[Tampa Bay, FL] Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election – recently swung through Florida to pick up some campaign cash and persuade the state’s residents that they can feel good about voting for him.
Let’s see how Romney did …
Fact: More than 40% of Florida homeowners are already “underwater” on their mortgages. Romney thinks that the problem is that the banks are being slowed down by regulation and procedure and doesn’t seem very concerned about trying to keep people in their homes.
“Bankers have been very slow in renegotiating the mortgages, helping people go through the process, short sales and so forth,” said Romney said in an interview with Political Connections, as reported by www.TampaBay.com.
“Allow these products, these homes, to be taken out of the market so they can be bought by new investors,” he said.
Yes, he’s attempting to appeal to Floridians by telling the ones who are struggling to keep their biggest financial asset that they need to be booted from of their homes quicker, so that investors can buy them up and make a profit. That will solve the problem.
Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem for the homeowners, just the banks. Romney may need reminding that it was Wall Street’s recklessness and rampant speculation that drove the world’s economy off a cliff in the first place.
His response will not likely play well with moderates, as it only bolsters his “out of touch mega-millionaire” problem. He’s basically alienating 40% of Florida homeowners which is a lot in what could end up being a tight race against President Obama.
Mitt Romney speaking in Jacksonville last week
This at a time when President Obama is hammering Romney on his Bain Capital history, a history which portrays Romney as a career business opportunist who has no problem draining a company and its pension fund for profit.
And the U.S. Government picked up the tab on those pensions, by the way.
While in South Florida, The Miami Herald classified Romney’s speeches as “long on criticisms of Obama … short on specifics.”
“One of the things that’s been most disappointing to me over these last several months is watching this president divide America,” Romney said.
“In the interest of his reelection he’s trying to find some way to talk about something other than his record and to find someone else to blame for the challenges people feel,” he said.
Problem is, Obama’s record is actually pretty good when you look at the data and not listen to the GOP. The economy is recovering. We’ve had twentysomething months of job growth. Wall Street continues its historic climb northward. Gas prices have started to fall again.
Osama bin Laden is dead.
Romney will have to be more specific than to claim to know what people feel if he wants to overcome his main likeability issues – too rich, too Mormon, prone to say something “out of touch” – and have a chance at winning. He still has time, but not as much as he thinks.
Obama deals with specifics every day, while Romney throws out well-worn platitudes and buzzwords, most of it red meat for conservatives who already hate Obama.
So far, the polls have indicated a post-primary bump for Romney’s favorability ratings, but as reported by the Chicago Tribune, many experts view that as a “honeymoon effect” of Mitt finally securing the Republican nomination.
Will Mitt Romney be able to win over Florida voters?
Romney opened himself up to yet another round of criticism (he seems to have a penchant for that, don’t you think?). The Miami Herald reported that Romney had a fundraiser at the Star Island home of pharmaceutical company magnate Phil Frost.
What’s the big deal? Frost’s company manufactures birth control … the specific type that Republican primary Romney lambasted on the campaign trail. Yikes. That is exactly the kind of thing that voters are turned off by.
Then there’s Mitt Romney’s clumsy attempts at ingratiating himself with ordinary citizens (he’s a multi-mega-millionaire if you didn’t know all ready).
While in Jacksonville on Thursday, Romney basically tried to convince the locals that he was soon going to become one of them, that he and his wife Ann have discussed moving to Florida when they retire. And their place of choice? Jacksonville.
The only problem was that he couldn’t even spell it out convincingly because he knows it smells of pandering.
“She has said, ‘Someday, who knows, we might,’ ” Romney said of Ann’s let’s-move-to-Jacksonville decision. “You never know. Someday, way down the road.”
Talk about leaving yourself an escape route. Of course, Romney’s real reason to move here is financial.
“It has the right tax rates, among others,” Romney said.
And with all that loot he’s got, that sure is appealing.
Mitt Romney has a lot of work to do to get his game in fighting shape and court moderates, independents and Democrats fed up with Obama.
But in Florida where the economy still drags, foreclosures pile up and jobs are hard to come by, Romney may need a new game altogether.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Images: Fran Ruchalski for Sunshine Slate