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The Insiders
Posted at 02:54 PM ET, 07/31/2012

World ends: Campaign staffer snaps at press corps

There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, along with sackcloth and ashes, associated with Mitt Romney’s traveling press secretary telling reporters to “kiss my a--.” No kidding, it’s somehow big news.  It’s generally bad manners to shout at someone to kiss your behind, but maybe I’m old school — I don’t think it’s a big deal. 

Way back in the day, I was a press advanceman at the White House, and to say the least, we had some colorful exchanges with members of the White House press corps that by today’s standards, I guess would constitute criminal assault.  And I recall later, as a staffer in the West Wing, really learning how to express my dissatisfaction from being on the receiving end of an almost daily, withering, and unprintable critique of my performance and general aptitude from none other than this newspaper’s White House correspondent, Ann Devroy of the Washington Post.  I loved Ann; we were actually close, and I certainly learned a lot from her.  But that didn’t keep either of us from using language that would make a sailor blush.  What’s happened to American politics when the staff and the press can’t snarl and curse at each other and then instantly get over it?

Anyway, speaking of slander, the Obama campaign is calling Mitt Romney a felon again. (Notice the clip chosen at 0:17 includes word “felons” on the screen.)   It’s one thing for the campaigns to lose their temper and snap at each other, the media, or the opposition, but the President of the United States calling someone a felon is a very serious matter. 

As I’ve said before,  what’s the president going to do about this?  Or is he trying to send a message to the investigative and law enforcement agencies that work for him to do the dirty work that he wants done?  The president needs to be called out on this.  If he thinks he has uncovered a felony, he has the obligation to take action.  If he doesn’t, he needs to shut up.  Last time, I refrained from using such sharp language, but now it appears we are all becoming a little less inhibited.  I don’t think the voters are impressed.

By  |  02:54 PM ET, 07/31/2012

 
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