What does seem to hurt him is how deeply engrained his rich-man out-of-touchness runs, so that he makes unthinking gaffes that point up his living in a different world. Most people would have said, "I'll bet you $5 dollars -- or maybe even $100." But in a debate with Rick Perry over which one was quoting Mitt's book accurately, he said "I'll bet you $10,000." That's one of many.
And his attempts to joke or be folksy just keep backfiring. It was bad enough that he began his speech last week in the South with "Howdy, y'all." But then he compounded error by saying he had had some "cheesy grits" that morning. No, Mittens. Not cheesy. Cheese grits.
This surfaced again this week with a political factoid. It seems that Mitt Romney was on an early list as possible VP running mate with John McCain in 2008.
But McCain had just made headlines -- and headaches for his campaign -- when he blithely declared that he didn't know how many homes he and Cindy owned. Turned out it was six.
So when they began vetting Mitt as VP and found out that he owns eight homes, that was just too much. As top McCain aide and speechwriter Mark Salter said,
That was the end of consideration of Mitt Romney as VP candidate."We couldn't go to the country with a Republican ticket that owned 14 houses between the two of them."