In theory, Mitt Romney has already taken all kinds of steps that seem incredibly risky. He's endorsed a plan to end Medicare; his tax plan appears to raise taxes on all of the middle class; and he's eager to take affordable health care away from millions of working families.
But Team Romney doesn't consider any of this politically "suicidal." What are they truly afraid of? Policy specifics.
Advisers say the campaign has no plans to pivot from its previous view that diving into details during a general-election race would be suicidal. [...]
"The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you're communicating direction to the American people," a Romney adviser said. "Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today's environment, get tripped up."
We've heard quite a bit from Romney and his surrogates lately about how eager they are to have a substantive, policy-focused debate. And while that sounds delightful, they neglected to mention the asterisk -- the substantive, policy-focused debate has to steer clear of any and all details.
As we've discussed before, this isn't a new development for Romney. He explained to a conservative magazine in April that when he told voters his specific plans in previous campaigns, voters didn't agree with the specifics and it undermined his ambitions.
It's better, he effectively argued, to hide the facts from voters until after the election.
Of course, what does it say about the merit of Romney's policy agenda if voters are likely to recoil if they heard the whole truth?
For that matter, why is it, exactly, that Romney felt comfortable arguing, "Unlike President Obama, you don't have to wait until after the election to find out what I believe in -- or what my plans are"? That appears to be the exact opposite of the truth.