The Morning Joe panel discussed Mitt Romney’s wealth, finances and unreleased tax returns, and how he is currently being perceived in the race.
John Heilemann: “People don’t begrudge Mitt Romney his wealth, but the most damaging thing from yesterday is the very cavalier way Romney talked about his $374,328 speaking income as ‘not that much.’ That’s the killer. That to even an upper middle class earner sounds like, ‘Really? $374,328 is not that much to you?’
Joe Scarborough: The question is–from a conservative leader I spoke to about this issue– why did he even take the money in the first place? He’s worth hundereds and millions of dollars, why take $40,000 for a speech? Even if you’re eventually giving it away.
Mark Halperin: All this is manageable, if you have a candidate that performs well. But he’s made half dozen or more errors in the past week, that gives pause even to supporters. They say, ‘we cannot beat an incumbent president wih a billion dollars to spend if we’re going to make mistakes this much.’
Heilemann: Romney is creating a ‘greatest-hits’ reel for David Axelrod. They’re all of a piece – all off-key, out of touch comments that go specifically to his wealth and financial matters. That’s a problem in the general election.”