Romney fails to condemn controversial remarks
Published: Friday, May 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
Over the past couple of months, prominent people within the Republican Party have had some nutty, WTF-did-you-just-say remarks, and there was no strong reaction by party leaders, or in particular, the GOP presumptive presidential nominee, Willard Mitt Romney.
A couple of weeks back, Florida Rep. Allen West called about 80 Democrats in the House of Representatives communists. This high charge wasn’t the surprising thing; these extreme charges are now commonplace throughout the Republican Party.
The shocking thing was the lack of any reaction by anyone prominent, including Romney. Remember the last time these types of accusations were made? It was McCarthyism, where Joseph McCarthy and his baseless accusations destroyed thousands of people’s lives back in the 1960s.
A little while after that, on April 14, Ted Nugent basically threatened the president with some extremely distasteful remarks at an NRA meeting by saying, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
Once again, there was no swift condemnation on what Nugent said. Mitt Romney didn’t even have anything to say about this language. All that happened was a campaign spokesperson made a general comment about the need for civil discourse.
In fact, even more disgustingly, Nugent said afterwards that Romney expressed support for him. This was all after Romney actively sought his endorsement. Good call, Romney.
Furthermore, on Feb. 29, radio personality Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown student to testify to Congress in support of birth control, a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Romney still wasn’t able to speak out and condemn Limbaugh. All he had to say was, “I’ll just say this, which is it’s not the language I would have used.”
What language would you have used, Willard? Would “whore” or “communist” have been acceptable? What kind of ad hominem attacks do you find acceptable? We all want to know.
Finally, but definitely not the last nutty thing that will be said, a woman at a town hall event asked Romney how he would restore the Constitution to this country, while also proclaiming that Obama should be tried for treason. Again, Romney could have stood up and corrected this woman immediately, but instead chose to ignore her comment about Obama being tried for treason.
Only afterwards when journalists pushed Romney for an answer on what the woman said did he state that Obama shouldn’t be tried for treason. Again, he cowered in the face of the extreme right of the Republican Party, by not standing up to these ridiculous comments.
As you can see, the problem is the lack of any kind of rebuke from the Party establishment. And Romney is the definition of the establishment. He has been running for president for about five years now and had the backing of most of the big wigs in the Party to start off. Additionally, most people consider him moderate as well, which is why he had such trouble in the primaries.
On the Democratic side, things are very different. Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen commented on April 11 that Ann Romney, Mitt Romney’s wife, doesn’t have the credence to talk about what working women want because she has “never worked a day in her life.” There was a firestorm about these comments and nearly all Democrats condemned these comments, from President Obama to the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
This is a stark difference from how the Republican Party reacted when confronted with much more extreme comments. While Rosen’s comments actually had some credence, they were still slammed by people within the Democratic Party for being tasteless.
The comments by Allen, Nugent, Limbaugh and the woman in the town hall meeting had no credence and were extremely distasteful, yet Romney still failed in addressing these comments with any type of authority. Again, the trend of the nutty comments isn’t the scary part; the scary part is the lack of response from anyone prominent.
I do feel bad for Romney. And it’s especially disheartening because I don’t know who I want to vote for yet in the upcoming presidential election. I think Obama is rather inexperienced and it’s been showing recently, but giving Republicans the power to instill their agenda upon Americans, via President Romney rubber-stamping everything that the far right wants to do in Congress, would be scary.
If Romney started to show his spine and stood up to these comments, I would be more willing to vote for him. If he wants to win over the independent voters that will determine this election, he will have to do this. I have a feeling that as we get closer to November, these comments will get worse, and Romney will have to start demonstrating that he has a spine, or he will fail to win this election.
Brad Alvarez is a junior in finance and economics. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Alvarez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.