Political Animal


July 08, 2012 10:39 AM Settling For Mitt

By Ben Jacobs

Roll Call has a surprising story featuring John Boehner’s frank response to a voter who asked him “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?” Boehner responded negatively:

“No. Listen, we’re just politicians. I wasn’t elected to play God. The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney has some friends, relatives and fellow Mormons … some people that are going to vote for him. But that’s not what this election is about. This election is going to be a referendum on the president’s failed economic policies.
Mitt Romney believes, just like we do, that if we’re going to get the economy back, if we’re going to put the American people back to work, we need to fix the tax code, we need to stop the regulatory juggernaut that’s going on in Washington and we need to fix our economy. Solid guy, he’s going to do a great job, even if you don’t fall in love with him.”

This is a startlingly blunt acknowledgment by the most powerful elected Republican in the country that Mitt Romney is a less than ideal candidate for the GOP. At least, if you’re not “a friend, relative, or fellow Mormon.”

Ben Jacobs is a journalist living in New York. He is a former reporter for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and contributor to the Boston Globe editorial page. Follow him on Twitter @bencjacobs.


  • Burr Deming on July 08, 2012 11:50 AM:

    Likability or issues?

    The problem with likability is that his attempts at being likable are tried and true and always work at the local country club.

    On issues. Well, so far it's been a hopeless muddle.

  • c u n d gulag on July 08, 2012 11:53 AM:

    Well, talk about 'damning with faint praise!'

    That MITT2012 Cyborg sure needs a "Likeability" upgrade - that's if that software's even been installed in the first place.

    Here's what you do Mitt:
    Keep showing us the Mrs prancing around on her expensive dressage horse.

    And your other other vacation home - the one with the jet-ski built for two, and the boathouse that's more expensive than any 3 commenters houses are worth.

    And then some more shots of Mitt with his jacket and tie off, and in his hand-tailored shirt, with the cuffs rolled-up like he's some sort a workin' mayn!

    And the 5 Romney mini-him's they've spawned.

    Yeah, keep showing us that sh*t, and we'll grow to love you.

    At least the Sr and Jr Bush's had some dysfunctional kids, to make people think they were more like them.

    I mean, if you make Poppy Bush look all warm and fuzzy, you've got issues.

    Ya gotta like somebody before ya love 'em!

  • dalloway on July 08, 2012 12:13 PM:

    Gee, it sounds like the party poobahs and hardcore conservatives don't care if Romney wins or not. And I'll bet they don't. If he loses, they'll still probably control Congress, they can pound Obama into dust for the next four years and then easily elect a true believer who will happily follow corporate orders, ban abortion and criminalize homosexuals, the poor and immigrants. I think their strategy in nominating Mitt this year is all about their long game. Be afraid, progressives. Be very afraid.

  • exlibra on July 08, 2012 12:26 PM:

    [...] Mitt Romney is a less than ideal candidate for the GOP. At least, if you’re not “a friend, relative, or fellow Mormon.” -- Ben Jacobs

    Even if you *are*, a "fellow Mormon", it's not a given that you'll love Romney. I've been working (I'm on a small-town Dem committee) with a young lady from the Tim Kaine (running for Senate in Virginia) campaign. Both she and her husband are Mormons, and neither of them supports Romney; they both think he's an evil creep, who's abandoned basic precepts of the faith, like compassion towards the less privileged. Huntsman, they both liked and would have supported; Romney... not at all.

  • Stephan on July 08, 2012 12:52 PM:

    Anyone's economic policies would fail, if the opposition party voted in lockstep against every single piece of legislation that was proposed!

  • BJ smith on July 08, 2012 2:09 PM:

    I honestly don't think he cares anything about BEING POTUS, it is just the title he wants. He turns more people off every time he opens his mouth. The people pimping for him are pathetic, Reince, for example.

  • zandru on July 08, 2012 2:15 PM:

    "'Can you make me love Mitt Romney?' 'No.'"

    There's the core of yer ad. "What does Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives think about his candidate for president, Mitt Romney?"

  • T2 on July 08, 2012 3:32 PM:

    I think BJ is right....the Presidency is another "aquisition" for Mitt. But, damn, if it isn't clear by now that he is not liked by the GOP establishment, I don't know what else they can do except vote against him at the convention. Talk about a bone headed comment...Boner has out done himself.

  • boatboy_srq on July 08, 2012 4:39 PM:

    BJ nailed it.

    Romney isn't running for pResident - he's interviewing for CEO of USA Inc - because it's his turn, for Pete's sake. It's as if the US is "Bain, but bigger." Given his out-of-touch behavior so far, I'm actually surprised he hasn't selected Ann as Veep (got to keep all that lovely influence - er, money - in The Family, after all).

  • N.Wells on July 08, 2012 4:53 PM:

    "Interviewing for CEO of USA, Inc.," is a neat way of saying what Romney is doing, but IMHO the reason is only a little that "it's his turn", and a lot more that he sees a vast pool of as-yet-unstripped assets. (His business experience really is relevant to his campaign.)

    Thinking about it, "hostile takeover using other people's money" is also a pretty good way of describing what he is attempting.

  • rea on July 08, 2012 5:01 PM:

    [singing, in best Bonnie Raitt voice]:
    Turn down the lights, turn down the bed
    Turn down these voices inside my head
    Lay down with me, tell me no lies
    Just hold me close, don't patronize - don't patronize me

    Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
    You can't make your heart feel something it won't
    Here in the dark, in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
    But you won't, no you won't
    'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

  • Lucas Jay on July 08, 2012 6:11 PM:

    Relying on anti-incumbency is a losing strategy. In a highly polarized election, the WI recall, only 27% of the electorate showed up at the ballot box to vote AGAINST a candidate (80% of those votes went for Barrett). Failure to articulate a vision for the country will, in all likelihood, cost Mitt Romney the election.

    My comments on these matters and other issues at

  • connie487 on July 10, 2012 3:18 AM:

    in fact, she's still trying to live up to an oscar. I am a 28 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Lindasunny2002 on--~agelover~c 0 m~~--.it is the first and best club for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men,to interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

  • LeoMarius on July 17, 2012 8:08 AM:

    I have yet to see the American people elect a President they were not passionate for. Obama has a lot of passionate supporters, so if your only rationale for voting is getting rid of Obama, you are only going to get 35% of the vote.