Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is putting on a brave face in response to a series of polls that show President Obama expanding his lead over Romney, claiming that the new numbers don’t really matter.
“There has not been any national news, anything that would push these numbers from 3 to 9 points,” one anonymous Romney adviser told Politico. “You’ve got to have something to precipitate that kind of sea change.”
Here at The National Memo, we can think of plenty of things that could have pushed Romney’s numbers into a nosedive. Here are five of the many reasons that Romney may be fading in the polls:
On the eve of the Olympics, Mitt Romney set out on an overseas trip in an effort to strengthen his foreign policy credentials. It did not go well.
Romney instantly offended Britain by questioning the country’s preparation for the Olympics and doubting the Olympic spirit of the British people. For his troubles, he was skewered by the British press, personally rebuked by Prime Minister David Cameron, and booed by a crowd of 60,000 Londoners. Apparently Mitt’s touted “Anglo-Saxon heritage” didn’t do him much good, after all.
Praising Israel’s Health Care
On the next leg of his trip, Romney praised Israel’s health care system by noting that, while costs are “completely out of control” in the United States, Israel only spends “eight percent of [gross domestic product] on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation.”
Normally, pointing out these facts wouldn’t be any sort of “gaffe” at all. Unfortunately for Romney, complimenting a country that has had universal health care since its founding in 1948 undercuts his own party’s message of “Let him die!”
“Kiss My Ass!”
Somehow, Romney wasn’t finished botching his foreign policy trip. At a stop near Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, members of the national press corps — toward whom Romney is both evasive and combative — began shouting questions at the Republican nominee, who had refused to engage them throughout the entire trip.
Romney’s press secretary Rick Gorka responded to their questions in pretty much the least helpful manner possible, telling them to “Kiss my ass” and “shove it.”
It was a fitting end to a miserable trip for Team Romney.
Tax Plan Proven Mathematically Impossible
Romney has had trouble on the domestic front as well. Last week The Tax Policy Center released a study showing that, even if one assumes the most favorable conditions for Romney, it is literally impossible for his tax plan to achieve its stated goals.
Romney dismissed the report by accusing the non-partisan group that wrote the report of liberal bias. That bias is apparently a recent development; when the Romney campaign cited a report by the Tax Policy Center in November, it referred to the Center as an “objective third-party.“
Where Are The Tax Returns?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken it upon himself to make sure that Romney’s refusal to release more than two years of tax returns stays in the news. Reid’s claim that a Bain investor told him Romney did not pay any taxes for a decade outraged Romney and some figures in the media, but the public is on Reid’s side: According to a recent CNN poll, 63 percent say that Romney should release more returns.