Brooks was one of several panelists on NBC’s “Meet The Press” roundtable, which dove into some data surrounding Romney’s popularity.
“Look at his high unfavorable ratings,” host David Gregory said. “At 50%. The highest of any candidate running in recent memory. This is an image problem that his philosophical statements in this speech in May to fundraisers only exacerbates.”
Brooks did not mince words, calling Romney “the least popular candidate in history.”
“He has to look at what the president’s weakness is,” Brooks said. “He’s never gonna win a popularity contest.”
Brooks added that Romney “does not have the passion for the stuff he’s talking about.”
“He’s a problem solver,” Brooks said. “I think he’s a non-ideological person running in an extremely ideological age, and he’s faking it.”
Polls have brought grim results surrounding Romney’s favorability, with a late August ABC News/Washington Post survey drawing a 35 percent likability rating.
Romney’s 47 percent comments added fuel to that fire. After his comments were leaked on Monday, Brooks conceded that he sees the GOP presidential hopeful as a “kind, decent man” running a “depressingly inept presidential campaign.”
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“That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in. Too many people today who want to work are being forced into public assistance for lack of jobs,” Scott said in an email to a href=”http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/250157-sen-scott-brown-denounces-romney-comments” target=”_hplink”The Hill/a.
“He was obviously inarticulate in making this point,” Ryan a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/paul-ryan-mitt-romney-video_n_1895403.html” target=”_hplink”said/a during an interview with a Nevada television station.
“This could be the opportunity for Romney, and for that campaign, to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism, start explaining liberty to people and what it means,” a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/rush-limbaugh-mitt-romney_n_1893882.html” target=”_hplink”Limbaugh said/a Tuesday. “And explain that they don’t need to be in that 47 percent. There’s no reason for them, for everybody to be — essentially having given up on their future in this country. There’s no reason for it. This is, to me, such an opportunity to espouse conservatism.”
“Mitt Romney probably could have better explained himself. I think he was a little clumsy in doing this,” a href=”http://thehill.com/video/house/249975-rep-allen-west-romney-a-little-clumsy-with-47-percent-comment” target=”_hplink”West said/a on Fox News.
“Sure, there are some government programs that cultivate patterns of dependency in some people. I’d put federal disability payments and unemployment insurance in this category. But, as a description of America today, Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney,” a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/opinion/brooks-thurston-howell-romney.html?ref=davidbrooks” target=”_hplink”Brooks wrote/a. “He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?”
“It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!). But that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that Romney’s comments, like those of Obama four years ago, are stupid and arrogant,” a href=”http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/note-romney-s-arrogant-and-stupid-remarks_652548.html” target=”_hplink”Kristol wrote/a.
“He has to not apologize, because we’ve seen enough apologizing already, and he cannot apologize,” a href=”http://thehill.com/video/campaign/249993-trump-romney-cannot-apologize-for-inartful-comments-at-fundraiser” target=”_hplink”Trump said/a on NBC News. “What he said is probably what he means.”
Trump also said that Romney’s words were “inartfully stated.”
“The Romney campaign should double down on what he said. They should own it. The trouble for the left and media (but I repeat myself) is that most Americans agree with Mitt Romney. Most Americans consider themselves part of the 53% and it is not a winning proposition for Barack Obama to convince Americans they are less than they think they are when most Americans already recognize he has made them less than they were,” a href=”http://www.redstate.com/2012/09/17/treat-the-press-as-enemy-collaborators/” target=”_hplink”Erickson wrote/a in a blog post on RedState.com.
“[Romney] believes that every American has got to have skin in the game…he doesn’t want what the president wants,” a href=”http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/09/christie-romney-wants-to-empower-people-135893.html” target=”_hplink”Christie said/a on Fox News, adding that Romney wants to “empower individuals…and that’s what he’s really talking about.”
“The idea that you’re declaring, ‘Well, the race is over. Mitt Romney doesn’t care about people,’” a href=”http://www.mediaite.com/tv/laura-ingraham-fired-up-over-romneys-47-tape-its-ridiculous-this-is-getting-airtime/” target=”_hplink”Ingraham said /aon Fox News. “Meanwhile, you have a president whose policies have undermined the 47 percent. … I’m very pumped up about this. I think it’s ridiculous that people are seizing on it and that we’re even giving all that much airtime to it, frankly.”
“I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47% of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be. People today are struggling because the government has failed to keep America competitive, failed to support job creators, and failed to get our economy back on track,” a href=”http://www.lindaforsenate2012.com/news/press-releases/2012/09/18/linda-mcmahon-response-to-mitt-romneys-remarks/” target=”_hplink”McMahon said/a in a statement.
“To read many of the reactions on Twitter, you’d think Mother Jones had just found video of Mitt Romney strangling a hooker with her own pantyhose,” a href=”http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/322394/quick-thoughts-freeloaderdammerung-jonah-goldberg” target=”_hplink”Goldberg wrote/a. “Indeed, many people understand what Romney is getting at here, even if he’s saying it badly.”