We almost feel bad posting yet more negative reaction to Romney's 47% snafu, but it seems worth noting that conservatives aren't exactly lining up to defend the GOP standard-bearer. As of this writing, two of the top stories on the Weekly Standard front page are a blistering William Kristol essay denouncing Romney, and a roundup entitled "Conservatives Agree: Romney's Wrong." A taste:
- Kristol calls Romney's comments "stupid and arrogant," noting that "a good chunk of the 47% who don't pay income taxes are Romney supporters," including seniors, troops, and the poor. "So Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him."
- Jim Antle of the Daily Caller notes that people don't pay income tax in part because of GOP tax cuts, which Romney has pledged to continue.
- At Reason, Matt Welch says Romney's statements go "against the very message the Republican Party was trying to sell to the world" of upward mobility and entrepreneurial spirit. Romney's 53/47 comment implies "that income status is a permanent political condition, defrocking all Americans of agency and independent thought."
- Of course, not everyone is turning on Romney. Erick Erickson at RedState—who's no Romney fan—derides the Standard, posting a laundry list of conservative media posts in Romney's favor.
- "I'm not going to say it's good for Romney," writes Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. "But if quips won elections, I have dozens more damaging in the Obamateurism series than this."
- And Rush Limbaugh was positively giddy. "This is such a golden opportunity," he said, according to Politico. "This could be the opportunity for Romney and for that campaign to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism."