Until this week the most significant actions from families of the candidates were the YouTube videos by the Huntsman daughters, but they will have no effect unless Jon Huntsman joins the other underdogs in the GOP race who have had a surge. This week Tagg Romney made a mistake responding to questions about when his father will release his tax returns by joking that he, “heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades and his birth certificate.” The Obama campaign used this to their advantage:
In an email to supporters today about the joke, Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina wrote, “This is how the Romney campaign thinks it’s going to win the Republican primary: by pandering to the dead-ender fringe of extremists who still question where the president was born.”
While asking for a donation, Messina said, “we can drive up the cost of this kind of politics… when they do this, you’ve got to do something about it.”
The email was sent under the subject line, “Donald Trump or Mitt Romney?” in reference to Trump’s persistent questions about Mr. Obama’s origins, which ultimately prompted the president to release his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii.
Maybe it inspired a few more supporters to contribute but otherwise this is unlikely to have much effect. Nobody in the Romney family is likely to make a mistake such as this in the future and this will be long-forgotten in the general election campaign. The bigger question is whether Mitt Romney’s tax returns will hurt him in a general election campaign.