At least Republican and Romney Surrogates Don’t Say Stop Attacking Obama
Despite the fact that Willard Mitt Romney has never been the darling of the Republican Party, despite the fact that many top Republicans have signaled their support for his candidacy only reluctantly, despite the fact that evangelical Republicans view their 2012 Republican standard bearer as being antithetical to their own beliefs, you will never see surrogates of the former Massachusetts governor or Republicans get on television and be critical of his criticism of Barack Obama.
I have never understood the propensity of Democrats, while ostensibly attempting to win support for other Democrats, to engage in publically attacking and beating down their candidate and then expect to attract support for their team.
Recently, a number of Democrats have appeared on television to undermine the effectiveness of the President’s campaign to examine Romney’s claim that he is better suited to fix the economy, based on his tenure as head of the Massachusetts private equity firm Bain Capital.
The President sought to shed light on some of the practices of Bain Capital in attempting to prove that Romney’s role was not simply to create jobs, but instead to create a profit for himself and his partners. The late Senator Edward Kennedy had also pursued the same course of action, during his 1994 Senatorial campaign against Romney.
Republicans, fearful that the spotlight on Bain could damage Romney and perhaps cause him to lose the presidential race, as it had contributed to his defeat against Kennedy, immediately called foul on the Obama campaign and painted Obama as being against capitalism by his attack upon the business of private equity. This was to be expected, because Republicans were of course, protecting their candidate. What was not entirely expected, however, was the spectacle of prominent Democrats racing to join in the criticism of the President.
Democrats from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who referred to the President’s focusing on Romney’s relationship with Bain as “nauseating”, to former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell who praised Booker and stated on behalf of the New Jersey Mayor that people in politics should “tell the truth” and characterized the President’s campaign as “disappointing”.
Although his was not an effusive slam against the President, it was nevertheless galling to hear Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick say on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
I think the Bain strategy has been distorted in some of the public discussion about it, I mean Bain is a perfectly fine company; they’ve got a role in the private economy. And I’ve got a lot of friends there and on both sides of the aisle.There are other Democrats who have also attacked the President for his examining of Romney’s record at Bain, one cannot help but wonder if they felt the same way about Senator Kennedy’s campaign, but for a nice big icing on the cake, one has to look to former President Bill Clinton’s appearance this past week on CNN’s "Pierce Morgan Tonight", as he gave an interview to guest host, and Hollywood Movie Mogul, Harvey Weinstein. Clinton’s comments were so inuring to the benefit of Romney that one had to wonder if he was sincerely supporting the Democratic president.
On an episode of MSNBC’s Hardball this past Friday, host Chris Matthews interviewed Rendell and lampooned the former Pennsylvania governor and Bill Clinton’s critique of the President and apparent assistance to Romney.
Matthews (to Rendell):
Matthews: Now you were in the news today…no you didn’t Bill Clinton made the news, but he was marching to your tune saying don’t go after Bain Capital, don’t go after the Massachusetts experience of Romney, play up--in other words--defend your own record, build on your own record, don’t go negative. Are you sticking with that? As the former President—well let’s hear it—Let’s hear Bill Clinton who can speak for himself, he took an axe to that whole thing when he was out there with Harvey Weinstein the other night, let’s watch him:
Clinton (on Romney/Bain criticism on CNN): I don’t think that we ought to get into that position where we say this is bad work, this is good work. There is no question that, in terms of getting up and going to the office and, you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who has been governor and had a sterling business career, crosses the qualification threshold.Did I just hear right? Did former President Clinton just say that based upon Romney’s “good work” at Bain, he has met the qualifications for being president? Did he just totally undermine the Obama campaign? As Chris Matthews said, “took an axe” to it?
Rendell insisted that what was just said was “good politics” because since Clinton did not criticize Romney on Bain and instead praised the former Massachusetts governor, he (Clinton) would be in a much better position to attack Romney better. Has anyone sent this memo to Republican surrogates, and advise them to praise Barack Obama?
Matthews then moved on to the subject of Donald Trump. Surely, after Trump’s continued hateful xenophobic campaign against an American born president, Clinton would never be able to utter a single word of praise for the media pollutant, but I guess it is wise not to assume.
Clinton (on Trump in CNN interview):
Donald Trump has been uncommonly nice to Hillary and me, we’re all New Yorkers, and I like him and I love playing gulf with him, but, the evidence is pretty clear, that President Obama was born in Hawaii. This whole election should not be about these side issues.
Matthews: Well, there he is giving the President the benefit of the doubt, governor. He is saying ‘The evidence is pretty clear.’ (Matthews unable to control his laughter) would you say this was a strong endorsement of his fellow citizen at the fact that he was native born? The evidence is pretty clear that Donald Trump might be wrong (Matthews continues to laugh). I’m just teasing but it is a strange way of phrasing for a very articulate fellow like Bill Clinton.What is really going on here? I have often struggled to fully understand Democrats, and I guess I always will.