50 DAYS LEFT until Election Day, Nov. 6, and the presidential campaign of Republican Mitt Romney seems to be tossing and turning in waves of political uncertainty. You can almost hear someone yelling out that line from JAWS – “We need a bigger boat!”
Both Buzzfeed and Politico are reporting that the Romney campaign has taken a hard turn to the right to motivate their hyper-partisan base. Politico reports that mistakes such as the less than buffo GOP convention have created splits within the campaign with much of the blame being heaped on chief strategist Stuart Stevens, 58, a less-than-ideological, Oxford University and UCLA Film School–educated, former Fellow of the American Film Institute.”
This shifting campaign calculus has produced a split in Romney’s message. His talk show interviews and big ad buys continue to offer a straightforward economic focus aimed at traditional undecided voters. But out stumping day to day is a candidate who wants to talk about patriotism and God, and who is increasingly looking to connect with the right’s intense, personal dislike for President Barack Obama.
What seems to be MISSING (though there’s still time) from this shift to the hard right is harsh, blatant, all-out homophobia. Now whether it’s because of Log Cabin Republicans’ persistent pressure to eschew antigay rhetoric or Romney reaching out to now openly gay Republican Ken Mehlman, or because big GOP funder David Koch supports marriage equality or maybe it’s because polls show (such as this one on the antigay marriage ballot in Minnesota ) that younger voters tend to support marriage equality (a stand in for LGBT rights) and if the Republican Party wants to continue its existence, it cannot turn off younger voters.
But while the Romney campaign itself might not spout antigay rhetoric, they don’t mind if surrogates do. In fact, as Rachel Maddow notes in he brief on the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, they don’t seem to mind who they associate with – even if they jump the shark in doing it. Here’s Josh Glasstetter at Right Wing Watch on Saturday:
Maddow paid particular attention to three anti-Muslim activists that we regularly cover – Jerry Boykin, Kamal Saleem and Frank Gaffney. As I said yesterday, the Values Voter Summit is making a mockery of diplomacy and the threat of terrorism by featuring Saleem, who has made a career for himself as a fake former terrorist, and Boykin and Gaffney, who are leading forces behind the Huma Abedin smear and helped spark anti-American protests in Egypt.