WASHINGTON — Criticism of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, including by some Republicans, continued today even as the campaign promised changes, and an effort to move on after a difficult week.
Romney is to start what aides call an “intense battleground state schedule” that will hit Colorado, Ohio and Virginia this week.
But that wasn’t enough to quiet some Republican commentators.
“Their core problem was carefulness, inability to focus on their own essential meaning. And communicate it to the American people,” said Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan on “CBS’ Face the Nation.”
And David Brooks, who writes for the New York Times, added on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “Mitt Romney does not have the passion for the stuff he is talking about. He is a problem solver. I think he is a non ideological person, running in an extremely ideological age, and he is faking it.”
Despite these calls for change, the candidate says he has a “very effective campaign.” And when Romney was asked for Sunday’s CBS’s “60 Minutes” whether he can turn around his campaign, he was dismissive.
“Well, it doesn’t need a turnaround. We’ve got a campaign which is tied with an incumbent president to the United States,” Romney said.
The latest Gallup tracking poll does show Romney tied with President Obama nationally, but his campaign admits he is not leading in any of the battleground states that could decide the race.
That fact, and the Republican criticism led George Stephanopoulos to ask Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on ABC’s “This Week” whether Romney is in denial.
“No, I don’t think so, George … I think that we had a good week last week, I think in retrospect, in that we were able to frame up the debate last week in the sense of, what future do we want and do you want out there,” Priebus said.
While the candidate is saying in public that his campaign does not need a reset, the new strategy of hitting the battlegrounds “intensively” is an effort to turn a page on what was a difficult week for Republicans.
While the advice may not be appreciated, columnists continue to give it.
“This race is close. You can win it if you are Mitt Romney, if you go forward with meaning and you stop being small, and merely tactical and cautious,” Noonan said.