The ad entitled “One Chance”, is based entirely on one quote made by Mitt Romney in an Associated Press interview back in April of 2007, some five years ago. The ad shows an incomplete quote from that interview as it reads “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person…”.
On its own, those words may seem to suggest that bringing justice to Osama bin Laden was not a priority for Mitt Romney, but for the record, the inference created by Team Obama after some very careful and artful political editing is totally incorrect. When asked by the Associated Press,“Why haven’t we caught bin Laden in your opinion?”, Romney offered the following response;
“I think, I wouldn’t want to over-concentrate on bin Laden. He’s one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He’s by no means the only leader. It’s a very diverse group – Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person… Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is – it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates.”
In other words, Romney suggested that while the capture or execution of bin Laden was desired, the AP reporter asking the question should try to not lose focus on the broader War on Terror which involves many more people than just Osama. Clearly though, Mitt Romney did not suggest that he would not pursued bin Laden or that he would not have approved of the operation that led to his death, as inferred by the President’s ad.
But the story here is not that a rival candidate and his political campaign took his opponents words out of context. This is politics folks and if you don’t know it yet, politics is all about perception. Truth has little to do with it and reality is merely what those we elect can convince the majority of voters of. Sad but very true. And besides, Mitt Romney already did a similar thing to President Obama back in late November of 2011, when one of his own ads used a statement by the President to mislead voters. Back then, the Romney campaign used video of the President giving a speech in which viewers saw and heard the President say;
“If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”
The problem is that those words actually came from candidate Obama in 2008 when he was quoting something supposedly said by the McCain campaign.
Then Senator Obama’s full quote was;
“Senator McCain’s campaign said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”.
So I guess you can say that the President’s new ad was simply payback to Romney. Or you might say it is just politics as usual.
Or is it?
The story here is not that politicians are playing politics. The story is all about what President Obama is playing politics with.
By exploiting the efforts of the the mission to bring justice to the ring leader responsible for one of nation’s darkest days in history, with a deceptive, misleading, political campaign ad, President Obama has demonstrated that nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred in his attempt to hold on to power. He could have been the better man here and accepted the nearly unanimous approval and credit he deservedly received for doing the right thing and allowing SEAL Team Six to do their job and not making a Bill Clinton-like call that allowed Osama to live another day. He could have accepted that feather in his cap which Seal Team Six handed to him after they succeeded at their mission. But instead the President decided to suggest that only he was brave enough to make the decision that allowed our Special Ops forces to risk their lives and take down the most wanted man in the world.
President Obama deserved credit for making the right decision. Afterall, I would have been the first to blame him if he made the wrong one. The decision to go through with the operation was one of the only right decisions this President has made and as such, it could have been one of the few things he could legitimately get some praise for. However, now that the President has taken the anniversary of the end of bin Laden’s rule of al Qaeda and used it to exploit the real heroes behind the event in such a nefarious and unscrupulous way, he now opens himself up to criticism for the one achievement during his Administration that most Americans can agree was good.
After this disgraceful interpretation of the effort to capture bin Laden I can’t help but wonder if getting bin Laden was really a priority on this President’s agenda for the nation. It now seems to me that it was merely a priority for his eventual reelection effort? Afterall, President Obama was simply carrying out the search and search process for bin Laden that his predecessor, George W. Bush already had in place. You do remember George W. Bush, the guy that President Obama blames everything on? The guy who’s policies in the War on Terror and in Iraq and Afghanistan he criticized and contradicted but ultimately followed through on? All of which begs the deeper question which is, does Barack Obama have his priorities straight?
Such criticism relating to the Osama bin Laden capture and kill mission might not have ever been raised had President Obama not been so willing to act so unpresidential and spike the ball after doing cartwheels on the field of play. But the decision by the President and his campaign team to run this disturbingly tacky and dishonest ad in connection with such a sensitive topic, reveals to me that both he and his staff are nothing but disingenuous, tacky, and incompetent custodians of the Oval Office. It also shows me that this President is scared. So scared that he will go to any lengths to try and create a fictional national narrative that paints him in a positive light regardless of how dim, dismal, and debilitating he and his policies have been for our nation.
In the end, politicians taking politicians out of context is nothing new and the practice won’t come to an end anytime soon. So maybe we really can’t attack either candidate for playing politics as usual. But we can attack them for what they play politics with and for crossing any new lines that their lack of judgement allows them to. This is just such an occassion.
Still, it would be nice to see the media do their job and hold President Obama accountable for his disingenuous conducts and deceitful distortions. Just as we see here, when Communist Chris Matthews, the DNC bullhorn who moonlights as a responsible commentator on MSNBC, went after Mitt Romney when he took President Obama out of context this past November. But who am I kidding? Does anyone honestly expect the media to drop their liberal bias and give up their double stereotypical liberal double standards?
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