Skip to main content

Mitt Romney is just like Andrew Breitbart.

By deceptively and misleadingly editing Barack Obama's words to make it appear that he said something he did not, Romney has done to President Obama what Breitbart did to Shirley Sherrod.

In July 2010, Shirley Sherrod was an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture when Andrew Breitbart posted a video in which she appeared to describe how she discriminated against a white farmer in Georgia. When viewed in full, the video made clear that Sherrod had actually helped the white farmer, and was a story of racial reconciliation rather than black-on-white racial discrimination. The truth was very different from the deceptively edited video Breitbart used.

Breitbart lied.

In July 2012, Mitt Romney's campaign put out a video of Barack Obama in which he appeared to be saying:

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be ‘cause I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
In reality, President Obama said something quite different:
Let me tell you something. There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.
Romney's video made it appear that Obama was saying that people didn't deserve credit for building their own businesses. If you look at the bold sections in each of the above quotes, you'll see that Romney cut the sentences out that make clear what Obama was actually saying, namely that business owners hadn't built the "roads and bridges" and, more broadly, "this unbelievable American system" that "allowed you to thrive." The truth was very different from the deceptively edited video Romney used.

Romney lied.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post has an excellent analysis of the Romney ad. You can also see this post at DailyKos by hungrycoyote, which includes discussion of another Romney ad from last November that similarly lied in the way it edited Obama's words.

Obama has himself hit back at the ad:

Governor Romney was at it again, knowingly twisting my words around to suggest I don’t value small business,” he said. “In politics, we all tolerate a certain amount of spin. I understand those are the games that get played in political campaigns. Although when folks just omit entire sentences of what you said, they start slicing and dicing, you may have gone a little over the edge there.”
It's important for people in the media to call a spade a spade. When the story about Breitbart and Shirley Sherrod broke, Eugene Robinson described what Breitbart did exactly right on MSNBC (the remark comes at 4:40 into the video):
That’s lying…and we ought to call it for what it is.
The same goes for what Romney did. What Romney did was lying, and we ought to call it for what it is. I certainly don't claim to be the first person, even on this site, to be saying that.

But I want to emphasize something else here about Romney's lies. The way to bring this home is to say that what Mitt Romney did to Barack Obama is exactly what Andrew Breitbart did to Shirley Sherrod.

We must say that Mitt Romney is just like Andrew Breitbart.

Originally posted to Ian Reifowitz on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 06:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Jews For President Obama and The Federation.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site