“The unrelenting anti-Romney hostility has ruptured the conservative media movement — a movement that has come to define, and in some ways dominate, the modern Republican Party,” wrote Kurtz.
Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, doesn’t hold back when it comes to Romney: “Anything he does, there’s an automatic assumption that it’s the synthetic product of calculation. There’s something lacking at the core.”
“As the alternatives have faded,” continues Kurtz, “Lowry is trying to make peace with the idea of Romney as nominee: ‘If I have to
manufacture enthusiasm, I’ll happily do so.’ Yet in the next breath, he frames the choice as ‘a flawed candidate running against a very flawed president.’
Another conspicuous holdout is Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, who does not disguise his distrust of Romney. Radio host Laura Ingraham openly questions whether Romney can beat Obama. Rush Limbaugh, writes Kurtz, “has played golf with the candidate but tells listeners, ‘Romney is not a conservative … He comes across as the prototypical rich Republican.’”
“Romney’s nomination has basically been inevitable since, oh, 2008ish,” writes New York magazine’s Noreen Malone. “But no one in his party has ever seemed particularly enthused about it, leading to the line-’em-up and knock-’em-down Cinderella stories of the GOP primary season, and the wishful thinking about late entrances from Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels.”
“Was Romney the worst of the Republican candidates this year?” asks Rick Bayan of the Moderate Voice. “Of course not; his competition was, for the most part, a procession of jaw-droppingly shallow and maladroit aspirants to the American throne. But let me say this much in their favor: as right-wing Christian populists, at least the Rick Perrys, Michele Bachmanns and Herman Cains could truthfully say they represented more than one percent of the population.
“So was Romney the best candidate the GOP could have produced? No again,” writes Bayan. “Romney is the kind of moderate who gives moderates a bad name. He waffles, he flip-flops, he tailors his utterances to the audience whose votes he needs at the moment – even going as far as to distance himself from his own healthcare reforms as governor of Massachusetts. In short, as Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, ‘There’s no there there.’ This purported centrist lacks a center, a core of principle and conviction beneath the slick veneer of his ‘whatever works’ operating style.”
Will Republicans rally around their candidate?
“The two general election candidates are Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama,” writes Eric Golub in the Washington Times. “America will finally have the anticipated election between two people with vastly contrasting styles. Mitt Romney wants to cut taxes for everybody. Mitt Romney has a successful track record as a private investor. Mitt Romney will drill for oil on domestic public land.
“Mitt Romney will continue the George W. Bush interrogation methods that save lives. Mitt Romney saved the Olympics. Mitt Romney does not drink alcohol. Mitt Romney wants the stock market to be a free enterprise system. Mitt Romney will defend the Second Amendment. Mitt Romney has a 25 year track record of success in the public and private sectors. Mitt Romney supports freedom.
“The choice is crystal clear, and thanks to Texas, official. The future of America is at stake, and Mitt Romney is the Republican choice for President.”