If there’s going to be a major Romney campaign reset, it hasn’t happened yet.
Amid a damaging account of internal disarray and conflict, and calls by conservatives and others for a more detailed campaign platform, aides indicated on Monday that Republican nominee Mitt Romney will continue to focus on the economy and highlight his five-point plan to create 12 million new jobs.
Senior adviser Ed Gillespie said Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will talk more specifically about what they want to do, but the details won’t be new. “We’re not rolling out new policy ... so much as we are making sure people understand that when we say we can do things, here’s how we’re going to get them done,” Gillespie said in a conference call with reporters.
The example he gave is the ticket’s goal to be energy-independent by 2020. Romney and Ryan will talk about approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Gillespie said, as well as allowing more oil exploration and putting in place a faster process for drilling on federal lands and off the coast of Virginia. “This is reinforcing,” he said.
Asked why the economic focus will work now when it hasn’t before, Gillespie said the timing is different and reflects the campaign’s conviction that “a lot of those voters that are in the middle and truly independent, undecided, are looking for information now.” He added: “This push reflects our view that after a successful convention where people learned, voters learned a lot about Mitt Romney as a person, they’re eager to hear more details about policies to turn [the] economy around and create 12 million new jobs in his first term.”
Politico reported on Sunday night about clashes within the Romney team, including the scrapping of two convention speeches and a last-minute draft that accidentally left out mention of U.S. troops and the war in Afghanistan. The piece, much of it based on background quotes, suggested that Romney was making key decisions and also that some insiders blamed chief strategist Stuart Stevens for the problems.
The website also reported early on Monday morning that Romney was “rolling out a new and broader strategy” based on President Obama’s performance on foreign policy. There was little discussion on the Gillespie call about that, other than to say that Romney and Ryan will continue to discuss the Middle East and the need for strong leadership.