PEEK

Romney Makes Jokes at 21-Year-Old Tasering Victim's Expense

Rachel Sklar: Apparently an innocent person being attacked is a laughing matter to Mitt, but Barry Manilow snubbing "The View" is not.
This post, written by Rachel Sklar, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

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How else to explain the goofy smile and jovial manner he displayed while discussing the tasering of a University of Florida student by police? By now you've no doubt heard of the tasering during yesterday Q&A with Senator John Kerry (at least on Fox, it's running neck and neck with Bill Hemmer reporting from outside OJ Simpson's Las Vegas jail), but here's the gist:

Student Andrew Meyer, 21, apparently not a Republican, got excited while asking Kerry why he conceded the 2004 election and other questions relating to frustration about the Bush administration. As he launched into one more question, two officers grabbed him to pull him backward. Meyer resisted, more officers got involved, Kerry protested and offered to answer the question, more officers forced him to the ground, Meyer continued to protest that he had done nothing wrong, Meyer was tased. So! This is all over the place today, because it was (a) a student (b) at a school event who was (c) tased. At a (d) Kerry event. Even the most law-and-order type of person has to concede that the circumstances are...unusual; for most people who saw the video and saw that Meyer, though tall, was pretty outnumbered by the cops and was being sat on by them, probably hadn't quite merited that level of tasing action. Either way, you'd probably manifest some appropriate reaction. Right?

Not if you're Mitt Romney! Romney kept that same goofy smile on his face the whole time, joking about how usually it's the politician that gets tased (er, right, just after he's forced to ride tied to the roof of a car) and not expressing much of an opinion either way about whether this indicated a worrisome and excessive use of force (tasers: meant to subdue dangerous criminals in extreme situations; this was a student who really really wanted John Kerry to answer a question). But! He sure did have an opinion on the next topic: Barry Manilow being canceled from his appearance on The View for refusing to appear with conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

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Look at the difference in his face -- the second is clearly a serious issue. This is a paraphrase because our DVR popped off pause, but essentially when Steve Doocy asked if Manilow should have been allowed to give Hasselbeck the Heismann, Romney was outraged, and said, in effect "No way! Barry Manilow should have to answer the tough questions!" Sort of funny the circumstances under which Mitt Romney gets outraged about who should be made to answer what questions when. Wait, what was that about him skipping the black voter debate?
Rachel Sklar is the Media & Special Projects Editor for the Huffington Post and is the editor of the site's Eat The Press page.