Treat the Press as Enemy Collaborators

“So how do you feel about your new position with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)?” asked Media Bistro of Jonathan Allen. “Certainly excited. I’m happy to go to work for someone who inspires me and who I admire. I’m hopeful I can advance the Democratic Party’s goals and obviously, the congresswoman’s goals,” Jonathan Allen replied.


Jonathan Allen is now the Politico’s senior Washington correspondent.

This is the week when Democrats and the Arab street both erupted in frenzies over otherwise obscure YouTube videos, with our media tripping over itself to provide excuses for both.

On September 11, 2012, as North Africa blew up and the American Embassy in Cairo started apologizing for everything, the Romney team finally sent out a statement, but embargoed it till midnight because they had promised not to go negative on September 11th.

I guarantee you a member of the media sent it to Team Obama and I guarantee you it was no coincidence the White House put as much distance as possible between them and the Embassy before the expected release of the Romney statement at midnight. By the time Mitt Romney decided he had to lift the embargo early, the Obama camp had pivoted around him and the media was ready to pounce with “ROMNEY SCREWED UP!!!!”

The Romney campaign cannot work with the press. They must work around the press. They must be more John Sununu vs. name your interviewer of choice and less anything else. Bluntly, the general rule for Team Romney should be to treat the press as an enemy collaborator with Barack Obama with exceptions only as appropriate.


That leads me to the latest enemy collaboration. The left wing magazine Mother Jones has undercover video of Mitt Romney talking to donors. He is, on the video circulating now, talking about the 47% of Americans who do not pay income taxes. The press and left are already orgasmic at the find. As an aside, I find it hysterical that the videographer and Mother Jones were apparently connected together by Jimmy Carter IV, who is being described as unemployed — a state of existence common in this Presidency, which has become the second coming of his grandfather.

Mark Halperin of Time, whose colleague Michael Scherer came from Mother Jones to Time, began setting the narrative quickly. “Many of us have seen pols pander to donors in closed events. I’ve heard my share Rs+Ds. Never anything this damaging however,” he tweeted. Really? Not Barack Obama with the “guns and religion” comment about Pennsylvania Democrats?

And what of the damage to our national security by Barack Obama’s open mic moment with then President Medvedev of Russia?

The Romney campaign should double down on what he said. They should own it. The trouble for the left and media (but I repeat myself) is that most Americans agree with Mitt Romney. Most Americans consider themselves part of the 53% and it is not a winning proposition for Barack Obama to convince Americans they are less than they think they are when most Americans already recognize he has made them less than they were.


Team Romney should force this debate onto the national stage. They should not walk it back. The American people are with him. It is the perfect time to remind people that Barack Obama, who authored Obamacare, wants to now be the arbiter of people’s fair share. To Obama, fair share means you fork over your money so others can have a life of government dependency. Romney’s point about government dependency ties perfectly to the dreadful economic news of late and is a perfect pivot back to that.

In fact, one of the least appreciated differences between the Republican and Democratic conventions is that the GOP put people on stage who had succeeded in life and the Democrats put a bunch of people on stage portrayed as victims. This all goes perfectly together.

The media will use this as an opportunity to stop covering North Africa, which continues to have negative implications for Barack Obama. In moving the focus to this, Mitt Romney should embrace it. It’s time to have the discussion everyone has been waiting for and now, with terrible economic data and North Africa Mitt Romney has a very simple message to close the sale: leading from behind is failure.

When I pointed out that were the election held today Barack Obama would win. And he would win because Mitt Romney has a muddled messaging mess. For pointing that out and suggesting that if he fixes it he could win, I was called a “liberal flack” an “Obama collaborator” and Twitchy called me a hand wringer lumping me in with liberals David Frum and Ezra Klein. It is to be expected. But I stand by the point. Now, Mitt Romney has the perfect opportunity to focus his message like a laser and close the sale.



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