"[O]ur campaign would be-- helped immensely if we had an agreement between both campaigns that we were only going to talk about issues and that attacks based upon-- business or family or taxes or things of that nature . . . ."In other words, the Romney campaign gets to continue to attack President Obama's record, because after all, that is his record. But the Obama campaign doesn't get to say anything about Romney's business deals or his taxes or things of that nature, because that's . . . personal. Do I need to mention that Romney has advertised his business background as being his chief qualification for the office of president? If we can't talk about Romney's business and financial dealings, what can we talk about? There are some parts of Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts that he seems kind of touchy about also. Maybe that stuff is personal too. Maybe all we're allowed to talk about is what a great job Romney did managing the Salt Lake City Olympics. Way to go, Mitt!
Romney also said in this interview that "we haven't dredged up the old stuff that people talked about last time around. We haven't gone after the personal things." That sounds like a veiled threat to do exactly that if the Obama campaign keeps making "personal" attacks--like asking Romney what he's trying to hide in his tax returns, or looking into the sources of capital funding for Bain. If the Obama campaign keeps talking about Mitt Romney's record, the Romney campaign might have to bring up some "personal" stuff about Obama, which they have supposedly refrained from doing so far.
I have to wonder: is this guy too thin-skinned to be president? He seems surprised that every aspect of his financial and business dealings would come under scrutiny during this campaign. He seems resentful that he is being asked questions about his past. He seems annoyed that he has to answer those questions.
But I have to admit that Romney's also kind of clever. By labeling those kinds of inquiries "personal" attacks, he can dismiss or de-legitimize them. And then he can go back to making false claim after false claim after false claim about President Obama's record, while whining that it is the Obama campaign that is not playing fair.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst photo)
Update: Video HERE