Is Mitt Romney Playing Prevent Defense?

In a video captured at the Iowa State Fair, Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney appears to be ducking or at least refusing to reply to questions asked by CBS reporter Norah O’donnell.

In the clip, O’donnell says, “You’re running for President, why can’t you take any questions?” to which Romney says, “I just don’t take questions unless we’re doing a press event.”

Romney then continued to walk away and shake hands while saying, “I just take questions at press events so I get a chance to express in full my views. What I don’t want to do is just on the sidewalk answer questions, because sometimes when I do that I find that I don’t get a chance to stress these things in full.”

The incident gives further evidence that Romney is running his campaign as a front-runner, and may be running to “not lose.” So in essence it is as if he is far ahead in the second half of a football game and he is playing prevent defense.

It is common for a politician to have verbal gaffe when speaking off the cuff, like when candidate Barack Obama talked about “spreading the wealth around” to Joe the Plumber and when former Governor Sarah Palin was ambushed with a question about Paul Revere. However, it is important to be able to communicate to people and reporters in that manner to appear genuine.

Romney’s response adds to the sentiment that he is a politician who will only answer questions after all of his answers have been poll tested beforehand.

In football, it is often said that prevent defenses only prevent teams from winning. Romney risks proving that adage true in politics if he continues to duck and dodge reporters.