comments_image Comments

7 Mitt Romney Statements As Idiotic as His Libya Response

Why are we even surprised?
 
 
Share
 

No one should be surprised by Mitt Romney’s leaden and unnuanced comments attacking the Obama Administration for allegedly coddling the attackers of the American embassy in Egypt on September 11, when a similar attack in Libya killed four foreign service officers, including the American ambassador.

Every presidential campaign season has high-profile moments that reveal the unscripted and unfiltered values, and temperaments, of the candidates—such as Romney’s off-kilter and neo-con infused comments on the attacks. While analysts will compare Romney’s lack of nuance and foreign policy instincts to Obama’s carefully composed comments, no one should be surprised by Romney.

In a presidential campaign stretching for months, if not years, it is easy to forget Romney's earlier unfiltered pronouncements or just to dismiss them as gaffes. But the overall pattern is unmistakable: Romney lives in a world where his values are not the same as ordinary people and where he hides behind conservative principles regardless of their impact or harm.

What follows is a quick collection of videos clips, some assembled by other websites, which underscore that Romney’s intemperate and bellicose comments in response to the Libya crisis are hardly unique, but are consistent with views that are not appropriate for the world’s most powerful political leader.

1. Romney’s Olympian Flub.

Remember Romney’s foreign trip this summer, where he was to introduce himself to the world stage as a leader of international stature? Forget the fights between the press and his staff on the trip. Here, in another off-key foreign policy moment, he insults our foremost foreign ally, Great Britain, for poorly executing its Olympic preparations.

  

2. Romney Insults Gay Veteran On Marriage

Last winter, before the New Hampshire primary, Romney was followed by cameras into a diner where he assumed that an elderly man wearing a Vietnam Veterans hat and red wool jacket was a fellow conservative—not a gay veteran who asked whether Romney was opposed to gay marriage (he is) and then lambasted the presidential candidate. "He's not getting my vote. He just told me I'm not entitled to constitutional rights," said Bob Garon. "I think and man and a woman, and a man and a man should be treated equal. What the hell's the difference?"

3. Romney Tells Medical Pot Patient He’d Arrest Him

Romney told the Republican Convention how compassionate he was—and would be as president. But that compassion does not extend to permanently disabled people who find medical marijana’s theraputic value as a sedative helps them with their chronic illness. Here Romney is asked by a young man in a wheelchair if a Romney administration would arrest someone like him, after explaining that pharmaceutical marijuana isn’t helpful—but the plant itself it. Romney said medical use would still be a crime.

4. Romney Likes To Fire People

This clip raised eyebrows when it was first aired in the primary season, but it has new resonance now as Romney is seeking to make the economy and job creation the number one issue in the election. Taken together with the preceeding clips, it shows a man who obviously is more in touch with accounting spreadsheets than with living, breathing employees.

5. He Knows What It’s Like To Be Unemployed

There’s more to this clip than the theatre of the absurd—argably the richest man ever to run for president telling Florida voters that he knows what it’s like to be unemployed, because as a candidate he is unemployed. What’s happening here—and this is also visible in other Romney pronouncements where he obviously is following a script from his campaign’s advisors—is he is not just patronizing people, but you really don’t know what’s going on inside his mind, if it’s not just saying anything to win votes.  

6. ThinkProgress’s “Top Ten” Out of Touch Moments

This video compilation quickly presents many of the most-heard sound bites: saying he knows what it is to get fired, that corporations are people, that making more that $300,000 a year as a speaker “is not very much,” that he drives a pickup while his wife has the Cadillacs, that he is not very concerned about the poor because there are government safety nets.  

7. Romney Likes Neo-Con Ideas More Than People

The ThinkProgress video is one of many that show the most pointed barbs, but it’s worth looking at the entire exchange behind some of these comments—such as the questions that lead to Romney’s infamous “corporations are people, my friend” quote, as they reveal far more about his thinking and values.

Here is the full exchange that prompted the "corporations are people" quote. It starts off as a question about cutting back on future Social Security and Medicare benefits, where Romney says those entitlements must be parred back because he will not raise taxes to pay for what’s needed to sustain the system’s current barely adequate retirement programs. Romney’s comments are right from the pages of liberatian think tanks—just like his comments attacking Obama after the death of Ameican diplomats in Libya. These radical rightwingers elevate their ideology over the impact of their ideas on people—whether it is in domestic or foreign policy. 

8. Romney Versus Obama on Libya—You Decide

Now contrast the comments by both Romney and Obama in response to the murders of the U.S. diplomats in Libya. Romney is reciting more neo-con talking points, akin to the arguments made by George W. Bush before he launched his war of choice in Iraq. In contrast, Obama says the U.S. honors the service of the deceased, will not give up on Libya’s new democracy, notes how some Libyans tried to defend the Americans and declares that the U.S. will bring those responsible to justice.

Rommey’s remarks are even more outrageous because he’s attacking the president in inflamatory ways on the aniversary of the 9/11 attacks, where, in contrast, Obama is trying to maintain a firm hand but lower the temperature in the diplomatic arena. However, anyone who has seen the preceeding videos will not be surpised by Romney, as the Republican nominee’s political instincts and beliefs are not just out of touch and vague—but actually are dangerous when faced with unscripted tests and crises. 

 

 

 

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America's retirement crisis, the low-wage economy, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of "Count My Vote: A Citizen's Guide to Voting" (AlterNet Books, 2008).

 
See more stories tagged with: