Team Romney Takes a Page From the Palin Playbook

Earlier today, I read a piece in the Politico in which Marky Mark had the following to say about media relations:

Time magazine’s Mark Halperin labeled the Romney campaign’s relationship with the media “toxic,” and few scribes covering either campaign say they feel the love. Or even the like.

Later on in the piece was this bit:

Add the fact that Romney has proved to be gaffe-prone, especially when he speaks off the cuff. Over the past few weeks, the Romney traveling press has been locked in a quiet skirmish with the candidate’s Boston brain trust over ambushing Romney when he greets supporters after events.

At first, campaign officials tried to bar reporters. When that didn’t do the trick, Romney himself told scribes, “Not on the rope line!”

Looks like team Romney are continuing their charm offensive with the media:

Several reporters covering Mitt Romney described being blocked from a rope line on Wednesday and prevented from asking the candidate questions at a St. Petersburg, Fla., event.

“Romney campaign and Secret Service attempted to keep press off ropeline so no q’s to candidate on Bain,” tweeted CNN’s Jim Acosta.

The AP’s Kasie Hunt tweeted that “campaign staff and volunteers trying to physically prevent reporters from approaching the rope line to ask questions of Romney.”

Way to go, guys.

72 replies
  1. 1
    pragmatism says:

    Just following the “do the opposite of McCain” strategy.

  2. 2
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Ha! Who needs tire swinging when you have a SuperPAC ready to spend a billion dollars on televised bile?

  3. 3
    buford puser says:

    How is this an appropriate use of Secret Service personnel (ie taxpayers’ $)?
    Is there some notion these questions could have affected Willard’s physical safety, presumably their sole concern, other than checking out the local talent?

  4. 4
    cathyx says:

    Well, it’s easy to win the press back when you need them. Just host a barbeque and invite them.

  5. 5
    russell says:

    Reporters: Not Our Kind Of People, Dear.

  6. 6
    Keith G says:

    Wait! I’m confused. I thought the Politico was a pit of untalented vipers whose pitiful reporting was unworthy of our time.

    What has changed?

    Added by edit

    Also too, when did our Secret Service start wearing brown shirts?

  7. 7
    robertdsc-PowerBook says:

    Willard, you goddamned coward.

  8. 8
    gbear says:

    Got a feeling inside (Can’t ex-Bain)
    It’s a certain kind (Can’t ex-Bain)
    I feel hot and cold (Can’t ex-Bain)
    Yeah, down in my ‘soul’, yeah (Can’t ex-Bain)

    Sing on this, Romney.

  9. 9
    Comrade Jake says:

    I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Mitt doesn’t stray beyond FoxNews for interviews. Gotta play to the base, natch.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    Willard’s tire swing is made of pate, so there’s that. We’re lucky to have a candidate of his stature, it means we can’t lose!

  11. 11
    Keith says:

    @pragmatism: What’s the opposite of BBQ and tire swings? Maybe steamed chicken and hair shirts?

    EDIT: Thinking of the LDSers in my neck of the woods, the hair shirts should be replaced by summer bike rides in long sleeve shirt and tie.

  12. 12
    srv says:

    @Keith G:

    Also too, when did our Secret Service start wearing brown shirts?

    They left all the satin ones in Colombia.

  13. 13
    trollhattan says:

    Luckily, there’s one stalwart arm (heh, he said “armed”) of the media who want us to get the unvarnished troof!

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.co.....ation?lite

  14. 14

    Um, Mitt repeatedly and knowingly lies to these people all the time, regardless of their fact checking. Why do they think he gives one crap about their feelings on the ropeline? (Dear media, when you start showing some spine, maybe you’ll earn some respect.)

  15. 15
    kdaug says:

    So Candy Crowley, with cookie crumbs dribbling down her shirt, is not being properly entertained?

    Le sigh.

  16. 16
    redshirt says:

    UNLIMITED VICTORY

  17. 17
    redshirt says:

    @trollhattan: Great pate, Mitt.

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    Strategy:
    1) Lock the media in the closet.
    2) Complain the media doesn’t like Willard.

  19. 19
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Boy, ya got that right, Halpy. Mitt hates you media types. Thinks he’s so much better than you. Say, you know what would be a great way to get him back? A couple of negative stories about the guy.

  20. 20
    Laura Clawson says:

    The Secret Service were informed of a credible threat the candidate might be asked tough questions and make an ass of himself. What else were they to do?

    On another note, I am feeling a serious deficit of Tunch/Lily/Rosie pictures.

  21. 21
    p.a. says:

    if he can’t face the press, how will he stand up to the Soviet Uni Imperial Ja Ottoman Emp oh hell…

  22. 22
    amk says:

    These msm suckers kiss their tiny little asses all the time and yet the thugs kick the msm on their collective nutz every time. Karma

  23. 23
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I’ve suspected for a while that the junior high of the political press were likely to give Mittens a dose of the Gore treatment.

    It was shitty then, and it’s no less shitty now, even if it’s directed towards Lord Mittford Romnington.

  24. 24
    The Dangerman says:

    How did this asshole make it through the Primaries? Oh, that’s right, he was the best the Republicans had. How is that possible?

    And tonight’s the wrong night for me to have a backache; gee, thanks, Yutsano (continued speedy recovery). I take my Advil in your honor.

  25. 25
    Zagloba says:

    @kdaug: Hey, can we have a little less body-snark please?

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    @Laura Clawson:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    And how you doon? Long time no see. Good to see you here.

  27. 27

    @Keith: Easy. Tire rims and anthrax.

  28. 28
    Mike Dixon says:

    I bet almost no one will notice or care if they do.

  29. 29
    kdaug says:

    @Zagloba:

    Hey, can we have a little less body-snark please?

    It’s a quote.

    But I’m hearing the Jaws theme now.

    Body-snark. Whamp-ump. Whamp-ump. Whamp-ump.

  30. 30
    Mike says:

    And yet the media still kisses his ass…

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Is this the bizzaro universe version of “working the refs”?

  32. 32
    kdaug says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):

    Easy. Tire rims and anthrax.

    Nom-nom. Some nice vinaigrette with that?

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @p.a.:

    The question is, can he stand toe to toe with the Holy Roman Emperor? Probably only to discuss Austrian warmbloods…

  34. 34
    amk says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: No need for negative stories. Just report the fucking facts about the mittbot and the thugs for starters.

  35. 35
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mike:

    And yet the media still kisses his ass…

    A horse race and the subsequent ad revenue is more important than heir integrity/dignity.

  36. 36
    Hill Dweller says:

    A bit OT, but still Willard related. Anyone want to take a shot at explaining the Republicans’ attempt to focus on the debt/deficit again? Willard’s new stump speech is about the debt. Rove’s new ad buy is about the debt. Boehner made some noise about it today.

    Why not focus on high employment? It is a more powerful message than the national debt, which no one, especially Republicans, really care about.

  37. 37
    lacp says:

    Christ. Even Bushes Senior and Junior, as unfamiliar as they are with the English language, didn’t duck the press like this bozo.

  38. 38
    MikeJ says:

    @lacp: I’m surprised he hasn’t just gone for the Regan “I can’t hear you over the other noise” move.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    Um, Mitt repeatedly and knowingly lies to these people all the time, regardless of their fact checking. Why do they think he gives one crap about their feelings on the ropeline?

    It’s not a question of feelings, it’s a question of doing their jobs. Their job is to report stuff. If they can’t report anything, they’ll get in trouble with their editors. One of the easiest ways of having stuff to report is to ask important people questions and listen to their answers, i.e. reporting as stenography.

    If you refuse to answer their questions, they won’t have a ready made story, so they’ll be at risk of getting in trouble with their editors. That makes them mad at you. Even worse, their response will be to go to the next easiest story, which is what a jerk you are for refusing to talk to them. If you keep it up, they may hold a grudge and decide to make your life just as tough as you made theirs. They might even get especially mean and come up with tough questions to ask the next time instead of softballs, so they’ll have a story about you dodging the tough questions voters really want to know about if you refuse to talk to them.

  40. 40
    Yutsano says:

    @kdaug: A vinagrette of sewer water and sweet Brent crude. With a splash of balsamic vinegar for that extra zip.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @p.a.:

    f he can’t face the press, how will he stand up to the Soviet Uni Imperial Ja Ottoman Emp oh hell Kenyan in Chief…

    FTFY.

  42. 42
    lacp says:

    @MikeJ: Yeah, but Ronnie always had the excuse that he was 10,000 years old. All that Mittatron can come up with is that his audio receptors are malfunctioning.

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    @lacp:

    Even Bushes Senior and Junior, as unfamiliar as they are with the English language, didn’t duck the press like this bozo.

    Willard is going to make Dubya’s scripted campaign stops — filled with hand-picked loyal GOP attendees — seem like honest spontaneous events. He’ll hire a couple of dozen adoring Mormon cousins to greet his bus at every stop.

  44. 44
    Laura Clawson says:

    @geg6: Struggling to keep my head above water. Reading all the time, just not having the energy to engage.

  45. 45
    ChrisNYC says:

    I’m no fan of the political reporters but I don’t think this is about their feelings. Guy’s running for President. Saying “I can’t answer impromptu questions because I might fuck it up” is out of line. Geez, it’s an accepted response now to harangue the questioner about how silly their questions are. But Romney can’t even do that without sounding like a nasty, in over his head idiot (i.e., “the DREAM Act is completely irrelevant to Colorado voters, missy”). This is not at all what happened to Gore.

  46. 46
    Zagloba says:

    @kdaug: It’s a quote.

    [runs off and googles] Robert Vaughan?

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Why not focus on high employment?

    That’s a bug, not a feature, as far as the Galtian overlords are concerned.

    Keep the proles starving, so they’ll take any shit job offered to feed themselves.

  48. 48
    NonyNony says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    A bit OT, but still Willard related. Anyone want to take a shot at explaining the Republicans’ attempt to focus on the debt/deficit again? Willard’s new stump speech is about the debt. Rove’s new ad buy is about the debt. Boehner made some noise about it today.
    Why not focus on high employment?

    Because if Romney wants to make this an argument about high unemployment, his past at Bain Capital and his lousy job creation record as Massachusetts governor get pulled out and used against him. He talks about Obama’s record and he gets his own record thrown back in his face. And since his record is a corporate vampire that moved from company to company sucking away the lifeblood of companies and leaving them dead at the side of the road when he was done with them, well, that’s not a topic he wants to bring up if he can help it. He tried that angle and saw just how badly it would blow up in his face.

    Arguments about debt are about trying to take the focus off his own weaknesses. By talking about government debt he can work an old Republican talking point that still resonates with people without bringing his own record up for criticism. If he tries to make it about unemployment, his past actions slaughter him. If he tries to make it about the economy in general, the fact that he’s every bad stereotype of rich over-privileged asshole comes in to bite him in the ass. If he makes it about debt, well, it’s nonsensical and irrelevant, but it’s something that has historically worked as a talking point for Republicans and isn’t likely to boomerang on him.

  49. 49
    Yutsano says:

    @efgoldman: I gots da real good stuff: MORPHINE!! Aiming for Percocet on my release buut we’ll see what happens there. I feel about as floofy as Tunch (PBUH) about now. I shall indeed sleep very well tonight.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @efgoldman:
    I’m not saying they’re doing real reporting. To the contrary, I think they’re a bunch of lazy good for nothings who fail to meet the minimum standards of journalism. But they still have a job of filling a requisite number of column inches or airtime minutes, and they’ll still suffer if they fail to do so. So it’s really easy. Give the reporters easy stories and they’ll love you for making their lives easy; give them nothing and they’ll hate you for making their lives hard. Routinely failing to answer reporters’ questions is like sticking a “kick me” sign on your back.

  51. 51
    jl says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    ” Anyone want to take a shot at explaining the Republicans’ attempt to focus on the debt/deficit again? Willard’s new stump speech is about the debt. Rove’s new ad buy is about the debt. Boehner made some noise about it today.

    Why not focus on high employment? It is a more powerful message than the national debt, which no one, especially Republicans, really care about. ”

    Hard to explain what the GOP is doing now. They are running on fumes, seems to me. The Congressional GOP has reaffirmed that they back the Ryan approach (Senate GOP gave put in their latest two cents in last day or two). Hard to sell an economic program like that as prosperity for anyone but the one percenters.

    Thing is, I don’t think there is much evidence (Edit: pretending to be) worrying about the debt is going to win an election.

    Maybe they are biding their time, and a relatively unimportant and meaningless issue like short to medium term debt at current levels in a country that issues its own currency, with no sign of borrowers giving a rat’s ass about it, is a good way to mark time.

    I think now is the time the voters just start making up their minds about what they will do, and figuring that out is difficult until signs become clearer towards end of June, beginning of July. So, why not throw up some smoke on dud issues of no real importance that no one cares much about?

  52. 52
    catclub says:

    @NonyNony: Of course, besides killing the companies and firing their workers, Bain Capital also loaded them up with _DEBT_
    So, if Obama asks whether Romney is going to load the US up with debt and then drive it into bankruptcy – like George W Bush, there could be more squealing by the Villagers.

    So focusing on debt is not a panacea.

    I would ask if a company that could borrow for 30 years with no collateral at essentially zero interest should take out loans for productive projects – like rebuilding America’s infrastructure.
    That is what smart debt managers do.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    Thing is that even on the debt, seems like GOP is messed up, and writing Democratic opposition ads for them.

    TPM says Boehner openly blew off reporters today when it was pointed out to him that the GOP budget does not even meet the GOP’s own deficit reduction guidelines.

    Boehner basically said ‘Yeah, so what. We are Republicans and its OK if it doesn’t because we are Republicans.”

    So, maybe its good that Romney is keeping the press away. Looks like Boehner and other GOP Congress critters could use some more press coverage right now.

    And, looks like today TPM went back to offering solid news and analysis rather than being wanna be Politico for nerds. Which is good. Though I didn’t have time to look through all the stories.

    Edit: If TPM stories today are correct, Congressional GOP is all in now for privatizing Medicare, slashing Medicaid, SS cuts, middle class benefit cuts, and will be hard for them to back out. Which is high stakes scary, but best we can hope for in terms of putting cards on the table.

  54. 54
    Hill Dweller says:

    @jl: With gas prices falling and the economic indicators starting to pick up again, I’m wondering if Rove/Romney campaign think the economy will recover enough to negate(or at least mitigate) an attack on Obama’s economic record. That is the only way it makes any sense.

    The Obama campaign should have no problem rebutting the debt/deficit attack. After all, the number one policy driver of our deficit is the Bush tax cuts(which were renewed for 2 years while Obama was President), and the number one non-policy driver is the Bush recession.

    If that is all the Willard campaign has at this point, they are in trouble.

  55. 55
    Jay S says:

    @pragmatism: I seem to recall stories of McCain plying the press with liquor. I wonder if Romney is flexible enough to serve booze to guests. In fact I wonder what state dinners would serve in a Romney White House or campaign BBQ. Coffee, tea, hot drinks, wine, or coke would present problems for Romney, but would a good LDS host accommodate his guests?

    It might explain his toxicity.

  56. 56
    Jay C says:

    @Jay S:

    but would a good LDS host accommodate his guests?

    Yes, by pretending not to notice the flasks tucked behind the potted palms…..

  57. 57
    Jay S says:

    @Yutsano: Easy guy, you don’t want to be flagged for drug seeking activity.

  58. 58
    jl says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I’m crossing my fingers on the economy. The rough patch of bad job stats may have been as much due to obscure and confusing statistical false signals as a temporary weakening.

    As the revised figures come in, looks like economic forecasts of continued weak recovery are more or less on target.

    Best news I saw recently was that drop in labor force was more due to scheduled retirements than early retirements or discouraged workers dropping out. Put that together with revised employment stats, means that the recent slight drop in unemployment rate was due to an actually improving job market.

    Let’s hope it keeps up, both for sake of all the people who need help, and because if it keeps up, the Romney is done, and GOP will not do as well as they hope in Congressional races.

  59. 59
    Betsy says:

    Mitt Romney, the demon barber of wall street

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-UKYW-Wh-Q

  60. 60
    hells littlest angel says:

    To all those defeatists whining about how the media will never report the truth about Romney because they’re a bunch of ass-kissers:

    Do you know who you sound like?

    Sarah Fucking Palin, that’s who.

  61. 61
    Clime Acts says:

    Seriously, I don’t give a shit how either campaign treats the MSM; it’s not as though reporters are going to ask any seriously probing questions on important matters anyway.

    The American MSM sucks.

  62. 62
    NonyNony says:

    @catclub:

    Of course, besides killing the companies and firing their workers, Bain Capital also loaded them up with DEBT
    So, if Obama asks whether Romney is going to load the US up with debt and then drive it into bankruptcy – like George W Bush, there could be more squealing by the Villagers.

    True, but it seems like since Romney got the nomination locked up his campaign has basically been throwing shit around to see what sticks and finding out that it’s mostly sticking to themselves. Moving the focus to abstract concepts like “the debt” instead of personal concepts like “I don’t have a job” might look like it’ll help Romney right now, and if it blows up in their face they’ll pivot to something else again.

    When you’ve got nothing, you can’t do much. Romney’s basically got nothing to offer as a Presidential candidate and so his campaign is flailing around right now, hoping that Obama will make a mistake. “Debt” is a scary word that has always worked for Republicans in the past, so they’re gravitating back to it because it’s safe.

  63. 63
    RalfW says:

    This sums up Mittens:

    Romney: JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Loss Is Someone Else’s Gain
    ‎Wall Street Journal (blog)

    Yep. Who cares if JPM lost $2Bn? Someone else got rich off it? SO we’re all square, right? No worries, eh? After all, the depositors are covered by Uncle Sam. As are the shareholders for too big to fail.

    Meanwhile, the NYT is now reporting that sharks are continuing to eat JP Morgan through other exposures. If Greece goes kablooey, the past few days may be a picnic.

    And some hedgers will find a way to get rich off Greece exiting the Euro, right Mitt?, so who the fvk cares if there’s some suffering! Capitalism! Wheeee!

  64. 64
    freelancer says:

    @Yutsano:

    Glad to hear you’re feeling loopy. For my surgery years ago, I put 3 or 4 books in my bookbag because I knew I’d be laid up. MISTAKE! People on morphine and synthetic analogs like Dilaudid, can read something like a MENU or words, but reading that requires following a narrative or a thesis beyond page-length? Fuggedaboutit. My short term memory was completely scrambled and I knew it when I kept asking the nurse or the tech or whoever kept coming in to take my vitals,

    “Hey, what’s this thing that I’m on? I feel pretty good and I want to put this in my notes so if it ever happens again, I can say, ‘Hey, this is what works!’?”
    “It’s called dilaudid.”
    [snip]
    “Hey, I know I already asked you twice, but what’s this pain med called again?”
    “It’s called Dilaudid.”
    “Cool.”
    [snip]
    Next morning I get a new nurse who asks me how I’m feeling. I say, “Y’know, I feel okay. I feel normal and cogent and coherent like I always do, I don’t feel drunk or high or anything, but I think the pain meds I’m under are having an effect.”
    She says, “Well, how do you know that if you feel normal?”
    “Because I’ve been watching this movie ‘Love, Actually’ on cable here, (falsetto) and it’s not bad!”

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @NonyNony:

    By talking about government debt he can work an old Republican talking point that still resonates with people without bringing his own record up for criticism. If he tries to make it about unemployment, his past actions slaughter him.

    Worse than that, talking about unemployment requires making some sort of commitment or promise to the unemployed, uttering some sort of idea on how you’re going to fix their problem, which is not only something they can’t deliver on, it’s something they have no desire to deliver on – government shouldn’t help people, that’s socialism, doncha know.

    Keeping the conversation on the debt requires nothing other than stern-sounding pseudo-moralistic bullshit, with commitments that they’d love to deliver on once in office.

  66. 66
    freelancer says:

    @Yutsano:

    I got Percocet for my at home recovery and it worked okay. The main worry and side-effect about pill opiates is constipation. I swear, I didn’t shit for like 2 weeks, and after I did, I felt like I needed to notify the IAEA, NEST, or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to dispose of it properly.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    That makes me wonder again about exactly who Rove is working for, because the US deficit actually shrank last quarter. So now is a good time for Republicans to start complaining about the debt/deficit? Really?

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yay! I’m glad you’re recovering well. I don’t do well on opiates myself — I don’t know what it is, but I turn into a raging asshole. (Yes, my dear enemies, it makes me even worse than I usually am!)

    Poor G still shudders at the mention of Turtle Chex Mix because of a tantrum I threw while on Vicodin after my surgery.

  69. 69
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, April was the first monthly surplus since ’08. The renewed focus on the debt does seem strange.

    I’m wondering if Obama will ever start highlighting some of the crazy shit Republicans in congress have done during his term. There is more than enough evidence to tell a story of treason without actually saying the word. It would certainly help with the congressional races.

  70. 70
    James E Powell says:

    When Romney and the Republicans talk about debt and the deficit, their base voters hear “Stop giving our money to the [insert racial epithets here] and cut off all foreign aid!” It has been working for their team for more than forty years.

    At some point, they are going to wheel out a general or two, along with a more recent version of Zell Miller, to claim that Obama is a traitor. That, too, has been working for their team for more than forty years.

    They really don’t have much else to talk about, do they?

  71. 71
    Kane says:

    The conservative media does the GOP no favors when they offer up endless softball questions and provide preferential Fox-like coverage to Republicans. Instead of having seasoned candidates who have been grilled repeatedly on the issues and who can discuss those issues in great detail on a national stage, they are left with flawed candidates who avoid the national media and who rely on nothing more than pandering sound bites and a slew of attack ads.

  72. 72
    bcinaz says:

    I did not know that Sarah Palin was and adviser to the Romney Campaign. This strategy worked out really well the last time.

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