Speaking with a group of unemployed Floridians on Thursday, Mitt Romney offered to "tell my story," too, starting with the fact that "I'm also unemployed." Romney chuckled, and so did the group of eight Florida voters. Democrats were less amused, pointing out that a full-time presidential candidate worth $200 million, while technically looking for work, probably shouldn't compare himself with struggling Americans. Romney's "brand of aw-shucks, cornball humor" has long been hit or miss, says Jonathan Weisman in The Wall Street Journal. Will this particular joke come back to haunt him?
Yes. Romney clearly isn't ready for prime time: The Republican frontrunner's "gift for odd, awkward, delusional gaffes" is almost unparalleled, says Tom Levenson at Balloon Juice. It's no wonder the "ridiculously wealthy Romney" can't persuade "the common clay that he is just like the least among us." He isn't. Stick to attacking President Obama, Mittens.
"Not ready for prime time"
Give Mitt a break: It's true that Romney is playing the same "silly political games" with some of Obama's verbal miscues on unemployment, says Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But still, "give it a break, people. Seriously." Mitt "was actually being kind of funny" here. But more importantly, it's a long time between now and the election, and we should let the candidates "be human between now and then."
"In defense of Mitt Romney, amateur (unemployed) comedian"
Joke or not, Romney messed up: "I realize he is joking," says Steven L. Taylor at Outside the Beltway. But, as jokes go, it was neither smart nor accurate. "He seems to have a job, after a fashion," since he's been running for president for four years, with "donors paying for a lot of his expenses." And unlike his companions at the coffee shop, if Romney wanted a more traditional job, "I expect he could get one. Today."
"Things not to joke about when you are a multi-millionaire..."