Matt Lewis

Romney may pay for going AWOL on debt debate

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,” Theodore Roosevelt famously advised. But as is the case with many maxims, there are opposing viewpoints. With the nation deeply embroiled in debt debate, GOP front runner Mitt Romney appears to be following different advice: Keep your head down and your mouth shut.

This is not an absurd strategy. One of the advantages, after all, of running for president as an “unemployed” person (as opposed to running as an incumbent), is the ability to avoid controversial stands. Why get down in the weeds if you can remain above the fray?

The trouble is that Romney’s campaign does not exist in a vacuum. His opponents, many of whom have taken stands on the issue, are working feverishly to attribute his front porch campaign style to a lack of political courage. And their attacks may eventually resonate. Given the tea party zeitgeist, one wonders whether it’s possible to win the GOP nomination by avoiding the most contentious debates of the day.

Ironically, the most risky strategy one could employ in this milieu might be to be overly cautious. And based on the image below (which was emailed to me by a Romney foe) it won’t be easy for Romney to continue ducking such contentious debates…

  • The Holsteins

    “Don’t interfere while your opponent is committing suicide.”  Why should he weigh in now when he has the benefit of hindsight in 2012?  Savvy!

  • truebearing


    You make a good point. We have already seen what happens when we have a president who votes “present”, but isn’t.

  • Pigs On The Wing

    What nonsense.

    You wanted him to weigh in while the repubs and dems and tea party types were negotiating and you wanted Romney to weigh in like some half-wit like Michelle Bachmann or that Huntsman 1% polling guy.  The fact that he was smart enough to wait until there was a deal to be understood and intelligently reviewed fits Romney’s style.  Romney does things the Bain way…..he waits until he knows what he is talking about before he speaks.

    Then, you have Palin types who one day threatens the freshman with primary opposition and the next day is praising this horrible deal.  But thats Palin, clueless.

    Romney will be a great president.  Much better than that war monger, Teddy Roosevelt, the socialist Bull Moose spoiler candidate who you quoted as if Teddy has any moral standing to be quoting from.

    Matt Lewis isnt as smart as Mitt Romney, cant make the dough Romney made, cant pull the SAT scores Romney did….. jealousy is an ugly thing.

    • truebearing

      “he waits until he knows what he is talking about before he speaks.”

      If you did the same, we’d never hear from you again.

    • truebearing

      “he waits until he knows what he is talking about before he speaks.”

      If you did the same, we’d never hear from you again.

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  • rightjb

    Matt I agree.  He read your column.  It would have actually brought him up a notch as a contender in my view had he done this when Boehner was blackmailing, threatening and coercing House Representatives who needed the cover. 

  • Scott

    Hey, you know what would be a disaster? LETTING OBAMA WIN ANOTHER TERM. Short of eating babies, I don’t care what Romney has to do to win it.

    • xamn

      Yeah, that statement is easy to hide behind, just like Mitt hid during this debate. He won’t be able to hide on stage in the presidential debate, and I doubt he’ll come away from that looking like the winner. Yes, he’s better than Obama, but it’s in no one’s best interests……well, whatever. He’ll never make the primaries anyway. He’s a disgrace and his kind will be cleared out soon enough. Let him pretend it’s business as usual while he still has the chance.