It’s a given that the mainstream media will do everything it can to hurt Romney and protect Obama. The most effective way for it to do that is to keep Romney on the defensive. So, the economy is still in the toilet, our credit rating has been downgraded again, and our embassies are burning, but all the press wants to talk about is trivia related to Romney. What about Romney’s taxes? Romney made a joke about rolling down windows in a plane! Let’s pretend it wasn’t a joke! There is dissent in the Romney campaign! This is all meaningless, but the Obama campaign and its allies in the press love it because the very last thing they want to talk about is Obama’s record.
Conservative pundits and ads can criticize Obama all day long, but except for rare exceptions like the Swift Boat Vets, rarely does that sort of thing reverberate loudly enough to cut through the noise. Only Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can shout loud enough to get everyone’s attention.
Naturally, the press doesn’t like that. So, if Romney hits Obama’s performance, its natural response will be to criticize Romney for his insolence. How dare he say such a thing! It’s not right! It’s improper! It’s invalid! Obama disagreed; so it’s untrue! However, this is not a bad thing because the increased criticism also means that Mitt Romney’s response will be covered and it will give him the opportunity to continue to press his attack home.
This is why Mitt’s 47% comments were probably, on net balance, good for him. They gave him a chance to make an argument. Not only should he have made more of it, he should do it more often.
Unless you’re an incumbent with a huge lead, you don’t want campaigns on defense. In a close, competive race, the campaign that stays on the defensive is usually the side that loses. Barack Obama may be the single worst President in the history on the United States, but if Romney allows the entire campaign to revolve around whether he’s a rich guy, a corporate fundraiser and has offshore tax havens, none of which have anything to do with anything, he’s probably not going to win no matter how well he explains himself.