At a time when the economy is the overriding concern of Americans of every demographic category, Romney touts an impressive resume. He is a more qualified candidate than Barack Obama was four years ago, and his record includes impressive successes in both the private and public sectors. In some of his better lines, he urged voters to separate their emotional ties to Obama and their dashed hopes.
Yet trustworthiness remains an abiding question about Romney. In a poll released on the eve of the convention, the Pew Research Center found that while impressions of Romney have improved since the primaries, “42 percent of the words volunteered by respondents are clearly negative, most commonly liar, arrogant, crook, out of touch, distrust and fake.” And the report continues: “Fewer (28 percent) offer words that are clearly positive in tone, such as honest, good, leadership, and capable.”
Two comments this week from his own team illustrate a contradiction. Capping a tender personal portrait of a dedicated family man, hardworking professional, and generous neighbor, Ann Romney declared: “You can trust Mitt.” Outside the convention hall, meanwhile, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse pushed back against media criticism of distortion and blatant dishonesty in the campaign’s messages by saying, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”