Despite last week’s Rasmussen poll showing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama by five percentage points, his chances of winning are slim.
Here’s one reason why.
During Romney’s stopover in Great Britain he was asked a question regarding preparations for the British Olympics.
“There are a few things that were disconcerting,” Romney said. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and custom officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”
Concern over terrorism was evident when British authorities deployed an additional 1,200 troops one week before opening ceremonies. The news came on the heels of media coverage exposing employees working for the private security firm overseeing the games caught sleeping on the job.
If anyone understands the details behind organizing a successful Olympics it’s Mitt Romney. He did, after all, rescue the Winter Olympics 10 years ago in Salt Lake City — an accomplishment his campaign raises to highlight his business acumen.
Backlash from British media and politicians was quick. Ironically, the same media reporting security concerns for the London Olympics clobbered Romney for his comments referring to the same. Romney’s reference however was construed as Olympics bashing and highbrow.
For his part Mitt Romney attempted to soften his criticism later that day. “My experience with regards to the Olympics is it’s impossible for absolutely no mistakes to occur,” he said.
It was too late. The British press was already running with his Olympic “gaffe” — at least that’s what they and our national press were calling it. Romney, just coming off defending his Bain Capital connection, was playing defense again.
Now comparisons between Salt Lake City and London are clouding Romney’s Olympic success. But worse than this was Romney’s capitulation to the media and Olympic officials in London.
Americans like winners. And this is the Olympics. So hearing Mitt Romney struggling to clarify the truth (what everyone else was thinking) reflected weakness. Instead of back pedaling, Romney should have held his ground and told Olympic organizers and the press, “You can’t handle the truth!” just as Jack Nicholson did in the film “A Few Good Men.” This candidate seems to lack the ability to firmly stand his ground against the press. New Jersey Governor Chris Christi he’s not.
Romney must understand by now that the majority of national media in this country and abroad lean left. Socialism appeals to them. And Obama is their guy, thus his more favorable treatment.
Take Obama’s “You didn’t build that” speech for example. Those in the media did all they could to convey his words were taken out of context.
He really didn’t mean what he said. We didn’t understand what he was saying. Our teachers made us successful. And we should be thankful for all those roads and bridges the government built for us. All hail to government.
As for the campaign ahead, it’s going to be difficult to sell Americans that an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent and an anemic quarterly GDP growth of 1.5 percent are signs of a growing economy. But with the national media in your opponent’s back pocket, a public growing more accustomed to government handouts and Mitt Romney’s inability to throw a punch, his chances of winning the gold medal look bleak.
Mitt Romney has been playing this Olympic political sport for well over a year now. If he doesn’t understand that winning this game requires more than playing defense then he’ll lose come November.
Richard Esposito is publisher of the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Wednesday.