Peggy Noonan: ‘Time to admit Romney campaign is an incompetent one’

A surprising column from Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal includes this:

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.”

….Romney doesn’t seem to be out there campaigning enough. He seems—in this he is exactly like the president—to always be disappearing into fund-raisers, and not having enough big public events.

Consider this fodder for Romney’s private fund-raiser at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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90 comments Add your comment

honested

September 18th, 2012
11:44 pm

In the ‘Even A Blind Hog Eventually Finds an ACORN’ Department, finally peggy noonan gets something correct.

Chuckey Cheez

September 18th, 2012
11:46 pm

Incompetent? Yes.

Dangerous? You bet.

Classically Republican? Check.

This is the death knell for the far-right Republican party. Even Republicans know that this is a knife to the heart. This is a “Lonesome Rhodes” or “Glenn Beck” epic fail moment in American history.

The white power movement has finally shot itself in the head.

Bubba

September 19th, 2012
1:15 am

It is not the end of the far right wing of the Republican party. The party has been purged of centrists. The party will blame Mittens’ loss on his not being sufficiently right wing purist. In 2016, the contest for the nomination will belong to the far right only — Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jim Demint, etc. There will be no room at the table for a sensible conservative like Huntsman. The only exception might be Jeb Bush due to the party’s affection for familiar family names of failed former presidents, just as the Democrats would love to have another eligible Kennedy.

gabeagle

September 19th, 2012
1:40 am

If Peggy Noonan was a little more brave and a little less tactful she might admit Mitt Romney himself is incompetent and not just his campaign. He’s the one not fit to serve as President not his campaign.

Buckhead Boy

September 19th, 2012
5:48 am

And, the criticism of Noonan, Brooks, Kristol and other thoughtful conservatives was leveled before the full video became available and exposed some truly frightening remarks in addition to the dumb. For example, Mr. Romney tells of being contacted by a former Secretary of State who suggested that peace in the Middle East might be attainable after the election, which Romney didn’t explore because he’s concluded that peace will never be a possible.

Jack Bowen

September 19th, 2012
5:48 am

Frank, truthful comments from Ms. Noonan. And, in reality, Mitt Romney simply said what he really believes. He cannot see the hypocrisy of criticizing others who get government help, while he made tons of money by driving companies into bankruptcy so the government would assume liability for their pension programs, which then enabled Romney & friends to sell the companies, now free of that liability, for huge profits. Talk about welfare!

Steve

September 19th, 2012
6:46 am

Mitt is trying to be exactly what he is … a “businessman” who has to answer to no one. Trouble is, Washington D.C. is filled with politicians. Mitt has proven that he does not have a clue as to the needs of the middle class. The Republican party still doesn’t have a center, but only a right and far right. They will get trounced again. Afterwards we will be treated to their sad, bloated eyes wondering what happened. I will tell you now that the real world happened. This is how things are and you still have not figured it out.

DeborahinAthens

September 19th, 2012
6:53 am

I shudder to think it, but, I fear, by some sort of machinations similar to those that got Dubya elected, that Mitt will be our next President. The Republicans in the various states have made no bones about jiggering election laws to disfavor the Dems and favor the Repugs. There is one video of some politician in one of the swing states telling an audience, after passing restrictive voter registration laws, that, “We have deliver out state to the Republicans.”. He was very proud of himself.

WAW

September 19th, 2012
6:55 am

I paid my taxes, Thank You. I employed people and took care of them. My rule was “you take care of my customers and I will take care of you”. Thanks to the Great Recession at the point of my retiring, I have enough “loss” that will probably mean that I will die with unclaimed deductions. My problem with Mitt’s comments, while technically correct, is his lack of concern for millions in my situation. I am not a victim! I am a retired businessman who did his job, took care of his people (very well, I might add) and paid my taxes. To be “written off” by a Corporate Raider is too low. Since I am now a burden to the Republican party, I’ll take the Community Organizer. Maybe, just maybe, he will appreciate what I did for my country. Now Mitt needs to produce his Tax Returns just to prove he is a loyal American and not a whining victim like me.

Scrivener

September 19th, 2012
7:19 am

Color me shocked – shocked, I tell you, that Bookman and Galloway are searching the internet for anything negative they can find about Romney. And it has been such a great couple of weeks for Obama and all his great attention to our security and foreign affairs. But that’s not the narrative they want, of course.

Scrivener

September 19th, 2012
7:22 am

“My problem with Mitt’s comments, while technically correct, is his lack of concern for millions in my situation. I am not a victim! I am a retired businessman who did his job.”

Maybe your problem is really that you want to assume he’s talking about you, when he wasn’t. But you knew that all along and just chose to try to pretend otherwise to make a political point. As if you weren’t going to vote for Obama.

Edmund Ruffin

September 19th, 2012
7:22 am

Chuckey Cheez must have cheez for brains. There is nothing far right about Romney nor the Republican Party. If either/both were far right we might expect to see Constitutional government restored to the Republic, but restoration of Constitutional government is not in the cards. It is true that the Romney campaign is running itself in the style of McCain and doesn’t look good. That bunch of northeastern liberals would do well to go on the offensive so they can beat the Communist-in-Chief.

Tedd

September 19th, 2012
7:33 am

I tend to think the “big events” are so often just a gathering of bused in cheerleaders. The Republicans just don’t do that as well and it in no way addresses the issues at hand. Dumb way to measure success.

Cherokee

September 19th, 2012
7:43 am

Wrong Scrivener.

Romney was talking about retired folks, soldiers in war zones, elderly residents of nursing homes, poor families with kids, as well as retired businessmen, and something like 4000 millionaries who pay no income taxes.

Vote for him if you want, but his comments were dripping with disdain for people like you, and the majority of Americans.

resno2

September 19th, 2012
7:45 am

If people paid as much attention to what obama has said in the past about what he truly believes as they do about what Romney says it might be an even race.

ByteMe

September 19th, 2012
7:50 am

So when Romney loses, will Republicans decide the reason was:

(a) he wasn’t conservative enough.

or (b) he didn’t try to pivot hard enough to the center after the primaries.

If (a), look for Democrats to win in 2016 as well. If (b), then they can have their own “hope and change” after all.

B. Thenet

September 19th, 2012
7:56 am

Just remember than since that video from Obama in 1998, that Romney has changed from a pro-choice, big government, pro government healthcare governor from one of the most liberal states in the country to a “conservative, small government” candidate.

I don’t think the Romney campaign wants to go in the way back machine, but at this point their campaign is in such dire straits they have no choice.

BTW, how much you want to bet that the Romney campaign and Drudge(who are obviously working in conjunction with each other) were trying to save that clip until just before the debates….but had to run it out early to stem the bleeding.

Cherokee

September 19th, 2012
7:59 am

ByteMe, I agree. When Romney loses, it’ll be interesting to watch the civil war in the Repub party – between people like Edmund, who love to toss around the Communist epithet in spite of the fact that we’re having record corporate profits under Obama – and the Jeb Bush’s of the world, who understand that the party will die if they only try to appeal to angry old tea party white guys.

WAW

September 19th, 2012
8:11 am

Scrivener: I was doing the fence thing. Most of my friends will vote for Romney and were pushing hard on my thinking, until Jimmy’s grandson helped kick me (and probably a whole bunch of other folks too) in the butt. Daddy often repeated that Great Depression line “Don’t vote against yourself”. I’m off the fence and will vote for me. I am a person of worth, a loyal American, and very pissed off voter.

ScottC

September 19th, 2012
8:24 am

Probably the most disturbing thing about Romney’s latest gaff is that he said what he believes. He says he is a businessman (and he is) who is used to firing non-producers. He appaently thinks he can do the same to the citizens of this country. No matter your political affiliation you have to be very concerned that someone with this mindset could be our commander in chief. And, lastly, after running for President for over 6 years he still hasn’t figured out who he is or what the Presidency is.

jd

September 19th, 2012
8:24 am

My grandfather never forgot Hoover’s policies — he reminded me constant — Republicans say they are for the little guy — but they are all about big business and the very wealthy… The god they place in their platform, their beliefs, is the god of mammon

Doug

September 19th, 2012
8:26 am

Ironically, Obama is the great campaigner and horrible president. I think it’s possible that Romney is not a good campaigner but might be a good president??

resno2

September 19th, 2012
8:40 am

If Americans were actually in the mindset of firing non-producers obama wouldn’t even bother running. We need someone with actual real-world experience. Not someone who’s none political resume is less than half of a page. Romney actually built a business, and had to make difficult decisions along the way to make it successful (83% (?) success rate in turning around business he acquired). What had obama done prior to his selection into politics to prepare him for knowing what it’s like to be ‘one of us’? What business did he build? What real jobs has he held?
BTW…I’m a person of worth, a loyal American, and very pissed off voter too.

tiredofIT

September 19th, 2012
8:47 am

So Romney used government money to bailout Bain. So he is that incompetent and a moocher!

Aser706

September 19th, 2012
8:56 am

Bain used funds from the FDIC. Which is not a bailout and does not funded by taxpayers, but instead deposit insurance payments.

resno2

September 19th, 2012
8:56 am

tiredofIT: What?

obamaSinLaden

September 19th, 2012
8:58 am

you sniveling liberals really should open your eyes. think foryourself. don’t get caught in these traps. these traps are set on purpose to snare you! and you being blind and all, you step right into the middle of it. romney is some what right . the numbers are probably 37 % instead of 47%. btw, this countrys true liberty is just one more elitist supreme court justice away.

Mass Runner-Up

September 19th, 2012
9:00 am

Time to add a Republican to the list of presidential runner-ups from Massachusetts: Dukakis, Kerry, Romney

HRpufnstuf

September 19th, 2012
9:03 am

Peggy Noonan? I can’t stand her. She is sooo full of herself, like she is some sort of authority. *rolls eyes*

WAW

September 19th, 2012
9:07 am

resno2: I appreciate and respect our common values! However, our differences are apparent by your questions; “What had obama done prior to his selection into politics to prepare him for knowing what it’s like to be ‘one of us’? What business did he build? What real jobs has he held?” With the “victim” level of unemployment, rising poverty, etc., Obama has more experience at helping people rather than bottom lines. If you take care of people (as Mitt did when he was Bishop of his church) at their time of great need, my experience is that they will bust their butts to help you. That was true in American history, most all of the CCC boys volunteered within a week of Peril Harbor. I think people need to come first again.

WAW

September 19th, 2012
9:11 am

“I think people need to come first again.” Guess I just moved from liberal to FLAMING liberal.

retiredds

September 19th, 2012
9:15 am

How many times does the Mittsker have to clarify his statements? If he thought it through the first time he wouldn’t have to cover and backtrack. I am also interested in the audience to which he made his comments: are any of them victims? Might want to check their deductions? After all when you come down to it, strictly speaking (strict constructionist parallel) isn’t a tax deduction a form of government handout?

jconservative

September 19th, 2012
9:32 am

Actually Romney was talking about me.

I am a retired business person. I draw income from investments but have it arranged that no taxes are due on that income. I also draw Social Security, am on Medicare, have a Bush 43 Prescription Drug Plan and pay no income taxes. So I am part of that 47% who do not pay income taxes.

Romney: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it….These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.”

Obviously Romney does not know who his constituency is. Also, just as obvious, Romney does not know what he is talking about. This is what Peggy Noonan is talking about in her article.

I am afraid the Romney campaign is handing this election to Obama on a silver platter.

resno2

September 19th, 2012
9:36 am

obama has no experience with the bottom line, and community organizer experience at helping people. That and two years of being present as congressman is apparently all that qualifies someone to be President. Unfortunately, as our economy and unemployment rate can attest, that’s not enough.

resno2

September 19th, 2012
9:47 am

Romney doesn’t know what he’s talking about? And obama does?

Quick question: If Romney’s history (up bringing/education/etc) was identical to obama’s, do you think we’d be talking about it nor not?

jconservative

September 19th, 2012
9:51 am

“That and two years of being present as congressman is apparently all that qualifies someone to be President.”

Actually what qualifies someone to be president is winning the election. Obama won the election with 53% of the vote. 66 million of our fellow voters voted for him, more votes than any other president in history. That fact alone makes him qualified.

As of today I am afraid Mitt Romney is not qualified to be president – he is losing the election.

retiredds

September 19th, 2012
9:53 am

resno 2, old, tired, conservative talking points. Try something new.

Disabled War Veteran

September 19th, 2012
10:11 am

As a 100 percent disbled war veteran who pays no taxes on my disability compensation or on my tiny Social Security I guess I must fall into the category of the 47 percent Mr. Romney is talking about. If being unable to work because of being injured in the service of my country like millions of other war vetrans during one of our many wars makes me a freeloader I guess I’ll have to live with it. Mr. Romney…you may carry Georgia but not with my vote! You are far too callous for me and for I suspect a lot of other folks who are either service-connected disabled vetrans or on Social Security that they paid for over years of work. One thing I give President Obama credit for is that he has never turned his back on the military or us veterans like his predecessor did!

resno2

September 19th, 2012
10:18 am

retiredds: try answering the question.

Carrie

September 19th, 2012
10:27 am

I tried, I really DID try to hold my nose and vote for Romney, anyway. But I give up. I’m not voting for Obama, but I’m not voting for Romney either.

I’m staying home on Election Day.

Shar

September 19th, 2012
10:30 am

Romney’s problem is that he conflated two different groups. John King has an interesting article detailing this on CNN’s website this morning, but the bottom line is that Romney’s first statement – that the president has strong support among about 47% of the voting population. He was also close to correct in saying that about 45% of Americans do not pay taxes, at least if he was only referencing federal income tax – everyone pays sales taxes and most of that 45% pay property, state, municipal and other taxes as well.

Romney’s blazing mistake is in conflating those two, separate groups. The greatest number of people not paying federal income taxes are the elderly on Social Security, many of whom vote Republican, or working middle class people who take tax credits for things like child care. As King notes, “In 2008, Obama won 95% of the African-American vote, two-thirds of Latinos, 64% of other minority voters, and 52% of white women who are college graduates.”

The elderly and lower middle class workers. Blacks, Latinos and college-educated women. These are two groups that Romney, carelessly and astoundingly insensitively, threw together in a big garbage can and decided are not worthy of his consideration because :

“These are people who pay no income tax.”

“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Meanwhile, of course, he used every deduction and loophole he could, both individually and corporately, to augment the large fortune left to him by his father. And he was speaking to a group of people who did precisely the same thing.

I’m really not sure how the Romney campaign, whatever their level of competence, fixes this. The remark showed such ignorance, such contempt and so clear an intention of disregarding those groups during both his campaign and his presidency that it is hard to imagine voters such as WAW, the independents who decide elections, to trust in Romney.

resno2

September 19th, 2012
10:31 am

jconservative: My apologies, my statement was not specific enough. Let me see if I can help. Being a community organizer, and and two years of being present as congressman is apparently all that some voters feel qualifies someone to be President.” Unfortunately in the ‘real world’ those qualifications barely make someone competent to run a lemonade stand.

Scrivener

September 19th, 2012
10:32 am

If you people want to intentionally try to mis-define the 47 percent, knock yourselves out – even though jconservative gave us the quote. The people he’s talking about precedes the part about WHO will never vote for him. It does NOT say retired folks, military personnel or SS recipients. It DOES list people who are dependent on government “for food, housing and you-name-it.” And he a hundred percent right. Those on social programs such as SSDI, welfare, food stamps and Section 8 will never vote for him.

honested

September 19th, 2012
10:38 am

peggy noonan, the older version of lynn cheney.

Representative of absolutely nothing, but at least close to correct on this occasion.

Scrivener

September 19th, 2012
10:53 am

WAW, you mean you’re letting your grandson set you straight on politics? Don’t you have a lifetime of world experience that he doesn’t have and has yet to learn? That could be your problem right there. Having too many takers and not enough makers will doom our country if this trend continues.

sallyjohanna

September 19th, 2012
10:54 am

I have a brother-in-law who wants the Obama promise of student loan aid despite his small phone system rep business being in the tank due of Obama policy.

My brother who owns a PVC supply business that is stuggling will vote Obama because his wife is a staunch Progressive. Their oldest son votes for Obama even though his first job is with an investment planning company.

Peggy your nose is too high in the air, down here in the trenches, I instantly understood what Romney was saying. Agree, Romney needs to tighten up the way he delivers it.

The Socialist Progressives in my family are willing to chuck the Constitution for Socialism. Mitt has to win, stop being in love with your own opinion and help him! ABO

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
11:09 am

Well stated Sally

Lifelong Repub

September 19th, 2012
11:14 am

Mitt is toast. I’m holding out for 2016.

resno2

September 19th, 2012
11:30 am

There may not be much left in 2016.

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
11:35 am

Mitt will win, Obama will be a one termer and we will rejoice.