Advertisement

Rivals make Romney's business plus a minus

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose rivals are working hard to ensure his business experience works against him in the primaries. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whose rivals are working hard to ensure his business experience works against him in the primaries. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney hoped his business acumen would bolster his quest for the Republican U.S. presidential nod, but his rivals turned it into a negative, observers say.

Romney faces cynicism about big business from the left and right thanks to the Occupy and Tea Party movements, attacks about his work at venture capital firm Bain Capital from GOP rivals and a bid by President Obama to portray himself as the champion of the average Joe against the out-of-touch financial elite, The Hill reported.

Advertisement

"Given where Obama's message is heading, Romney could be the perfect foil," Republican strategist Mark McKinnon said. "Obama has the opportunity to make Romney's strength his weakness, like [Sen.] John Kerry [D-Mass.] and his military background in the 2004 race."

Bob Shrum, who ran Kerry's presidential campaign, told The Hill he didn't agree with the comparison, arguing that few votes were lost because of the campaign challenging Kerry's account of his service in the Vietnam War.

RELATED Carter: Negative campaigns hurting country

"I don't think it's his wealth that is the problem," Shrum said of Romney. "Franklin Roosevelt was a rich man, and he was elected during what were, obviously, very, very tough times. John Kennedy was a very wealthy man. But people felt that they cared about them. Romney's problem is his tone-deafness when it comes to ordinary people, and his disconnect from them."

Advertisement

Romney, who also is a former Massachusetts governor, didn't help his cause when he told a group of Floridians he, too, was unemployed or told New Hampshirites he worried about being pink-slipped or when his tax returns indicated his rate was less than 15 percent, below what middle-class taxpayers pay.

"Romney could have a hard time feeling voters' pain," said McKinnon. "And Team Obama will make sure voters feel Romney's Bain."

RELATED GOP rivals spar in Fla. debate

RELATED Group seeks info on Gingrich ethics probe

RELATED Gingrich pulls Romney 'anti-immigrant' ad

RELATED Romney, Gingrich virtually even in Fla.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement