And in the case of Romney, it’s unclear if he has really internalized that lesson. After Romney lost in 2012, he still hadn’t figured it out. In a post-election interview with The Washington Post’s Dan Balz, Romney could only acknowledge of his infamous 47 percent remark that “well, clearly that was a very damaging quote and hurt my campaign effort.” He also continued to channel his inner Mitt, telling Balz that Americans remained most concerned about borrowing and spending—when in fact jobs were and are the top priority for an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Memo to all Republican contenders: The GOP is now the home of white working- and middle-class voters. It’s no longer about Thurston Howell III.
As for Christie, much as he tries, he can’t shake free of Bridgegate. The word out of New Jersey is that federal prosecutors may criminally charge Christie’s aides under a provision of the U.S. Code that makes it illegal to intentionally misapply federal funds and property. Here, prosecutors may argue that since the George Washington Bridge is the beneficiary of federal funds, and the bridge was shutdown purely for the sake of political revenge, then Christie’s aides broke the law. To add to his woes, New Jerseyans are telling pollsters that their guy just isn’t ready for prime time. Christie is also the same fellow who spent his 2013 election night with Steven A. Cohen, whose hedge fund shortly thereafter pleaded guilty to insider trading.
So where to go from here? For openers, the Republicans should start taking about how falling oil prices are giving working Americans the tax break the Obama administration begrudges them. Next, the GOP should hammer away at how our roads, bridges, and tunnels are crumbling, and push for an infrastructure initiative. If building America’s highways was good enough for President Eisenhower, and is also expressly endorsed by the Constitution, how can the Republicans go wrong by rebuilding America?