W. Mitt Romney had a bad week.
Rather, Romney has had another bad week.
Prior to this week was the well received Democratic National Convention.
The week before was the less well received Republican National Convention, forever to be remembered by an address to an empty chair.
In the weeks prior to the conventions there was a lack luster response to Paul Ryan’s selection to the ticket and the sorting out of what it was in Paul Ryan’s record Romney was embracing and what he was rejecting.
There was a dizzying back and forth on Medicare, the budget and a woman’s ability to get an abortion after being raped. Little, if anything, was actually settled.
It should also be pointed out that the lackluster reaction to the Paul Ryan was on the Republican side as Democrats were overjoyed that Romney made it easy for Democrats to pin Republicans to the Ryan Budget.
But back to this past week.
On Sunday Mitt Romney made yet another misstep.
And, in retrospect, it was a previous Romney mistake that may have prompted Mitt Romney’s tone deaf response to this week’s tragedy.
There are two things Romney has been clear about: he will not release his tax records and he wants to repeal Obamacare.
Except he embraced several of the most popular features of the Affordable Care Act on Meet the Press. Policies that are at the heart of Obamacare like allow young adults to keep their coverage under their parents’ health insurance and ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.
Romney’s statement that “of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place” set off alarm bells from K Street lobbying firms to mega rich Super PAC donors and Republican leadership.
By Sunday night the right wing pundits were all over Romney for making yet another gaffe – on Obamacare no less – and for not being tough enough on Obama.
On Monday, Rush Limbaugh took out his frustration on the Romney campaign when he told listeners that Romney may as well be “Elmer Fudd”. On Tuesday he went after Romney again for being too nice to the president and not “going ideological”.
With the mounting criticism from the Republican establishment Romney no doubt saw the events in the Middle East as an opportunity to do just as Limbaugh had instructed.
And in trying to atone for one mistake Romney managed to create a far bigger problem for himself. At a time when events required him to be a leader Romney was to engaged in fulfilling his ambition to recognize the moment.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.