Jeremy Peters at the New York Times writes that the right-wing punditocracy isn’t feeling the love from the Romney camp.
From the television studios of Fox News to the pages of The Weekly Standard, the refrain of the conservative opinion machine is virtually the same: Mitt Romney doesn’t talk to us, doesn’t get us.
“There’s actually a cultural disconnect between a lot of conservative thought leaders and Mitt Romney,” said Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He added that Mr. Romney lacks a personal touch. “He’s not a glad-hander. He’s not like Bill Clinton or George H. W. Bush, who loved to sit on the phone and work people.”
Mr. Romney’s distant, complicated relationship with many of the conservative media’s leading voices has heightened concerns that his convictions are not as genuine and deep-seated as their own. Many commentators have pounced on some of Mr. Romney’s recent remarks — saying that he is “not concerned about the very poor” because they have a government safety net and that he was a “severely conservative” governor — as proof that he cannot speak their language.
“The real problem here is that it shows he doesn’t have fluency with conservative ideas,” Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist, said on Fox News.
Maybe they’re just figuring out something a lot of other people have known all along: it’s hard to share any convictions with someone who doesn’t have any. At least with Rick Santorum you know where he stands — somewhere in the Bronze Age, but at least it’s somewhere.
Not that it really matters what a bunch of pundits think, but if a candidate can’t even connect with the pep squad at Fox or talk radio, he’s got a problem.