Update: To clarify, I don’t necessarily think that this one video will wreck his campaign, but watching Romney attempt to square the circle of running as a “person of faith” who doesn’t want to talk about his religion because he isn’t running “as a Mormon” while saying that his opposition to abortion is a secular position is devastating to the rationale for his candidacy. Brownback, Huckabee et al. have just had their prayers answered.
Second Update: This exchange may help to convince people that he is, in fact, a human being who gets frustrated and angry because of criticism rather than a robot or mannequin. This could help him win more voters who are not strongly opposed to Romney’s Mormonism, but who might find his normal plastic demeanour off-putting. It is also fascinating to see Romney run up against hard-line strict constructionists and have no idea how to handle their views. It’s as if he’s never even heard of the idea that judicial review is a usurpation (in fairness to him, he probably never has).
Separately, Rasmussen shows that only 35% of Republican voters think Romney is conservative, and only 54% of Republicans have a favourable view of the man. Only McCain among the big four has worse fav/unfav numbers. If Romney were to somehow win the nomination, GOP voters would probably be pretty unenthusiastic about his candidacy.
Update: Kleefeld receives word from Romney’s campaign manager on why the Romney campaign put this video on YouTube:
Because it shows Governor Romney standing his ground and making his case to an interviewer that took him head-on over the issues. He is confident and engaging during a tough inquiry. Folks who have seen the video says it is Governor Romney at his best, so we felt others should have the chance to see it.
This is Romney at his best? I can’t say that I am surprised to hear that, but I find it curious that his campaign manager would be claiming it. This episode is potentially very bad for Romney, so it is bizarre that his people would be spreading it around the Web deliberately.