(Alex Wong/Getty Images)The Wall Street Journal opinion page offered up a blistering rebuke of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Thursday, suggesting it is "slowly squandering a historic opportunity" to defeat President Barack Obama this fall.
"Mr. Obama is being hurt by an economic recovery that is weakening for the third time in three years," the Journal's editorial board wrote in a scathing op-ed. "But Mr. Romney hasn't been able to take advantage, and if anything he is losing ground."
Giving voice to hand-wringing conservatives critical of the Romney campaign, the Journal questioned the Republican nominee's overall game plan, trashing an "insular staff and strategy" that is too short on specifics.
"The Romney campaign thinks it can play it safe and coast to the White House by saying the economy stinks and it's Mr. Obama's fault," the paper wrote. "Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is assailing Mr. Romney as an out-of-touch rich man, and the rich man obliged by vacationing this week at his lake-side home with a jet-ski cameo."
The paper accused the Romney campaign of being "too slow to respond" to the Obama campaign's attacks on Bain Capital.
"Team Obama is now opening up a new assault on Mr. Romney as a job outsourcer with foreign bank accounts, and if the Boston boys let that one go unanswered, they ought to be fired for malpractice," the paper wrote.
The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but the editorial comes just days after Rupert Murdoch, the paper's owner, posted a message on Twitter calling for Romney to fire his campaign team. He later wrote that the Romney team was "upset" with him for the message, but insisted they should listen to "good advice."
In an interview on MSNBC on Monday, Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney senior adviser, politely rejected Murdoch's suggestion, insisting the candidate is "happy" with his team as is.
It's the second time the Journal's editorial page has taken aim at Romney. Last year, the paper called him a "compromised and not credible candidate" because of the health care mandate he helped pass as governor of Massachusetts. At the time, the paper described Romney as "Obama's running mate."