Romney to revamp media team after criticism

Sat, Jul 7, 2012, 01:00

THE REPUBLICAN presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is expected to revamp his communications team, possibly early next week, following severe criticism by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and conservative commentators.

Mr Romney’s team has managed several events badly in recent weeks. After the supreme court upheld President Barack Obama’s healthcare Bill, Mr Romney’s spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom contradicted the court – and the Republican Party – by saying the penalty that would be levied on Americans who refused to purchase insurance was not a tax.

Mr Romney was forced to change tack two days later, acknowledging that the supreme court’s word is law.

The Romney campaign was also faulted for botching reaction to a Washington Post report on the outsourcing of US jobs by Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mr Romney.

During his “Betting on America” bus tour over the past two days, Mr Obama repeatedly denounced Bain as “pioneers of business outsourcing”.

Mr Murdoch began criticising Mr Romney’s media and public relations effort on Twitter on July 1st. “Met Romney last week,” the tweet said. “Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.”

During the Republican primaries, Mr Murdoch favoured the candidacy of the fundamentalist Catholic candidate Rick Santorum.

Mr Murdoch owns Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, the most widely watched television network and the best-selling newspaper in the US. After being shamed in Britain by the phone-hacking scandal, he may be attempting to broaden his influence in the US.