Last week Mitt Romney and John Kasich met with a hand-picked set of Otterbein University students. Mark Kovac captured it all on video. Over their boxed lunches, Kasich, the students and (sometimes) Romney talked about a variety of topics including job prospects for graduating college kids. Unfortunately for Romney, it seems Kasich didn’t get the messaging memo about the economy.
Be forewarned: the video is kind of painful to watch. Romney comes across as stiff and boring and not amazingly informed or really even interested in being there. And Kasich, as usual, comes on annoyingly strong: overly chatty, pushy and intent on telling personal stories completely unrelated to the topic at hand, even when the topic eventually came around to jobs and the economy, undoubtedly the most important issue in this race.
Romney is still working on crafting a coherent message around jobless numbers and other economic figures. As new numbers come out, Romney’s message continues to change. But the one consistent theme he does manage to stick to is that things would be better if he was president.
So when one student expresses concern over her job prospects upon graduation, she punts the ball to Romney giving him a chance to run with his “not on my watch!” message. It’s subtle, but you can kind of see Romney cringe as Kasich quickly picks up the ball and runs it in the wrong direction.
According to Kasich, these students don’t need to be afraid of finding work after graduation. All they need to do is check out the OhioMeansJobs.com website where they will find eighty thousand jobs just waiting to be filled today!
Maybe Kasich didn’t get the memo from the Romney camp that the economy is supposed to be horrible right now thanks to President Obama. Or maybe the memo just got lost in the stuff on Beth Hansen’s desk.
I don’t know for sure, but if I had to make a guess I’d almost say Kasich’s performance last week was intentional and aimed at getting him out of doing any more events with Romney in the same way that I avoid getting out of doing the dishes by randomly breaking a few of them while I load the dishwasher.
Whatever the reason, I know for a fact that Team Romney is currently having some serious discussions about whether they want Mr. 80-thousand jobs anywhere near Mr. Romney. And you can’t blame them one bit.
Here’s Marc’s video with some popup commentary…