The Romney-Ryan ticket has gone AWOL on the media circuit, doing no local or national interviews in the month leading up to Election Day. Mitt Romney's last national television interview was on October 9 with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and it's been 25 days since Romney has answered a question from his campaign embed reporters. Most recently, a reporter following him on the campaign trail pointed out after Romney's "relief rally" in Ohio, that the governor had been asked 14 times throughout the day what he plans to do with FEMA if he were elected president. Romney continued to load boxes of supplies and ignored the reporter's questions.
Romney has also remained silent on Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's comments on rape, relying on his press secretaries to release a statement affirming that he "disagree[s] on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest but still support[s] him.”
But since the week of the vice presidential debate, Ryan has gone dark on battleground reporters — doing no local television and only a handful of network interviews and syndicated radio shows.
The one interview that Mitt Romney may do before Tuesday's election is a half-time interview with ESPN's Chris Berman during the Philadelphia/New Orleans game on Monday Night football, which would expose the ticket to 12-13 million national viewers. But, Vince Doria, ESPN's vice president for news, has acknowledged that while the Romney campaign is scheduled for this interview, they are very much "at the mercy of the campaigns."
Even Fox News is complaining that they can't nab an interview with Mitt Romney. Bill O'Reilly lamented last Tuesday:
"I cannot understand why Mitt Romney's not doing it because Mitt Romney has a story to tell. In my opinion, he has a story to tell. But I think what the strategy is by the Romney campaign is to retell it in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Nevada real strong and then we have the electoral college if we can take any of those states we win. We're not gonna do this O'Reilly punk. We're not going to bother with him."Bernie Goldberg: "No, no, I don't think, I don't think they see you in a negative light. I think they made a calculation. And the calculation is that there's not enough upside to take a chance doing an interview with you."
According to Politico, Paul Ryan has also been relatively media shy since October 8th, he has not done any local television and only a handful of network interviews and syndicated radio shows. Even though Ryan sat for nearly 30 interviews in Ohio, 20 local interviews in Virginia, 19 television interviews in Florida, and 16 in Iowa since his candidacy was announced, Ryan has not made an appearance in about a month.
Last week, US Weekly published 5 things we didn't know about President Obama (even though these five facts have been well known about the president) and also wrote that the tabloid offered the same opportunity to Romney, but to no surprise, the GOP candidate declined. Romney has also avoided a demographic that will not affect poll turnout or numbers Nov. 6th - children. In Nickelodeon's "Kids Pick the President: The Candidates" hosted by Linda Ellerby, Ellerby notes that the network reached out to both candidates with President Obama appearing throughout the episode answering questions while Romney chose not to participate.
There are several examples the campaign has decided not to let Romney off his leash - with Mitt Romney's 47% remark that blew up the media circuit for the last several months to Mediaite revealing a telling Youtube clip yesterday that demonstrates how Mitt Romney is off-the-air. You can see this clip below.
To provide a background of campaign appearances in the days leading up to the election, The Last Word has compiled both candidates' interviews starting from 1988.
1988:Michael Dukakis: Nov. 4, 1988 (Peter Jennings), Oct. 31 (Lehrer/MacNeil), Nov. 6 (Frost),George H.W. Bush: Nov. 6 (Frost)
1992:Bill Clinton: Oct. 29 (press stakeout), Oct. 29 (WWOR "America Again")George H.W. Bush: (week before Oct. 29 WWOR "America Again"), Oct. 26 (press stakeout), Nov. 1 (Newsmaker Sunday/Sesno)
1996:Bill Clinton: Oct 14 (NY Times)Bob Dole: Oct. 18 (Limbaugh - call-in), Oct. 8 (ABC News)
2000George W. Bush: Oct. 9 (NPR), Oct. 31 (Tonight Show)Al Gore: Oct. 28 (Tonight Show), Oct. 31 (Nightly News)
2004George W. Bush: Oct. 31 (Brokaw)John Kerry: Oct. 28 (Brokaw)
2008John McCain: Oct. 9 (Hannity and Colmes), Oct. 29 (Larry King)Barack Obama: Oct. 8 (Charlie Gibson), Oct. 29 (Jon Stewart), Oct. 30 (Rachel Maddow)