Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mitt Romney's "You Did Not Build That" Moment

Image found at Democratic Underground
Mitt Romney's first national ad was a lie. It was a clip of President Barack Obama quoting something John McCain said, presented as though they were Obama's own words. I think it's still floating out there, uncorrected. Much is made of the difference between spin, distortion, exaggeration and an outright lie. I think a deliberate out-of-context quote is a lie.

And that's what's been happening this week, the Willard Mitt Romney campaign (and the man himself) have been taking an Obama speech out of context, or to be charitable, hinging a whole campaign theme on a misplaced pronoun. It is very clear by the context of Obama's often given (and borrowed from Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren) that he was not saying that small business owneres "did not build that." He was talking about infrastructure and other benefits of living in America. Romney knew this, and so do all but the dimmest of his followers. But he's running with it anyway.

Now, I'm not going to vouch for every single pro-Obama ad. I can't swear that they're all 100% spin-free. But I'm pretty sure they're not laying on the BS with as heavy a coat as Romney. And if you watch the following (very funny) Lewis Black bit from Tuesday's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you'll see the contrast between the two. Especially when you find out that Romney gave an extremely similar speech about "not doing it all yourself," from the 2002 Olympics. Oops.

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