September 29th, 2012
07:35 PM ET

Romney’s tongue-tied eloquence

By Fareed Zakaria

As President Obama has surged in the polls, Republicans have been quick to identify the problem: Mitt Romney. Peggy Noonan eloquently voiced what many conservatives believe when she said that Romney’s campaign has been a “rolling calamity.” Others have been equally critical of his candidacy. And yet, shouldn’t it puzzle us that Romney is so “incompetent” (also from Noonan), given his deserved reputation for, well, competence? He founded one of this country’s most successful financial firms, turned around the flailing Salt Lake City Olympics and was a successful governor. How did he get so clumsy so fast?

In fact, the problem is not Romney but the new Republican Party. Given the direction in which it has moved and the pressures from its most extreme — yet most powerful — elements, any nominee would face the same challenge: Can you be a serious candidate for the general election while not outraging the Republican base?

Read the full column at the Washington Post

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Penny Wright

    Romney should quit acting like a "victim" and take "personal responsibility" by showing us his tax returns for the last 12 years.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      The GOP is divided and lacks visionary leaders, who use rhetoric to inspire unity. A party that lacks vision and leadership will quickly spiral out of control. The infighting, score-settling and petty vindictiveness have replaced their unity in the old days fighting the Cold War. George W Bush managed to put the final nail in the coffin of the decades-long "Reagan era" and invented a new Republican brand – the neo-conservatism, but then ensured it couldn't be used again.

      September 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  2. Bob Dole

    The Republican base is a bunch of uneducated conspiracy theorists believing everything their God Rush Limbaugh tells them.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • Isaac

      You would prefer Allah rush?

      September 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
      • CloseListener

        Issac, that was a leap in logic that would stun even a hillbillly. There are plenty of options between the GOP and Allah (which is just the muslim name for GOD, but if you have a problem with GOD, that is on you). One option is the path that we are already on – Obama 2012. Thanks.

        September 30, 2012 at 10:43 am |
      • Muhammad

        ClosedListener or ClosetListener
        Some pedophile womanizer steals religion from Christians and Jews and calls it islam and we are to believe that islam's allah is God?
        Do not be a fool and do not spread that foolishness around unless you are planning to plant something.

        September 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  3. deep blue

    True fiscal conservatives are in the Conservative Party. Too bad the Conservative Party is in Britain, not here.
    To be fair, most candidates, not just Governor Romney, like to speak in ideological terms rather than real terms. If politicians talked about real solutions, they might find common ground with the other party and get things done. That kind of out of line behavior is a sure fire way of not getting reelected. After all, if they work with the other party to improve the country, who is there left to blame the country's problems on?

    September 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  4. JAL

    Ok then. Lets have the millionaire lawyer tell us that we need to have humililty, while he sits in a mansion drinking champagne every night with his steriod-infused wife that lectures us on obseity.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • JAL


      September 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  5. Muin

    Really? You think so. I don't know if I agree. I think Chris Christie could've strike a balance among all groups if he were to be the republican nominee.

    September 29, 2012 at 2:59 am | Reply
  6. cathycarron

    It would be helpful if Zakaria would hold Obama to the standards he does Romney – and asks similar questions of the Obama campaign...WHAT IS OBAMA'S PLAN FOR THE DEFICIT? TAXATION? – are we going to get more of the same from Obama or does he have a PLAN .....Candy Crowley tried to squeeze this out of Obama's factotum Axelrod – to no about putting Obama's feet to the fire as well – it would help lots!!

    September 30, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
  7. Jeremey

    I do not know how Mr. Fareed Zakaria be on TV. He lost all crediability because of his plagiarize and his anti American views.

    September 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Muin

      You should run for U.S president. Think about this. You've nothing substantive to say but you are good at baseless attack.

      September 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  8. Jaker, Dublin, Ireland

    I guess I'm feeling more sorry for Romney by the day; for the poor lad (I mean rich) hasn't a ghost of a chance of winning the US Presidency. Mind you, someone has to come "Second", which isn't that bad really, but it isn't that good either. Still in 4 years time, he could come back & chance his arm at losing again!

    September 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  9. JP, Canada

    I am not so lenient to say that Romney has some plans but is afraid to disclose them. I do not trust his values and I am not so sorry for him. He has been all over the place as far as ideas on the right are concerned. To try to appeal to all you end up not appealing enough to any. Remember the chocolate box caricature of Jon Stewart. There is no new flavor and this is best for Americans if they want to pursue trying Obama's approach providing himself find a stronger centre and sticks to his guns.

    September 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  10. Leslie

    I want to know why my comment wasn't posted?

    October 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  11. Leslie

    Here it is again in case you wish to post it this time.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
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