Reagan Speechwriter Calls Romney Campaign “Rolling Calamity”

President Reagan with Peggy Noonan
President Ronald Reagan’s former speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, emphasized in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign was not only “incompetent” but a continued disaster. This comes in the wake of widespread media coverage and criticism referencing the comments Mr. Romney made at a private fundraiser in May.

Noonan went on to say, “The Romney campaign has to get turned around. This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant ‘rolling calamity’.”

Ms. Noonan also cited, in her words, a “veteran Republican Pollster,” Steve Lombardo of Edelman public relations. Mr. Lombardo is not affiliated with any presidential candidate, but he did work for the 2008 Romney campaign.

“The pendulum has swung toward Obama,” Mr. Lombardo reportedly said. “Mitt Romney has a damaged political persona.” Romney is running behind in key states like Ohio and Virginia and, to a lesser extent, Florida. The president is reversing the decline that began with his “You didn’t build that” comment. For three weeks the President’s seen his campaign experience a huge shift in momentum in his favor.

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Ms. Noonan also stated that among other gaffes that have hurt Mr. Romney’s presidential bid, a variety of factors have come together to further weigh the Romney campaign down. Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich has attacked Romney; improved perceptions on the economy, mainly the stock market; President Obama’s approval ratings at 49%, at around the same level as President Bush in 2004; a stronger Democratic National Convention; Mr. Romney’s responses to the Libya attacks; and of course Mr. Romney’s comments offending the 47% of the country who would not support him because in Mr. Romney’s opinion, they are “victims” seeking dependence on public assistance.

Ms. Noonan was President Reagan’s speechwriter from 1984 to 1986. Ms. Noonan was also chief speechwriter for George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign. Ms. Noonan is mostly known for coining the phrase voiced by President Bush, “Read my lips: no new taxes.”

She is widely considered as taking politically conservative positions in her writings and commentary; however, on her column in the Wall Street Journal, she did contend in 2008 that “George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party.”