The Daily Beast: Mitt's Likability Problem

September 21st, 2012

The Daily Beast
By John Avlon
September 21, 2012



Less than 50 days from the election, it’s still Mitt Romney’s biggest mystery.

He is an exemplary husband and father—the kind of man you would want as a member of your church or would trust to run your business.

So why do so many people find it hard to warm up to Willard?

His “47 percent” comment resonated because it reinforced the negative narrative about Mitt as an out-of-touch member of the superrich with little feeling for policy, politics or people—a million miles away from W’s “compassionate conservative” mantra. He comes across as an awkward mix of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller, without any of the redeeming qualities. And it’s arguable which is worse—whether Romney essentially believes what he said at the $50,000-a-plate fundraiser, or was simply pandering to the well-heeled audience.

At least three Republican Senate nominees—Scott Brown, Linda McMahon, and Dean Heller—quickly distanced themselves from his comments, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and condemnations from a half-dozen high-profile conservative columnists, including Bill Kristol and Peggy Noonan. According to a new Pew Survey, no other presidential candidate’s unfavorable ratings have been as high at this point in a campaign.

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