For the second day in a row, Bob Schieffer spotlighted Newsweek's "The Wimp Factor" cover story on Mitt Romney, this time on Monday's CBS This Morning. Schieffer played up the potential negative impact that the liberal magazine's attack could have on the GOP presidential candidate, and concluded that "this did not help Mitt Romney, and my feeling is it probably hurt him."
The Face The Nation host also claimed that "if you gave Governor Romney some truth serum and people in his campaign...I think they would probably say they are concerned about this. I mean, this article was savage. It was brutal. How could you not have some reaction to it?"
Before turning to Schieffer, anchor Charlie Rose played a clip of correspondent Jan Crawford getting Romney's dismissive reaction to the Newsweek's "wimp" cover. He then asked, "Does a magazine cover make a difference here?"
The longtime CBS host touted results from his network's latest poll with the New York Times as his main proof that the hit piece would have an impact:
SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean -- I think, you know, if you gave Governor Romney some truth serum and people in his campaign -- I mean, nobody has told me this -- I think they would probably say they are concerned about this. I mean, this article was savage. It was brutal. How could you not have some reaction to it?
I think it could. I think it could hurt him, you know, and here's the reason why, Charlie: in the latest CBS News poll, we had -- we found, I think it was, what is it? Thirty-one percent of voters said they didn't yet have a feeling about Mitt Romney. You know, in other words, they don't know whether they like him or they don't like him. And more than half the voters believe that he has -- that he sometimes says just what he thinks people want to hear from him. So, when you have that kind of opinion - when that many people, you know, don't really know the candidate, when you put something like this article into the -- into the narration of the campaign, it sort of gives people ideas. It plants suggestions. So, for sure, this did not help Mitt Romney, and my feeling is it probably hurt him.
Besides playing the soundbite of Romney's interview with Crawford, Schieffer asked DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz about the "wimp" cover on Face The Nation:
SCHIEFFER I'm going to ask you about this new edition of Newsweek. They have on the cover Mitt Romney and it says "The Wimp Factor." Now this is reminiscent of a sort of an infamous Newsweek cover back when the first George Bush was running for, running and it said -- they put out a cover that said "Fighting the 'Wimp Factor.'" Is Mitt Romney a wimp?
One wonders why Schieffer and Crawford would devote so much attention to a publication whose circulation has dropped off precipitously over the past several years.