Thursday, September 20, 2012
Changing Washington From the Inside or the Outside?
As President Obama's Truth Team demonstrated this morning, it's easy to take someone's words out of context. Mitt Romney admitted to not yet watching, only hearing about, Obama's Univision forum today, in which the President said that one of the things he's learned over the last four years is that you can't single-handedly change Washington "from the inside." Romney jumped on these remarks hours after the President made them and released this video from a campaign rally. He promises to change Washington "from the inside." Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is not treating the President's comments as a gaffe, but rather embracing them in their own web video that contrasts the idea that we can only change Washington by working together with Mitt Romney's dismissal of the 47 percent. The idea of change coming from outside Washington did not represent Obama "throwing in the white flag of surrender" (Romney's words), but was exactly in line with his convention speech where he told the American people "you were the change" in 2008. It's certainly arguable that candidate Obama promised more change in 2008 than President Obama has been able to deliver during his first term. But what was Mitt Romney saying four years ago? BuzzFeed uncovered a trove of clips from Romney's 2008 run in which he says "you can't change Washington from the inside." His outsider businessman persona was practically the theme of his campaign. One of Mitt Romney's aides told him about the President's remarks today and he chose to attack it without considering the context or implications. This is yet another example of Romney's tendency to "shoot first and aim later" as he did with the Egypt and Libya attacks and will no doubt continue to do through the campaign. Romney's memory didn't stretch back far enough to the Democratic convention, let alone his 2008 presidential run, or he would never have made such brazen accusations against President Obama.