Romney still playing defense in poiltical Olympic sport

By From page A5 | August 01, 2012

Despite a recent Rasmussen poll showing presidential contender and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama by 5 percentage points he doesn’t stand a chance of winning.

Here’s one reason why:

During Romney’s stopover in Great Britain he was asked a question regarding preparations for the British Olympics.

“There are a few things that were disconcerting,” Romney said. “The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and custom officials — that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” he remarked.

Concern over terrorism was evident when British authorities deployed an additional 1,200 troops one week before opening ceremonies. This news came on the heels of media coverage exposing employees working for the private security firm overseeing the games were caught sleeping on the job.

If anyone understands the details behind organizing a successful and safe Olympics it’s Mitt Romney. He did, after all, lead the Winter Olympics 10 years ago in Salt Lake City — an accomplishment his campaign raises to highlight his leadership skills.

Backlash from British media and politicians was quick. Ironically, the same media reporting security concerns for the London Olympics clobbered Romney for his comments referring to it. Apparently saying what everyone else in the world is thinking is considered Olympics bashing.

For his part Mitt Romney attempted to soften his criticism later that day. “My experience with regards to the Olympics is it’s impossible for absolutely no mistakes to occur,” he said.

It was too late. The British press was already running with his Olympic gaffe (at least that’s what they’re calling it). Romney, just coming off defending his Bain Capital connection, was playing defense again.

Now comparisons between Salt Lake City and London are clouding Romney’s Olympic success. But worse than this was Romney’s display of capitulation to the media and Olympic officials in London.

Americans like winners. And this is the Olympics. So hearing Mitt Romney struggling to clarify the truth simply reflects weakness. Instead of back peddling, Romney should have held his ground and told Olympic organizers and the press, “You can’t handle the truth!” just as Jack Nicholson did in the film “A few good men.” Unfortunately charisma and boldness appear lacking in this candidate’s DNA.

Romney must understand by now that the majority of national media in this country and abroad lean left. Socialism appeals to them. And Obama is their guy, thus his more favorable treatment.

Take Obama’s “You didn’t build that” speech for example. The press did all they could to convey his words were taken out of context.

He didn’t really mean that. We’re successful because of all those teachers pumping knowledge into our brains. And we should be thankful for all those roads and bridges the government built for us. Let us kneel in prayer to the government. (Maybe the word prayer is a bit too confrontational)

It’s going to be difficult to sell Americans that an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent and an anemic 1.5 percent GDP rate are signs of a prosperous growing economy. But with the national media in your back pocket and a public growing more accustomed to government handouts any chance of Mitt Romney winning this election are slim to none.

Mitt Romney has been playing this Olympic political sport for well over a year now. If he doesn’t understand that winning this game requires more than playing defense than he’ll lose come November.

Richard Esposito is publisher of Village Life and the Mountain Democrat. 

Richard Esposito


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