I’m not sure why this isn’t getting more attention. After the debate spin last night, Mitt Romney made an accusation during an interview with Fox News I haven’t seen him make before: He accused the President of pursuing policies for political reasons that he secretly knows are bad for the country:
In the exchange, Sean Hannity asks Romney to respond to Obama’s “outrageous” “class warfare” charge that Republicans want “dirty air,” “dirty water,” and “old people, kids with autism and Down’s syndrome to fend for themselves.” Romney responds that this charge is “shameful,” and then adds:
I think the President has gone from being a failed Presidency, a guy over his head, to someone who is now so desperate to get reelection that he’s doing things that are very much counter to the interest of the country and he knows it.
In the past I think he was just misguided. Now I think he really knows that his decision on Afghanistan to pull the troops out a couple of months earlier than commanders suggested — that was not a wise thing for the country. The Keystone pipeline, he knows we need that oil, he knows the consequences. In order to hold on to his power he’s willing to tip his hat to the extreme environmental lobby in his party. It’s an unveiling of the President that is not a flattering picture that we see.
First of all, are Hannity and Romney really suggesting that cutting environmental regulations won’t have any impact on the environment? Do they deny that repealing health care reform risks leaving more people uninsured? After all, the health reform plan Romney passed as Governor of Massachusetts — the model for Obama’s reform — did reduce the number of uninsured people in his state.
Second, Romney goes from denouncing the President’s charge as “shameful” to making the most outrageous charge of all — Obama is deliberately pursuing policies for political reasons, even though he thinks they will harm the country — in less than 30 seconds. That’s pretty impressive.
And finally, Republicans react with bloody screams of outrage whenever Dems suggest that they might be trying to sabotage the recovery in order to harm Obama politically and make it easier for them to recapture the White House. Yet here Romney has now made an even broader charge, arguing that Obama is making policy decisions across the board that he “knows” are “counter to the interests of the country,” including major decisions involving war and national security.
When Romney falsely claims that Obama apologized for America, insinuates that we should find his values suspect, and implies that we should be vaguely suspicious intentions towards the country, it’s routinely treated a “part of the game.” Now that Romney has taken this line of attack to its ultimate conclusion, I’m not expecting the reaction to be any different.