Brody of the BrodyFile: “When he goes negative against Huckabee and McCain, it plays into the perception that is already formed about him. It makes him look desperate”

“CBNNews.com – First Mitt Romney went negative on Mike Huckabee in Iowa after he saw his lead slip away. (oh, wait,, that’s right he was just contrasting positions because he just has a “fundamental disagreement” with Huckabee..right),” writes an incredulous David Brody for CBN’s The Brody File in a post aptly titled Is Romney Desperate?

The last week or so he’s been going negaive on McCain in New Hampshire where he sees his lead slipping away there as well.

Listen, negative attacks are part of campaigning. Most candidates engage in them. But here’s the problem when it comes to Romney.

Fair or not, perceived or otherwise, Romney has developed the reputation as someone who will change positions or just say anything to get elected President. When he goes negative against Huckabee and McCain, it plays into the perception that is already formed about him. It makes him look desperate. The mental picture is that Romney’s arms are flailing in every direction looking to hit something. McCain on taxes may work but Romney has some of his own issues with increasing fees in Massachusetts. Hitting Huckabee on immigration may also work but Romney needs to duck for cover on that issue too because of some of his past statements.

We concur. See:

Back to Brody:

The problem here for Romney is that he’s not pure on these issues either so everytime he attacks, he gives his opponents a chance to strike back. John McCcain has been skewering Romney lately by mouth and press release.

In other words, when Romney attacks e.g. Sen. McCain, he provides the Senator sudden and immediate earned media opportunities the Senator would not otherwise enjoy—in still other words, Romney’s high-risk, high-cost strategy drives, perversely, the costs of other campaigns down.

Back to Brody:

Romney makes himself out to be a Reagan conservative (remember, he represents the “Republican wing of the Repulican party”) and has been calling out everybody else’s shortcomings. The issue though is that Romney hasn’t been a Reagan conservative long enough to build up the “street cred” to do his attacking.

The emphases are ours, all ours.

Here is where we discuss what it means for a candidate with high negatives—e.g., Romney—to go negative against competitors with lower negatives:

Rasmussen Reports: Romney has the least core support, and the most core opposition of all the leading candidates, Republican or Democrat—these findings predict the sudden and fierce backlash against Romney’s negative attacks on other candidates

To address Brody’s question, is Romney’s desperate?—whether desperate or not he is certainly hostile, abusive, and mean-spirited.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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  1. 1 Kilmer: “[Huckabee] on [Russert’s Meet the Press], Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee covered a list of what he said were Romney mischaracterizations of him and his records—[Huckabee] was effective here, and he did not slip wh

    […] negative attacks, negativing campaigning, negativity, redstate.com, tim russert Consistent with David Brody’s point that Romney’s attacks open up opportunities for Romney’s rivals to respond using earned […]




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