Does Romney even WANT to be President?

Romney launches a bizarre partisan attack in the wake of a national tragedy

Mitt Romney is a deep undercover agent for the Democratic party.   See, he used to be pro-choice, test drove a health care reform in Massachusetts, and overall until about a decade ago had pretty moderate, even liberal positions on most issues.

Here’s what I think happened:  Mitt realized he had no future in a Republican party drifting right.   So he talked with leading Democrats and hatched a plot.   It was brilliant – Romney would change all his policy positions to the far right, use money to crush his Republican opposition, and then siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars from rich GOP donors to fund a campaign designed to fail.

In 2008 the operation got underway, but it was a test run — the Democrats felt they could win it on their own, especially against McCain, and used that election to set Romney up for the 2012 campaign.   Now they’re reaping the benefits of that strategy.   Romney has the Republican nomination, massive amounts of money are flowing his way, and he’s doing his best to bring down the Republican ticket top to bottom.   I’m not sure what Romney will get in return, but don’t be surprised if after the election President Obama gives him a plumb job “in the spirit of bi-partisanship.”

No, I’m not serious, but given how ineffective his campaign has been, today’s bizarre and inept response to the terror attacks in Libya make it a plausible theory!    The 9-11 attack at the US Embassy killed US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff.   The attacks appear to have been planned in advance and were not simply a protest gone out of control.   Libya’s President has apologized, and President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have condemned the attacks.  The President called on Americans to hold the victims “in our thoughts and prayers,” vowing that justice would be done.   He ordered the flags flown at half mast.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton call on the nation to come together in response to the terror attack in Libya.

Governor Romney decided that this was the perfect event to use to launch partisan broadsides at the President.    He called the President’s response “disgraceful” and said “When our grounds are being attacked, and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. And apology for America’s values is never the right course.”

Get that – President Obama responded to attacks on US grounds and the killing of American diplomats by apologizing for American values.   Wow, what a horrible President Obama must be to do that!   Except, of course, he did nothing of the sort.   Not even close.

Apparently the Egyptian Embassy, when protests grew over an anti-Muslim film, put out a statement condemning religious bigotry (and Mitt should recognize the need not to have religious bigotry!)   That statement was released before the attacks in Libya.   It is to that statement that Mitt responded, and since then he’s doubled down his response, blaming President Obama for the terror attacks.

Attacks in Libya underscore the fact that the Mideast remains a dangerous place.

I realize Romney’s weak on foreign policy, but the idea that someone would use an attack on Americans in a dangerous part of the world for partisan purposes on the day of the deaths is shocking.    At a time when he should be showing himself to be Presidential, rising above the partisanship, recognizing the difficulties in that part of the world, and helping the country heal from this latest terrorist wound, he simply goes for the sound bite.   Moreover, in keeping with other recent tactics, it’s not even a true claim – Obama never apologized and no such statement about the attacks was released.

He also tried to weave in an attack on Obama over Israel, saying he’d always find time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.   Apparently Obama chatted with him for an hour by phone while he was in the US rather than planning a meeting.   Why Romney connected this to the Libya attack is incomprehensible.

Now the Romney camp has put out talking points that were leaked to CNN, presumably by a disgusted Republican surrogate.   The document urges Republicans to spin this to be about Obama’s weakness, and when pressed on Romney speaking too rashly before checking the facts, to simply say only “it’s never too early to stand up for American.”

Oh, come on.   This is over the top.

No.  No.  No.

Governor Romney, you say this: “Earlier I criticized the President based on a belief that his first response to the attack in Libya was to apologize that a film had offended their values.   I was mistaken, the President did not do that, and I apologize for my inappropriate criticism.   There will be time to discuss and debate what policies United States should have in the Mideast, but right now it is time to come together, pray for the victims and their families, and show the world that what unites us is far more powerful than our political differences.”

Get it?   You actually act Presidential.   You show that you can stand up for something more than campaign spin, but for the country as a whole.

But he can’t.   The people in his campaign cannot admit a mistake, they see it as a sign of weakness.    They’re so caught up in the campaign that they are taking every event as something to try to use for political advantage.

Or, perhaps, Mitt is indeed an undercover agent, trying to secure a Democratic victory.   That would also explain the refusal to release tax returns as well as his unbelievable omission of any mention of the troops and the US military in his convention acceptance speech.   In fact, Clint Eastwood may be in on this too!   Because if Romney is not part of some grand Democratic scheme to secure Obama’s re-election, he is proving himself to be one of the more incompetent Presidential candidates the US has had in a long time.

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  1. #1 by Norbrook on September 12, 2012 - 19:41

    Every time I think I’ve seen the limit of ineptness (and sheer callous behavior) out of Mitt Romney, he finds a new way to go beyond it. He needs to fire – and should have months ago – whomever is advising him on foreign policy. For an opposing candidate, incidents like this are handled this way: You decry the attack, offer condolences to the families, and then shut up. That’s it. Simple, straightforward, and demonstrating a touch of class.

    That Romney can’t do that, that he not only turned it into a political attack but lied as well to do it, just demonstrates a breathtaking callousness and incompetence.

  2. #2 by modestypress on September 12, 2012 - 20:12

    Never underestimate the gullibility …

  3. #3 by Larry Beck on September 13, 2012 - 04:08

    Here’s the word’s of Romney that he will choke on later before this campaign is over:

    “The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth, but also from the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from his State Department.” SOURCE

    Knowing that neither the President or anyone else in the White House made any statement that could be taken as an apology, Romney wants to hold the president directly responsible for something surrogates on the other side of the world said under tense moments just prior to the protests at the Cairo Embassy. We’ll see how Romney applies this to himself when someone in his campaign inserts their foot once again in their mouth that Romney scrambles to disassociate himself from.

    BTW, here’s an accurate timeline of the events that led up to the Cairo and Benghazi embassy protests and attack. There is also a link with this timeline that shows the amateurish video created by anti-Muslim right-wing extremist that set this whole tragic set of events in motion

  4. #4 by ELO on September 13, 2012 - 18:09

    Meanwhile, Obama declares Egypt is no ally, in a major gaffe. But I’m sure you’ll count Romney’s non-gaffe gaffe as far more significant.
    You are just a campaigner for Obama and all of your “analysis” is cherry-picked, exaggerated, and just made up crap.

    • #5 by Scott Erb on September 13, 2012 - 18:38

      Do you consider the current government of Egypt an ally? I think their relationship with us is yet to be determined. I prefer Obama, but I’m not a campaigner, nor do I “make up crap.” Instead of bitterly just spouting off, why not actually respond to something with a cogent argument and discuss?

  5. #6 by Alan Scott on September 13, 2012 - 23:09

    Larry ,

    Governor Romney was right . We have free speech in America . We do not police that free speech . Everyone is free to say something entirely stupid . The Embassy in Egypt made a preemptive apology for the video, a video which our government had nothing to do with and thus no part of our government should apologize.

    This video was out for months . If there was no video, there would have been something else. This was just an excuse to attack Americans on 9/11 . You cannot show weakness in the middle east . The mixed messages from the Administration show weakness.

    • #7 by Scott Erb on September 13, 2012 - 23:20

      I have not seen any apology from the embassy — I did see a condemnation of religious intolerance, which is indeed contrary to our values. But perhaps I missed it, you can you give me the exact words that were an “apology?” I don’t see any “showing of weakness,” but clearly bravado and bluster often does more harm than good, as we learned 2001 to 2009!

  6. #8 by Alan Scott on September 14, 2012 - 01:26

    Scott ,

    I am no longer amazed by the difference in perception you and I have when reading identical statements . “ The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions, ” I interpret that as an apology.

    But wait, there is more. The Administration then made the following statement. ” The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government . ” I interpret that as a mixed message .

    I say again, mixed messages are a sign of weakness when dealing with terrorists . You have to be consistent . The Administration has got to make a show of military strength. The Libyan terrorists must be killed quickly and the leader of Egypt has got to be read the riot act about protecting the Embassy Cairo from his mobs .

    You and I disagree on this . The Middle East is not like anywhere else . You have learned the wrong lessons from 2001-2009 . I remember the lessons from Jimmy Carter. I am pretty sure Iran has a hand in this to take the pressure off of them from sanctions . This is also a warning to the US and Israel not to bomb their nukes .

    • #9 by Scott Erb on September 14, 2012 - 01:39

      You don’t get to change the definition of apology – you’re going Bill Clinton on me here! Moreover, given that Romney has also condemned the film, it seems that he’s apologized too, by your definition! In any event, its clear that in the aftermath this has hurt Romney. Since almost everyone agrees this is al qaeda, it’s certainly not Iran. Al Qaeda and Iran are enemies. Moreover, there have been massive PRO-American protests in Libya, apologizing for the act. The relationship with Egypt is also being built. The US can’t show weakness but we’d be foolish to just do something with the military to look tough. Reckless foreign policy usually comes back hard. I suspect we already know some of the groups involved and, with the Libyan government’s approval and support, we’ll act against them.

    • #10 by Scott Erb on September 14, 2012 - 02:12

      One other point – putting aside what we should do, as a candidate Romney has to tread difficult ground. If he sounds bellicose, like he wants a war with Iran, it’ll sound a lot like G. W. Bush’s foreign policy — he’s quick to want war! You may think Iraq was worth it, but the public turned sour on that war and Bush’s foreign policy. Romney needs to strike a different tone or he’ll actually play into Obama’s hands.

    • #11 by Norbrook on September 16, 2012 - 00:38

      Alan, quite simply it doesn’t matter to you what this president does. You’ll still reliably repeat everything the right wing media tells you. I remember 18 months ago, you were screaming about his use of military forces in Libya, now you’re screaming he’s “not strong enough.” 🙄

  7. #12 by Scott Erb on September 14, 2012 - 01:40

    Gee, I just read that elite anti-terrorist Marine troops are heading to Libya now. Looks like we are acting quickly! Hopefully not recklessly.

  8. #13 by Alan Scott on September 15, 2012 - 01:36

    Scott ,

    If President Obama actually kills the people involved in the Libya attack I will congratulate him . Just having the elite Marines in Libya is not enough . They are now in danger.

    You have neglected to mention that it is not just Libya and Egypt, it is all over the Middle East that mobs are assaulting our Embassies . These mobs are being stirred up by people who are not afraid of us .That is what has to change . From what I have heard President Obama really has read the riot act to Egypt’s leader . I hope it is true .

    Al Queda and Iran both benefit from the whole Middle East exploding . I believe there are simply too many places where American flags are being burned for it to be all Al Queda .

  9. #14 by Snoring Dog Studio on September 15, 2012 - 14:39

    “Collective engagement” is what Obama’s foreign policy is about – not about the blustering, bullying, nation-building and unilateralism of Bush. Go ahead and parse Obama’s statements all you want but the fact is – diplomacy and foreign policy is a difficult dance, which takes a measured response – not the impetuous, nonsensical and dangerous one Romney delivers.

  10. #15 by Jeff Fordham on September 15, 2012 - 16:00

    Scott……I hope you don’t mind a repost from another source ? I just read this at Salon.com ….it was written by Joan Walsh on Romney and Ryan’s “Lost Weekend” … I found it interesting….

    THE GOP’s LOST WEEKEND

    If Mitt Romney loses the election in November, he lost it over the weekend. The Democrats followed a lackluster Republican National Convention with a festival of unity in Charlotte, in which the frequently bickering party celebrated not just their candidate but their “We’re all in this together” theme. President Obama got the convention bounce Romney did not, but Republicans still hoped a disappointing jobs report might slow his momentum. It didn’t; in fact, GOP incompetence since Charlotte turned Obama’s small bounce into a leap forward, with Gallup today showing the president 6 points ahead of Mitt Romney; a week ago, they were tied.

    I want to take a moment to make sure we fully appreciate Romney-Ryan’s disastrous weekend. I focused on Romney’s own stunning flip-flop-flipping on Obamacare, in which he promised to keep the law’s ban on discrimination against people with preexisting medical conditions and a provision that lets young adults stay on their parents’ insurance plans – and then his campaign said he didn’t really mean it. But Paul Ryan’s performance on ABC’s “This Week” and CBS’s “Face the Nation” may have been more devastating, because it underscored the cost of the Romney campaign’s dishonest insistence on obscuring all facts about how he would govern. Pretending he doesn’t believe what we know he believes, Ryan looked like Sarah Palin during her Katie Couric interview, unable to point to policy specifics a Romney-Ryan administration would pursue.

    Republicans from Rupert Murdoch to Laura Ingraham are squawking about Romney’s empty suit strategy. But so are voters. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 63 percent of those polled say Romney hasn’t given enough information about what he’d do as president (only 31 percent said he’s revealed enough). And 48 percent believe he’s intentionally misleading people, compared with 43 percent who say he’s not.

    When Romney picked Ryan, some people (myself included) thought it might herald a clear ideological battle throughout the fall. The architect of the Ryan budget is a right-wing economic and culture warrior; he can turn from budget slashing to antiabortion extremism on a dime (hopefully, one that still says “In God We Trust.) Now, I’ve never bought the line that Ryan was a Serious Intellectual. That’s the fiction spun by a Beltway media elite determined to ignore that the Republican Party has gone full-tilt crazy and obstructionist. They need Ryan to be a man of conservative principle and bold ideas, even if he’s not.

    Yet while Ryan may not be the Wise Man of his Beltway reputation, I’m quite sure he can handle an interview. But when confronted by CBS’s Norah O’Donnell and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, he seemed shady and incompetent. When Stephanopoulos grilled Ryan on the details of Romney’s tax plans, he insisted now isn’t the time to get into details. He gulped. He blinked. He sighed. He gulped some more. He looked too small for his suit.

    O’Donnell deserves particular credit for grilling Ryan on attacking Obama over defense cuts he voted for. “You’re criticizing the president for those same defense cuts that you actually voted for and called a victory,” she said. Ryan tried to deny it, with a condescending, “No, no, I have to correct you on this, Norah.” He claimed he merely voted for a “mechanism” that was designed to force the president to cut domestic spending, and accused the CBS anchor of getting hung up on “nomenclature.” After O’Donnell pushed back repeatedly, telling him “you voted for it,” Ryan shot back, “Norah, you’re mistaken.” He looked like a liar and a bully at the same time.

    The editorial pages of both the New York Times and the conservative Wall Street Journal are lamenting the fact-free campaign of Romney and Ryan. Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to declare: “Election: Romney must draw clear line: offer specific path to restore American dream versus ugly Obama class war with jobs disappearing.” Now we know voters want more detail, too.

    The latest round of polling looks devastating for Romney and Ryan. In the Washington Post, ABC News poll, when voters were asked who will do a better job on a variety of concerns, from handling the economy to taxes to terrorism to women’s issues, they gave Obama higher marks on every single issue except the deficit, where Romney got the edge. On the economy, on taxes, on national security, on social issues and on who will protect the middle class; those polled gave Obama higher marks. On likability, the gulf between the two men is widening – 61 percent say Obama is likable compared with only 27 percent for Romney. They’d rather have Obama take care of them if they were sick, be the captain of their ship, and they believe he’d be a more loyal friend.

    The latest CNN poll had other intriguing details. Obama picked up more support from men after the convention. (Gallup presidential approval tracking found he gained 7 points with men, 4 points with white voters and 10 points with non-college educated voters, all key GOP constituencies, in the last week). And Charlotte reenergized the base, with more Democrats than Republicans now saying they are enthusiastic about voting (a week ago, Republicans were 6 points ahead in the enthusiasm race.) Fully 51 percent of likely voters told CNN Obama’s vision for the future is more optimistic than Romney’s; last week, that figure was only 43 percent.

    I’ve never been a fan of choosing a president based on who you’d like to have a beer with, as the media did in 2000 with George W. Bush. And Ronald Reagan’s famous optimism seduced voters into backing an economic agenda that eroded the foundations of the middle class. But Obama’s trustworthiness and likability is proving to be a powerful advantage in a time when many voters are still worried about the economy and haven’t yet seen recovery. They don’t trust Romney and Ryan, and their fact-free, post-truth campaign is increasing their doubts, not reassuring them.

    • #16 by Scott Erb on September 16, 2012 - 15:50

      Interesting. I have had the sense that Obama was a clear favorite even before the conventions, based on how they were defining Romney and how over the years Romney’s never been a good candidate. Yet I think the last two weeks have really caught Republicans off guard and they’re starting to face the fact Romney is likely the lose and could do down ticket damage. A poll now shows Elizabeth Warren has opened up a lead on Scott Brown, for instance.

  11. #17 by Snoring Dog Studio on September 16, 2012 - 15:06

    Geez – how sad, how utterly sad and pathetic: “These mobs are being stirred up by people who are not afraid of us.” Yes, that’s our mission as the most powerful nation in the world – make people fear us. As long as we continue to believe that’s what our foreign policy should be all about, we will have insurgents and mobs use our troops as targets to get back at us. There has got to be a better way.

  12. #18 by The Scarecrow on September 18, 2012 - 17:50

    America has no concept of left and right. The GOP are going LEFT. Right wing would be fascism, which would be Romney and Obama personified. Libertarianism is more in the middle. There is no left wing party in America. Does anyone really want universal health care? I’m Canadian and I smell BS all the way from here in Vancouver. Or maybe that’s the Aroma of Tacoma.

  13. #19 by The Smile Scavenger on September 18, 2012 - 18:19

    “[…]the idea that someone would use an attack on Americans in a dangerous part of the world for partisan purposes on the day of the deaths is shocking. At a time when he should be showing himself to be Presidential, rising above the partisanship, recognizing the difficulties in that part of the world, and helping the country heal from this latest terrorist wound, he simply goes for the sound bite.” –absolutely agree. Don’t care which way you lean, that was inappropriate and disrespectful.

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