'Secret' Romney Tapes Expose Obama's Pre-Debate Weaknesses

BlogHer Original Post

That the so-called "secret" video of Gov. Mitt Romney from May, published by Mother Jones this week, had been on YouTube for months should have had the media suspecting a plant -- but they seem nose-deaf to what the supporters of the Obama campaign are shoveling.

In the video, Romney says in part that he will not win the 47 percent of voters Obama has locked up, claiming those are people "who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

There are two truths in Romney's remarks: Obama has locked up 47 percent that few argue would be swayed by Romney, and the entitlement state has ballooned, with more than 100 million people on some form of government support.

But as New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks explained well in Thurston Howell Romney: "The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees."

Mitt Romney
Sept. 20, 2012: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives at Palm Beach, Florida, for fundraising events. Image: © Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post/ZUMAPRESS.com

The video was brought to Mother Jones by none other than former President Jimmy Carter's grandson, an opposition researcher, and it worked to Obama's advantage by preceding an appearance on the David Letterman's Late Show.

How this story has played out in the last few days highlights the stark contrast of media coverage between the two candidates, raising deeply concerning issues of class in America, as well as what's at the heart of the leadership style of these two very different men.

But if you listened just to the media coverage, you'd think minds were made up and Americans have already re-elected Obama.

Yet Gallup daily tracking shows the president up by just one point -- coincidentally, with 47 percent.

What's more, USA Today/Gallup shows that Obama does not have a lock on swing states; even more confounding is that his glorified post-convention bounce fizzled.

As if there needs to be further proof of the media's unembarrassed partiality to Obama, let's consider weeks of hard and fast criticism from the media directed at Romney -- over moves that would have gotten a pass were they made by Obama.

Endlessly, the media criticized Romney's response to the embassy killings, but polling shows that job approval of Obama's foreign policy took a massive hit. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found the president's foreign policy approval at 49 percent, down from 54 percent a month ago. NBC reported that the cross tabs were more damning among independents, dropping from 53 percent to 41 percent.

Just as initial word of the mob attacks on American diplomatic outposts began to hit the airwaves, the condemnation of Romney's justified criticism of the president was called ""crass and tone deaf" by MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

That was the story for days: Romney's inappropriate response.

Never mind the four American deaths, embassies burning, mobs running amok -- on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. It's that laser focus on Romney to exclusion of all else that indicates what's at stake: the media's choice for president.

It was opportunistic, they screamed, for Romney to criticize the president in the midst of a foreign crisis, even though the State Department didn't know where Ambassador Chris Stevens was at the time.

Let the president be the president, the media commanded.

And while scrutiny dogged Romney day and night, the media showed footage of the president scooting off mid-crisis to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. Where was the outrage?

Then, a British journalist reported that there were warnings of the embassy attack after what's now being considered a long, ongoing security breach.

The Independent in Great Britain continued to cover what the American media had not. On September 14, it reported that "senior officials are increasingly convinced" that the attacks had nothing to do with an online video called "Innocence of Muslims."

It took a full 10 days before the White House called it a terrorist attack yesterday.

It's downright galling for the media to charge Romney with being "tone deaf," while turning a blind eye to Obama's foreign policy weaknesses and playing along with the proud display of opportunism at the DNC, where for three days, the Democrats shamelessly exploited the military raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.


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