Mitt Romney’s Surrogate Problem

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a problem with his supporters. After a contentious primary cycle, Romney emerged this week with enough delegates to officially clinch the nomination. Despite tepid support from the conservative base, he emerges as the face of the party of opposition to face President Obama in the Fall. This uncomfortable embrace is opening another fissure between the more conservative elements of the Republican Party and their nominee: the lack of uniformity in message.

Campaigning with real estate mogul Donald Trump has proven distracting to Romney’s continued effort to garner support. Not only because of Trump’s past questioning of President Obama’s citizenship status, but the fact that he continues to raise the issue even though it has been thoroughly debunked. This is the latest illustration of Romney’s issue that he has with his supporters: he does little to rein them in. When they go off message or raise issues that detract from his campaign to broaden his appeal, he doesn’t admonish them. ┬áMany observers opined that this birther stance of Donald Trump is so egregious, that Romney should openly say something against Trump.

To borrow a phrase from the 2008 election cycle, Mitt Romney has yet to “reject and denounce” his supporters, no matter how far-fetched the claims they make. If this continues, how will the Republican party reach out to the independents it needs to have a chance at winning? When one of your surrogates is toying with the notion that the sitting President of the United States is not a citizen, that is not a thing to overlook. How long will this go on?

Marc W. Polite


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