While Justin Hart continues to insist that the push-poll scandal is an non-story, stories abound. This, friends and well-wishers, is how not to manage a crisis. Note how the political primitives of team Romney allow their pursuers to develop one revelation after another, just enough to keep the story alive, just enough to justify the next wave of scrutiny.

Please understand: issuing piecemeal denials, rationales, explanations etc. in exchange for every new revelation only confirms people in their suspicions. Examples follow.

“More facts emerge that further raise questions about the Mitt Romney Phone Scandal phone calls placed to two Iowan supporters of Mitt Romney, Marshan Roth and Rose Kramer,” writes eye of eyeon08 in a post titled Iowa Romney staff/’voters’ change story

They both told reporters that they received phone calls on Wednesday of last week. Marshan Roth told the Salt Lake Tribune that she “got a call on Wednesday night.” Rose Kramer told Dave Lightman from McClatchy that she was “waiting for the TV show ‘House’ to start at 8 p.m. Tuesday when a pollster called.” However, she then told Reid Wilson from RCP that “she received around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.”

Meanwhile:

“Deepening the mystery surrounding the anti-Mormon polling calls, the Romney campaign is confirming that it referred reporters to two recipients of the calls without disclosing that the two were also on the Romney campaign payroll, TPM Election Central has learned,” writes Greg Sargent in a TPM ElectionCentral post titled Exclusive: Romney Campaign Referred Reporters to Anti-Romney Call Recipients Without Disclosing That They Were On Romney Payroll

In response to questions from TPM Election Central, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden confirmed that the campaign had failed to disclose this info to reporters. Madden suggested that the campaign had identified them as “supporters,” which is a far cry from being directly paid by the campaign, as the two call recipients were.

The revelation could add grist to the theory — now spreading on conservative blogs and even getting coverage by news organizations — that the Romney campaign itself is behind the calls. Some have speculated that the calls — which attack Romney and refer to his Mormon faith while saying positive things about McCain — are an effort by the campaign to test negative messages about itself while getting McCain blamed for the calls.

Elsewhere:

“Yet another connection, albeit an indirect one, now ties Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to the recent spat of anti-Mormon phone calls made in New Hampshire and Iowa,” writes Huffpo’s Sam Stein in an article titled Mystery Deepens: Several Recipients Of Anti-Mormon Calls Are Romney Staffers

Several recipients of the calls, which raised questions about Romney’s Mormon faith and military deferments, are prominent supporters of the former Massachusetts governor.

Marshan Roth of Fairfield, Iowa, who is paid $500 a month as a GOTV (get out the vote) consultant for the Romney campaign, received a call on this past Wednesday night. Rose Kramer of Dubuque, Iowa, who co-chairs Romney’s Iowa faith & values steering committee and is a $1,000-a-month GOTV consultant, received a call either that same day or a day earlier, depending on conflicting reports.

Roth and Kramer are now the third members of Romney’s Iowa campaign to have publicly acknowledged received the calls. Ralph Watts, a state representative in Iowa, who also backs the former governor, was one of the first people to come forward.

And yet, during subsequent press interviews, neither Roth nor Kramer disclosed the positions they held on Romney’s team. In fact, as several other reporters have pointed out, both individuals drastically downplayed their campaign associations. And in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Roth took the opportunity to lash out against Sen. John McCain, the presidential candidate initially thought to be behind the calls.

Dear Team Romney. Either prepare to die the death of a thousand cuts, or get your lazy pear-shaped side-ways organization in gear and get out in front of this. The only way you can do that is to

(a) immediately reveal everything that you know about this,

and,

(b) mount your own investigation promise to take action against any staffer who may be involved.

You need to position yourself as being on the side of law and order. Right now, Team Romney, your’e behaving as if you’re hiding something.

Were you anything other than a joke-campaign—and if your negatives were not higher than space—we would further recommend mounting and circulating a vigorous counter-narrative. Do you remember Prosecutor Star and the constant revalations about Monica Lewinski etc. leading up to Pres. Clinton’s impeachment? Clinton partisans has a counter-narrative that they repeated constantly: THIS IS ALL ABOUT SEX. This would not work for you, however. Your candidate’s ultra-high negatives and icy-cold humanoid persona will not support a negative message.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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  1. 1 Justin Hart resigns from Romney campaign’s Faith and Values Steering Committee? « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Dear Team Romney: how many more of your crack campaign staffers must fall on their swords for you? As we wrote elsewhere, you need to get ahead of this situation now. As we wrote elsewhere: […]




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