Political strategist James Carville suggested Monday that Republicans are angrier at Mitt Romney than they are at President Barack Obama because the presumptive GOP nominee’s refusal to release complete financial records has complicated what should have been an easily winnable 2012 election.
“I think the Republicans are mad. And you know why they’re mad?” Carville asked Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday. “Because a Harvard-educated community organizer is beating them in a street fight. And they are mad about it because they are used to winning these fights.”
“And you should be mad because that campaign is not, and Romney is not, standing up for you,” Carville continued. “How can a guy be running for president, know he was going to run for president, and not be getting rid of a Swiss bank account. . . . You know that’s going to be an issue.”
But Carville said Romney apparently “didn’t want to go to the trouble,” which is why, he added, Obama’s Chicago-based re-election team is now “outflanking and outmaneuvering” the soon to be Republican nominee.
“And Republicans and conservatives are duly angry at Romney for not standing up for them,” he said.
Carville, who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s rise to the presidency, also said he agreed with Romney that the focus of the campaign ought to be on the economy, which he agreed was in bad shape.
But he said Obama would likely win that fight, too, because he has made progress in helping to create some jobs, despite “a very difficult recovery” and Republican efforts to paint him as a job killer.
Citing what he said were Congressional Budget Office figures, the Democrat also asserted that 85 percent of the nation’s current deficit originated during the presidency of Republican George W. Bush, primarily due to “the Bush tax cuts” enacted in 2001 and 2003.
“The biggest contributor to this deficit is the Bush tax cuts,” he said.
Carville — who also used his appearance on the Hannity show to promote his new book, “It’s the Middle Class Stupid” — said overall he believes Obama “has done a damn good job” and that “a lot of things he’s put in place have worked pretty good.”
He cited the U.S. auto bailout as just one example that may have helped save an industry and thousands of American jobs.
Asked again whether he believes the Obama campaign has been engaging in “the politics of personal destruction” by banging away at Romney on his years as head of Bain Capital investments, Carville said, “I don’t want the politics of personal destruction.”
But he stressed again that Romney had brought it on himself.
“Look, I want to say here is that man that is running for president that puts his experience at Bain at the center of rationale for his candidacy,” Carville said. “And, yes, people are going to question it. And I think that is fine.”
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