5 Signs Romney is Getting Desperate
US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a rally at Colorado Springs municipal airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
The presidential race is down to the wire, with only one day left of campaigning. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are criss-crossing through swing states, holding rallies to turn out their base and convince undecided voters, if there are any left, to vote for them.
The polls, though, continue show a solid lead for President Obama, particularly in the Electoral College race. And that means it’s time for the Romney-Ryan campaign to get desperate--which is exactly what they’ve been doing.
Here are 5 recent examples of how the Romney campaign’s desperation is shining through.
1. Talking Up ‘Judeo-Christian Values’
As AlterNet's Adele Stan reports, on a campaign phone call to evangelicals Sunday night, vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan took it back to basics: ginning up fear over alleged threats to “Christian values” in a bid to turn out his base. Politico reports that Ryan told the evangelicals that President Obama has gone down a “dangerous path.”
“It's a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place,” Ryan said.
The “tele-town hall” garnered the participation of thousands of callers, Politico reports.
2. Campaigning in Pennsylvania
Mitt Romney has been seriously campaigning in Pennsylvania recently, but others see it as a sign of desperation meant to make the Obama campaign pour resources into a state they have safely locked up.
Yesterday evening saw the latest instance of Romney landing in Pennsylvania to campaign. But the polls show that Obama continues to lead in the state. So even if Romney was trying to make a serious play, rather than a head-fake, at Pennsylvania, it still smacks of desperation. As Nate Silver of the New York Times points out, “Mr. Romney’s chances of pulling out a victory in Pennsylvania are slim.” But he’s still looking for votes in all the places he can.
3. Lying about Jeep Production
The Romney campaign has been touring the coveted swing-state of Ohio, and has taken to telling bald-faced lies in an effort to win the state. The latest: a claim that Chrysler was going to move production of Jeep vehicles to China.
“I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep — now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China,” Romney told an Ohio crowd in late October. Soon after, an ad was out claiming that Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.”
But the ad and claim was wholly misleading. As a Washington Post fact-check points out, “the overall message of the ad is clearly misleading — especially since it appears to have been designed to piggyback off of Romney’s gross misstatement that Chrysler was moving Ohio factory jobs to China.” Chrysler has insisted that the company has “no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.”
4. Blaming Hurricane Sandy
When you’re down and out in the polls, it reeks of desperation to begin to blame your woes on anything other than your campaign or your opponent’s campaign. And of course, that’s what the Republican Party and some within the Romney campaign have begun to do.
Talking Points Memo reports that the right is “roundly describing the devastating storm as the critical event that halted their candidate’s upswing in the polls, which give Obama a clear advantage in the electoral college math.”
CBS News reported that Romney “campaign sources concede superstorm Sandy stalled Romney’s momentum.” And Karl Rove, a Romney booster, told the Washington Post that “if you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy.”
5. Casting Doubt on Polls
When all else fails, blame the numbers. And that’s exactly what the right and the Romney campaign have been doing recently.
As Joshua Holland recently reports in AlterNet, “Republicans have decided that all the available evidence must be wrong and that Mitt Romney is headed for a certain victory next Tuesday.” Part of the reason for this is that “people like to vote for winners, and if they believe their candidate is likely to go down in defeat, they may decide to stay home and do some laundry next Tuesday.”
The Romney campaign has joined in on the poll-bashing. For instance, they’ve joined in with the right’s new hobby of casting doubt on New York Times numbers guru, Nate Silver.
BuzzFeed reports that Romney strategist Stuart Stevens told the website that “In the primary we'd go from having close to zero chance, to winning a state, to 80 percent [likelihood] within some short period of time” in Silver’s polling model.
And even before they tried to cast doubt on Silver, they were claiming momentum that wasn’t even there. As New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait recently wrote, “in recent days, the vibe emanating from Mitt Romney’s campaign has grown downright giddy. Despite a lack of any evident positive momentum over the last week — indeed, in the face of a slight decline from its post-Denver high — the Romney camp is suddenly bursting with talk that it will not only win but win handily.” But, as Chait notes, “this is a bluff. Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.”