For a guy who is obviously smart enough to have succeeded wildly in business, his campaign is surprisingly making some arguments that would get you booted from the JV debate team in a hurry.
After first implying at a press conference that he was taken out of context by saying he “wished” the full video would be posted but that he absolutely stood behind his comments about the 47%, Mother Jones went ahead and posted the full 49-minute video, along with audio ripped to Soundcloud and a full transcript.
Then yesterday, a full day after the entire video was released, the Romney campaign decided it was time to claim they’d been hit with with a “false attack” by a “selectively edited” video.
New York Mag points out that the Romney campaign sent out an email yesterday titled “The Obama Campaign Leveled False Attacks Against Mitt Romney Based On A Debunked And Selectively Edited Video.” The Romney campaign cites a report by Politico to make the case the video has been “debunked.” In response to the email, Dylan Byers, who wrote the Politico report, said, “there is nothing in my report that ‘debunks’ the video.”
The time to cry foul over context would have been immediately after the first video came out. Of course, once the whole thing was released showing this wasn’t a case of “selective editing” he woud have had to really get creative. But to first say you stand behind the comments 100%, and then have the full video come out, and then say you’re being taken out of context is just crazy. This debate tactic is way below the level of someone who holds a joint MBA and Law degree from Harvard. Clearly Mitt needs to keep his brand managers on a shorter leash.
Bonus round: As if Mitt’s flip-flopping on whether or not he stands behind these comments or he was taken out of context wasn’t enough, it now appears that the right’s feeble attempt at a counter-attack, a video of Obama from 1998 where he says he believes in “redistribution,” was actually “selectively edited.”
After saying he believes in “redistribution” (who doesn’t? how else to we pay for roads and bridges) the video posted to Drudge Report selectively cut out the part where Obama said it’s imperative to redistribute “in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level.”
All the hypocrisy does seem to be costing Romney as Obama has pulled ahead in the latest polls. Republicans need to bring Karl Rove back to active duty if they want to stay in this thing, because their tactics are all over the map.