If the primary season were a popularity contest, Mitt Romney would have retired long ago. He’s the least liked among the Republican presidential candidates, fielding ugly insults from rivals angry about perceived attack ads, policy pandering, and endlessly deep pockets. The New York Times was unsurprised that unloved Romney stood alone and lonely as candidates mingled at a recent debate.
Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager wants to knock Romney’s teeth out; John McCain advises, “Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” One Romney booster says rivals “think he didn’t pay his dues,” but the truth may be more juvenile. Offered one observer, “McCain and his friends used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess.”