Maryann Tobin

Mitt Romney has a slew of problems that Republicans are hoping he can overcome during his debates with President Obama.

But Romney's image has been so badly tarnished, even presidential debate success may not be able to pave a road to the White House.

However, the problems with the Romney-Paul Ryan team seem to go deeper than a string of gaffes and a secret videotape that revealed Romney as an elitist who is “not worried” about half the U.S. population because they “don’t pay income taxes,” are dependent on government handouts, personally irresponsible, and expect entitlements to “health care, to food” and “housing.”

The Romney message suddenly became clear. This man really doesn’t really seem to respect or like “47 percent” of the people in America—the country that made him rich.

The problem with the Republican Tea Party message

At its core, Americans do not support the message of the Tea Party, which began as a grassroots movement and has evolved into mission that took every aspect of governing hostage in order to force a rigid social ideology on the nation. But there is also a financial agenda.

Since the Tea Party movement is now primarily funded by the Koch brothers’ super PAC, Americans for Prosperity, and by Crossroads GPS, there’s little reason to wonder why there has been a fundamental push to sell Tea Party candidates to the public as debt-reduction specialists, while maintaining the even deeper task of cutting taxes and regulations for corporate America.

The connection is not by coincidence. Nor are the millions of dollars being funneled into the Romney campaign from the Koch super PACs. In order to get the power they need for deregulation and tax reform that benefits them personally, voters have to be convinced to vote against their own self-interest.

Romney and Ryan are vehicles for a shift to outright corporate governance. And since it is mathematically impossible to eliminate most taxes on the wealthy and simultaneously reduce the deficit, Romney and Ryan have been caught in repeating cycles of detail elusiveness highlighted by political mishaps.

The Washington Post said, “For several weeks, we’ve been asking Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to explain how he can cut taxes, as promised, without adding to the nation’s debt, as also promised. Now he’s effectively let the cat out of the bag: He can’t.”

In further exposing the impossible claims of the GOP, last week House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) admitted that the budget cuts his party has been pushing on the nation is making unemployment and the economy worse.

With enough money and effective media scare tactics, it is possible to get the public to believe in mathematically impossible fairy tales. They can even be convinced to vote for candidates that openly admit they will take away many of the government programs that have helped improve their lives.

All the years of selling a very different agenda to middle class voters came crashing down on the GOP, when the secret Romney videotapes went public and the candidate was left no choice but to stand by his taped remark, or look like completely dishonest conniver.

Still, owning up to calling half of the American public government freeloaders not worth caring about has put Romney and the GOP in a cavernous hole with virtually no political lifeline to pull themselves out.

What Romney did in the video with his wealthy donors in Boca Raton, Fla., in May, is reveal what the Republican Party is really all about. For the first time in a long time, the truth came out, and it was not pretty.

The Republican Party, which has been taken over by Tea Party fundamentalists and super PAC creators, is on a mission to advance the desires of a relatively small number of millionaires and billionaires—and nothing more. It's hard to deny that when there is a videotape proving it.

Republican pundits now fear that the party itself may unravel with the defeat of Romney because there is nowhere for the GOP to hide from the now famous Romney tapes.

It seems unlikely that anything Romney could say at the presidential debates will erase what he has done to his image and its reflection on the GOP. What Romney has lost is credibility.

Should Romney manage to survive the first presidential debate with President Obama in Denver on Oct. 3 without doing any more damage to his brand, the real test will come from the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Rommey’s other big money backers.

Unlimited campaign funding, made legal by Citizens United, can go a long way toward advancing an unpopular candidate. Voter suppression can also help block the voice of the American people.

It all leads not just to the candidate, but to the message of the conservative movement that was pushed into power by big money in 2010.

Americans have had two years to see what comes from voting for people who do not place the best interests of the American people ahead of the desires of lobbyists with a regressive agenda.

Additionally, the Republican vendetta against Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, has been wielded like a terrorist weapon against the American economy and the American people. It has brought fear, lies, division and paralyzing obstruction to Washington, D.C., as never before.

Perhaps the defeat of Romney will actually help America by diffusing the Tea Party movement. Then perhaps America can begin recovering from the damage they have wrought on the nation.

What was hidden behind closed doors has been revealed in a secretly taped video of their chosen candidate for president: Mitt Romney.

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