Romney under fire from party
MITT ROMNEY'S bid for the White House suffered setbacks on several fronts yesterday as his wife conceded that his opponent was moving in for the kill and America's leading right-wing newspaper criticised his campaign as "politically dumb".
In a blistering editorial marking the start of summer campaigning, 'The Wall Street Journal' said the Republican presidential nominee was "squandering an historic opportunity" to beat Barack Obama.
Its editorial board, one of the most influential voices on the American Right, said Mr Romney must stop making unforced errors and start outlining how he would lift the US out of its economic woes.
"Mr Romney promised Republicans he was the best man to make the case against President Obama, whom they desperately want to defeat," they concluded. "So far Mr Romney is letting them down."
The article came amid disquiet about the Romney campaign from prominent conservatives, as well as pressure from Mr Obama about Mr Romney's finances.
On a bus tour of the crucial rust-belt state of Ohio, the president boasted yesterday that by bailing out the US car industry he had been "betting on the American worker" and "betting on American industry".
Meanwhile "Mitt Romney is betting his resources in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, in Switzerland and God only knows where else he is putting his resources", said Ted Strickland, a former Ohio governor, who introduced Mr Obama in the city of Maumee.
Investigations by 'Vanity Fair' and the Associated Press this week refocused attention on a $3m (€2.4m) Swiss bank account Mr Romney secretly held until 2011, and dozens of offshore holdings by Bain Capital, the private equity firm he headed. He denies avoiding tax.
In an interview at their $8m (€6.4m) summer retreat in New Hampshire, Mr Romney's wife Ann complained that Mr Obama's campaign was attempting to "kill" her husband. "They're going to do everything they can to destroy Mitt," she said.
But Mr Obama leads Mr Romney by 2.6 percentage points, and anxious conservatives are voicing concerns. 'The Wall Street Journal' owner Rupert Murdoch criticised Mr Romney via Twitter for not looking like a "challenger" and for "playing everything safe". (© Daily Telegraph, London)