Richard Wolffe: Romney Not a Credible Candidate

Thursday, 19 Sep 2013 12:34 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election because he was a "worse candidate who ran a disastrous campaign," says MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe, author of the new book "The Message: The Reselling of President Obama."

"You've got to replace something with something else, and Mitt Romney just wasn't credible to most people," Wolffe told Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show." "That's a fundamental problem Republicans have. You can complain, but what are you going to replace those things with?"

The book takes a close look at the challenges Barack Obama's campaign was facing in 2012 to win re-election, including a declining economy and growing disillusionment about Obama's precedent-setting first term in office.

Obama's staff had kept its internal disputes quiet for years, and in 2008 was able to push for his victory, but four years later "their hostilities threatened to undermine the re-election of a president at a time when most voters were deeply unhappy and ready for change," an Amazon.com preview of Wolffe's book says.

In addition to Obama's internal staff issues, the president's re-election campaign also faced serious money issues, Wolffe said on the Malzberg program.

"When Romney and his allies had more money than [Obama] did, everyone could predict that," Wolffe said. "No one could predict that Obama people would be smarter about how to spend the money. They found these obscure cable shows in the middle of the night that could reach infrequent voters."

Meanwhile, the Romney campaign was, ironically, "spending their money like there was no tomorrow.`

"For someone who says I know how to run a business, I care about the deficit — they wasted a lot of money on the Romney side," Wolffe said.

But the Obama team was smart, he said. "It wasn't just the ground game. It was also that they had a message that worked and that they knew how to spend money."

As a result, many people who did not support Obama's policies still voted for him, leading him to victory, Wolffe said.

"Romney was a much, much worse candidate who ran a disastrous campaign," said Wolffe.

Wolffe said he also discusses in the book how Obama himself often stumbles on issues.

"Even for the supporters of this president, one of the perplexing things is how someone who can give such a great speech can stumble so often about the message, whether it's about healthcare, whether it's about withdrawing from Iraq, or in this case Syria, even the recovery act," said Wolffe.

But Obama was able to come through "elections that they win in a big way, two elections with over 50 percent of the vote, no small feat" said Wolffe.

The MSNBC.com exec said Obama's slips-ups continued even more on Monday following the deadly Washington Navy Yard shootings that left 13 dead, when the president turned offering sympathy and condolences for the victims into complaints about Republican policies.

"Presidents at a time of one of these horrific massacres have to strike a different tone," he said. "They have to speak for the nation."

He pointed out Congress has not acted on many of Obama's plans, including mental health or gun control, but Monday was not the time for Obama to voice his disappointment with Republicans — and by doing so, the president once again lost public opinion, a common dilemma.

"I try to get at some of this with this book," said Wolffe. "Is it bad advice? Is it him? Is it a combination? Whatever it is, it keeps happening."

Editor's Note: To Get Richard Wolffe's Book "The Message: The Reselling of President Obama" Click Here Now

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