Look, I like to watch Mitt Romney squirm as much as the next guy, but I think we're making way too much of this story:
A Mitt Romney spokesperson offered an unusual counterattack Wednesday to an ad in which a laid-off steelworker blames the presumptive GOP nominee for his family losing health care: If that family had lived in Massachusetts, it would have been covered by the former governor’s universal health care law.First of all, Andrea Saul is a person most voters have never heard of. The majority of voters won't even know her name if Romney wins and she becomes his White House spokesperson. This isn't a big mainstream news story. So it's not going to affect any swing voters.
"To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney's health care plan, they would have had health care," Andrea Saul, Romney’s campaign press secretary, said during an appearance on Fox News....
As for the base, well, I know Erick Erickson is howling that this is "The Moment All the Doubts About Romney Resurfaced on the Right." But what's the difference between this and Romney's message for the past year and a half? He's been saying that the Obama health law is Satan's plan for the destruction of America, which he'll smite the first day in office, while his own health law was just fine, thanks, and the difference between the two laws is shut up. And he won the nomination that way.
Now he's the base's only hope, and according to some polls, that's actually working -- GOP voters have more enthusiasm about this election than Democrats, not because they like Romney or trust him (they don't), but because they hate Obama with every fiber of their being.
Romney has nearly three months to try to get voters to forget this slip-up by a staffer who's known only to political pros and mavens; he ought to be able to do it in about a week, even in the case of wary members of the base. All he should have to do is remind them who his opponent is.
But now he'll probably double down on his already excessive campaign to woo a base he's already won. He'll tack even further to the right. He'll go even further down the list of right-wing grievances and champion some of the crazier ones.
But he doesn't have to do this. He's got the base. They're not going anywhere. And swing voters don't know who the hell Andrea Saul is.