Romney just can't stop putting his foot in mouth
J ust what is it that impels Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to keep putting his foot in his mouth? Barely had the kerfuffle caused by his seeming to insult his British hosts during the Olympics died down but Romney, who is worth an estimated $250m, was making the headlines for all the wrong reasons once again when he described people earning $250,000 a year as "middle income" -- the average American salary is less than $40,000 a year.
However, even with this rap sheet, nothing could prepare us for this week's eruption when a video of the candidate claiming that 47pc of Americans didn't pay (federal) taxes and were dependent on government money was leaked. Even in a country that has such respect and admiration for wealth as the United States, describing half the potential voters as deadbeats hardly strikes us as the best way of trying to get elected.
The Republicans are now paying the price of rallying round the preferred candidate early in the primary season. Governor Romney is repeating the pattern seen with Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain in 2008. This makes it almost impossible for an outsider, even if they are more electable, to crash the Republican nomination in the same way as Barack Obama snatched the Democratic nomination from Hilary Clinton four years ago.