March 21, 2012

Governor Etch A Sketch

  7:01 pm

In light of Mitt Romney’s big win in Illinois and the endorsement of Jeb Bush, Governor Romney enjoys some definite momentum and an opportunity to bring conservatives aboard provided one of his staff members doesn’t go on national television and make a statement that emboldens his opponent and re-enforces all the concerns his opponents have about him:

HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.

Oh snap.

The meme has caught on like wildfire. Gingrich and Santorum are out on the trail and they’ve come loaded with etch a sketches.

Matt Beynon of the Santorum camp put this photo on Twitter with this caption, “@RickSantorum studying up on @MittRomney policy positions.”

Alice Stewart of the Santorum Campaign was handing out etch a sketches in the parking lot of a Romney event.  (Before Romney supporters complain remember the Romney Michigan/Florida tactic of sending out politicians to talk the other candidates events.)

It’s of course been a topic on the trail with both Santorum and Gingrich breaking out the etch a sketch:

The Etch-a-sketch comment has not gone unnoticed by the left and the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake has received 12 etch-a-sketch related emails from the Democratic Party.

Code designers were quickly up with a Mitt Romney Etch a Sketch Website.

Allahpundit called it, “the Kinsleyan gaffe of the year thus far” while Stacy McCain suggested this might be that “act of God” the Romney campaign said Santorum needed.

Of course, we’ve seen a lot of gaffes in this campaign, most of which have been overstated as to their impact. This one is different.  This particular gaffe by a campaign staffer came at a key point when Romney’s trying to short circuit this process and get Republicans to follow the Borg-like message of resistance being futile. Instead, the Very Conservative voters who are cool to Mitt have had their fears re-enforced.

Worse than that, the Fehrnstrom created a very concrete image for both primary and general election opponents to exploit. It’s better than Santorum’s line about a well-oiled weather vane. For voters who are about 30, the etch-a-sketch is incredibly concrete, and it covers all their fears about what Mitt Romney’s candidacy means. This doesn’t mean this gaffe will guarantee that Romney isn’t the nominee, but he better erase any idea of the party coalescing behind him any time soon.



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Adam, I seldom agree with your posts, but you're spot on, here.

I saw 1 headline about Mitt's IL victory.

1 headline about Jeb's endorsement of Mitt.

And, 6 headlines about that damn Etch-a-Sketch.

I'm very angry with that communications directory and I want his head on a pike!

In response to Etch A Sketch flap, Romney insists the "issues I'm running on will be exactly the same."

Romney: "I'm running as a conservative Republican, I was a conservative Republican governor, I'll be running as a conservative Republican nominee.... The policies and positions are the same."

Claims Fehrnstrom was referring to organizational differences between the nominating race and the general.

Read more:


This statement wasn't even made by Romney. Who cares?

Talk about grasping at straws.

So one of his many "staff" members says something stupid. So What.

Gingrich and Santorum don't have this problem because their staff is almost non-existent.


Romney did not say this, did he?

Conservative for Romney


I too seldom agree with your FPP, but I must agree in this case. This was MONUMENTALLY stupid!! Of all the days and times for Romney's camapign director to run his mouth, today was not the day to do it. It makes me angry just thinking about it. Romney was finally being crowned King of the Republican Mountain, then his closest advisor kicks him in the nuts and shoves him back down to the bottom!!

With that said, I don't think this completely changes the race, Romney will still end up winning. It will likely just take more time.



No he didn't. But it's gonna be a pain in the rear for a few days. Adam's complaints about short circuiting a primary that is already over not withstanding.


Pure crap. Everybody knows this is a "gotcha" manufactured out of thin air. WHO FREAKING CARES?



Doesn't matter. If someone who is a senior staff says this on national television, it's a big deal. Just as when Mark Block and the Cain Communications Director saying stupid things was a big deal.


Regarding the Romney campaign meme from Mark Murray:

The hole in Romney's Etch A Sketch answer: Fehrnstrom wasn't asked about organization; he was asked ideology in primary/general election



No, it wasn't"monumentally stupid." The reaction to it was monumentally stupid. And transparent.

Not Your Severely Constipated Romnot

Adam, remind us again how many points Romney beat Santorum by in your state of Idaho.


To be fair to both candidates, that picture of Santorum with the Etch-a-Sketch was actually taken before the gaffe. He was composing his Illinois concession speech.


2 and 6. True, it wasn't Mitt who said it. But, it gave the news organizations a freak show to report on. It's an IMAGE everyone can relate to. And, it furthers the inaccurate meme that Mitt is a flip flopper you can't trust.

So, instead of spending today and the next few days talking about Mitt's win and Jeb's endorsement, the media is talking about that damn etch-a-sketch!

It will be asked about in every interview and tweedle dum and tweedle dee are going to keep hammering home that conservatives can't trust what Mitt says.

"Oh, what a great speech." Doesn't matter because Mitt will just erase it in the General.

In some ways, it's WORSE that it was said by one of Mitt's top adivisors. It's like he shared an inner secret that Mitt was keeping from everyone.

It's HORRIBLE. Worse than the $10k bet, I like to Fire People, and I'm not concerned about the very poor COMBINED.




I like to fire any advisers who make stupid statements that hurt the candidate.


Adam, why do you post anymore? You have been wrong more times than one could ever count.

All these freaking gaffes by any candidate is total BS, especially when taken out of context ( as in santorums -don't care about unemployment or mitt- don't care about poor). They are not the game changers you claim them to be.

You are the least qualified person to comment on game changers o how the populace will react because 1. Your track record

And 2. Your incredible bias. You remind me of the director who made Obamas documentary; couldn't think of anything bad about Obama. You, my friend are so jaded against Romney that your rants are disregarded as soon as your name on the bottom of the FPP is read.


7 -- I love politics but this is the part I loathe. You and all the other media types are the ones making a big deal about this only to make your case that it is a big deal. In reality a staff member he hired misspoke and used a highly marketable item while doing it. Therefore placing him and the organization he represents an opening to be attacked.


Boring. If anyone here thinks that one comment by a staffer is tantamount to a game changer in a US presidential primary, you're either selling something, or too naive to see the forest for the trees.

This is a non-event, that will disappear in less than 48 hours.

Conservative Gladiator

Let Santorum and Gingrich have their day with it. Let them run with it all the way to their concessions. It's time for these cracker jack campaigns called the Gingrich and Santorum campaigns to have their last hurrah over what a STAFFER said. In fact they should make a ton of commercials using up the rest of their money. If the Romney campaign and staffer are gaffe prone, what are the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns that have no money no organization, and no chance of coming back. All this does is show how petty and desperate the left/right media and the other campaigns are. Romney should drop Ferhnstrom a notch and let Andrea Saul run communications. I'm sure Fehrnstrom got and earful which was well deserved.


This will last more than 2 days. April is going to be the defining month in this campaign.


Adam - I've been waiting patiently all day for you to package this up and post on here. Thank you for being so incredibly predictable.

Freedom for William Wallace


You and Stacy McCain are douches for these comments,

"Stacy McCain suggested this might be that “act of God” the Romney campaign said Santorum needed."

"This doesn’t mean this gaffe will guarantee that Romney isn’t the nominee"

With that said, this is a fireable offense. Fehrnstrom should know better than to say such a thing. I understand where he was going with it, he wasn't saying Romney was going to completely change who he was, as explained by Romney, but what the hell was he thinking spouting something this stupid. I am not worried about the primary, what I am worried about is Obama now has a easy to use nickname for Romney provided by people in his own campaign. Anyone with half a brain knows he wasn't saying Romney would change who he was, but there are too many people out there with less than half a our friend Adam.



It's a squirrel running through the race. They happen and then people wonder what the hell that was about. But they do make impact while the squirrel's running. God knows Santorum and Newt have said things that have been mini-firestorms. And Perry saw his whole reputation go down the tubes because of a simple brain fart.

Conservative Gladiator

17 - Sorry running a staffer's remarks over and over again will not last two days and will only show desperation on the parts of the other campaigns. This will be over by tomorrow night. This is a lot less damaging than Romney's "poor" comment which didn't go anywhere after three days tops. By the way, Ann Romney is on Piers Morgan and Romney will be on TV I'm sure somewhere and the STAFFER'S comments will be done.


17 - April is going to be the defining month? Meaning what? That April is the month when Gingrich and Santorum finally bow out? Any other assumption is laughable.

Three years ago, Romney supporters pointed to the fact that Mitt Romney was the only adult in the room. He was the only individual with the gravitas, seriousness, maturity and experience in the GOP field necessary to both be successful in running against an incumbent, and in running our country. Today, his last remaining rivals are willingly pinning their hopes to photo ops of themselves holding up a children's plastic toy. Meanwhile, Romney picks up one of the most sought after endorsement in Jeb Bush, as well as a pseudo-endorsement from Bob Dole. Meanwhile, the President is attempting to take credit for the Keystone pipeline project, unemployment continues to soar, and Obamacare continues to raise the cost of healthcare for families across the country.

Excuse me for saying so, but Romney supporters were right along. Mitt is the only adult in the room.


This isn't a game changer in the long run, but it definitely hurts Romney. It seems that every time they have gotten a big win the next morning there is something to put a major damper on any momentum that should be gained (e.g., "I don't care about the very poor..."). You would think by now they would be more circumspect and not shoot themselves in the foot. The fact that they have not been able to do so as a team tarnishes the "competence" argument.

I'm with Keith Price on this one--VERY FRUSTRATED!


17 -- Yes -- They should build a campaign on this. Watch the donations roll in. You should start the trend. What a campaign. I can't wait.


Mitt needs to fire Fehrnstrom NOW!!!

Mitt can not have Advisors hanging around him who are stupid enough to make such a horrible error. This moron created an image of Mitt which Mitt does not need needling his Brand in the General Election.

Mitt can't control what his advisors say...but Mitt can control if he keeps this knuckle head around for the General.

Mitt, fire his ass now!!

And for those who do not think this is a big deal get a grip. This advisor just took a pin out of a grenade right in from of Mitt. It will not take Mitt down, but it sure will sting...the image this bonehead created is just to easy to paste on to Mitt in the General.

Again Mitt, fire his ass now!!!


Adam Graham,

This is not the "act of God" anyone was looking for. Romney did not say this himself, it will blow over in a day or two, and we'll be done with it. Practically no one is resisting Romney anymore, not even FreedomWorks or Eric Erickson.

Give it up.

Freedom for William Wallace

21. I think you are wrong. This is going to be talked about for days and then revisited by the Obama campaign in the general election. Not to mention it completely wipes out any press Romney was getting from the IL win and Jeb endorsement. This guy should go. This is a huge deal because for the first time in the race Romney had people coming out for rallying around him, tea party, jeb, etc. It takes away that "feeling" and while it won't change the outcome of the primary it just kills all of the positive mojo that was going for Romney.


My problem with this is two-fold:

* It totally obscured the great news commentary about Mitt's win and Jeb's endorsement. The media was finally starting to say good things about Mitt -- even Fox. But, now they've got a great freak-show to report on.

* It reminds people of the biggest thing they believe and fear about Mitt: That he's a flip-flopper who will say anything to get elected. AND, it's such an easy image for people to associate with.

When the 10k bet, the Fire People, and the Very Poor comments came out and everyone was talking about the horrible gaffes and how it would tank Mitt's campaign, I was one of the few posted that it was minor and wouldn't last. I was proven right in all 3 cases.

THIS one is different, I think.

No one who supports Romney now is going to stop because of it.

But, the ones who were just starting to stick their head out of the mouse hole will scurry away in fear.

And, Mitt's enemies now have this great image and name to keep bashing him with.

Mitt will still be the nominee, but this was a big setback. And, completely unneeded.

Smack posted this in another thread:

By Yuval Levin – NRO

“March 21, 2012 4:22 P.M. Comments 20

If, say, yesterday, you had asked me what kind of statement by a Romney campaign person would do the most damage to Romney’s support among conservatives, and if I had then strained to imagine the stupidest thing they could possibly say, I might well have come up with something like Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment on CNN that regardless of what Romney says to conservatives during the primaries he can just “hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” But then I would have thought that no political professional—indeed, no adult who has ever been around conservative politics or thought about it much—would ever say something so patently foolish, which so thoroughly confirms every worry that every conservative has about the candidate for whom he works.

Shows what I know.

It's so true.

Conservative Gladiator

24 - Exactly my point. Do you really want to hinge your campaign on what a staffer said? Really? No more ideas etc. Make Romney's day. Remember Romney has an ad that he'll run for the rest of this primary of RICK SANTORUM actually saying that Romney is a TRUE CONSERVATIVE AND NO ONE PUTS WORDS IN HIS MOUTH.



This will not carry over to the general election. It would backfire on Obama. He's pretended all the things he ever said do not exist anymore. He's flip flopped on many more things than Mitt has.

And yes, Fehrnstrom does need to be fired because that would end this dustup immediately. He's proven to be a horrible adviser anyway. I've bashed Mitt's handlers on this site endlessly all cycle, and Fehrnstrom is not exempt, and has obviously proven to be the problem, not the solution.



"Marco Rubio," he said, admitting that his proclamation would probably get him in trouble with the freshman Florida senator, who once served as a volunteer on Bush`s governor`s campaign.

Bush described Rubio as "dynamic, joyful, disciplined and principled."

"He is the best orator of American politics today, a good family man. He is not only a consistent conservative, but he has managed to find a way to communicate a conservative message full of hope and optimism," he said.

Bush said that there are quite a few other Republicans who are qualified.

"There is a strong field to pick from, but Marco Rubio to me would be the best choice," he said.

Freedom for William Wallace

25. Smack, Amen!


No substance here just some sketchiness.

Give em severe "Toy Story" hell Mitt!


33 - Best one yet!


The problem with Romney’s senior adviser / communication director

1) He unintentionally undercut Romney’s win and Jeb’s endorsement (obtuse, thick, etc.)

2) If Romney’s senior communications director is this inept in word / metaphor choice why is he still Romney’s senior communications director?

3) Has Fehrnstrom ever run a winning presidential campaign before?

4) It simplifies and defines in one phrase what the media and Romney’s opponents have been trying to push during the primary: Romney has no core, principles, and will shift positions as it suits him. The problem is the media and opposition narrative has now been succinctly defined by Romney’s own senior communications director in one phrase: Gov. Etch A Sketch….

5) It doesn’t matter what the intent of Fehrnstrom’s remarks were. What matters is those words he chose and what he said.

At the presidential level you have to do better than this. If Romney’s speech writer was given a lateral transfer for claiming credit for Mitt's debate performance and Fehrnstrom is still around how will does this type of talent effect Romney in the general election when things really heat up and start to hit the fan at rapid velocity?



No firing needed. No firing will happen.

Romney is loyal and this staffer is gifted.

So chill out brothers and sisters!


affect Romney in the general ....


So, the day after Romney routs the rest of the field in Illinois, expands his lead to over 300 delegates and 1.5 million popular votes, and the day when he wins the endorsement of one of the most popular Republicans in a critical swing state we're supposed to believe that one dumb comment by someone who isn't the candidate is supposed to be a game-changer?

Please. I'd bet that $10,000 that Santorum and/or Gingrich would trade places with Romney in a second.


Fehrnstrom most certainly should not remain a staffer. He is not ready for prime time with that kind of gaffe.

Conservative Gladiator

Watched Anderson Cooper with Kevin Madden (Romney) and Santorum's head girl forgot her name. She wouldn't let go of the etch a sketch and sounded so petty. Even Cooper couldn't let her go with the sh** she was saying about 21 to 1 and so forth. Madden focused on Romney NOT ON FERHNSTROM which again put Santorum's campaign in their place. By the way, did I mention that ANN ROMNEY WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY will be on Piers Morgan? As I said Romney will let this go. I don't believe that he'll do anything publicly to Ferhnstrom which if he did it would only bring more attention to it. He'll punish him privately. This will be done for Romney and again Gingrich and Santorum can go to all the dollar store's buying up all of the etch a sketches they want. Great for the dollar store economy.


I think Santorum, Gingrich and the conservative media making a big deal about this statement is going to backfire on them...

Anybody with a third grade education would know what he was saying.. Voter's are not morons and shouldn't be treated like they are.

Santorum and Gingrich's campaigns are in debt and can hardly afford to buy Etch-a-Sketches.


Eric should go, if for no other reason than putting a speedbump in Romney's momentum. The value of the footage in an ad will be greatly dimished by the fact that it isn't Romney saying it, especially if Eric is no longer a top advisor.

If Romney himself had said this, he'd have a real problem on his hands. As things stand, its fairly minor, especially compared to the comment about the poor (which was taken out of context and twisted much worse than this is.)


I didn't even bother looking at the youtube clips above, but just looking at the pics, Santorum and Gingrich look like complete idiots holding those etch-a-sketches. If you want to know if a gaffe has legs, just pretend you are a foreigner that just arrived in the US who does not follow American politics. Think about the soundbite, and if it does not immidiately make sense to you, then it's garbage. "I don't care about the very poor" may have legs. Campaign staffer talks about an etch-a-sketch does not. End of story. This is just so the media will have something to fill the void now that the primary campaign has come to an end.


40. That's good to hear, ConGlad.

Also, I just read that Brit Hume said the EtchaSketch wins the award for Much Ado About Nothing.

So, maybe I'm overreacting.

I just can't believe a COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR could say such a thing.

And, I really agree with point #4 in comment # 35 by Communication.


Face it folks,

Etch A Sketch will do to Mitt Romney as Brainwashed did to George Romney!!!!

Freedom for William Wallace

36. "this staffer is gifted." you mean "gifted" like "special?"

He should be fired because the guy just made one of the worst gaffes I have ever heard. I honestly can't think of anything he could have said that would have been worse.


45. Nice try, Jack. It's bad, not no where near that bad. I'm sure that's what you're praying for, though.


45 - Jack, we know you're a powerful prognosticator. We were all made fools of when Sarah Palin stormed into Iowa and won every state from there on out. You are the true master of political judgment.

Independent CPA

I need help here. Maybe the burden of tax season is impacting me, but I don’t see why the Etch-a-Sketch analogy is such an issue. Basically, I interpret Mr. Fehrnstrom’s comments to mean that once the nominee is decided, the former foes of the nomination (Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, etc…) now become his advocates in winning the fall election. It’s a “reset”. We’re done with the past. Wipe it clean. It’s time to look forward to the General election. This happens every election cycle, in every nomination process.

Why is this comment such a big deal?


Let's face it - the "Etch a Sketch" will be burned into the consciousness between now and election day. In one fell swoop, Fehrnstrom created an indelible image. No opposition political consultant could do it better.

Fehrnstrom's credibility is shot. I don't care how long he's been with Mitt; he's got to go.

Freedom for William Wallace

45. You carry as much weight here as Callista Flockhart after a 2 week fast.



Thing is, in hindsight, George Romney's statement was not too far off.


The impact may be greater coming from a longtime aide because it is clearly something he has had in his mind from working with Romney. It was a Freudian gaffe.

But the long term effect will be that the media is going to be on alert for any change in Romney's position and will sound the alarm when it happens.


Rush Limbaugh will start hooting and hollering about it now. Bunch of sheep.


#49 - Really? You watched that video and that's what you think Eric meant?

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, my friend.


I knew that moment I saw the negative spin to this that it was written by Adam. Do you REALLY want your desperate loser candidate to be running around like a fool holding an etcha sketch in a pathetic attempt to mock his opponent, further making him look like the desperate loser he is?


53 - That was going to happen anyway, with the "flip-flopper" meme. All the more reason for Romney to stick to his guns. Its not as if he's gone too far out on too many limbs in the primary anyway. This is not the huge deal people are making of it. It potentially COULD be, but only if Romney is a fool about it.



In four days when the Louisiana Primary happens, everyone will forget all about this. It's one of those things that people think is important at the time, but simply fades into irrelevancy as more important stuff takes precedent.


So stupid. Most people know that candidates on the right and left cater to their bases in the primary and then move to the center in the general. They all do it. However, this gentleman made a serious error in telling it to the media in this way. So now they can all jump on it and manufacture a last dying gasp of bs in order to pull every drop of ratings from the teets of this primary. The deal is done, Mitt will be the nominee, and anymore hating on Mitt is just bias.


Rick Santorum's latest gaffe:

“The bottom line is that we do well among people who take their faith seriously, and as you know, just like some Protestants are not churchgoing, they are folks who identify with a particular religion but don’t necessarily practice that from the standpoint of going to church and the like.”

In other words, Mitt's supporters are not real Christians.



Insofar as my prognostication successes, I said in May of 2008 that Palin would be selected as Veep Nominee in '08.

And, in this cycle I said way back 4 months ago there'd be a brokered GOP convention.

And now it's easy to see that the Brokered Convention will = Palin, NOT etch-a-sketch Mitt!!!


Hey, I'd agree that neither Newt nor Rick will make it to POTUS nominees. Their role is to secure a brokered convention; where things will go Palin!

My Man Mitt 4 President

Adam loved writing this piece and if it had happened a few weeks ago it might have made a difference. FOX, CNN etc crowned Mitt Romney last night and no one wants mulligan or the other three candidates so it will get mentioned and dismissed. But how stupid is Fehrnstrom??? Don't need him in the front of the press that is for sure.


Brokered convention HERE WE COME!!!!


#61, WOW, I've seen Palin supporters on the verge of insanity come around and see the light, without clinical help, but I think you need to be certified.


People who think this is a big deal must be ignorant of what happens when a Presidential candidate becomes the Presidential nominee.


I don't believe Eric F is the best visual spokesperson for romney even without this the southern belle babe is another matter, she should be the one giving all interviews.


LV, however, in part due to this, Romney's NOT gonna be the nominee.

Independent CPA

#55 Yup, really. I watched the clip twice, and I still can't get my brain around it. Is the implication that Romney will "reset" his agenda for the fall campaign, and all his campaign pledges to win the nomination are wiped away? And, thus, this reinforces him as a "flip-flopper" who will say anything to win a campaign? Is that it?

If so, I would never have taken that away from this clip. I'm still baffled by the swirl of interest it has created.


Jack is a nutcase. Go back to Alaska!


A wise person once said that a gaffe is simply telling the truth in public. The fact that you talk about different things and use a different strategy in the general election than in the primaries is not some big secret. It happens. Pointing it out might not be the smartest move in the world, but to think this is some kind of game-changing gaffe is the wishful fantasy of those who are opposed to Romney anyways.

Let's be honest, is there a person who is really going to say "well I was going to vote for Mitt Romney but his advisor said something stupid so now I'm not?" If not then it doesn't amount to a damn thing.


that would be andrea saul giving all future comments for the romney camp


49. CPA, it's because it was in answer to this question (paraphrased):

"So, Mitt's speech last night shows he's been moving to the right. That's will help him in the Primary, but won't it hurt him in the General?"

So, in answer to a question about "will moving to the right hurt Mitt in the General", this genius says it's like an etchasketch. You just reset everything.

I don't see how you can interpret that to mean anything but that Mitt isn't worried about moving to the right now because he'll just erase all that foolish conservative stuff in the General.



Comment of the month. Thread over.


Possible coup in China. Social media indicates strange military formations and activities in the streets of Beijing around Communist Party headquarters since Bo Xilai was ousted.

This could totally overshadow the US election if the coup rumors are true.


69 -

The day Mitt reaches/exceeds 1144 delegates, I expect you to come on here like a man and take your medicine. Your prediction is wrong, and it will be enjoyable to see you eat crow that day...


So now non college graduate, low income, Evangelical Christians will not vote for Romney even more. In other words, gaffes like these don't move any votes, they work up the people who don't like you, and are blown off by the people who do like you. This is not a game changer, not even close. Will this convince New York to go for Santorum? How about California? Nope, the game is over, no time left to change it.


#69 Jack....

Sarah Palin is not going to be the nominee...and if you think she is then you're living on another planet..


"Santorum and Gingrich’s campaigns are in debt and can hardly afford to buy Etch-a-Sketches"

Funny! But maybe Santorum's Etch-a-Sketch was paid for by me. I send a $10 donation yesterday.

I can't see changing who one supports over one gaffe, although I agree that this one may do far more damage than the "I'm not worried about the poor" gaffe because it plays to the very fears that many conservatives have about Romney's flip-flopping. But ultimately he will be the nominee.

Give 'em severe Etch-a-Sketch hell Mitt!


This is pure crap Adam and you know it. You're feeding right into the democrats talking points with this one. Eric F. meant that the General election is completely different than the Primary election. Every candidate in the primary plays to the base and then when the get the nomination they move to the middle. Fehrnstrom is saying that in the General its a complete restart. Your hatred of Mitt is clear. Your for the WORST POSSIBLE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE THAT CANT WIN AGAINST OBAMA IF OBAMA WAS DEAD, than for a candidate that can clearly win. Even FoxNews which is no friend of Romney's, hasnt given this story much coverage.

You're grasping at straws because your man got his ass kicked in Illnois and has yet to win a "rust belt" state, or any other state that is a toss up state in the General election. Pout, yell, scream, cry, whatever, but either your goal is to get Obama out of office, or it is to keep him there. Supporting Santorum, as you do, says it clearly want Obama to stay.

Next time Adam, think for yourself, dont just read CNN's, the democrats, and Obama's talking points


Let me give you all the lowdown on why this "etch a sketch" thing went viral.

Supporters of Gingrich and Santorum are aware their candidates are on the ropes. They thought (foolishly and naively) that they could make a difference in the trajectory of the race with this crap.

However, they cannot. No matter what happens in Louisiana this Saturday, Romney is the nominee. No amount of peddling a non-issue can change that. Literally everyone is on board now, even FreedomWorks (who, by the way, had their stated goal as taking down Romney in this primary) and Erickson. If those two entities are on board, it's a signal to pack it in and call it quits.

Jeb is on board now too, and the pundits are all aware this is over. All of them. Hayes, Gergen, Borger, Crowley, even Campaign Carl. Everyone.

Give up. Quit. Pack it in. Go home. Take a nap. It's over, you lost.


This situation is Kafkaesque and reminds me that the political dialogue of the media constantly seeks it's own educational level. Remember the debates. Jobs, foreign policy, Iran, energy ?? None of that. Let's talk about contraceptives and etchasketch. That is an intellectual level that CNN and Soledad Obrian can handle. Even Eolf and John King. Gingrich is right on this . These guys in the media are just flat out ....dumb and this is their level of understanding. Romney, should tell these clowns to take a hike. Indeed, he should plead with Obama to bring this major etchasketck issue up on national TV.......maybe trumpeted by the gaffe master himself. sad commentary on a country increasingly devoid of substantive dialog on real issues and focused solely on ratings generating puff


I agree that firing Fehrstrom will only draw more attention to this issue and that Romney shouldn't do it. His best bet is to say as little as possible and hope that the whole thing blows over in a few days.


Sorry, but when I heard that comment, I knew that he was talking about how you have to retool for the GE over the primary strategy. Yes, it was a boneheaded way to describe the process, (even if it was correct) But only people looking for a reason are going to be fooled by this the same way they were about the firing people and I don't care about the poor. This will get old fast because everyone will beat it to death.


Is the picture of Ricky sitting in the back seat of a car with his Etch A Sketch very presidential?


To bad people involved in campaigns are human, and make mistakes once in a while. Romney will not fire him, that would only make things worse. This will blow over in less than 2 days, but Obama will try to use it. And guess what? It won't make a hill of beans worth of difference.


The ones who look petty today are Newt and Rick. How pathetic.


The fools are those hoping some silly gaffe will make a difference. LOL

Independent CPA

73 Keith,

Thanks for the explanation, but I still don't get it. My pea brain just can't keep up with all the nuances of politicos. From my perspective, Mr. Fehrnstrom seemed to say that battling Obama is a different battle than going up against Santorum/Gingrich. So, it's time to reset the battle plan. It doesn't seem like a big deal to me, but I must be in the minority.


If gaffes were worthy of a firing Romney would have had to fire himself months ago.

By itself this is a minor moment, as were the "corporations are people," "I like firing people," and "I am not concerned about the very poor" gaffes. But there is an accumulation of minor errors into a theme, whether it is not being ready for prime time or gaffes reveal the truth. I think for Romney it is the latter, which is why the "Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up" video is so popular (a million views already). And perhaps more telling are the comments on the video where viewers say the video represents what they think of Romney. In other words, the gaffes do matter to voters.

The next viral video of Romney is sure to feature an etch a sketch.



Define "presidential." If "presidential" is meant to compare one to the current president, then yes. I could see Obama doing that. Not that he's smart enough to use one, or that he even knows what one is.


Alan Colmes is to Fox News as Adam Graham is to Race42012.

Matthew E. Miller

If this had come in late January instead of now Mitt Romney would not be the nominee and in all likelihood the establishment would have dragged Ryan or Jindal kicking and screaming into the race. That's how bad this is. But as has been the case- maddeningly the case- all campaign season, Mitt Romney's errors never quite exceed his inevitability. It's like he's the last remaining pitcher in a baseball game which is in the 20th inning. And he keeps on loading the bases. The 20th inning, he records two outs, followed by two quick singles and a walk. Then he gets out of it. The 21st inning, he only records one out before loading the bases. But somehow gets out of it. In the top of the 22nd his team scores. Hurrah! He goes back on the mound and loads the bases on three straight batters. After some finagling, he escapes, only allowing one run to score. Onto the 23rd. This time his team scores 3 runs. Pitcher Mitt proceeds to allow 3 straight solo homers, then loads the bases- again- before getting an improbable triple play. At some point you just want the madness to stop. At some point you want to scream at the coach "Enough is enough. Bring in the Catcher; the Center Fielder; the Shortstop; by God anyone". But no, Mitt's the only one in the bullpen, and surely things aren't that desperate. He's getting outs- sort of. Crudely. When it counts. Well not precisely when it counts, because the boys with the bats are giving him a little slack. But you know, what's to be done? And on we go.



I think he's waiting for his Mommy to reach back and him his lollipop.


Wow! This is awesome! Santorum's campaign sends out a rebuttal that shows him "studying" an Etch-a-Sketch? That's even worse! It's like they're saying Santorum is so ignorant, he can't read Mitt's actual policies. Which is true, since Santorum can't seem to get it straight and misrepresents or lies about Romney's positions daily.


This shows how unserious Rick and Newt's campaigns are.


The race is over. Everyone has made up their mind by now. Rick has lost.


91. If that were true, Gingrich would never be in the race, Santorum would have tripped out long before October, Perry, Cain, Bachmann, too. Heck, who would be left?



It's not bad in any objective sense. It's been compounded over what it might have been because some elements of the media are desperate for the race to continue, mostly the liberal media such as Politico and NBC. However, Fox News mentioned the dustup just TWICE since 3:00 pm today. Each time for less than 10 minutes, and both times, explaining that Mitt's the nominee and the dustup will not really stop that from being true.

The truth is, again, that Santorum, Gingrich, and the liberal media have ganged up on Romney once again in common interest. And had this race not been over yet, the media would not be trying to prolong it. But it will not prolong it, because the race really is over.


94. Matthew, It's absurd to say it rises to the level of disqualification whether it happened in Jan or now. And I don't get all your gloom and doom. Cheer up!



I remember when Romney made the $10K bet and some pundits were saying this is a game changer. I remember the dimwitted AB Stoddard saying on the Special Report roundtable that we will be talking about this 20 years from now. It turned out to be a non-story. The media's inability to understand what stories change peoples minds is astonishing. This one takes the cake as mush ado about nothing.


Fire his ass. I got too much kids have too much grandchildren have too much dog has too much riding on this election for a man like Fehrnstrom to survive this crap. this dolt puts out a negative image of Mitt like this with no accountabilty? If Mitt does not fire his ass I quiver in my bathrobe in thinking about how this team might go off the rails the next time time this doofus speaks.

Horrible error.....making it too dang easy for Team Obama. Get him off the Tube....Fire his ass!!!


Adam, truly your dumbest post yet. And that is saying something.

Yes Adam, this is the beginning of the end for Romney.

If there is still any push on this story tomorrow Fehnstrom will be fired.

You see it really is that easy. Expect to hear more about Santo not caring about the unemployed too.

And quoting Stacey McCain and Hotair, wow, you really nailed it again.

This is like your prediction that Fortuna was going to switch to Santo. I give you an A for gullibility, you get an F for predictive powers and political wisdom

I can't remember single time you've been right about anything.

Freedom for William Wallace

94. MEM,

I agree with your post with the exception of this, "Mitt Romney’s errors never quite exceed his inevitability.

To be fair this wasn't a Mitt Romney error...that doesn't lessen how stupid it is, but is factually incorrect.



Yes, that was the biggest pile of nothing I've ever seen. If I recall correctly, Mitt's numbers WENT UP after that "gaffe."

Freedom for William Wallace

105. Ok...maybe I don't agree with the whole post. Not sure they would have dragged someone else in. I was blinded by the insinuation that this was a Romney mistake.



Santorum, Gingrich, the media and Obama are going to be critical of Romney and his surrogates if the breath in the wrong direction. He shouldn't fire them for idiotic nonstories that will affect no rational or irrational voters opinion.



Ah, the "bet" gaffe. Remember how we were being told that it would have been okay if it was a billion dollars or $10, but $10,000 was just offensive.

Yeah, that was never anything. Sadly it did eat up one of Romney's better debate performances.


90. You nailed it. It is nothing about nothing.

BTW who is Jack?

Is he the Jack character from Tropic Thunder?

Sounds just like him, as they said in the movie, "he's gone full r#tard."


Matthew E Miller is correct.

Forget about Santy & Newt....their day is done. But if you all don't understand how an error like this, from your own team, can create a negative narrative about yur own candidate that sticks....then you all need to take a seat and take sip a beer and think about this for a second. The Etch A Sketch image is just too easy for Team Obama to use for political gain.

Mitt must fire his ass or Mitt's own judgement will start to be questioned by many more people than it is now.

People get fired all the time in National Elections. This man must be fired...for the good of this campaign...for the good of this nation

Do it Mitt, fire his ass NOW!!!


#82: MassCon: Right as you so often are. This too will pass but Mitt's here to stay.


To watch the once-powerful Religious Right forced to back embarrassments like Santorum and Gingrich while they travel around wielding child's toys in a pathetic effort to distract from yet another devastating defeat is quite satisfying.

The Christianists and Tea Baggers are in their final, pitiful, death spiral, powerless to stop our nominee from victory. It is a joy.

The fact that they need to pick up their petty attacks from Think Progress is just another sign of their long overdue demise.

Good riddance, you won't be missed. Long live evolution.


That's a pick of Ricky being picked up from school by his mom for sneaking in the girls bathroom again.


#73, Terribly paraphrased. That's not what the question was at all. It was, "is there a concern that pressure from his [Mitt's] opponents might cause him to move so far to the right and THAT will hurt him with Moderate voters in the general..."

Not at all does Eric's answer indicate Mitt will "erase" his Conservative positions. He's suggesting that you'll be able to shake off all the talk about far right issues to court those who haven't been won over yet, which means you have to speak to their issues. It does give a candidate the opportunity to appeal to a broader voting block because he won't have to be courting those (far right) that he has won over.

This is expected of any nominee. You don't keep courting those you've won over already! You tailor your message for purposes of marketing. How retarded would it be for Verizon, for example, to only market to iPhone users when they've got customers that are totally sold on the droid and other alternative phones???

Mitt's got a whole lot more to offer than what far right "red meat" Conservatives want....he's got much broader appeal. That means his marketing techniques will need to be focused on those not yet sold on other benefits of his service. I don't understand why you can't see that.

Perhaps this issue is too confusing for most people to understand and I predict it will fizzle out within days if not hours.

Matthew E. Miller

Mass Con,

Nonsense. Just nonsense. Images turn elections. A Bear in the Woods. A little girl holding a daisy. John Kerry Wind-Surfing. Images. Images which reinforce pre-existing narratives. That Democrats are timid and naive (Bear); that Goldwater was an extremist who might do anything (Daisy); that John Kerry was an effete opportunist (wind-surfing). When these images are provided by the candidate or his team? Goldmine. Yes, it's getting more attention- right now- for the reasons you've mentioned. But elections also turn on that- timing. If Wright hits 5 months later, Obama isn't President. It's Romney's ill-luck to have this image launched at a time when people are eager to listen- when we had approached the "Is Romney Done Making Mistakes and Prepared to Triumph?" phase of the campaign. But ill-luck it is.

Like I said, I have no illusions that this will stop Romney from becoming the nominee. It's the 29th inning and his team has just given him a 10 run lead. Even if he gives back all 10, well, there's always another inning.


No, Mitt should not fire him. Mitt must resist the insanity of the shameful right wing and their bitter, petty Think Progress induced insanity.

This election is not just about beating Obama anymore. It's about the crippling of the Tea Bagger psychotic base, ending their influence over our elections, and regulating them to the far off fringe of Americana.

This is a moment to show leadership and reject the Think Progress/Anti-Mormon right spin.


111. Tomorrow will tell, if any traction on the story EF will resign. He' also running Scott Brown's re-elect so he won't be on the street.


If this advisor does not get fired for this horrible mistake then what would it take for a member of Team Mitt to get fired?

I liked the idea that Mitt likes to fire people who do not perform.

This is not performing....this is political sabatoge by a Political Senior Advisor.

It's imperative that Mitt Romney defeats Obama. Mitt is not getting the help he deserves or needs with clowns like this doofus Fehnstrom.

Do it Mitt, fire his ass!!!


Shaking off the insanity of birth control, porn-bans, and every other insane Chrisitianist belief of Santorum is key to the survival of the GOP as a real political party.

The sooner we forget this joke of a man was born, the better off the party and country will be.

Freedom for William Wallace

117. You are out of your mind Max.



Romney 38%

Santorum 31%

Grimgrich 14%

Hmmmm. What if Newt's out by then?

Trende model is saying Romney should get 49% of the non-Paul votes.

Maybe SUSA is finding more Evangelicals in Oregon?


I've know Eric F since 2006. He's really good at what he does ... been working for Romney since 2001-2 and Scott Brown too more recently. Please point to me his track record of making boneheaded comments ... there is none. This one was ill-advised for sure, but Romney will not fire his loyal and capable soldier. If he did I would be disappointed.

And Matthew E. Miller is back at it again with comments like " But as has been the case- maddeningly the case- all campaign season, Mitt Romney’s errors never quite exceed his inevitability." Umm, what error exactly did Romney make here? Many here are knee-jerk reactionary ninnies thinking this is the end of times for Mitt or calling for Eric's head. Fortunately, Romney is a wise and judicious leader and not a "knee-jerk ninny."


Romney must show that the extreme, anti-American right will not bully him around. He must put them in their place.


103. If Mitt won't fire Eric, then at least ban him from any further media interviews.



And and a hell yeah to you!


If Romney fires Ferhn then the story goes from a silly desperate attack to Mitt, the uncaring machine able to fire a long-time friend over nonsense.

Don't do it Mitt. This is your party now, put these SOB's in their place.


This guy will probably make Mitt ride a tank with a helmut on and look like Elmer Fudge (Dukasis -1988).

This guy will probably make Mitt do a speech in a classroom with the word "Potato" spelled on the Chalk Board like "POTATOE" right off the left shoulder of Mitt...perfect camera angle.



The etch-a-sketch does not cast an image onto Mitt that would not have been cast onto him anyway. If you think Mitt would have escaped being called a flip-flopper in the general election if only this gaffe hadn't happened, you're delusional. This gaffe reinforces NOTHING because Mitt hasn't flip-flopped here. Mitt's advisor said we start the general election anew. Oh, how horrible. Just awful. How can Mitt ever escape THAT?!?! LOL.

This reinforces nothing because Mitt did not reinforce it.

Now, if Mitt goes into the general and DOES flip-flop, this will come up again. And then he will have reinforced it.

Otherwise? This is a media ploy to lengthen the primary process (and it won't work).

You folks are getting caught up in the wind again, as we all often do. I admit, I usually get too miffed by stuff like this. But in this case, this is a big pile of thin air.

Matthew E. Miller

Keith Price,

Ban his communications director from...communicating? Seems a trifle odd.


MEM and Smack,

You guys don't get it. It's like the boy who cried wolf. The more the media and Romney's opponents try to claim he made a "gaffe" when it is either out of context or ridiculously idiotic like this one, the less seriously the general public will take future "gaffes". Romney is getting over-vetted and he will be the Teflon candidate. Every accusation will pass within days.


116. ComCon, Oh. Well, I totally misread the question. You're right. In answer to PRESSURE from the opponents, the EtchaSketch answer is not nearly so bad.

Thanks for setting me straight.


Max Twain,

You are fired up at the wrong people.....Team Obama is going to club Mitt over the head with this negative imagery and all you can do is rip on Social Cons right now.

Get a grip are fighting the wrong war.

Good grief.

Tennessean for Mitt

116. You definitely lived up to your name with this post. Congratulations. Forward this to the Romney campaign.

I thought at first Ferhnstrom should perhaps get fired but the more I think about it I think that might give the issue more attention. They just need to give it a few days and let it blow over. If it continues to be a major issue then address it with some action. It will be interesting to see how long CNN leaves it under their Politics section. I think they left the "poor" comment there for over a week.


Stupid, stupid, stupid comment from Eric Fehrnstrom. Should he be fired? No. He's done too much good for the campaign and will continue to do so. Were the comments stupid? Absolutely. Will they get blown out of proportion? Of course.

On a side note. It looked like Santorum was about to blow a gasket in that video.


123 Katechon,

38 + 31 + 14 = 83

38/83 = 46% of non-Paul vote

46% is pretty close to 49%



Max is off-base. But...

Team Obama will not bring up the etch-a-sketch this Summer or Fall once. Not once.

You folks are all missing the point. The point of the etch-a-sketch is to say that Mitt will erase his conservatism and run as a liberal in the general.

But... November is 8 months from now. Mitt will have run a campaign during this time, in the general, without changing positions from this primary. And if that's true, the etch-a-sketch will bear no relevance to the election whatsoever.




That picture of Santorum is a terrible picture.. makes him look more childish than he is


Kerry lost because of "Swift Boat" way more than the "image of a windsurfer."

And an "Etch A Scetch" is not a very powerful "image."

Some of you guys really piss me off ... if these are the troops Romney has to go to battle with ... uugh. Straighten up and fly right boys!!!!


When Think Progress pushes out a smear, usually conservatives don't go along with it. But anit-Mormon hatred is so key to the support of Santorum and Gingrich, they overlooked the absurdity of it and picked up the nonsense.

Rick and Newt have spent the entire campaign validating liberal smears of Romney, giving Obama the greatest assist in Presidential history.

When Romney wins, there should be payback, severe payback.

Not a dime in fundraising to help retire debt, not one staffer brought into the fold, and certainly no cabinet or admin jobs. Nothing. Any lobby shop hires these men, and they will be ignored for 8 years.

It's going to be payback time, baggers. Big time.


137-- you're right. I was starting from 91 (100- Paul's 9%), rather than 83%.

Thank you James.



"The etch-a-sketch does not cast an image onto Mitt that would not have been cast onto him anyway"


Not correct.

The Etch-a-Sketch imagery was created by a Senior Advisor of Team Mitt...that alone gives it the juice it needs to have be carried right into Team Obama's lap...and they will use the imagery with great force and effectivness.

This was a huge political mistake.

Political mistakes do not come with a marching band...they come first in whispers...simple statments. The only good thing about this mistake is that it did not come from Mitt himself.

But Mitt does need to fire this guy...because if he doesn't it will cast a shadow over anything that Mitt says now that could be judged as "Moving to the Center" for the General.

Fire him now.


140 brs,

Does it make him look childish? Yes

Does it make him look more childish than he is? I'd have to think about that one.



I agree that Fehrnstrom shouldn't be fired, but he should have a sign on his desk to which he is required to refer every time he picks up the phone or attends a news conference. The sign should say: "PLEASE MAKE SURE BRAIN IS RUNNING BEFORE PUTTING MOUTH IN GEAR"


This adviser needs to go... It is inexcusable for a communications director to make such an error, i mean communication is supposed to be his expertise, and he does this elementary error....

He should be fired. period.



The "baggers" voted for Mitt in Illinois yesterday. The people who oppose Mitt are not "Teavangelicals," not "baggers."

I prefer to call them "pitchforkers" or "foamers."


MassCon, thanks for being a voice of reason and talking me down. Some of the rest of you have helped, too.

I was just so upset because just at the moment the media was finally getting off their anti-Mitt horse, Eric gave them this juicy morsel to chew on. Instead of 2 or 3 days of positive press, we got this crap.

But, I'm coming around to the notion that this is in the same category as the $10k bet. It won't last, though many will try to make it stick.

Matthew E. Miller

Mass Con,

I thought most of the other Romney gaffes were nothing. The only one I recall having any reaction to, beyond a sigh, is the "I'm not concerned about the very poor" gaffe. This feels a lot worse to me. A lot, lot worse.

But let's assume you're right. Mitt Romney can escape this. By not moving an inch from his present position. By, when he's asked in a general election, reaffirming repeatedly that he is, indeed, a "severe conservative". By using the exact same language to describe a policy or goal every time the issue arises. How is that good? That Mitt Romney- best case scenario- is now going to have to be flat as a board; going to have to iron himself every morning to get out every crease; going to have to add exceedingly exceeding caution to his already full repertoire of excessively excessive caution? He's going to be a zombie on the campaign trail. Or a broken record. Or a metronome. No ability to adapt. Just absurd consistency and talking points to the hilt. Or he's going to Bear in the Woods'ed; Daisy'ed; Windsurfed down that Massachusetts coast which has ruined his Presidential prospects.


Just curious... Did Fehrnstrom used to work for Gingrich...this is something I would expect from his campaign.



"Team Obama will not bring up the etch-a-sketch this Summer or Fall once. Not once."



Team Obama is already using this negative imagery!!


Newt is a piece of trash, so seeing him and his 2 for 34 record in this race holding up a child's toy and ranting is pathetic, but meaningless. His career is over, his political life has ended, he is basically an empty, useless shell. Good.

But Santorum should know better. Alice Stewart should know better. I hope she enjoys not getting a job in GOP for 8 years when Romney's president. Hope etch-a-sketch was worth it.

Tennessean for Mitt

This headline from the Fox News website says it all about Santy and Newt and what side they are now on.


I would hope that Romney would use etch-a-sketch to illustrate how he will change his method of attacking Obama and the socialistic machine trying to transform America. It is one thing to use the soft approach in going up against Gingrich and Santorum, true conservatives; it's quite another to go up against the pathetic tyrant, Obama, who must be defeated at all costs. Mitt's attack must be smart, forceful, to the heart Conservative messaging. That may require a regrouping and refocusing in the General Election. This is what Fehrstorm was relating to.


Fehrnstrom said something that is an age old reality in politics, run toward the base in the primary, run towards the center in a general.

Think Progress spun it, but the media didn't pick it up until Santorum and Gingrich, in their bitter, pathetic way, picked it up and validated the left-wing smear.

The "conservatives" have become agents of Obama's reelection. Time for the RNC and the GOP to openly condemn them as such and demand they leave before they hurt the party any further.



But Mitt does need to fire this guy…because if he doesn’t it will cast a shadow over anything that Mitt says now that could be judged as “Moving to the Center” for the General.

Smack, that's where I was an hour ago.

But, I'm changing my opinion.

If Mitt fires Eric, it could just as easily be perceived as being done for "letting the cat out of the bag".

And, anything that Mitt does that's judged as moving to the center will still likely be tied to the toy, whether he fires Eric or not.

I still feel it was stupid and damaging, but I'm no longer out for blood and no longer believe it will do more than give Mitt little bruise. It might sting for a bit but no lasting damage.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

Here's some good news for Mitt. The Tea Party is beginning to fall in line with Mitt-



I'm not averse to firing Fehrnstrom at all. He's the frigging media communications guy, and the campaign has had a horrible communication with the press this entire campaign. There is no reason to keep him, he has failed at his job at every level.

However, this dustup is a pig pile of nothing. I'm telling you Smack, the Democrats are not going to attack Mitt for "moving to the center" in the general. Listen to Paul Begala on CNN. Practically every time he talks, he's trying to say Mitt is a right-wing extremist.

And let me just tell you what Mitt's campaign was planning on doing, and what they will do...

"Moving to the center" in the general is not about taking moderate positions. It's about talking about the issues independents care about instead of the rape exception to abortion or embryonic cloning. It's a shift in emphasis, not a shift in positions.

And as such, there will be nothing to use against Mitt to say he's flip-flopping to the general - he won't be.


I actually think these so called "gaffes" can hurt the candidate. Not because the gaffes themselves are damaging, but because because trying too hard to prevent the next gaffe causes the candidate to be stiff and not natural. I would advise the candidate and his advisers to be moderately self-controlled but to relax and realize that they will criticize you no matter what you say.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


Conservatism is different forms make up the base of the party. What exactly do you want? A moderates only party?


Romney needs to get to PA and go up on the air and DESTROY this man. Ruin him. Make Bob Casey's beating of him look like pre-season.

Pound this rat, this Think Progress stooge, into dust.

Then on election night, hold up an etch-a-sketch that says "I JUST WON YOUR HOME STATE".


152 Smack,

Yes, Team Obama is.

You know why?



They know the primary is damaging our candidates, they know it. They think this notion that Mitt will become liberal in the general is hurting him among the base, so they are running with it.

In the general, this will not come up once. Not one time.


Guys, if you listen carefully to the question the answer doesn't sound so bad. This is confusing spin and will fall flat on its face.

Mitt clarified tonight, see here:


Firing a guy for 1 mistake in 10 years of work (when it wasn't a mistake, just left-wing spin coming from loser candidates) makes him look cold and uncaring.

Put the base in it's place. I'd rather lose without these people then appease them. Give them NOTHING.


Also considering that messaging has been part of the main problems of the Romney campaign, it explains why, when ur communications guy cannot articulate himself well.... I mean the guy (eric) has done a poor job with strategy up to this point.

This is a true test of leadership for mitt, do u stay loyal with the incompetent Eric, or would he get someone competent that can do the job.



I want a brains-only party. If burning crosses and crystal meth make up your weekend, stay away.

Matthew E. Miller

As for firing the guy, I don't know. Mitt's biggest issue- communications wise- is that he never reacts proactively to mistakes. His team likes to contain, isolate, spin. They're good at that, as far it goes. But they've shown no capacity to act more aggressively. I'm not sure firing Fehnrstrom sends the right message but now might be the time for a little risk. Be self-deprecating. Bring out your own etch a sketch and use it for some other purpose entirely. Laugh. Anything creative. Mitt's team has astonishingly little imagination. They'll just contain, isolate, spin, defuse. And slowly let their position deteriorate.


When was the last time Romney was able to drive a positive story for a news cycle? Hardly anything he says or does breaks through. Paul Ryan managed to seize the news cycle with his budget proposal, for example.


159 Mass Con,

I agree. I have thought the Romney campaign's media communication has always been weak. Part of the reason the media is so hard on Romney is because his campaign does not grant them enough access or throw them bones to soothe their egos. It would be smart to shake up his campaign but not now. Maybe in June when things are more quiet.


I emailed Eric Ferhmstrom on Facebook and basically told him he seems he seems like a nice guy but he has to go. Romney can't allow this kind of stuff to go on from his staffers.

If he fires him he basically can defuse the issue moving forward saying Eric didn't represent my true position and I had to let him go. If he keeps him, he allows himself to be open to attacks by Republicans and Democrats.


Fehrnstrom demonstrated the Peter Principle to perfection this morning. That or he was hungover with the jubilant joy of Romney's Illinois triumph and Jeb's endorsement, which was lost in today's media shuffle. If Fehrnstrom keeps this up he will give Baghdad Bob a run for his money...



Smack, that’s where I was an hour ago.

But, I’m changing my opinion.

If Mitt fires Eric, it could just as easily be perceived as being done for “letting the cat out of the bag”.

Exactly right. If Mitt were to come down on Ferhnstrom in the middle of the campaign, it will would make Mitt look more like an opportunist, like Santorum, desperate to do anything to win and would cause people to say "see, he really does like firing people"! It's a no win.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


Who's burning crosses? And taking crystal meth? What are you talking about?


"Mitt’s team has astonishingly little imagination."

I've noticed that, too. It is as if they read a 1970's manual on how to run a presidential campaign.


By the way, I've never thought Eric was a good media spokesperson because he's terribly boring to listen to and watch. He shouldn't be in front of the television.



If he's asked whether he's a "severe Conservative," he will say this:

"I am a Conservative because I know what I believe in works. Low taxes help job creators. Freedom helps our society flourish. Strong families make happier people. Smaller government helps job creators."

It's not a hard place to be, MEM. Mitt's positions are hardly toxic. The only one I can imagine him having trouble with is self-deportation. With respect to that, he just has to say, "I want to expand legal immigration so more people can come here following the rules. But I also don't think it's right for companies to exploit illegals for pennies on the dollar while they have no legal protection for fear of deportation. So what I want to do is prevent that exploitation by preventing them from hiring illegals. And I want illegals to get in line for residency behind legal immigrants who want to follow our laws."

And that, is plenty good enough of an answer.


It should be made clear to Santorum's people and Newt's people that not a single dime of Romney fundraiser money will go to help them retire debt. Not a penny. Let them rot in debt for the rests of their miserable lives.


179, bitter much, Max?


Wow I just got home from work to get on here and read through all of this crap, get a grip guys it was not a big deal but what it tells me is that Gingrich and Santorum have no decency at all to get out of this race and keep trying to tear Romney down. Now Romney needs to barnstorm PA with negative ad's of Santorum and he needs to just kick both of their butts, and if I were Mitt I would not even accept their endorsements, they have made a complete mock of themselves and this whole process by staying in the race and tearing Mitt down


177. MassCon, that's a pretty good answer.

Matthew E. Miller


Max Twain is on a crusade to purge the party of the middle half of the country. It's going poorly from what I can gather. Though, I hear they burn fields after harvest in them parts. Probably he could run with that. A little lighter fluid and Kansas...And no one to know it wasn't an accident.


I don't agree with Smack much, but I agree with him here. Can that dude. This etch a sketch thing could haunt Mitt because like smack said it is such a well known product and Obama and his team would be stupid if they didn't use it. Fire the man Mitt.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


I know alot of people from the South and they good people. You can't ban someone from the GOP. The south makes up a major part of the GOP. I want the GOP to be an inclusive party which allows everyone whether you are the north, south, east, west in. Whether you are white, black, hispanic asian, christian, muslim, jewish, man, woman, etc. You turn the GOP exclusive it becomes a minor party.

BTW, what's the litmus test for intelligence only party? Harvard grads only? People who only agree with you? Where's the line drawn?


182-- MassCon should work, along Smackdaddy, within Team Romney!

With Nostradamus as a slogan maker.

and Craig as de clown de service.


I agree with Max. Santorum and Gingrich have gone about as low as you can go. I'm sick of them and I'm sick of everyone who is voting for these idiots. It's embarrassing for the party.


I don't think the gaffe is that hurtful, but it is the incompetence that worries me, i havent seen Robert Gibbs on obama's side make such an error in 5 years... It's a liability...

Well if Mitt doesnt want to fire him, then he can demote him (move him to another role) and get someone that can do the job.


Mitt should fire Fehrnstrom, but not right now. Fehrnstrom's presence in the campaign is not hurting Mitt right now. The damage is already done.

What needs to happen is for Mitt to be around 1,000 delegates, and then fire him (probably some time in May). Then, firing him will have been done pretty quietly, without causing this current dustup to burn up any more.

If Mitt fires Eric, this story lives on for at least 2-3 more days rather than 1-2.


"President Ethc a Sketch...trying to erase three years of record job loss, trampling on the constitution and back room deals with Solyndra"


I got this feeling that Fehnstrom will hire Max Twain to lead on the issue of "Party Unity" heading into the Convention

I just got this feeling......


Max Twain is an elitist liberal who thinks of himself as a conservative.


I just couldn't imagine Romney passing out etch-a-sketches at a town hall instead of talking about the issues ....or releasing a photo of him on the road in the back seat playing with a toy....

I would think people would rather hear about how they would create jobs and fix the economy.


#166, Eric is not the communications guy, he's an adviser and whoever let him go on interviews (he's done very few) should be held accountable. I've seen him in a few interviews and I didn't think he was right for the camera, but not because of any gaffe. Andrea Saul should be the one in front of the TV.


I expected no less of Ads, but you have disappointed me Pricey. I hate fake outrage. This is almost as bad as the De Niro fake outrage.

Republican on republican is far more offensive than man on man.


Since when is telling the truth a gaffe? This advisor is giving us a picture of the true Mitt Romney. It's only permanent until the next election. Just as another advisor said that Obamacare will not be repealed. These people know the real Romney. As Gingrich said, nothing is permanent.

When you are running for Senate and become Mass governor. Run away from Ronald Reagan. Sign Romneycare which is Obamacare. Passionately defend a woman's right to choose. Run away from the NRA to gun control. Support tough new air quality standards on power plants in Mass and use the same justification the EPA is using today and suggest oil and gas companies want to kill people. Keep Massachusetts in a regional cap and trade pact. Give state money to green energy companies.

Running for the Republican nomination. Shake that etch-a-sketch and erase all that.

Run towards Ronald Reagan. Say you will repeal Obamacare. Defend the NRA and run away from gun control. Criticize Obama's attempt to do what you did in Mass. Take Mass out of regional cap and trade pact. Criticize Obama for giving federal money to green energy companies.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

184 MEM,

Max Twain has some serious issues that need examing. Hopefully by a psychiatrist. Does he realize the GOP party is made of people from all parts of the country with a difference of opinion. We are an inclusive party, not an army of automatons. Plus, you surrender any part of the GOP away, you surrender the country to the Democrats forever.


any of you so called ROmney supporters who think EF should go for this are seriously weak. EF has been with Mitt forever, and you are letting the desperados (obama, newt and sant) dictate response. I wonder how many of you would feel the same if you had been with someone for 10 years and they fired you for a complete out of context not a big deal comment.

the ONLY reason this is getting play is because it gives the losers something to hold onto to keep justifying their pathetic book selling, paid speech receiving, egos.

The appropriate response was demonstrated tonight by Ann - take your lead from her and it all goes a way. Its a distraction nothing more


199. The only reason this is getting play is because Fehrnstrom said it...


Those of you who say Fehrnstrom should be fired over this should be ashamed of yourselves. This is a real person with a real family. No one with half a brain would look at his statement in context and come to the conclusion that he meant that Romney would change his positions as soon as the general election hit and that he didn't really believe in Conservativism. That is absurd!

Was it a gaffe? Of course. But a fire able offense? That is absurd!

The people that deserve to be fired are those that would take an honest statement about campaign strategy, a historically accurate about how presidential campaigns work, and twist it into this incredibly dishonest nefarious thing. I have no tolerance for people for people that do this stuff (and I include the Romney campaign, who said similar things about Santorum's gaffe over unemployment). People should be taken to mean what they mean, not the worst possible interpretation if what they said.

With that said, I do understand that this is a sad and disgusting part of our current politics. I wish the people we were electing had more respect for the American people than to deliberately mislead them, but it seems that they do not. This is nowhere close to a fire able offense though. That is absurd!



I don't know, a moderate Mormon from Massachusetts is ripping the hearts out of the Tea Party at a moment when are base is at it's most conservative and volatile. Pretty sweet.

I may not get rid of the baggers, but I can enjoy beating them and humiliating them with the candidates they are diametrically opposite from.

We've broken the spirits of Freedom Works, and next up will be helping Dick Lugar.


"Santorum and Gingrich can't erase the loss of Illinois"

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


What did Ann say. Link?

Matthew E. Miller


Max wants a brains-only* party. Sans the guy with the biggest brains in the party, Bobby Jindal. Because Bobby Jindal is a Southerner. And disagrees with him on, like, social issues and stuff. So he wants a brains-only party, primarily based in the North, which agrees with him on social issues. If memory serves, we already have one of those.

*Brains will henceforth be defined as seeming erudition coupled with bobbing head compliance with conventional wisdom and the social values of our metropolitan betters.


PPP has Santorum pulverizing Romney in Louisiana.

+10 points in tonight's polling.


Frankly, I have now watched Erics statement to Obrien three times and I am continually bemused at the coverage. Of course Santorum and Gingrich will criticize this. from here on out, they will criticize anything for a vote. But, the point is this. Romney has indeed moved somewhat to the right in the primaries and it has cost him independent and moderate votes in the center.....where the general election will be won. I hope he comes back more to the center in the fall campaign or he will surely lose. Then, the conservatives will meet at Rick Santorums house and watch Hannity count down to 2016 while Obama tanks he country.



The country would be better off with them then the base of the GOP. The base of the GOP should never be trusted with power again. The notion of putting people like Palin/Santorum/Cain/O'Donnell/Angle in positions of power is more frightening than anything the Dems can muster. They'd have to nominate Alan Grayson for President to reach that level of insanity, and unlike us, they have safe guards against such loons reaching the nomination.

Hopefully we'll add some more super delegates to the mix after this nightmare is over.

Tennessean for Mitt

Just saw a Romney advisor and Santorum's spokesperson on Anderson Cooper. Cooper actually interrupted Santy's person a couple of times asking - should you keep on "harping" about being outspent by Romney and he also said he was sure they would probably rather be talking about etch a sketches rather than things like delegate counts after Santy's loss last night.


I'm actually glad for this "gaffe" as it will get Heath better odds in the upcoming races. Btw if Romney DID fire his employee over this I would never support him again. How anyone can call this worse than "I'm not concerned about the very poor" or "I don't care about the unemployment rate" is beyond weird.


Mitt is reacting like he always does. Laughs it off as part of a campaign. He's already saying, I'm running as a conservative businessman in the primary and I'll be running as a conservative businessman in the general.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

205 MEM,

Doesn't Max realize the North & NOrthEast usually goes for the Democrat in a General election. We need The South and MidWest in the general. Plus, where does his witch hunt end? Do we esclude Pennsylvanians cause Santorum is from there? Do we exclude Texas and all those electoral votes? I could be wrong about Max, but, he comes off as a very disturbed hater.

Freedom for William Wallace

159. Mass Con, they won't talk about him moving to the center. They will frame the narrative that no one knows what he will do when his back is up against the wall because he is the Etch A Sketch candidate. It will be used in the general.



Bobby Jindal believes in exorcism. Says he saw one happen. Thinks a college roommate had a demon in their body. A demon. Guy thinks he saw a demon. A demon. Yea, I wonder if that will be worse than an etch-a-setch?

He also chose being a politician over being a doctor, so I'd question whether his academic credentials actually covers-up a common sense stupidity that's under the service.



Okay, so the only difference between what they would have said, and what they will say, is that the words "flip-flopper" are now replaced with "etch-a-sketch?"

And you think that's a game-changer?

Well, you need help then.


This is the ONLY thing Newty and Santy have and they are going to use it, and abuse it, and use it, and abuse it and get it all polished up for Obama to use, and abuse, and use, and abuse.

This is one of those things that actually has nothing to do with the candidate or his ability to govern as POTUS but that simpletons love to grab onto. (Remember the popularity of "999"?)

Sarah Palin never said, "I can see Russia from my back porch," but the media drove that meme and it stuck.

You just know Ricky, and Newty, and Big O are going to do everything they can to try to make this stick.

There was nothing wrong with what Fehrnstrom said, but it was REALLY clumsy and unfortunate and will be putty in the hands of the haters.


Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


We shouldn't concede those areas of the country. The GOP used to win those areas. Reagan, the great conservative leader, was governor of CALIFORNIA. It's the extremism of the radical religious folks that has driven us out of the more educated and affluent sectors of the country.

We should not surrender these states and recede into the south, we should contest them and win them back, marginalizing the influence of the radical religious right forever.



Yes, I'm delighted we've broken their spirit.


Give me a break people. This is ridiculous. There is no chance that this will derail Romney, and there would be no chance it would derail him if it had happened in January.

Do you know why? BECAUSE IT ISN'T TRUE!

Anyone with half a brain knows what Fernstrohm was trying to say. Santorum and Newt will have their destructive little heyday for a few days, and then it will go away because dishonest gimmicks don't last. My gosh! This isn't even something the candidate said,

Step back and join the real world.


212- why a disturbed hater? He only "enjoy " beating and humiliating people, as he said at #202.


By the way Adam, I trust Santorum and Newt way, way, way, like in miles and miles less than I trust Mitt...


Fire Fehrnstrom! He singlehandedly put a halt to mitt's momentum. Even I knew that the toughest days for mitt's campaign is the day after a big win when they always seem to find a way to put their foot in their mouth. The lack of discipline is frustrating. In such situations, you stick to your talking points and find a way to answer every question with your talking points. Everyone knows this.



Not any people, radical right wingers. Watching them lose is almost as wonderful as Obama's November concession speech.


"Bobby Jindal believes in exorcism"

So what if Bobby believes in exorcisim?

Do we all have to believe in the exact same stuff that Bobby believes in in order to vote for him?

Do we all have to believe in the exact same stuff that Mitt believes in?

Be careful Max, you sound like one of those bigots that you don't like.


Santorum can win his bigoted Louisiana on Saturday no one will care!!

He will probably only win 1 more state and that is him home state of PA, Romney will win everywhere else, all Santorum is doing now is prolonging a race that should be over already, and the longer he keeps ripping Romney the more hatred I will hold towards the man, he is pure scum!

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


Cause he's trying to gut out a major part of a political party cause he disagrees with them.


210 - Totally agree. I would lose a ton of respect if Romney fired the guy over this. That is not the kind of character that I believe Mitt to have.

I find it appalling to see so many "conservative" bloggers, who have never been Romney fans, suggesting that Romney fire this guy. It is pathetic and scummy.


#212 Ozzy: I don't know if Max is disturbed or just pissed at the destructive dumbness of many on the right.

I'm pretty happy my old friends FreedomWorks, who've fought against Mitt with no alternative, have finally come to my senses. But the thought processes of some of the people we need are pretty disturbing.


Did all you guys call for Fehrnstrom's head when it was discovered that he invented the fake twitter account making offensive comments about Alan Khazei whilst working for Brown/Romney?

That was about 100 times worse. If Mitt didn't fire him then then he won't now, and if he does I'm out of this election.



Mitt is holding a "repeal and replace Obamacare" event in Metairie, LA on Friday morning.



223 - Do you think it is a coincidence that these gaffes always seem to happen the day after a big win? Why do you think that happens? Could it be that the media are looking for something to kill Mitt's momentum? No, that couldn't be it ... the media LOVES Romney.

Campaigns say stupid stuff all the time. The media chooses when and what to report.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


I'm not against trying to win them. I'm against trying to win them by sacrificing what we can win easily.



You misunderstand Smack. He claims to have seen a demon. In person. Claims to have witnessed it. This is not belief as in faith but as in "I believe I am an eye-witness to a demon attack".

I feel that a person who would have control over atomic bombs would need to prove they are not a delusional schizophrenic seeing "demons" around every corner.


#225: Everybody who believes in the Bible is going to believe in demons and demons possessing people. Just like they are going to believe in Noah's flood and the Resurrection. And oh yeah, the infamous talking ass.

Has Jindal performed well as governor of IL? Yup. I believe so.

PS: A lot of people have had roommates they thought were possessed.



He doesn't actually believe that, you know. Religious people say they believe a lot of things they don't really believe in. It's part of the process. I don't blame him for that.


I need to know if Jindal really thinks he saw a demon, and if so I need him to undergo psychological evaluations to prove he is not a paranoid schizophrenic before I'd even consider giving him the powers of Commander-in-Chief.


Have you guys heard about what happened in Missouri? This is crazy stuff:

I am shocked it hasn't gotten more attention. This is a hundred times more deserving of a FPP than this crap Adam Graham post.

I have a friend whose in-laws were there. Apparently the chair was a Santorum guy and the majority of those that showed up were pro-Romney.


230 - the more reason he should go. For those talking about mitt's character if he fires him, didn't mitt cut loose the debate coach that helped him in Florida. In the word of the Godfather, it's just business.

To be the best campaign, you have to have the best staff, which is a matter of 3 key things - strategy, adaptability and discipline.



He wrote an article at Oxford claiming to have witnessed a demon attack on a classmate and participated in the exorcism of said demon. I need to know if actually thinks this was real before considering him.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


You don't believe in demons? They are all over the place. Until 2011, there was a very powerful demon possessing the House the Reps as its Speaker. 😀


#240: Max, now you're getting stupid. Look at the entire man, his life and his character.

And who are YOU to say something that you didn't witness is not true?


#242: Naw, Oz, that was a witch. :-)

Freedom for William Wallace

215. Please show me where I said game changer. Don't put words in my mouth. I have seen how you react when people do that to you. Not too happy about it. If you have paid any attention to any of my posts you would know I am a HUGE Romney guy. You saying that this will not come up in the GE, I believe, flat out wrong. Will it hurt Romney bad enough that he will lose? I don't think so, but every mistake adds up and this is a big one. For the record, I have stated the poor comment, $10,000 bet were overblown. This, not so much.

Freedom for William Wallace

215. Oh and Mass Con, attacking people who stand with you is completely stupid. You are a smart guy but you need to get control of your anger dude. Think before you start typing a bunch of bullcrap against someone that is on your team.


No time to read all of the comments, but Mitt should just make light of it like Ann did. She handled it wonderfully. Just brush it off, get a chuckle and move on.... maybe even make it into a positive about helping the makers of the etch a sketch sell more units-- job creation. Haha.


Here is a more detailed description of what happened in Missouri:

That group that the chair was trying to stop we're Romney supporters.

How is this not news?



Sorry, I'm just a little worked up today. I do believe, however, that this will not come up in the general, not even one time. It's being hyped by the Obama camp to lengthen the primary, nothing more.

Freedom for William Wallace

Max, I am curious. What religion are you?


Watch the MO video in 238 guys. It is insane! The Santorum guy admitted he was trying to stop people from selecting Romney delegates.


I believe this stunt by Newt and Santorum will backfire. Mitt is inevitable at this point. Even Erickson is on board. Continuing to needle Mitt with a children's toy over something he didn't even say will be seen as hurting the party's chances in the Fall. If you aren't going to quietly get out of the race, at least run an honarable campaign based on issues and quit the negative campaigning.


I'm going to put this attack right up there with McCain's "celebrity" attack against Obama. Childish and stupid.


I would like people to give me own example of a candidate that lost an election based on what a staffer said. This is silly guys. Time to move on.


25 I agree with Smack. Great leaders and managers clean house when there are screw up s like this. I'm sure he is a great guy, but he needs to be put on leave at least.


#252: Amen, asparagus. The constant attacks at this point in the game are just dumb. Just proving why Santy and Newty shouldn't be our noms.


Max Twain,

"Bobby Jindal believes in exorcism. Says he saw one happen. Thinks a college roommate had a demon in their body. A demon. Guy thinks he saw a demon. A demon. Yea, I wonder if that will be worse than an etch-a-setch?"

Not true, of course. But by all means, keep repeating it. The actual story is quite different but it's amusing to hear, from such a champion intellect, blatant distortions and falsehoods.

"Despite my verbal reassurances and lack of condemnations, Susan knew me well enough to see that I was having problems ac­cepting her visions and spirits. I was doing every­thing I could to convey my support and sympathy; however, I was definitely in unfamiliar territory and was overwhelmed by the strength of her convictions. I wavered between my loyalty to Susan and the apparent irrationality of her claims...

After a period of group prayer, a student made a movement to end the meeting. Suddenly, Susan emitted some strange guttural sounds and fell to the floor. She started thrashing about, as if in some sort of seizure. Susan's sister must have recognized what was happening, for she ordered us to gather around and place our hands on Susan's prostrate body. I re­fused to budge from my position and froze in hor­ror. I will never forget the first comprehensible sound that came from Susan; she screamed my name with such an urgency that the chill still travels down my spine whenever I recall this moment.

Confused as to the events occurring before my very eyes, I responded to the desperation and cry for help so evident in Susan's voice. I wanted to rescue my friend from these horrible people who were holding her down and ridiculing her dignity. I tentatively ap­proached the group and placed the edge of my finger­tip on her shoulder, as if afraid of becoming infected with the disease that was ravaging her body. I had yet to realize that the affliction was ravaging her soul.

In a voice I had never heard before or since, Su­san accused me: "Bobby, you cannot even love Susan." Before I even noticed the sound of her voice, I thought it funny that Susan would refer to herself in the third person. Then the full impact of the words hit me. Forgetting the frantic students around me and even poor Susan lying on the floor, I thought of our conversation the day before. The real argument had been whether I was capable of loving Susan. I needed the answer to be yes...

The students, led by Susan's sister and Louise, a member of a charismatic church, engaged in loud and desperate prayers while holding Susan with one hand. Kneeling on the ground, my friends were chanting, "Satan, I command you to leave this woman." Others exhorted all "demons to leave in the name of Christ." It is no exaggeration to note the tears and sweat among those assembled. Susan lashed out at the assembled students with verbal assaults.

Though I attempted to maintain a stoic attitude and an expressionless face, my inner fear must have been apparent to all present. I was the only one present who remained silent and apart from the group.

I repeated to myself that such things do not happen to normal people. I had attended a charis­matic church once, out of curiosity, but had merely seen a congregation dance wildly, pray enthusiasti­cally, and speak in a language that sounded like gib­berish. I wondered how the horror unfolding before my eyes could make any sense. I desperately wanted it all to end, but could not leave...

Then the fear and doubts began. Though I have experienced the normal periods of questioning, I have never come so close to abandoning my faith as I did that night. I could not pray to God. I tried as hard as I could, but I couldn't. Out of desperation, I called upon the saints to articulate my prayers and rescue me from this living nightmare. Though I had never prayed with the saints before, I began to understand the Church's teaching of the unity within the One Body. I pleaded with the saints in Heaven to offer God the prayers I was unable to formulate...

Whenever I concentrated long enough to begin prayer, I felt some type of physical force distracting me. It was as if something was pushing down on my chest, making it very hard for me to breathe. Being a biology major at the time, I greeted this feeling with skepticism and rational explanations. I checked my pulse for signs of nervousness and wondered what could cause such a sensation. Shortness of breath is a common symptom that can mean very little or may signal the onslaught of a fatal stroke. Though I could find no cause for my chest pains, I was very scared of what was happening to me and Susan. I began to think that the demon would only attack me if I tried to pray or fight back; thus, I resigned myself to leav­ing it alone in an attempt to find peace for myself...

I left that classroom with a powerful belief in Mary's intercessions and with many questions about spiritual warfare; I also learned a lasting lesson in hu­mility and the limits of human understanding. Was the purpose of that night served when so many indi­viduals were inducted into the Church? Did I witness spiritual warfare? I do not have the answers, but I do believe in the reality of spirits, angels, and other re­lated phenomena that I can neither touch nor see."

"Guy thinks he saw a demon" indeed. What Jindal related was an exceedingly odd experience he had; which worried him; which he didn't entirely accept; but which led him to a greater appreciation for prayer, being there for one's friends during troubling times, and the power of faith. No doubt this seems outlandishly outlandish to one accustomed to calling whole swaths of the country "baggers" and "teavangelicals", but it's not likely to strike even a modestly faithful Christian as anything more than a fascinating story which bears thinking on.

"He also chose being a politician over being a doctor, so I’d question whether his academic credentials actually covers-up a common sense stupidity that’s under the service."

What can this mean? Jindal has an excellent chance of becoming President or, at the very least, making it onto a GOP Presidential ticket. Do you contend being even a very good doctor is more desirable than being President? Perhaps Mr. Jindal is an ambitious man. Perhaps he didn't relish the prospect of 18 hour shifts. Perhaps he'd rather make the world his oyster than a crowded emergency room.

Freedom for William Wallace


I agree that the Obama camp is going to try to get as much mileage out of this as he possibly can to lengthen the primary. What really makes me mad is what EF said completely squashes all of the great stuff Romney had just accomplished less than 24 hours earlier. Even though the math has said it was over for a while now it really started to feel that way with the huge win, Jeb endorsement, and acceptance from opposition groups that Mitt is the nominee and "we're ready to get behind him."


Ha, well I do agree with Max on at least one thing:

"When Romney wins, there should be payback, severe payback. Not a dime in fundraising to help retire debt, not one staffer brought into the fold, and certainly no cabinet or admin jobs. Nothing. Any lobby shop hires these men, and they will be ignored for 8 years."

I will be angry if Mitt throws even one little teeny tiny bone to Newt or Rick.


Nothing here to see folks now move along.


Anybody among you good folks with the following numbers :

Percentage of conservative voters in yesterday's exit polls?

Percentage of conservative voters in 2008 Wisconsin exit polls?

Also what's the difference between Illinois ' "very conservative " voters, vs "very conservative " voters in Wisconsin primary of 2008?


162 Awesome lol

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

"Also what’s the difference between Illinois ‘ “very conservative ” voters, vs “very conservative ” voters in Wisconsin primary of 2008?"

The ones in Wisconsin drink more beer. Especially in Milwaukee. :)


#260 Claire

I will be angry if Mitt throws even one little teeny tiny bone to Newt or Rick.

So will I; they deserve NOTHING.

They have been petty and deceitful. Let them go quiet into the dark night.



The good news is, I don't think this dustup changed any of that. Those people are still behind him. He's still the de-facto nominee. The only people who are being turned off by this are people who hate him anyway, and a few people who had joined the cause reluctantly enough to be scared off by this.

What kind of damage does this cause? 1% maybe. 2%, perhaps.

I am concerned that this stomped on Mitt's good press. Except I don't think he needed it anyway. He was going to lose LA this Saturday no matter what happened, so things will be the same on Sunday morning as they would have been without this "gaffe."


255 - That is just false. Good leaders know the difference between a fireable offense and a non-fireable offense. This is definitely the latter.


This is something easily fixed - FIRE YOUR SENIOR ADVISOR, MITT!!!



The percentages of "very conservative", "somewhat conservative", and "moderate" were essentially identical in Illinois and Wisconsin. But Wisconsin was A LOT more rural. Geography has tended to trump ideology in this primary. So I'd expect Romney to do noticeably worse in Wisconsin. Noticeably enough to lose? Hard to say. Depends on whether this gaffe has legs probably.


From an employer's perspective, this is really not a fire-able offense. Eric's poor advice and poor media strategy counts as fire-able.

You don't fire an employee for making one moderate mistake. If you do that, you put too much stress on your other employees and possibly hurt the chemistry of the organization.

Fire-able offenses ought to be long-term underperformance or disloyalty. This is not it.

He's bad at his job, that's why he should have been fired long ago. Over this? Nope.


Seriously guys, why is no one talking about what happened in Missouri? It should be appaling to anyone, whether a Romney or a Santorum supporter.

I am baffled by the lack of response. What am I missing?


Mass Con...exactly!


270 - You may be right about that. I haven't followed Fehrnstrom closely enough to know how he is doing. Regardless, it would be silly to fire him now and attract more attention. Just cut his responsibilities behind the scenes or change his duties.

Mitt's campaign is really missing Kevin Madden. That guy was great in 2008.

Freedom for William Wallace

266. I agree that people will still get behind him. This delays that a bit. This was just sloppy.


269-- Romney overperformed Trende's model by 5 points. And he'll have a lot of time to campaign in. Wisconsin after Louisiana : those 10 won't be left unused.

Gingrich's collapse gives me pause though. Trende has Romney at 43% of non-Paul votes in Wisconsin. Couldn't possibly be enough to beat Santorum if Gingrich votes collapse below 8% -- the shares PPP had for him in their February Wisconsin poll

He's collapsed in Illinois, and is virtually invisible in Louisiana, according to PPP, today.

It's hard to know from Illinois if Romney gained from yesterday's newtcalypse.


197. Heath, my outrage was real. But, it had a fast burn rate.

Freedom for William Wallace

This sums it up for me. From the Blaze..."Mitt Romney’s campaign slogan may be “Believe in America,“ but ”Two steps forward, one step back” seems more appropriate considering the momentum the candidate and his advisers consistently manage to throw a wet blanket on every time they see some success."


264- :) you are Smackdaddy, and I claim my free beer.



Mitt's a lock in DC and MD, so he will have lots of time to campaign in WI. Plus, Santorum is definitely running out of money, and Mitt isn't.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


I always expect her to be moreso than Mitt. But, do they have a poll on who's more electable?


Wisconsin is basically like Ohio, without Cleveland. No gigantic mega-cities, a series of medium sized cities, and lots of suburb/exurb areas and lots of rural areas.

Independent CPA

WOW! Just saw that Santorum clip. His voice is SHOT! Sounds like he's entering puberty.


And I'm off for the night. Cheers, fellow 'bots. We'll battle it out again tomorrow.


#283: Sounds about right--considering his maturity level.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

Ann Romney on Piers Morgan on CNN right now.


Freedomworks did not endorse Romney. They reiterated they are working on House and Senate races. Obviously they don't see Romney defeating Obama.

Independent CPA

From a user comment on Washington Post online:

"Well, actually, the fact that some six year-old child is now unable to find a Etch-A-Sketch in a toy store because Santorum bought them all is the biggest problem I have with this."

LOL! That about sums it up for me, too.


287 - Are you illiterate? They very clearly stated that they were going to focus on house and senate race to "help Romney repeal ObamaCare".

I guess you only read the things that are convenient to your delusional cause.


Santorum and Gingrich are now carrying around toys with them on their campaign stops - what does that tell you about the seriousness of their campaigns?


The way I read it, Freedom Works isn't ENDORSING Romney, they're just no longer fighting him. They've accepted he'll be the nominee. And, as Will says in 289, they seem to have accepted that he'll beat Obama.


Wow! Grasping at straws. This is what it has boiled down to. Desperation on all sides to take something, anything, even something Romney didn't personally say and use a toy to try and take him down.

All I can say is that I am glad I own stock in Etch-a-Sketch.

Mitt is the man and can turn around the economy like no other. Bring it!


289 You are the delusional one. A Romney supporter has said that Romney will not repeal Obamacare.


293 - Dude. Read the damn article.



And you're the ignorant one. Congress must vote to repeal Obamacare. Romney has made it clear he will push Congress to do that, and if they do, he will sign the repeal. Even if they don't, he will issue blanket exemptions to the states by executive order, rendering it a nullity. If you are dissatisfied with that, you are dissatisfied with the founding fathers because they're the ones who designed separation of powers to work that way.


Totally agree that Newt and Santo are due payback for their dumb ass attacks on Mitt. They should be relegated to obscurity by Mitt . They will bear a large part of the burden if we end up with four more years of Obama.

They are not patriots , they are idiots. Compare their actions to Mitt's last time around.Knowing McCain would be the nominee, Mitt graciously dropped out of the race to avoid anymore damage to McCain. Put his country and best intrests of the GOP before personal ambition.

Rick and Newt are looking more and more like sore loosers. Their petty attitude is ,if we can't have it( the nomination)we sure as hell will do all we can to make sure anybody but you gets it.

What fine character. Shows why they are not worthy of being President. And, what does that say about you Adam for supporting such candidates??????


The worst was watching hardball and hearing how santorum is the consistent one. Santorum at the RNC convention in 2008 is on video saying how the republican party to its credit has moved away from small government. Santorum was for government control of health care in 1994. Santorum said he wasn't pro life until he went into politics. He has flip flopped as much as anyone. This myth that santo is consistent. He is a big govt fraud.


The guy was talking about organizationally the campaign changes.

He has said many times when you have a one on one race the base will be more with you. It is a different campaign when you have newt and santorum attacking you vs a general election when it is just you vs obama and you have the base behind you. Of course in a general election when you have the base more behind you then you can focus more on swing voters. That doesn't mean changing your positions it just means a different race.

The reason why this is a story is because romney has the full weight of the media on him. Santorum is allowed to act like an idiot and to talk about obama's daughter's vacation and a state department warning that isn't there. Santorum is off message constantly but that isn't the issue.


Eric Fehrnstrom should say the Romney campaign is all about improving the economy, so if mentioning a product will help its sales - Ipad, Harley-Davidson, DeWalt. :)



The romney supporter talking about health care was norm coleman. Norm coleman was talking in his own position in his job as a consultant not as a romney advisor. To repeal health care you need 60 votes in the senate. He was saying he was hoping the supreme court will help take it down as that would be the easiest way to as getting 60 republicans in the senate will be hard.

The conservative blogosphere took that and screamed mitt advisor says he won't repeal it. It obviously worked a little as you bought into it.


This is why Romney will never beat Obama. This is why he is only electable when speaking in extremely relative terms. This is why Tim Pawlenty has been kicking himself on an hourly basis since August. This is why so much of the GOP base is sickened at the thought of having to vote for Romney and why so many of us will be casting our ballots for Gary Johnson in November, that is, those who do not opt to just stay home.

He (or in this case one of the most senior, longest-tenured, members of his staff) makes incomprehensibly stupid gaffes at the worst possible moments. He destroyed whatever bounce he could have gotten out of his win in Florida with his "I'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a social safety net for them that I will maintain" gaffe that angered the left, the right and the middle.

If Romney42012, or sorry, I mean Race42012, wasn't on my daily politics blogs visit list, I wouldn't have even known that Jeb Bush endorsed Romney. And if I did not have Fox News alerts on my iPhone I wouldn't have known that Romney won IL last night. All I've heard all day is about this latest gaffe of the Romney campaign.

This will suck the oxygen out of the room for the rest of the week, if not longer. It will give Santorum and Gingrich lifelines that even Romney's millions and his establishment support might not be able to overcome this time. The prospect of a contested or even brokered convention just got A LOT brighter.

Calling Congressman Paul Ryan. Representative Ryan, your party and your country need you.


Repealing Obamacare would not require 60 votes. Repealing it through reconciliation would take 50 votes. Reconciliation could be used since it would be a net spending drop.

Norm Coleman is a insider on the campaign. He is not someone off the street talking. That also happens to be what the establishment is talking about as well. They are moving towards modifying rather than repeal. That means we will leave the things we think people like and only take out the things that we think people don't like. Hillarycare was popular when it started but Republicans engaged the country in a debate and it became unpopular.

On Romneycare and other issues, Obama can point out the number of times that Romney agreed with him and paint him truthfully as someone who takes his positions based on what he is running for. With the economy picking up a little steam Romney has nowhere to go. Good riddance.



Actually, repealing Obamacare by reconciliation was Romney's original idea. He was the first major figure to propose it, and he did so last year.


301 - Everytime Romney wins a big state he and his campaign step on any momentum. The story after his Florida win was his "I am not concerned about the very poor" gaffe. That was a doozey. My birthday was the following weekend and it was the only thing people were talking about.

The larger problem is the lack of a consistent message. "The economy sucks and Obama made it worse" is now "the economy is getting better but Obama didn't do it."


All I have to say about the subject is that, yes, Eric used a concrete object that others have taken out of context. But Mark Beynon sure stepped in it:

He caught Rick Santorum studying...


The Gingrich and Santorum campaigns just announced the large acquisition of etch-a-sketch units to up grade their systems.

One campaign spokesperson said, “With the price break that we negotiated with Matel, we will be able to have 5 units per person. We estimate that this will increase our efficiency by 300 percent.”

A spokesperson from the other campaign said, “The choice came down to etch-a-sketch and commodore 64. We decided to go with the more robust operating system, and less susceptible to viruses.”

Still another campaign worker said, “We are too smart to bite on the bait put out by the Romney campaign about etch-a-sketch. Their attempt to use reverse psychology on us just won’t work.”


That picture is of Richard looking over his new computer.


308. LOL!!

Here is Richard Sanctimonious "rebooting" his new "computer".



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