It’s too soon to tell if this is the day Mitt Romney truly lost his best chance at the presidency. But, given the timing of his statements over the Benghazi tragedy that claimed the lives of four Americans—including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens—juxtaposed with John McCain’s wild hail mary four years ago this week, it’s easy to see why national media can’t resist the comparison.
Romney could still, very easily, win in November. But his clunky, ham-fisted, tone deaf, irresponsible, political opportunism shenanigans of the lowest order this week should indicate he is not ready for prime time. Romney’s namecalling of President Obama and erroneous accusations that the administration is apologizing for America make Romney himself look small, dimwitted and puerile.
What’s more, it also means the national media is focusing its attention on another Romney gaffe instead of allowing the pieces to come together in Libya. What’s lost in all this “apology” nonsense is we don’t yet know what spurred the riot. Was it this so-called “film” on YouTube? Was it an al qaeda faction staging an orchestrated attack? We simply don’t know. And for Romney to step up to the mic before the details have been learned shows a weakness on his part: he will politicize anything to score a point. It seems he’s still in the primary race, fighting for support from his own party, rather than focusing on the sliver of undecided voters he needs in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin. And it is costing him dearly.
I don’t know if this is a case of an overzealous campaign advisor who’s been too long in the bubble, but Romney needs to rethink the strategy for the next two months. He continues to either heed bad advice or ignore good advice. The only success he’s had—and even that is up for debate—is when he focuses on the U.S. economy. Every time he drifts into foreign affairs, he looks like Clark Griswold stumbling across Europe. And every time Romney tries to challenge Obama’s foreign affairs bona fides, it only reminds the public that Romney is a disengaged, intellectually uncurious neophyte by comparison. Romney and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight continue to play target practice with their own feet.
We’re about two months away from Election Day. A lot can change between now and then. Romney’s best hope right now is to focus more on standing toe-to-toe with Barack Obama in two debates. He needs to stop doubling down on an arrogant chest beating as he did Wednesday and lay out an actual plan for Americans to rebound out of the current economy.
Of course, this would require the Romney campaign to be specific. Houston, we have a problem.