Mitt Romney's Got 99 Problems

Image Credit: YouTube/ABC News

Mitt Romney’s had a problem ever since the secret video of him speaking about 47 percent of the country that pays no federal income tax leaked out this week. It’ll take a few days for polls to show just how much of a problem he’s got, but until then, pundits will keep arguing about the impact of what’s becoming known as Romney’s “47 percent problem.”

With this latest one, we couldn’t help but notice that “[Politician]’s [Something] Problem” is a fairly easy headline for political writers to reach to, and there’s something about Romney that makes them even more prone to it. (We’re even guilty of it, occasionally.) Just how often do we declare that Mitt Romney has a “problem”? In the spirit of Jay-Z, we assembled at least 99 instances. Will the “47 percent problem” be the one that finally decides the campaign? We don’t know, but we do imagine it’ll have more impact than, say, his “baked goods problem.”

But then again, he’s sure overcome a lot to get here. Just how much? Well, read on, and then maybe we can all agree to retire this particular headline construction for a little while: 

  1. “Mitt Romney’s 47 percent Problem” – The New Yorker
  2. “Romney’s Real 47 Percent Problem” – The Grio
  3. “Romney’s 15 Percent Problem” – The Atlantic
  4. “Romney’s Right Problem” – The Washington Post
  5. “Romney’s Rush Problem” – Yahoo News
  6. “Romney’s Ryan Problem” – Huffington Post
  7. “Romney’s Ron Paul Problem” – Political Wire
  8. “Romney’s Rick Perry Problem” – CBS
  9. “Denial About Mitt Romney’s Bush Problem” – Slate
  10. “Mitt Romney’s Trump Problem” – The Daily Beast
  11. “Romney’s Palin Problem” – The Daily Beast
  12. “Romney’s Scott Problem” – The Hill
  13. “Romney’s Santorum Problem” – The Economist
  14. Mitt Romney’s Google Problem” – Mashable
  15. “Mitt Romney’s Health Care Problem” – RedState
  16. “Mitt Romney’s Health Care Non-Problem’ –The American Prospect
  17. “Mitt Romney’s Obamacare Problem” – The American Spectator
  18. “Mitt Romney’s Romneycare Problem ” – Investors Business Daily
  19. “Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts Problem” – Politico
  20. “Mitt Romney’s Ohio Problem” – ABC
  21. “Romney’s New Hampshire Problem” – Washington Examiner
  22. “Mitt Romney’s South Carolina Problem” – Politico
  23. “Mitt Romney’s Michigan Problem” – Newsweek
  24. “Romney’s California Problem” – The New Republic
  25. “Mitt Romney’s Southern Problem” –  National Journal
  26. “Mitt Romney’s Big White Problem” – News One
  27. “Mitt Romney’s African-American Problem” – BET
  28. “Mitt Romney’s Latino Problem” – The Washington Post
  29. “Mitt Romney’s Hispanic Problem” – National Journal
  30. “Mitt Romney’s Immigration Problem” – The Washington Post
  31. “Romney’s Osama bin Laden Problem” – The Hill
  32. “Mitt Romney’s Afghanistan Problem” – The Atlantic
  33. “Romney’s China Problem” – Politico
  34. “Mitt Romney’s Russia Problem” – Forbes
  35. “Romney’s Syria Problem” – National Review
  36. “Mitt Romney’s No-Policy problem” – Politico
  37. “Mitt Romney’s Tax Problem” – CBS Chicago
  38. “Mitt Romney’s Tax Return Problem” – The Washington Post
  39. “Mitt Romney’s ‘Exotic Tax’ problem” – The Washington Post
  40. “Mitt Romney’s Koch Problem” – The Huffington Post
  41. “Romney Has a Tax and Koch Problem” – New York
  42. “Romney’s Reverse Robin Hood Problem” – Talking Points Memo
  43. “Mitt Romney’s entitlement problem” – The Washington Post
  44. “Mitt Romney’s money problem” – The Washington Post
  45. “Mitt Romney’s Harvard problem” – Harvard Political Review
  46. “Romney’s ‘Success’ Problem” – Los Angeles Times
  47. “Romney’s Harry Reid Problem” – The Washington Post
  48. “Mitt Romney’s Bain Problem”  – The Washington Post
  49. “Mitt Romney’s ‘Bane’ Problem and Ours” – Yahoo
  50. “Mitt Romney’s unsolvable Bain Problem” – The Washington Post
  51. “Mitt Romney’s ‘rich guy’ problem” – The Washington Post
  52. “Mitt Romney’s class problem” – New York Post
  53. “Romney’s Jamie Dimon Problem” – Salon
  54. “Romney’s Wealth Problem” – The American Prospect
  55. “Mitt Romney’s People Problem” – The Washington Post
  56. “Mitt Romney has a personal problem” – The Washington Post
  57. “Mitt Romney’s Empathy Problem” – The New Yorker
  58. “Mitt Romney’s Likeability Problem” – Alaska Dispatch
  59. “Romney’s relatability problem …” – Los Angeles Times
  60. “Romney’s Commander-in-Chief Problem” – Political Wire
  61. “Romney’s Gaffe Problem” – The National Interest
  62. “Mitt Romney’s Reading Comprehension Problem” – Mother Jones
  63. “Mitt Romney’s ‘Etch-a-Sketch’ Problem” – Chicago Sun Times
  64. “Mitt Romney’s rock and hard place problem” – The Washington Post
  65. “Romney’s Cadillac Problem” – Fox News
  66. “Romney’s Rafalca Problem” – Mother Jones
  67. “Romney’s Pesky Pooch Problem” – Bloomberg Businessweek
  68. “Mitt Romney’s Seamus problem” – Chicago Reader
  69. “Polling on Romney’s ‘dog problem'” – Public Policy Polling
  70. “Mitt Romney’s dog/God problem” – The Washington Post
  71. “Romney’s Mormon Problem” – Los Angeles Times
  72. “Romney’s Religion Problem” – National Review
  73. “Mitt Romney’s Christian Problem” – Think Progress
  74. “Romney’s Kosher Problem” – The New Yorker
  75. “Mitt Romney’s Evangelical Problem” – The New Yorker
  76. “Mitt Romney’s ‘Entitled Mormon Male Problem’ …” – Huffington Post
  77. “Romney’s Woman Problem” – Time
  78. “Romney’s Fake Woman Problem” – The Economist
  79. “Romney’s Abortion Problem?” The American Prospect
  80. “Romney’s Weasel Problem” – The New York Times
  81. “Mitt Romney’s Big Drug Problem” –
  82. “Romney’s Authenticity Problem” – National Journal
  83. “Mitt Romney’s Character Problem” – The American Prospect
  84. “Mitt Romney’s Culture Problem” – The Atlantic
  85. “Does Mitt Romney Have a Staff Problem?” – The Washington Post
  86. “Mitt Romney’s Entourage Problem” – The Washington Post
  87. “Romney’s Undecided Voter Problem” – The Daily Beast
  88. “Mitt Romney’s Primary Problem” – The Hill
  89. “Romney’s Real Primary Problem” – The New Yorker
  90. “Mitt Romney’s Conservative Problem” – New York Daily News
  91. “Romney’s Biggest Problem …” – The New Yorker
  92. “Romney’s jobs problem” – CNN
  93. “Romney’s Root Problem” – Talking Points Memo
  94. “Mitt Romney’s Insurmountable Problem” – The Huffington Post
  95. “Romney’s Image Problem” – The Wall Street Journal
  96. “Mitt Romney’s Contrast Problem” – The Wall Street Journal
  97. “Mitt Romney’s Fake Twitter Follower Problem” – Slate
  98. “Mitt Romney’s Baked Goods Problem” – Slate
  99. “Romney’s Press Problem” – MSNBC

You probably noticed some publications offending more often than others, and in particular the Washington Post, so we have to shout out to their blogger Chris Cillizza for personally contributing seven of Romney’s problems in his headlines. Quite the feat.

  • agingcynic

    Yep, narratives are easy to follow. (Once one abandons any pretense of objectivity, that is.)

  • http://facebook linda

    This was great just to realize how one person can flop on so many issues and yet still the common man still support its the most disturbing thing of all. This man is only serving the class of people like himself.

  • jo gregg

    I have a lot more than 99 problems with Mr. Obama. I have 16 TRILLION problems with Mr. Obama. Did you see him on Letterman Tuesday night? He was laughing and having a wonderful time. He didn’t seem to care that less than a week before an American Ambassador had been murdered, sodomized, and dragged through the streets of Libya. I’m just an ordinary citizen and the memory of the video of Libyan people cheering Ambassador Stevens’ dead body still upsets me. And then Mr. Letterman asked about the debt, saying “What is it, 10 trillion?” To which Mr. Obama replied that he did not know the exact dollar amount and that he wasn’t concerned with the debt in the short term. Mr. Obama, the amount is over 16 trillion dollars, and I am very concerned about it in the short term and in the long term and in everything in between. We need a new president. A serious man who wants to fix the calamitous fiscal situation we are in.

    • Milwauken

      Sodomized and dragged through the streets? Is that what Glenn Beck is saying?

    • Tiff1916

      And if that new President was available I would vote for him. But all we have is Mitt Romney on the table. I will stick with the one I know.

    • yep its me

      Well than, you must have been positively apoplectic during all those Bush years of the Iraq War when Americans were being murdered every day. You must have needed daily doses of Prozac and Paxil and Cymbalta to deal with Bush’s month long vacations in Texas while our service members were dying.

    • Ashley
    • Ginger

      Sir, you are grossly misinformed regarding the dreadful rape accusations. Please bear witness to your beliefs with as much education and discipline as possible. This is America and we are the most privileged citizens on earth. Let us capitalize on that to maximize our knowledge each day and create intelligent thoughtful debates that will actually enlighten our fellow citizens.

      Respectfully submitted for your consideration, daughter, mother, wife, & citizen,

      Ginger Fernandez

  • Kane

    Welcome to Barack Obama’s world. Here is just a short list of the “problems” the media said that Barack Obama had during the 2008 campaign.

    Obama is too black
    Obama is too white
    Obama is not black enough
    Obama’s lack of Washington experience problem
    Obama’s Hispanic problem
    Obama’s Asian problem
    Obama’s Jewish problem
    Obama’s Catholic problem
    Obama’s Muslim problem
    Obama’s Christian problem
    Obama’s Black voter problem
    Obama’s White voter problem
    Obama’s elderly voter problem
    Obama’s women voter problem
    Obama’s white elderly women voter problem
    Obama’s reliance on young people problem
    Obama’s white collar voter problem
    Obama’s blue collar voter problem
    Obama’s Reverend Wright problem
    Obama’s Muslim perception problem
    Obama’s elitist perception problem
    Obama’s aloofness problem
    Obama’s cockiness problem
    Obama’s big state problem
    Obama’s small state problem
    Obama’s problem with the Right
    Obama’s problem with the Left
    Obama’s Hillary Clinton problem
    Obama’s Bill Clinton problem
    Obama’s Ronald Reagan problem
    Obama’s Jesse Jackson problem
    Obama’s Michelle Obama problem
    Obama’s bowling problem
    Obama’s lapel pin problem
    Obama’s problem with Hillary voters
    Obama’s Pledge of Allegiance problem
    Obama’s Populist message problem
    Obama’s problem with speaking against Iraq invasion
    Obama’s 50 State problem
    Obama’s gun problem
    Obama’s abortion problem
    Obama’s Foreign policy problem
    Obama’s Healthcare problem
    Obama’s surrogate problem
    Obama’s Appalachian problem
    Obama’s Israel problem
    Obama’s Pakistan problem
    Obama’s Iran problem
    Obama’s Cuba problem
    Obama’s popularity problem
    Obama’s problem with living abroad
    Obama’s problem with not traveling abroad
    Obama’s problem with traveling abroad
    Obama’s patriotism problem
    Obama’s endorsement problem
    Obama’s Union problem
    Obama’s Business problem
    Obama’s working class problem
    Obama’s problem with FOX News
    Obama’s Internet whisper problem
    Obama’s small donor problem
    Obama’s big donor problem
    Obama’s Liberal voting record problem
    Obama’s stadium convention problem
    Obama’s problem with leading McCain in the polls
    Obama’s Bubba Gap problem
    Obama’s arugula problem
    Obama’s orange juice problem
    Obama’s fundraising problem
    Obama’s media attention problem
    Obama’s problem with problems

  • Jesse Whitewolf

    Romney is an Narcissisitic Meglomanic. All he cares about is winning for the sake of winning. He will say or do anything to get money and votes. That’s why he is so, stiff, distant and artificial. I’m not sure he even knows what he believes. When your fake you gaff!

  • ZY

    There is a pattern here?