Rupert Murdoch has never been a big fan of Mitt Romney, and the lukewarm feeling is mutual, the New York Times finds. On Romney's two visits to the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal—which printed a scathing attack on the "confused" Romney campaign yesterday—there was "zero enthusiasm, no engagement," a Journal source says. Both Murdoch and Fox News chief Roger Ailes urged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run because they admired his toughness and saw Romney as too soft, insiders say.
Staff members present at Romney's Journal meetings say Romney left Murdoch cold by dwelling on his management experience instead of coming out with a clear conservative philosophy. Romney aides, speaking under condition of anonymity, say they would rather have Murdoch making critical tweets than praising the campaign and making it look like a tool of the conservative establishment. "To his credit, the idea that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t think something could be better run is unimaginable," one adviser says. "That’s just how he is."