It has been said that a major tragedy can unite people for a common cause. Apparently this doesn't apply during an election year. Once again, we have another episode of misspoken words and hateful rhetoric, brought to you by "Election 2012."
It appears that GOP nominee and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been accused of politicizing the Libyan embassy attack. Romney's reaction to the attack, along with some of his statements concerning President Obama's response to it, have caused some people, reportedly on both sides to take issue with him. They include Obama. The president was quoted as saying Romney likes to "shoot first, then aim later," adding that he would let the nation judge whether Romney's comments were inappropriate or not. He also stated that most Americans know when to set politics aside, regardless of party affiliation.
In classic Obama fashion, the president managed to decimate Romney with a few well-chosen words while masterfully sidestepping the landmine planted by the reporter who asked whether he thought the comments were appropriate, all while subtly expressing his own disapproval of the remarks.
"As president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that. It's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts. And that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them," said Obama.
This is apparently a lesson Obama has learned very well. Not since Ronald Reagan, "The Great Communicator," and Bill Clinton, has there been a president as adept with the nuances of oration as Obama.
Romney, on the other hand, while normally a polished speaker himself, does at times leave a bit to be desired on occasion.
In all fairness it is only appropriate that we take a look at Romney's remarks and their context. First of all, we need to realize that this was not an open microphone incident but an apparently prepared statement. The context of his statement in and of itself may not have necessarily been bad based on the information he had. However, it was his choice of words that may ultimately have been his undoing in the end. To even insinuate that any president of the United States would in any way acquiesce to terrorists, is not only disingenuous to the person who holds the office, but the American people as well. After all, the president is supposed to represent the voice of the American people.
Imagine for a moment if you will, Obama, while running for president, accusing former president Bush of being a terrorist sympathizer after the 9/11 attacks. You can be completely certain such remarks would not have gone over well with many American citizens no matter what party they belonged to. It's almost like saying we are stupid and gullible enough to elect someone who would intentionally allow our people to be killed.
Surely Romney intended for his remarks to be viewed in a different light than they were. It just goes to show how important it is to not only be able to talk to people but to also be able to convey what you mean as well.
As far as what this means for Romney's quest for the Oval Office is pretty much anyone's guess. Is it possible for him to impart a positive spin to his remarks now? Should the American people give him a "do-over"? In cases like this, a good, old-fashioned apology can work wonders. Be assured that there are people who will still vote for him no matter what he does. To these people I simply say it is your choice and your right.
Were Romney's remarks irresponsible? Like the president, I will now leave it up to you, the reader to decide.
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