Matthews: Romney keeps hitting the reset button

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

The campaign for president is getting truly exciting. At last week’s debate, Romney showed his willingness to say whatever would get him through the night. He can ‘Etch-A-Sketch’ in real time, shifting his positions, denying the deals he’s made with the right, positioning himself just where it works with the voter.

It reminds me of Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day. Every day, he gets up to the same day. Every day, he comes up with a new pitch to Andie MacDowell based on what she said about her likes and dislikes the day before. 

This is the Romney approach: sell whatever people show a willingness to buy. Sell a big cut in Medicare and sell it as a cut in government spending. If that causes trouble, say you’re against any cuts in Medicare.  

Get it? Sell big tax cuts to the “job creators,” those in the country with the most money. If that causes trouble, just deny it. Say you don’t know anything about tax cuts for the rich. Pretend you never said a word about giving a break to those “job-creators.”

Get it? Say you want the auto industry to go bankrupt. Say when they’re not looking that you don’t care about that 47 percent of the country that depends on programs like Social Security. Then, when that 47 percent is watching you on television, say your heart is bleeding for them.

That’s right. Just like in Groundhog Day, you keep listening to the one you’re trying to woo, listening for clues of what doesn’t work, what in your pitch isn’t selling, make the changes overnight and come back with a new, improved version of just what she—or he—wants to hear. 

So the clock radio keeps going off. We keep hearing Sonny and Cher sing “I’ve got you” and Mitt Romney keeps honing his latest pick-up line.

Mitt Romney and Hardball Let Me Finish

Matthews: Romney keeps hitting the reset button

Updated