While Fox News still can’t seem to say enough bad things about President Obama, they haven’t exactly been uncritical of Mitt Romney lately. In fact, the criticism of Romney has been downright jaw-dropping considering where it's come from.
On today’s Fox News Sunday, the panel was unanimously critical of Romney, including host Chris Wallace, an obvious Romney supporter – or at least he plays one on TV. Yet, as the panel criticized Romney for not being clear enough on what actual policy alternatives he’d enact and not discussing Afghanistan during the convention, Wallace noted that Romney is “losing ground,” “not campaigning with a bold agenda” and asked – with obvious disapproval – why Romney had “absolutely no plans” to give a major foreign policy speech before the debates.
Fox News contributor Bill Kristol was more explicit, saying, “It’s crazy not to address it.”
But all that was almost complimentary compared to what the Wall Street Journal writers said on the Journal Editorial Report.
They highlighted how Romney had lost significant polling leads over Obama on economic issues. Panelist Jason Riley called many of Romney’s woes “self-inflicted” and cited his refusal to release his tax returns as an example. Riley added, “You can sympathize with (the public) in thinking maybe he’s trying to hide something here.”
The group later tore apart one of Romney’s recent ads attacking China as one cause of our economic woes. They found it unlikely to “drive votes,” said it let Obama “off the hook” and called it “an ad from a weak campaign.”
Panelist Kimberley Strassel continued, “When you have to resort to talking about American anxiety, whipping up the voters over, you know, ‘the China menace,’ you’re not on offense. You’re not out there making your case for your own presidency. And I think it’s a bit disturbing that they have gotten to this at this point in the campaign.”
Although I don’t expect to hear this kind of talk on Hannity any time soon, hearing it anywhere on Fox News says more about the kind of trouble their candidate is in than any poll numbers can.