Opinion: Why Does Everyone Hate Mitt Romney?

Friday, September 30, 2011 - 02:21 PM

If Mitt Romney has one quality which endears him to me it's that he seems to have a tough skin. He'd have to with the way he's being treated by the voters he will have to court to win. The Republican party has long been a study in choosing the person "next in line." Romney easily fits that bill as he was essentially the runner-up to John McCain in 2008. He's also good-looking, well-spoken, a great debater, affable and smart. So why doesn't anyone want him?

The evidence of this, of course, is the mad search for a candidate that continues in the GOP even at this late date in September. The GOP wanted Rick Perry but as I wrote at the time he entered the race, the sizzle could easily fizzle:

As a realist, though, I'm not completely sold on Rick Perry's candidacy and here's why: For the last few political seasons this movie has played out in the exact same way. A boring primary field awaits its savior, the one who will defeat the opposition and bring success to his party. Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson all brought with them the sense that they would be different, that they could energize the base and also win the general election, that they could win and that they would. They all flamed out.

I'm concerned that these spikes of enthusiasm from the base will fizzle out and we'll be left with the ones who were there all along. But now those candidates will look even worse to us as the ones we sought so desperately to replace (see: John Kerry and John McCain). That has a Barack Obama win written all over it.

Today the GOP seems to be waiting and hoping for a Chris Christie candidacy. I don't think it will happen.

It's clear that they want "anyone but Romney." Poor Romney, the guy who is good enough, smart enough, and gosh darnit people just don't like him. Why?

Instead of imagining reasons other people may have (a popular belief seems to be that he is distrusted because he is Mormon, but I hate prescribing bad motives to others), I'll explain three reasons why I am not aboard the choo-choo train Romney.

1) I don't like the guy who is "next in line." "Next in line" to me means John McCain, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford. Is there a theme here? They're all election-day losers. Sure, occasionally we'll get a George W. Bush thrown into the mix, or a one-termer George HW Bush, but in general "next in line" means "definitely not next in office." Mitt Romney seems on this exact path.

2. It's not all about winning, of course, but none of these "next in line" guys were particularly conservative either. It's one thing to lose when sticking to your principles. It's quite another to lose while trying to be everything to everyone. Mitt Romney won't admit Romneycare was a terrible idea, he's squishy on conservative social issues and he doesn't seem like he will ride any of his existing principles to victory.

3. He can't run on his record. To me, this is Mitt Romney's biggest liability. He did some things right in Massachusetts but Romneycare is an anathema to conservatives and he can't match Rick Perry's job creation record. His accomplishments seem to be centered around what a good job he did with the Olympics in Utah. All fine and good but a candidate should be able to point to accomplishments during their time in elected office.

Romney-supporters, few as they may be, point to these criticisms and say: Barack Obama had no accomplishments either. Barack Obama pushed through a nationalized version of Romneycare which is much worse than the Massachusetts version. Barack Obama also has no principles. The problem with that is we already have a Barack Obama in office. Why would we try to elect a Republican version?

Having said all this, I admit once again that I voted for Romney in 2008 and it isn't outside the realm of possibility that I'll do it again this time. I don't consider Rick Perry my candidate though right now I lean his way more than I do toward Romney. I'm just ready to hear some ways in which Mitt Romney is better than Barack Obama instead of the same.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.


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Comments [13]

Paul from New York

The reason is simple. They will promote whoever they wnat to see as a president. No doubt that the whole world is corrupted. Anything we don't know ? I doubt. That's how our civilization works. East, West, South or North. All ther same.

Mar. 23 2012 09:47 AM

Cause he sucks!!

Dec. 22 2011 02:49 AM
robert whittle


Dec. 19 2011 10:45 PM
Karl from Virginia

It's simple. Everyone would like him if he would just march in the gay pride parade, wear a feather boa, and be himself. He's so full of BS it's rediculous! Ooo, I'm a business leader... Whatever. America has good taste, and she knows Mitt is the Pitts.

Oct. 20 2011 08:04 PM

I think its not fair to call Romney socially squishy. He has clearly explained his changed position and he is politically attacked as a flip-flopper. People are allowed to change there position and we can decide if we believe them or not. In Romney's case, he is a man of integrity and I believe he is honest. Just because most politicians will say anything to get elected doesn't mean Romney is on this issue.

Regarding this whole Romneycare=Obamacare sloganeering: It is so totally intellectually dishonest that it makes me furious to hear conservatives spouting this BS. I don't have time or space to rip that argument appart here but I'd request conservatives to revisit this issue suspending disbelief for a moment and give it an honest investigation. Go to Heritage Foundation website and read through it again.

Oct. 07 2011 03:31 PM
Marcello from Brooklyn

You know, you are right.
The tone of my previous comment was uncalled for.
My apologies.

Oct. 03 2011 04:06 PM
Karol from NYC

"He had amazing advisors and I wish candidates would let us know who has the seat BEFORE election sometimes!"

Totally agree. I think it would really shake up presidential races.

Oct. 03 2011 01:52 PM
Amy K from NYC

Karol, lets just also give credit where credit is due. You are only as good as your cabinet and advisors, so I don't think Reagan can take all the credit here. He had amazing advisors and I wish candidates would let us know who has the seat BEFORE election sometimes!
I still think we need a businessman, but at least we agree what the most important issues are.

Oct. 03 2011 10:36 AM
Karol from NYC

Marcello, you might get more questions answered if you weren't so aggressively insulting. I don't mind arguing but I'm less likely to engage with someone who thinks I'm stupid. Just one of those weird human quirks.

But since you asked and I feel like answering: Romneycare has been a disaster for Mass. Costs are skyhigh and medical care isn't on par with pre-Romneycare levels. It's been a failure for Mass but as with all government programs once they've been enacted it's extremely difficult to dial it back.

Oct. 03 2011 09:54 AM
Karol from NYC

Amy, I'm not much of a social conservative, to be honest, but I like frankness on these issues. I don't get that frankness from Mitt Romney. It's easy to suspect that he's positioning himself one way to win while actually believing something else (something I feel Barack Obama does--what does he really believe about gay marriage or the death penalty and what does he say he believes). I don't know what "bubble" I live in but the economy is my second most important issue (terrorism remains #1, we can't make money if we're dead) so believe me that I respect Romney's business experience. Having said that, I am a conservative and think the best way to grow the economy is through solid conservative principles of tax cutting, lowering spending and generally getting out of the way of business owners. We don't necessarily need a businessman to show us the way on this--the actor Ronald Reagan did just fine with it.

Oct. 03 2011 09:51 AM
Marcello from Brooklyn

Not that I expect an answer from you (at least not a particularly intelligent one...) but would you mind to explain why should Romney admit that "Romneycare" was a bad idea?
Massachusetts is the state in the union with the highest percentage of medical coverage. (Texas has the lowest with 25% of its population uncovered). That means, in case you don't understand, that people in Mass. actually HAVE coverage when they get sick which is a good thing for them and for the rest of society which is not forced to pick up the medical cost of individuals showing up at emergency facilities with no insurance.
So, aside from the fact that it is because it is has been picked up by president Obama, what is so bad about that? I would like to understand how it is a bad thing in actual, functional terms not idiotic slogans such as " because it is socialism" or that kind of nonsense.

Oct. 01 2011 01:21 PM
Amy K from NYC

Oh Karol, only you could be so nescient by calling Romney a Republican version of Obama. And only you would focus on everything but the economy because of the bubble you live in. Have you read his economic plan? Can you give the man the benefit of learning from his mistake and trust he will eliminate Obamacare? What about his accomplishments at Bain & Co? Did he NOT lead them out of crisis? Within 365 days they were saved from financial collapse because of his leadership.

Perry has no idea what its like to run a business, just like the rest of the candidates out there (Christie was an attorney). Let me ask you this. Lets put all else aside for a moment and discuss the economic plans of each candidate. Whose appeals to you most and why?

If Americans continue to vote based on their social agendas and not their financial agendas, than you can rest assured we won't be saved like Bain & Co and will be in full financial RUIN.

Sep. 30 2011 04:05 PM
NoLibsallowed from Washington

That was a very good opinion piece. Here is why Romney is in the lead and always in competition. Disciplined campaign, surrounded by top notch help, raising large amounts of money, respectable business credentials, looks and sounds the part, seems smart and hits hard but does not seem rude. The religion thing is there but if he is the nominee will not be a problem. I for one see him sort of like chief justice Roberts with a conservative disposition trying to win over the senate judicial commitee by not appearing overly zealous about social issues. Being LDS, I suspect he is far more conservative than anyone in the race. Consider the conservative LDS people that you know.
As far as Rick Perry goes, he cant speak and seems prone to stupid ideas when people around him lobby hard. That immigration thing is nearly a deal killer for me. I would like to see a business man with good decision making skills at the helm and unless someone else can step up, it will be Romney because he is doing the best at getting his message out.

Sep. 30 2011 03:51 PM

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