Romney: GOP convention theme against Obama will be “nice guy, failed President”

posted at 10:41 am on August 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Politico has an interesting and provocative interview with Mitt Romney this morning — although perhaps not provocative enough for some of the passionate base.  After dumping the “nice guy but failed President” argument in the overwhelming volume of nasty attacks from Barack Obama and his campaign, including insinuations of being a felon, a murderer, and a modern-day slaver, Romney tells Politico that the theme will return at the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa:

Mitt Romney conceded President Barack Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person, but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: “I am who I am.” …

“I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not,” Romney said. “You get what you see. I am who I am.”

To press the point, he said the GOP would even try to turn Obama’s still-high personal favorability rankings back on him at its convention this week, by making the simple case to voters: nice guy, failed president.

“I don’t think everybody likes me,” Romney said. “I don’t believe that, by any means. But I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that. … He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn’t work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do.”

I suspect that this will attract a lot of criticism, but it’s a smart strategy.  Here’s why.  The people who paid attention over the summer already know about Barack Obama’s nastiness and Romney’s counter-attacks.  The convention delegates already know about it, too.  However, the people Romney most needs to reach now are those who have taken the summer off from politics, who haven’t heard the back-and-forth, and who won’t understand the context of nasty attacks from the Republican dais.

Because of that, the first impression these voters will get will be from the tone of the convention.  Romney’s almost certainly betting that the Democratic convention will keep using the Romney-is-a-scary-murder/felon/slaver, since Democrats can’t talk about Obama’s record on jobs and the economy.  Taking the more gracious tone first forces Democrats to either lighten up or suffer by contrast, and possibly have voters tuning out well before Obama appears at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to accept the nomination.

Romney also tells Politico that he plans to get to business immediately — and almost literally — as President:

Romney pledged to bring corporate order to the West Wing. He promised to issue a checklist for his first 100 days, similar to the printed scorecard he used in Massachusetts; treat his Cabinet like a board of directors; and try to restart the economy using the hands-on management style that made him hundreds of millions of dollars. …

He would take a hands-on, CEO approach to the job. “I likewise do not like having a solution presented to me for approval. Instead, I’d much rather dig into the issue myself and hear alternative viewpoints on the issue and be able to reach a decision.” This sounds very similar to Obama’s decision-making preference — and one that White House veterans say is virtually impossible to implement because of the dizzying number of decisions a president makes each day. …

He would take a hands-on, CEO approach to the job. “I likewise do not like having a solution presented to me for approval. Instead, I’d much rather dig into the issue myself and hear alternative viewpoints on the issue and be able to reach a decision.” This sounds very similar to Obama’s decision-making preference — and one that White House veterans say is virtually impossible to implement because of the dizzying number of decisions a president makes each day.

That would certainly be a big change from the Obama administration, whose lack of private-sector experienced finally prompted Obama to form a jobs council comprised of leading CEOs in the business world … and which he has ignored for more than six months.

Be sure to read it all.

Update: Some readers are objecting to the headline being in quotes, as Romney is not explicitly quoted as saying this phrase in the article.  However, I am quoting the article, and Romney has said this on many occasions — although not lately.


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Christie will be leading the P90X session

faraway on August 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

it’s setting a rhetorical benchmark against which you can argue later. IE, “we thought he was a nice guy, but his actions proved us wrong.” It’s the most damning kind of evidence. I mean, the Romney campaign knows that Obama is a malevolent and vengeful prig so, by asserting that he’s a nice guy, they’re essentially saying, “well, prove us wrong.”

ted c on August 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM

What are you smoking? Whatever it is I don’t want any because that is the most convoluted logic I’ve seen in a long time. What you are saying is that the Romney campaign is asking the marxist campaign to prove that the marxist is not a nice guy. I’ve seen some incedible post on this board to rationalize what Romney does, and Akin too for that matter, but this beats them all.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Politico is one of the worst liberal media outlets and their “speciality” is to write article dividing the Republicans. Politico has mastered the art of agitating many conservative bloggers by making up headlines such as the article above to rile them up against other Republicans and in this case against Romney.
So he/she among conservatives who falls for this is an idiot and a tool for Politico…
The question folks “Are you idiots, are you tools for Politico?”…

mnjg on August 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Chritie will be leading the line to the buffet.

Bless his heart…

kingsjester on August 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Out of curiosity… is it your suggestion that the Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney go out and make the argument to the American people, that Barack Obama is Jo Stalin?

Because if it is, I think I’ll be sticking with the Romney strategy.

For the record, there will be Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum and Trent Lott and any number of unofficial representative of the GOP who the national press will give airtime to who will be more than happy to skewer the Liar-in-Chief as such, allowing Romney to keep his hands clean.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Heh!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlvYGqi3Dbc

redguy on August 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Shump on August 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Oh, the left DOES think in terms of ‘nice guy’ !
It’s all emotions with them.
Come right all and call him what he REALLY is, and you INSULT everyone who thinks fondly of Dear Leader, and they slam that door so fast, you’d never get through to them !!!

pambi on August 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

So what was Christie referring to when he said he wouldn’t ‘tone it down’ at the convention? Binge eating?

Mr. Wednesday Night on August 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Dunno…. Talking of which though, you sound like you’ve been binge drinking yourself…

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

D’Souza’s movie (and books) does a fair job of explaining the racial motivation (oh, let’s call it what it is– racist motivation, which is what voting for a guy based on the melanin content of his skin is) that was behind a large percentage of Obama’s vote last time.

“He’s a nice guy but…” strikes me as a relatively simple and easy-to-remember formulation to assuage the guilt of “precedent” voters who don’t want to pull the lever for him this time, but may suffer pangs of racial guilt for not doing so. “Oh, he’s still a nice guy…” is a free pass.

Implicit in the formulation– and it had better be overwhelmingly obvious in the speeches– is that “nice guy” takes up about 1% of the content, “but…” takes up about 99%.

de rigueur on August 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

What you are saying is that the Romney campaign is asking the marxist campaign to prove that the marxist is not a nice guy. I’ve seen some incedible post on this board to rationalize what Romney does, and Akin too for that matter, but this beats them all.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

No, not explicitly. If the truth is that he’s not a nice guy, then the O campaign will already show it. You’ve heard of damning with faint praise, right?

ted c on August 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

It worked for Reagan. He was tough on the issues and he could be condescending, but he never attacked the character of an opponent.

Gelsomina on August 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

But nor did he lapse into this gratuitious “he’s a nice, well-intentioned guy” routine. Reagan knew what liberalism meant and was merciless in his mockery of it. It wasn’t that he was personal — that’s correct — but he came very close in the sense that Reagan saw America personally and liberalism as a grave insult and threat to this personal understanding.

rrpjr on August 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Sweep the leg, Mitt.

Mr. Wednesday Night on August 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

LOL .. You’re nuts !!
It’s a super strategery, letting them proceed to hang themselves with bitterness, resentment, vicious attacks.
You gotta KNOW they will !!
No more mister nice guy, and it’ll soon be obvious !!

pambi on August 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Frankly, I don’t think Obama’s name should be mentioned at all at the Convention. I think Romney, Ryan, and everyone else should concentrate on what the Republicans will do to turn the country around (although I haven’t decided yet how one gets by without using the term Obamacare). Obama is a narcissist, it would drive him nuts not to be mentioned at all.

DaveDief on August 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM

My litmus test for the convention: Will anyone raise the issue of Fast N Furious–yes, I know, a high bar to clear and yes it’s still (mostly) about the economy.

hillsoftx on August 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I draw the line at “Nice guy, beautiful wife interspecies marriage, failed president.”

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM

bob77 on August 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Please be careful. That was not my post. It was an alternation of my post by CorporatePiggy on August 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Out of curiosity… is it your suggestion that the Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney go out and make the argument to the American people, that Barack Obama is Jo Stalin?

Because if it is, I think I’ll be sticking with the Romney strategy.

For the record, there will be Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum and Trent Lott and any number of unofficial representative of the GOP who the national press will give airtime to who will be more than happy to skewer the Liar-in-Chief as such, allowing Romney to keep his hands clean.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Heh!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlvYGqi3Dbc

redguy on August 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

You don’t do the Joe Stalin or the nice guy thing. You simply go after your oponent on the issues and let him respond and define himself. You sure as hell don’t do or say anything that makes your opponent look good. That’s all the Romney campaign needs to do.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Implicit in the formulation– and it had better be overwhelmingly obvious in the speeches– is that “nice guy” takes up about 1% of the content, “but…” takes up about 99%.

de rigueur on August 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM

That!

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

“I am what I am and that’s all what I am.”

Check!

Where’s my keys car … snever loved me anyway.

Axe on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Christie will be leading the P90X session

faraway on August 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Ryan’s ego will never recover from that :)…

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Hey, now, you don’t know if they (Romney or his surrogates and key speakers) will actually and literally call Obama a ‘nice guy’ during the convention…I think it was a metaphor for ‘we are not going to slander or attack our opponent’s character, but his record’…which is fine by me, and accurate….his records of monumental failures speaks more than any amount of personal attacks mounted against him…besides, remember, we can’t help whom we like, a lot of people will continue to like obama regardles, but will this necessarily mean that they will let him control their purses and lives with the consequences that, alas, we experienced already…am sure not…

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

This. Attacking barack’s competency is his worst nightmare. He sees himself as a lightbringer, a messiah, the Smartest President Ever Elected. Simply pointing out that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, that he doesn’t understand economics or debt or the impact of national deficits, that he can’t do math, that his foreign policy is naive and childlike because he doesn’t know any history — it is the ULTIMATE personal attack, without seeming that way, because it hits barack where he lives, in his fabulous narcissism. The barack camp would MUCH RATHER fend off personal attacks like “he’s a marxist” (which he is) or “he’s un-American” (which he is). THAT was the POINT of Chrissy Matthews unhinged rant this morning — the WANT it to be personal because if Romney sticks to barack’s incompetence, they have no rebuttal. Matthews was pleading with Priebus, begging him, to make the campaign personal and get away from barack’s stunning incompetence. He showed all their cards, and Romney is paying attention.

Rational Thought on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

The problem here is that ROMNEY is too nice. Obama is NOT a nice guy (either is his wife).

Nice guys don’t take credit for other people’s accomplishments.
Nice guys care about others and do what they can to help, especially their families.
Nice guys don’t lie with every word out of their mouths.
Nice guys don’t call the opponent a felon.
Nice guys are chivalrous.

As a libertarian, I don’t agree with much of what Romney and Ryan propose. But I do know that they are truly nice, caring men doing what they think is best for the country. Obama only does what he thinks is best for himself.

Common Sense on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I saw the Hannity where he talked to people in that Citizens United movie “The Hope & The Change” — they all voted for Obama in 2008 but are completely disenchanted with him now. Sean tried to rile them up with all of the radical associations in Obama’s past, etc. None of them cared about any of that – they all had the attitude of “Yeah, we didn’t vet him well enough last time, but what’s done is done. I’m interested in what he did & didn’t do in office and what will happen if we stay on this path.”

Romney has seen the movie.

Dark Star on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

You don’t do the Joe Stalin or the nice guy thing. You simply go after your oponent on the issues and let him respond and define himself. You sure as hell don’t do or say anything that makes your opponent look good. That’s all the Romney campaign needs to do.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I get it—the frontal assault full-on warfare strategy is a strategy nonetheless, however, Team O has proven themselves quite adept at shooting themselves in the foot. No need to cut your own throat and get in his way while he’s firing away–ie, Joe Biden, Debbie Wasername, Nancy Pelosi. Read Sun Tzu–the Art of War. Conservation of energy, emptiness and fullness, choice of battlegrounds. It’s all there.

ted c on August 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Ed said:

Update: Some readers are objecting to the headline being in quotes, as Romney is not explicitly quoted as saying this phrase in the article. However, I am quoting the article, and Romney has said this on many occasions — although not lately.

Since you’re quoting the article, the headline should be:


Politico
: GOP convention theme against Obama will be “nice guy, failed President”

Romney hasn’t said “nice guy” since the “felon”/cancer ad stuff, and I’ll be surprised if he does.

Jon0815 on August 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

When the election depends on the votes of the 5% of the electorate who can’t be bothered to inform themselves about the issues, but reflexively pat themselves on the back for their unthinking “moderation,” this is what happens.

HeckOnWheels on August 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

See, this myth is really annoying me. You don’t need to tell these voters what a nice guy Obama is to win their votes or make them stay home. It’s clear that ruthless negative advertising works – Obama’s favorables are collapsing. Romney doesn’t need to tell these guys what a “nice guy” Obama is to win their votes.

Doomberg on August 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

“Nice guy”? If he had more power, he’d push it to the limit.

Paul-Cincy on August 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I saw the Hannity where he talked to people in that Citizens United movie “The Hope & The Change” — they all voted for Obama in 2008 but are completely disenchanted with him now. Sean tried to rile them up with all of the radical associations in Obama’s past, etc. None of them cared about any of that – they all had the attitude of “Yeah, we didn’t vet him well enough last time, but what’s done is done. I’m interested in what he did & didn’t do in office and what will happen if we stay on this path.”

Romney has seen the movie.

Dark Star on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

they may have seen the light, but they are all still idiots.

GhoulAid on August 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Folks, we’ve been watching Mitt Romney for a year. Most of America will be seeing him for the first time this week. Thos convention is about HIM, not about how much we can trash Barack Obama.

rockmom on August 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Can’t we do both?

Violina23 on August 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Truth be told, he is not a nice guy, he is a corrupt, rithless, evil, godless human being.

rjoco1 on August 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Christie will be leading the P90X session

faraway on August 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I’d pay good money to see that!

lorien1973 on August 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Politico: GOP convention theme against Obama will be “nice guy, failed President”

Romney hasn’t said “nice guy” since the “felon”/cancer ad stuff, and I’ll be surprised if he does.

Jon0815 on August 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Perhaps not, but then the whole theme of the convention is Obama’s a “nice guy”. If that’s the theme why not just join the dems in Charlotte and sing “kumbaya”.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Perhaps not, but then the whole theme of the convention is Obama’s a “nice guy”.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

According to Politico. We’ll see.

Jon0815 on August 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Folks, we’ve been watching Mitt Romney for a year. Most of America will be seeing him for the first time this week. Thos convention is about HIM, not about how much we can trash Barack Obama.

rockmom on August 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Okay, that’s fine. But why do we have to talk about how “nice” Obama is? Why can’t we just focus on how good a president Romney will be and attack Obama’s record if that’s what the GOP wants to do? The GOP did not just say “we’ll focus on Obama’s record,” they’re apparently planning to talk about how “nice” Obama is (if the article is to be believed).

Doomberg on August 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/08/26/ad_with_former_obama_backers_deemed_most_effective_115213.html

Perhaps those who are criticizing this angle didn’t read this headline this morning?

cptacek on August 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I saw the Hannity where he talked to people in that Citizens United movie “The Hope & The Change” — they all voted for Obama in 2008 but are completely disenchanted with him now. Sean tried to rile them up with all of the radical associations in Obama’s past, etc. None of them cared about any of that – they all had the attitude of “Yeah, we didn’t vet him well enough last time, but what’s done is done. I’m interested in what he did & didn’t do in office and what will happen if we stay on this path.”
Dark Star on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I saw this focus group too and thought the same thing. They are impervious to believing anything as bad as what is really true about Obama. I have seen other focus groups reports that former Obama voters (for ego reasons IMHO) won’t accept that they got it THAT wrong in 2008 but they will accept that they choose the wrong man and so if approached as “OK you just made a mistake” they respond.

As an interesting side note I have noticed multiple Rush callers and Levin callers who voted for Obama are NOT beaten up by Rush or Mark. They seem to have been given the message that the converts cannot be beaten up about their ignorance of Obama if you want them to vote for Romney. Neither one of them press them like Hannity did about why they didn’t listen to stuff that was being reported about Obama.

Conan on August 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Breaking CNN polls:

North Carolina:

Romney 48%

Obama 47%

Florida:

Obama 50%

Romney 46%

technopeasant on August 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

“Tried his best, failed the test” makes more sense.

But calling him a nice guy before kicking him out the door is okay, too.

profitsbeard on August 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I love this!

cptacek on August 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM


Mitt Romney conceded President Barack Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person, but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: “I am who I am.” …

I am who I am? Romney? I’m a social progressive–no, wait, I’m a severe conservative!–That Romney!? Well, at least he never wavered on state-run healthcare. He likes it. Always has. So you can forget ever rescinding ObamaCare under Romney: Mitt Romney–’I’m The Guy Who Was Able To Get Health Care’ For Massachusetts Yeah, well, Obama “was the guy” who as able to get “health care” for a whole lot more people with about the same per capita level of fiscal insanity for all, and the same new rules, new taxes, and mandates. Only unlike Romney Obama was never able to deliver a public option, so of the two Romney is probably the more progressive.

casuist on August 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I saw this focus group too and thought the same thing. They are impervious to believing anything as bad as what is really true about Obama. I have seen other focus groups reports that former Obama voters (for ego reasons IMHO) won’t accept that they got it THAT wrong in 2008 but they will accept that they choose the wrong man and so if approached as “OK you just made a mistake” they respond.

As an interesting side note I have noticed multiple Rush callers and Levin callers who voted for Obama are NOT beaten up by Rush or Mark. They seem to have been given the message that the converts cannot be beaten up about their ignorance of Obama if you want them to vote for Romney. Neither one of them press them like Hannity did about why they didn’t listen to stuff that was being reported about Obama.

Conan on August 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Well gholly gee whiz! Let’s pander instead of educate. That always works well for the GOP. What is so hard to understand here? You don’t say anything to put your opponent in a good light, nothing.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

We’re doomed if this is the thinking of the GOP establishment. I have to agree with Christie, if this is what Romney thinks is a winning message then Obama will win. I knew we were in trouble when Boehner started crying when he was named speaker of the house and now it seems the McCaining of the GOP is at the forefront again. Guys we are in a war here, not playing a game of tennis. Start manning up or you’re going to lose this thing.

neyney on August 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

See, this myth is really annoying me. You don’t need to tell these voters what a nice guy Obama is to win their votes or make them stay home. It’s clear that ruthless negative advertising works – Obama’s favorables are collapsing. Romney doesn’t need to tell these guys what a “nice guy” Obama is to win their votes.
Doomberg on August 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Actually you do need to tell them that Obama is a nice guy because they shut down otherwise listening to anything presented to them. Watching the Hannity special with Obama voters it is clear they will NOT accept that they were as stupid as they were. They have to be let off the hook by the speaker and told it was a mistake anybody could make.

I find that infuriating after watching these clowns fall for Hope and Change from a freshman Senator with a shady background but we seem to be stuck with a whole group of voters who can’t handle how stupid they were in 2008 and you have to coddle them to get them to switch sides in 2012.

Conan on August 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM


The problem here is that ROMNEY is too nice.

Not if you’re a conservative. Romney goes nuclear on conservatives. On progressives not so much. If only Romney’s white-lab coated campaign handlers could convince Romney that Obama secretly reads F.A. Hayek or hangs out with Tea-Partiers or something. Then Team Romney would go nuclear.

casuist on August 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

This ‘nice guy’ approach confirms the GOP is willing to throw this election just as it did with McCain. 2012 is Romney’s to lose, and he will at this pace.

heroyalwhyness on August 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM


Well gholly gee whiz! Let’s pander instead of educate.

You educate in the off-years. In an election you develop what you have on the ground with whatever persuasive resources are effective at the moment. Our problem is that we have a candidate with no natural political base: He can’t carry the state he was once said to govern, and he has no connection to the 2 primary ideological formations of the GOP, the tea partiers and the social conservatives. So Romney has to cling really hard to every interest group and pray that he alienates precisely no one because no single constituency trusts him enough to allow him to wander. By way of contrast Bush the younger was able to offend conservatives up and down with progressive legislation like the medicate expansion or no child left behind yet still count on conservative support in 2004 because of security issues etc. Immigration reform was a bridge too far, however.

casuist on August 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The barack camp would MUCH RATHER fend off personal attacks like “he’s a marxist” (which he is) or “he’s un-American” (which he is). THAT was the POINT of Chrissy Matthews unhinged rant this morning — the WANT it to be personal because if Romney sticks to barack’s incompetence, they have no rebuttal. Matthews was pleading with Priebus, begging him, to make the campaign personal and get away from barack’s stunning incompetence. He showed all their cards, and Romney is paying attention.

Rational Thought on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

precisely, and you noticed how Priebus looked unmoved and unimpressed the whole time, at times giving Matthews the ‘crazy uncle’s at it again’ look during the latter’s foaming-at-the–mouth-and-saliva-dispersing rant…and then he imperturbably dismissed Tingle and his monologue (he even called it that :) by calmly and casually referring to the whole birth certificate thing as a moment of levity on romney’s part, but didn’t engage in attacking back and moved on….though he could have easily refresh Matthew’s memory with the ‘non-race card’ quote of Bidenesque fame: ‘they’ll put ya’ll i chain’ :). I think that drove Matthews even crazier, if that was possible, you could tell that Priebus was living in his head when he started picking on the latter’s giggle :)…so, the strategy with them is let them do the self-damning and self-immolation job themselves, they’ re stellar at it, no need to help them with it..

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Well gholly gee whiz! Let’s pander instead of educate. That always works well for the GOP. What is so hard to understand here? You don’t say anything to put your opponent in a good light, nothing.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I am not saying pander and I am not saying don’t do negative ads. Negative ads work. Obama’s negative ads need to be countered but these swing voters are suspicious of anyone who just attacks Obama so you better be running some positive ads about the plan that was absent this term and how Romney can do positive things. The ONLY thing that seems to be holding them back is the idea that Romney might be the bad guy Obama says he is in his negative ads and you can’t convince those voters that Romney is NOT a scary guy with negative ads or blasting Obama. As a side note no one loves seeing Obama blasted more than me but personal satisfaction isn’t always in line with the best election strategy.

Conan on August 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

A nice guy but a Marxist radical intent on downsizing America, redistributing individual wealth at home and redistributing its national wealth to Third World countries. Yup, nice guy.

Does anyone know if Mitt has watched 2016: Obama’s America yet? If he hasn’t, he should. And soon.

Or Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities

petefrt on August 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Folks, we’ve been watching Mitt Romney for a year. Most of America will be seeing him for the first time this week. Thos convention is about HIM, not about how much we can trash Barack Obama.

rockmom on August 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

That!!

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM

There you go again, Chrissy. Finding racism under every rock and behind every tree.

John the Libertarian on August 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I would love to see the Commander In Chief arrested and tried via the UCMJ, it’ll never happen and the goody two shoes who takes his place will pardon him because the left will be screaming forever like the Gore loss.

mixplix on August 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I think we should all hold our fire until we see exactly what this is.

In the last week, Romney dropped the birth certificate — and derogatorily said “bless his heart” to marginalize Obama.

Romney’s intentions here might be pretty brutal. Give it a chance.

darkegop on August 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

…if Romney sticks to barack’s incompetence, they have no rebuttal. Matthews was pleading with Priebus, begging him, to make the campaign personal and get away from barack’s stunning incompetence.

Rational Thought on August 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Good point.

petefrt on August 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM

He would take a hands-on, CEO approach to the job.

ED, that paragraph in the quote block is repeated twice.

John the Libertarian on August 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

There should be no doubt that Romney is a RINO liberal Progressive. He is who he is. His record as Gov. tells us. This may be the first time Romney has told the truth about who he really is.

This election, like all the elections in the past 50 years, (except Regan) boil down to the lesser of two evils. I’ll vote for Gary Johnson before I reward a RINO. Romney’s election will drive the final nail in the conservative coffin. We will be irrelevant and the only time we will be heard is if we start a third party. If Romney loses, and there’s a good chance he will, conservatives will be blamed. You can count on it. If he wins, a slim chance he will, the establishment will crow about how they won without the conservatives. Either way, conservatives are the losers.

they lie on August 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Romney: GOP convention theme against Obama will be “nice guy, failed President”

Alice Cooper says: “No More Mr. Nice Guy

rukiddingme on August 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Well gholly gee whiz! Let’s pander instead of educate. That always works well for the GOP. What is so hard to understand here? You don’t say anything to put your opponent in a good light, nothing.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

And this is why Romney made millions taking risks in private equity and you haven’t.

Dark Star on August 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Folks, we’ve been watching Mitt Romney for a year. Most of America will be seeing him for the first time this week. Thos convention is about HIM, not about how much we can trash Barack Obama.

rockmom on August 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM
That!!

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM

You are being funny, right? You forgot the sarc tag, right? Most of America will be seeing him for the first time this week. That may be true if you have been living in a cave for the past 5 years and just exited. Are you serious, or just living in a cave?

Romney has been running for POTUS for the past 5 years. He has been seen more than any other candidate except Obama.

they lie on August 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Haven’t read any comments yet, just the headline and the article.

Nice guy? Obama thinks the same thing.

Who is Romney trying to convince that B.O. is a nice guy? The unemployed, the Military, the taxpayers, Seniors; who else?

I’d hate to see a bad guy then.

Just shaking my head here. Didn’t McCain already try that?

I can hear the next Dem ad: Even Romney thinks Obama is a nice guy.

bluefox on August 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Smart, just not the red meat people wanted. Romney will get attack for anything he says or does, so the less he gives them in actual substance to attack, the more they’ll sound like baffoons when they do.

Zaggs on August 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Never heard Reagan call Carter a nice guy, never. Squishies never learn.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Reagan said that the liberals are our friends. Remember?

Gelsomina on August 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I am not saying pander and I am not saying don’t do negative ads. Negative ads work. Obama’s negative ads need to be countered but these swing voters are suspicious of anyone who just attacks Obama so you better be running some positive ads about the plan that was absent this term and how Romney can do positive things. The ONLY thing that seems to be holding them back is the idea that Romney might be the bad guy Obama says he is in his negative ads and you can’t convince those voters that Romney is NOT a scary guy with negative ads or blasting Obama. As a side note no one loves seeing Obama blasted more than me but personal satisfaction isn’t always in line with the best election strategy.

Conan on August 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Where have I said attack the marxist with negative ads? I think you confuse me with others. Romney doesn’t need to do that. He just needs to use the marxist’s own words, and record, contrast that with what he will do, and let the voters decide. But he doesn’t need to have as part of the GOP convention theme that the marxist is a “nice guy”.

We aren’t talking about some leftist “who just knows so much that isn’t so”, to borrow from Reagan, we’re talking about an individual who wants to destroy the very foundations upon which our country was built. You don’t call that type of individual a nice guy. You just don’t do that. You educate the voters and let them figure it out for themselves just like many of those who voted for the marxist before but won’t do so now.

This isn’t rocket science or psychology 101, this is politics and the survival of the country. You can stay positive in defining your opponent, but it’s hard to do so if you first say he’s a nice guy, and then proceed to define him because everything that follows belies your “nice guy” theme.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Reagan said that the liberals are our friends. Remember?

Gelsomina on August 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Yeah…sarcastically…

Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.

A Time for Choosing, Address on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater,
Rendezvous with Destiny, October 27, 1964

kingsjester on August 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM

They need to drop the nice guy stuff, Obama plays dirty Chicago style politics with a smile.

RonDelDon on August 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I suspect this is for the convention only, to make a contrast for those watching both conventions. What could be more humiliating than having people think you may be nice but you are stupid? I see it as a form of ridicule, as long as the focus is on his incompetence, not his “niceness”.

Night Owl on August 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM

But nor did he lapse into this gratuitious “he’s a nice, well-intentioned guy” routine. Reagan knew what liberalism meant and was merciless in his mockery of it. It wasn’t that he was personal — that’s correct — but he came very close in the sense that Reagan saw America personally and liberalism as a grave insult and threat to this personal understanding.

rrpjr on August 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM

A have tried to find the exact quote. When did Romney say that Obama was a “nice, well-intentioned guy?”

Gelsomina on August 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

No person in Obumbo’s Admin., especially Obumbo himself, is a “nice” guy/gal by any sense of the word nice. But then this is Politics as it is now played…the lies just keep on rolling along and the only thing that ever changes is who in what Party gets to decide how much theft will be permitted of the American people’s blood and treasure. In that vein, these not nice at all Obumbo biggest thiefs ever must be defeated in November…period.

aposematic on August 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Remember folks, this would all be part of the late Andrew Breitbart’s plans. The game is to convince independents that they made a mistake in 2008, the media manipulated them into making that mistake, and they can correct it in 2012.

Part of it is being able to say, “Wow, who knew all that hopenchange would turn out like this, geee. And don’t you wish you knew who Frank Marshall Davis was when you walked into that polling booth in ’08? 0bama seemed like such a nice guy, and they never told you….”

People hate being wrong, and would be happy as Hell to have someone to blame when they are wrong. Throw ‘em the media.

Sekhmet on August 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

The problem for Romney: calling Obama a nice guy is not gracious, it’s a lie. And agreeing with the deluded portion of the population that thinks otherwise is self-defeating: falsely reinforcing to Obamabots, and sounding either disingenuous or naive to those who know better.

Barnestormer on August 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Never heard Reagan call Carter a nice guy, never. Squishies never learn.

bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Reagan said that the liberals are our friends. Remember?

I seem to recall Reagan, and then house speaker, Tip O’Neal making merry over drinks, after hours, back in the day, fellow Irishmen and all that.

But then O’Neal wasn’t Obama and the dems weren’t quite as openly vicious as they are now.

hawkeye54 on August 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Reagan said that the liberals are our friends. Remember?

Gelsomina on August 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Yeah…sarcastically…

kingsjester on August 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Exactly. That’s how you start a smackdown. “He is a nice guy, but …”

Gelsomina on August 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Obama…..nice guy?

Wow, if he really believes that Romney is an idiot.

#epicfailgopstunner

PappyD61 on August 27, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Where have I said attack the marxist with negative ads? I think you confuse me with others. Romney doesn’t need to do that. He just needs to use the marxist’s own words, and record, contrast that with what he will do, and let the voters decide. But he doesn’t need to have as part of the GOP convention theme that the marxist is a “nice guy”.
We aren’t talking about some leftist “who just knows so much that isn’t so”, to borrow from Reagan, we’re talking about an individual who wants to destroy the very foundations upon which our country was built. You don’t call that type of individual a nice guy. You just don’t do that. You educate the voters and let them figure it out for themselves just like many of those who voted for the marxist before but won’t do so now.
This isn’t rocket science or psychology 101, this is politics and the survival of the country. You can stay positive in defining your opponent, but it’s hard to do so if you first say he’s a nice guy, and then proceed to define him because everything that follows belies your “nice guy” theme.
bgibbs1000 on August 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM

You need to calm down bgibbs and quit attacking me for talking about negative ads as an example of things that aren’t building up Romney which is what I am arguing here is what is necessary in the vibe I am getting from Obama voters on the fence that is the necessary step to getting them to vote for Romney. These people were all already convinced Obama isn’t doing a good job they are playing undecided because they have to take the next STEP of seeing Romney as better. Running ads like you suggest are great for step one but it assumes they are ALL in step one where they haven’t become disappointed in Obama and the Romney campaign (rightly or wrongly) is deciding they need to do more step 2 work of reversing Romney as a scary guy which is ALL Obama has got right now and has spent millions on negative ads on.

Conan on August 27, 2012 at 1:07 PM

BTW, since Isaac is the SQUIRREL OF THE DAY….

Why don’t they just give up and close the frigging convention now.

GOP YOU SUCK, SUCK, SUCK.

PappyD61 on August 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I’ll vote for Gary Johnson and be irrelevant…

they lie on August 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Fixed it for ya Champ.

Tenwheeler on August 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Is there anyone here that doesn’t believe that the Whoredog media doesn’t want to have this image to play on the screens?

ROMNEY accepting the nomination and then on the other side of the split screen buildings flying apart in Louisiana or a woman screaming while her car is under water, etc.

Imagine the optics of that.

#whomeverpickedfloridaforthegopconventionisanidiot

PappyD61 on August 27, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Please be careful. That was not my post. It was an alternation of my post by CorporatePiggy on August 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

bayview on August 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

How do you alternate your posts? :)

As to everyone bitching about not being hard enough on Obama – anyone who that would attract is already on board with voting against Obama.

Romney needs to get the mushy middle – people who don’t pay close attention to politics, are not very informed, and get their info from network news. These are people who likely voted for Obama last time around. They aren’t going to be won over by insulting them for having voted for Obama in the first place.

I love red meat as much as the next guy and want a tough as nails candidate to take it to the other side. But you have to do things intelligently. The convention is not where you get nasty and negative – b/c the convention is where the mushy middle is going to pay attention to Romney for the first time. Instead, we want Romney – and the GOP generally, to come across as optimistic, reasonable, competent and nice. Reassure people that Romney and the GOP are not the mean, evil ogres that DNC-media portray them to be, but instead are viable alternatives.

The guy nominated for President doesn’t usually appear in the negative ads and doesn’t usually do the nasty attacking of the other side. That’s for after the convention to be done by surrogates, etc. And I want it done as much as anyone.

But if the convention is turned into a bash-Obama-a-thon, it will back-fire b/c the mushy middle won’t like it.

Monkeytoe on August 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

rockmom on August 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM
That!!

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM

You are being funny, right? You forgot the sarc tag, right? Most of America will be seeing him for the first time this week. That may be true if you have been living in a cave for the past 5 years and just exited. Are you serious, or just living in a cave?

Romney has been running for POTUS for the past 5 years. He has been seen more than any other candidate except Obama.

they lie on August 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

You are obviously the one living in a cave (or world) in your head …Romney ran only in GOP primaries, knucklehead, yes, in 2008 too, remember, it was mclame who was our presidential candidate then, not romney….so the only people who paid attention to the primaries back then and this year were the GOP politicos and politics aficionados, and that is a small minority, as hard as it might be for you to believe…rockmom is right, most americnas probably have no idea who Romney really is, except for a few (evidently untrue) soundbites attempting to define him, from the dims…so, chill, rockmom is totally right about this..

jimver on August 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

So “maggotty lying Marxist piece of sh!t” is out of the question?

Jaibones on August 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Here is an image the media that wants desperately to split screen with the RICH, EVIL, ROMNEY giving his acceptance speech.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yrMgs3LeUhI/TWz-V-WA8UI/AAAAAAAAB0o/-j5ZQcVlLEo/s1600/img_hurricane-katrina-1.jpg

PappyD61 on August 27, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Rush just called 2016: Obama’s America “the blueprint for defeating him.”

petefrt on August 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Dear God, Please do not allow the feckless, cowardly Steve Schmidt wing of GOP strategists to take over this convention and this campaign.

GOP strategists and consultants are not conservative, and their motives might not even include working for a GOP victory this time around.

Reince Preibus said last week that if the Obama campaign hits, then the Romney campaign will hit back harder.

That seems at direct odds with the theme of this story.

Right Mover on August 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Republican wishy-washy-nice guy, compromise politics is what got us to where we are. Republicans think the Dems will “talk” to them. More likely obumble will have a beer with Aaachmijad. Obamao is NOT A NICE GUY! You idiots! Keep on working like this…. you will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. God save us! Moron Republicans certainly won’t.

ultracon on August 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Is the GOP throwing the election AGAIN ?

DeweyWins on August 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Romney had no problem getting down and dirty against Newt and others in the Primaries. During that time, I heard that the Dems wanted Romney to win because he would be the easiest to defeat.
Also heard that this was the R’s plan in order to set up 2016 for Jeb Bush.

I put nothing past the Establishment Republicans and the Bush/Rove camp at all. After all, they selected Romney.

Whether Romney is in on this, I don’t know. But calling B.O. a nice guy under ANY circumstance is ignorant to say the least. B.O. & the word nice do not belong in the same sentence.

bluefox on August 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Hastily and horribly produced:

http://i47.tinypic.com/e1bxv4.jpg

Thank you, thank you.

RedNewEnglander on August 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Another thing… Allen West got it exactly right… A crap sandwich with a smile is still a crap sandwich.

ultracon on August 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Rush just called 2016: Obama’s America “the blueprint for defeating him.”- petefrt @1:31

Actually it was a caller, Lisa who lamented the GOP’s refusal of Dinesh’s gift with 2012.

She’s absolutely correct. Rush agreed but faded to commercial without elaborating.

heroyalwhyness on August 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

There you go again, Chrissy. Finding racism under every rock and behind every tree.

John the Libertarian on August 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

If every place he checks hurts, it might be his finger. :)

Axe on August 27, 2012 at 1:41 PM

There is no reason to repeat the media spin/WH spin that Obama is the likeable guy. We don’t have to repeat that. Someone must be paying the media to keep repeating it. I don’t agree, I dislike Obama for his nasty streak.

The Obama talking points are that you should elect him because he is the most popular guy in the high school. He has nothing left to run on.

Fleuries on August 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

heroyalwhyness on August 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Maybe the radio didn’t pick it up. I’m listening on internet from his web site. Yes, the caller brought up that the GOP wasn’t using 2016: Obama’s America as it should, as you said. Then Rush agreed, and his last words before the break (internet version) were: “It’s the blueprint for defeating him.”

He feels the Establishment GOP and/or GOP consultants are afraid to go there for fear of alienating the independents, they are misled in that fear and playing into the hands of the Dems.

petefrt on August 27, 2012 at 1:53 PM

It’s not just GOP consultants, either. I hear supposed conservatives like Steve Moore (on Kudlow’s weekend radio show) parroting this notion of Obama’s likeability. It is the single most egregious myth ever propagated.

Right Mover on August 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

The Weekly Standard has released the Republican Talking Points that were given to surrogates: Link

Note, none of the talking points mention Obama being a nice guy. Why do people continually fall for these left wing memes that are created out of thin air to divide and conquer conservatives?

On a side note about the Talking Points. Why the heck would someone hand these over to a media person BEFORE the convention? The Democrats basically have the playbook and can prepare their responses ahead of time. DWS is most thankful as she can have some new talking points developed for responding each day instead of rehashing the old tired out points that have no relevancy to the usual topic at hand.

weaselyone on August 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Romney likes to be a nice guy to the true schmucks like Obama and Fat Teddy but he’ll not give Todd Akin a break! Romney is a big failure in getting the base energized.

el Vaquero on August 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Because of that, the first impression these voters will get will be from the tone of the convention. Romney’s almost certainly betting that the Democratic convention will keep using the Romney-is-a-scary-murder/felon/slaver, since Democrats can’t talk about Obama’s record on jobs and the economy. Taking the more gracious tone first forces Democrats to either lighten up or suffer by contrast, and possibly have voters tuning out well before Obama appears at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to accept the nomination.

I only heard about 5 minutes of Rush today, but he seemed unhappy about it..but then again, it is not Rush who is actually having to set the tone for this convention. All he has to do is preach to the choir. Not the same thing.

I think that Romney and Ryan want to present a positive alternative to people..they want to give people a reason to vote for them and not just vote against Obama.

But I bet some people get some jabs in anyway.

Terrye on August 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Some readers are objecting to the headline being in quotes, as Romney is not explicitly quoted as saying this phrase in the article. However, I am quoting the article, and Romney has said this on many occasions — although not lately.

Romney has also said that his idea of Obama as being a basically nice guy has been somewhat strained by Obama’s behavior…in fact he made of point of laughing about it.

When reports came out that Obama had a personal dislike of Romney, his campaign tried to deny it. I think they believe that if people think there is a personal animosity involved then the arguments are not as compelling or as objective.

Terrye on August 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Nice but incompetent?

Is this greasing the pig before roasting it?

A lot of successful CEO’s have mastered the art of cutting off their opponents’ legs at the knee, yet leaving them with a smile on their face. They destroy the opposition in such a way that their opponents thank them for it. It’s an awesome thing to watch.

petefrt on August 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

NICE GUY

Narcissistic Infantile Cacogenic Egotist Grimgribber using Yarborough

DJcool on August 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

More idiocy, brought to you by the party of stupid.

avgjo on August 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Because of that, the first impression these voters will get will be from the tone of the convention. Romney’s almost certainly betting that the Democratic convention will keep using the Romney-is-a-scary-murder/felon/slaver, since Democrats can’t talk about Obama’s record on jobs and the economy. Taking the more gracious tone first forces Democrats to either lighten up or suffer by contrast, and possibly have voters tuning out well before Obama appears at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to accept the nomination.

Good point, but I offer this counterpoint: Admitting that Obama is a “nice guy” is exactly what he wants and precisely what he needs. The Democrats won’t stop with the inflammatory and false attacks, and his negative campaigning will peel off yet more voters. He needs Mitt Romney to call him a “nice guy” to keep his likeability rating high, which is his saving grace in this election season. He’s going to weigh the benefits of being called “nice” by the opponent and the number of voters his negative campaigning might depress or turn among the right against the number of voters he’ll depress or turn to the right through negative campaigning. He’s banking on the former outweighing the latter. He’d probably be right.

mintycrys on August 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

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