The Huffington Post story headline reads, “Romney: White House Agrees With Me On My Critique of the President.” Kinda caught my eye, and so I read on (and for those of you not familiar with the statements Romney made about President Obama regarding the Libya riots, you can see the timeline here.)
Yes, while it’s true there are myriad other examples of Romney’s lies, flip-flops, and etch-a-sketch moments, this has to be one of the most jaw-dropping examples of Romney’s dangerous narration of the truth as he’d like it to be. On ABC with George Stephanopoulos, Romney said, “What I said was exactly the same conclusion the White House reached, which was that the statement was inappropriate. That’s why they backed away from it as well . . . .”
I’m not sure what the journalism-appropriate version of OMFG is, but . . . OMFG.
Romney accused the President of sympathizing with the Libyan rioters. Does the White House agree with that? Romney accused the President of apologizing to the rioters after the embassy was attacked (when, first, it wasn’t even the President’s tweet, and second, it was hours before the Embassy was attacked). Does the White House agree with that? Romney accused President Obama of apologizing for American values in the Tweet. Does the White House agree with that? Romney accused the Obama Administration of being vicariously responsible for a Tweet that was sent by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, not the White House, and which had not bee approved by the White House. Does the White House agree with that? As President Obama noted in a 60 Minutes interview, the Tweet “came from folks on the ground, who are potentially in danger. And, you know, my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.” In his eagerness to paint President Obama as some sort of apologist and a weakling on foreign policy – and, more astonishingly, to somehow make the White House complicit in Romney’s attacks on the President – Romney ended up looking like a bumbling buffoon – a buffoon who, in the end, as the Daily Beast pointed out, “. . . never acknowledged the bigotry of the film, which is hardly surprising given how liberally his own party has been indulging in anti-Muslim bigotry of its own.”
Bob Cesca wrote an absolutely dead-on-balls accurate assessment of the Romney blunder, noting:
“There wasn’t a single moment when Romney behaved like a competent national leader. Instead of waiting until all of the facts had been revealed — hell, instead of correctly acknowledging the facts and timelines that were absolutely known at the time — Romney popped off and turned a tragic event into the yet another example of his predilection for inaccurate, awkward, pathetic, neophyte partisan hackery . . . He reminded the nation of exactly why he’s 10 points behind the president on national security and foreign policy — typically a no-brainer win for militant Republicans. On one hand there’s President Obama who’s repeatedly displayed whip smarts and cool tenacity in every overseas endeavor in which he’s engaged, and on the other hand there’s a Republican candidate who not only lied about the timeline of events to score political points but also opened his yap before he knew the shot . . . Regardless of the specifics, it’s clear that the president approaches foreign policy decisions with deadly seriousness and doesn’t kneejerk into tight spots. Furthermore, the president told [Michael] Lewis [author of a Vanity Fair profile of the President] that he absolutely dislikes the notion of ‘feigned outrage.’ The president, Lewis reported, values disciplined authenticity over bluster — another trait that’s helpful when dealing with sensitive overseas events.”
Neo-cons and the hard right conservative base Romney is courting know (as evidenced by frequent head-in-palms moments) that Romney is a weak link, they know he’s not a stand-up guy, and they know he’s a pathetic, prancing, mincing “dressage” candidate. In Romney’s desperation to demonstrate his ability to play with the big boys, to don his Pull-Ups and scream, “I’m a big kid now,” he’s been castigated by both Republicans and Democrats, and his fact-challenged statements only appealed to kindred spirits in the fact-challenged, integrity-challenged arena who think bluff and bluster and talking as tough as an empty suit can talk is the same as being presidential.
Oh, and did I mention that Romney’s losing in the polls – by 7 points?
Well played, Romney. Can’t wait to see more of your “enraged butterfly” act.