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Bill Kristol: Romney camp has reason to ‘worry’

“President Obama has had three disappointing months, but
he’s holding his own,” said Kristol on Fox News Sunday, citing polls which
show him even with or leading Romney despite a series of weak jobs reports.
“If I were in the Romney campaign that would worry me.”

{mosads}Kristol, the founder and editor of the conservative Weekly
Standard, said that the Romney campaign had failed to convince voters they had
a viable plan to revive the economy.

He pointed to a Fox News poll showing Romney performing
worse than Obama on the economy, which voters rank as the most important issue
this election.

“I think the Fox News poll actually has the key to what
the problem is for the Mitt Romney campaign. Do you think Barack Obama has a
clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 41; no 53. It’s not great for
an incumbent president. The economy is slow. And you are only at 41-53,”
said Kristol.

“Do you think his challenger, Gov. Romney, has a clear
plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 27; No, 55,” he continued.

“I don’t think you can beat an incumbent president,
even if the economy is slow, if 27 percent of the voters think you as the
challenger don’t have a clear plan for improving the economy,” Kristol
said.

Romney’s team has faced a barrage of criticisms from
conservatives in the last week.

On Thursday, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal
blasted the campaign as “politically dumb” for its response to the
Supreme Court ruling upholding Obama’s healthcare reform law.

Senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said the candidate
viewed the individual mandate as a penalty early last week, undercutting GOP
attempts to characterize the health law as a massive tax increase.

But Fehrnstrom was contradicted by Romney days later, when
the former Massachusetts governor said the mandate was a tax.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, CEO of NewsCorp., also
criticized the Romney campaign in a tweet last week saying that Romney would
lose the election unless “drops old friends from [his] team and hires some
real pros.”

Kristol on Sunday acknowledged that many conservatives were
“frustrated.”

“I think what a lot of people would like to see — a
lot of people hope Mitt Romney wins the presidency in November, which I
certainly do, is like to see him stand up and say I have a plan and I am going
to aggressively address these problems and fix the economy,” he said.

“They’re very risk-averse, but being risk- averse can
be risky,” he cautioned.

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