It's a GOP dog pile, and Mitt Romney is at the bottom.
The White House hopeful is coming under fire from his own Republican Party after Mother Jones dropped a bombshell video this week in which Romney tells rich donors that nearly half of Americans who pay no federal income taxes think they are "victims," and that he won't even bother trying to win over these moochers.Republican strategist
Mark McKinnon told MSNBC on Wednesday that Romney's verbal slip-up demonstrates that he's facing an increasing problem of showing he's "able to connect with voters in that he understands and shares their values and concerns and that gap is widening."
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer told Fox News, "You don't win an election by disparaging just about half of the electorate." Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum declared that Romney has committed the "worst presidential-candidate gaffe since Gerald Ford announced in 1976 that 'there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.'"
And Peggy Noonan, a former Reagan speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote, "It's time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one....An intervention is in order. Mitt, this isn't working."
On Wednesday night's Hardball, Republican strategist John Feehery also conceded that the slip was big. "If you're running for president, you have to get as many votes as you can. A lot of those in the 47% are people who want to vote for Mitt Romney," he said.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that the Republican commentators "got it right. I'm not sure it's retrievable at this point."
Some Republican Senate candidates in tight races also are distancing themselves from Romney's remarks, as Al Sharpton noted on PoliticsNation Wednesday. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Linda McMahon in Connecticut, and Dean Heller in Nevada have all backed away from the 47% comments.