It finally hit me tonight why I think Mitt Romney would have a real problem in the general election.He is Barack Obama.No, not really. But yeah, there is something there. They are both robotically good on the campaign trail. But throw them off guard, get them off balance, and they turn a bit nasty.We are all intimately familiar with Barack Obama lashing out. During a closed door meeting with Republicans he tells them “I won.” When John McCain stands up to him at a closed door meeting, Barack Obama snidely remarks, “We’re not campaigning anymore” or some such.Romney, in the debates, has been very, very polished and smooth. Never mind the repeated times he hasn’t quite gotten the facts right, including the bit about his book wherein he actually did delete a line suggesting Romneycare was a model for the nation. In two debates now he has denied he wrote that and claimed to have always suggested otherwise. It simply is not true.In the CNN debate he was confronted on multiple occasions and on multiple fronts with the fact he has an honesty gap. He resorted to demanding fair play and threw out some rather savage remarks with a smile reminiscent to Barack Obama on the campaign trail raising his middle finger to his nose with a smile.Then, after the debate, the Romney camp began pushing out the narrative that Rick Perry is too mean to be the nominee. Obama does the same with the GOP — they are just too mean to him when they start ganging up on him.Then, in the height of overreaction, Mitt Romney put out a devastating web ad on Rick Perry’s debate performance. The ad was designed to make viewers believe Perry’s awful performance was in the Las Vegas CNN debate. Most of the commentators used were from CNN, including me. They were spliced in and shuffled around outside the actual timeline of when they were delivered — most after that awful Fox News debate.It was a vitriolic overreaction to kick Perry and distract from the wounds Romney actually suffered in the debate. They subsequently pulled the ad. It made them look both desperate and defensive over Romney’s own debate performance.This is all so familiar. Romney is behaving exactly as the GOP said Barack Obama behaved on the campaign trail in 2008 and still says he is behaving as campaigner in chief.Isn’t ONE thin-skinned debater enough?
By Erick Erickson | 4:46 AM on October 20, 2011
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Tags: MITT ROMNEY