4:20 pm Oct. 1, 2012
Senator Chuck Schumer thinks the problems Mitt Romney is having in the polls are a product of his inability or unwillingness to move to the middle for the general election, highlighted by the selection of Paul Ryan.
"Mitt Romney has embraced the hard-right philosophy and that's the reason his campaign is having the trouble it is, with everybody," Schumer told me, following his speech to the New York Building Congress last week. "He made a big mistake when he nominated Ryan, he made a big mistake after the primaries when he didn't have—you want to call it foresight, you want to call it courage, you want to call it political instinct—to move to the middle. And now it's very hard for him to do. You see, he's trying and he stumbles every time. And elections are won in the middle."
Schumer said the debates might not be enough to right the ship of Romney's campaign.
"They're crucial for Romney but I think it's very hard for him to change the direction he's gone in," Schumer said. "I think the turning point in this campaign will be seen when he nominated Ryan, who is the apotheosis of this hard-right philosophy.
"And as I've said—and you've written it I think—the greatest sin of the Romney-Ryan campaign is narrowness. They seem to feel that helping Romney and people like Romney is all the economy needs. Lower their taxes, get government off their back. You know, doesn't work. You need them to do well. I want them to do well. But that's 5 percent of the picture, not 95."