Barbour: Romney’s `Mistake’ — Should Acknowledge, Move On

Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Alec Poitevint speaks with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, right, during the Republican National Convention.

While Mitt Romney still can defeat Barack Obama, he must shift the focus of the last six weeks of the race to the president’s “policies, the failures of those policies, and what Romney would do to get the country back on the right track,” former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour says.

“As long as the campaign coverage is about process, about polling, any time it’s not about jobs and the economy, and about serious policy and the results of policy, that’s bad for Romney,” says Barbour, who is helping raise money for American Crossroads, the super-political action committee co-founded by Karl Rove, the former chief political adviser to President George W. Bush.

Romney has “got to get the campaign back on the real issues that Americans talk about at the dinner table — jobs, the economy,” Barbour said in an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt” airing this weekend.

The Republican presidential nominee is trying to get his campaign back on track after his comment that 47 percent of Americans are government-dependent and see themselves as “victims,” secretly recorded at a Florida fundraiser in May, was published this week. His remarks take the focus off Obama, Barbour said.

“It is not correct that 47 percent of Americans are on means-tested entitlements, on welfare,” he said. “Many, many of those people are retired military” or recipients of Social Security benefits. Romney, Barbour said, should have said, “I made a mistake on that number” and moved on.

“That’s the real state of play,” he said. “Why? Not because people love Mitt Romney. They don’t know very much good about Mitt Romney. But they know Obama’s policies don’t deserve to be re-elected.”


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