RSS
Is Mitt Romney's honeymoon with conservatives already over?
It's been a brutal week for Romney in the conservative media, suggesting that Republicans are sick of their candidate's vagueness and health care fumbles
Mitt Romney has been getting an earful from Beltway conservatives, but polls still show that 78 percent of GOP voters have a favorable view of their presidential candidate.
Mitt Romney has been getting an earful from Beltway conservatives, but polls still show that 78 percent of GOP voters have a favorable view of their presidential candidate.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
M

itt Romney's presidential campaign is taking it on the chin from the conservative media. With Team Romney failing to deliver a cogent message in the wake of the Supreme Court's game-changing ObamaCare ruling, Rupert Murdoch tweeted that Romney needed to dump "old friends from his team" and "hire real pros." Then both The Weekly Standard's William Kristol and the editorial board of Murdoch's Wall Street Journal trashed the Romney campaign as overly vague, "politically dumb," and too focused on talking about the economy. So, just weeks after the press reported that conservatives had rallied behind Romney, has the Right already soured on its man? 

Yes. The honeymoon is over: "Romney is facing the backlash from conservatives that his opponents predicted in the primary, and it isn't pretty," says Matt Negrin at ABC News. The proximate cause is Romney's muddled, awkward message on the Right's No. 1 cause, ObamaCare, but that has simply opened the floodgates of criticism over Team Romney's inability to move the polls in his favor. "Conservatives' displeasure with Romney doesn't mean they won't vote for him," but it sure doesn't help his campaign any.
"Mitt Romney, clumsy on health care, is shellacked by conservatives"

No. Conservatives are still aboard the Romney express: All this griping from Beltway conservatives "is a load of worthless tripe," says Dan Riehl at Riehl World View. Most voters aren't even paying attention, and if they were, they'd see that Romney just hauled in a cool $100 million in June. That's hardly a sign of conservative disenchantment. This is "just the D.C. bubble talking, nothing to see there. Move along, folks."
"Since when did Bill Kristol actually know anything?" 

If anything, the GOP has an enthusiasm problem: Republicans do have "increasingly positive views of their nominee," says Scott Clement at The Washington Post. According to Pew, 78 percent of GOP voters voiced a favorable view of Romney in June, up from 62 percent in May. Still, "liking is not loving," and twice as many Democrats are "very enthusiastic" about Obama than Republicans are about Romney. In fact, after their exciting primary, Republicans are mostly "fast becoming bored with the 2012 campaign," at least for now.
"Republicans grow bored with 2012 campaign" 

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week