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What Goes Around…

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has complained, rightly, about being quoted out of context, of having what he said twisted around so it comes out wholly different from what his words actually meant.  Romney has forgotten that just a few weeks ago he quite carefully took Obama’s words out of context and twisted them around in order to misquote the President.

In this most recent incident, Romney’s Republican opponents jumped on him for having said, “I like being able to fire people.” What he said was in answer to a question on health care, and he replied that he liked the option of choosing among competing health insurance companies. “I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them,” Romney said. “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.

Of course, when Romeny distorted Obama’s words it was for the high-minded purpose of making a political point — at least that was the excuse offered by his campaign office. Romney’s ad uses an audio of Obama campaigning in New Hampshire  in 2008, Obama’s  voice saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” In actual fact, in that 2008 speech it’s clear that Obama is quoting an aide to his opponent, Senator McCain. But in the 2011 ad, Romney makes the listener believe that it’s Obama who doesn’t want to discuss the economy.  [Critical Pages has a post on that event.]

In a curiously base and twisted way, Romney struck back at his Republican opponents’ out-of-context attack by blaming President Obama.  Complaining to reporters that his words had been taken out of context, Romney said, “Things can always be taken out of context, and I understand that’s what the Obama people will do.”


More Notes

Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.