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Real News' War Room: Why Does Romney Struggle Presenting His Conservatism?


A recurring problem for Mitt Romney throughout the Republican primary that has now carried through well into the general election campaign has been a propensity to trip-up when discussing his conservative views in uncontrolled or seemingly private situations. The latest gaffe to create a subsequent media frenzy and raise questions about his candidacy got off the ground Monday, when Mother Jones released a video clip of Romney during a fundraising dinner with supporters in Boca Raton. In the "secret video," he speaks in an inelegant way about the Obama campaign’s appeal to the 47 percent of the country that doesn’t pay income taxes and is dependent on government assistance.

The uncomfortable soundbite falls in line with hits like "I'm not concerned about the very poor," "corporations are people my friend" and "I like being able to fire people who do a service for me," all moments in the campaign that Romney's staff and surrogates would like to put in the rearview mirror.

John McCormack of The Weekly Standard writes that these types of gaffes dating back to CPAC 2012 and "I was a severely conservative Republican governor," may not be a sign of Romney's difficulties as a campaigner, but a true lack of understanding and belief in conservatism.

"These appear to be the words of somebody who doesn't understand American conservatism and its relationship to the American idea," writes McCormack. Going on to add:

The reason such remarks keep slipping out of Mitt Romney's mouth is not that Romney wants to wage a class war against lower-income Americans. The likely problem is that Mitt Romney is not a conservative--or at least wasn't a conservative until late in life--but he is running for president as the nominee of the conservative party on a conservative platform. So he has trouble defending conservative ideas. And when he sells himself to conservatives, he sometimes comes across as a right-wing caricature.

The "Real News From TheBlaze" panel Wednesday discussed what Romney's remarks say about his conservatism, and whether conservatives still attacking Romney this late in the game are cutting off their nose to spite their face:

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