FAIL).
“I can remember in 2008 I said, ‘The fundamentals of our economy are strong.’ The tidal wave of criticism … I made several comments which people then said was terrible statements… I think that people will pay attention to the whole campaign, to jobs and the economy. I don’t think that people will believe that, as Gov. Romney made very clear, that we will exclude a single voter.” — No biggie says Sen. John McCain, the guy who was trounced by Barack Obama in 2008.
“I think there is a broad and growing feeling now, among Republicans, that this thing is slipping out of Romney’s hands,” — Peggy Noonan, in her WSJ column posted on Tuesday night.
“The wheels are not coming off the Mitt Romney campaign. They came off some time ago. The press is just beginning to notice. The Romney campaign is skidding along on its axles and scraping its muffler. Soon it will be down to the dog on the roof. I hate to say I told you so. No, scratch that. I love to say I told you so. I just don’t get to do it very often.” — Roger Simon, Politico
“There’s a feeling of almost that this thing’s in free fall. When campaigns spend an enormous amount of time trying to figure out why they’re broken, I don’t know if they ever come back.” — a Republican consultant with deep experience on Capitol Hill and extensive contacts in the Romney campaign.
“There is a lot of unease within the campaign itself and within the Republican Party and the conservative movement about the state of the campaign. I think they feel like they can’t really catch a break, that this whole thing’s been a much steeper hill than it should have been.” — a fourth operative with experience in Republican presidential campaigns, who talks to those on the Romney campaign but is not working for them.
“The problem is the campaign is now in a spiral and no one knows how to pull out. Romney needs a big idea, then he needs to shift the debate to spending.” — Republican strategist Greg Strimple, who worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign.
“That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in.” — Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), one of two Republican candidates distancing themselves from Romney’s 47 percent comment.
“As a candidate, he is just not going to improve.” — a senior Republican who’s also deeply involved in this cycle’s campaign.
“There seems to be growing frustration. He fumbled the ball on the Libya response. … People are a little frustrated and they just feel like we do have an opportunity to win this cycle, and we’re just … imploding.” — a Romney bundler, who’s spoken to other donors in recent days.
“What he might have said is: ‘There are 47 percent who don’t pay taxes, many would like to be successful, under Obama it has been difficult for them to climb the ladder of success, and my goal is to get them to be successful. But he didn’t say that.” — longtime GOP fundraiser and adviser Fred Malek.
“I’m no Mitt Romney!” — Republican Mark Meadows during a North Carolina House debate.
“There’s no 47 percent in New Hampshire as far as I’m concerned.” — Ovide Lamontagne, the Republican candidate for governor in New Hampshire.
“New Mexico has many people who are living at the poverty level and their votes count just as much as anyone else.” — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R)
“Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.” — William Kristol, Weekly Standard
But Kristol goes further — he’s still praying for another candidate: “It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!).”
As maybe Noonan is also, as she explains in 2,000 words why everything in Romney’s campaign – including the candidate – needs a do-over: “An intervention is in order. “Mitt, this isn’t working.”“