“Insincere” Romney campaign finds more astroturf

Dean Barnett, Mitt Romney’s former driver, attacks the campaign today in the New York Times:

Because Mr. Romney chose to make this argument a secondary matter compared to his stands on social issues, he mounted a campaign that was, at its most basic level, insincere. … But the public correctly sensed something disingenuous about Mr. Romney’s campaign.

This sense of insincerity permeates the campaign. Strategically, as Barnett notes, the campaign is based on the proposition of offering the candidate as something he is not. Tactically, the campaign repeatedly offers astroturf. Earlier, they offered the press staff to talk to without disclosing that relationship. This time, they did a photo-op a staffer’s mom, and didn’t disclose that relationship:

A well-publicized weekend photo-op for Mitt Romney turns out to have been missing a piece of information that might have undermined its credibility: the unemployed single mom at the center of the event was the mother of a Romney staffer.

Romney even offered her advice that seems to characterize him:

Ironically, when it came time to take questions from the reporters gathered around Sachs’ kitchen table, Romney joked: "If you don’t want to answer any questions, that’s fine, too. What I’ve learned is, if they ask a question, you can answer something else."