A little more than 24 hours ago, the national conversation was about Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, their plans for Medicare and Republican hand-wringing about Ryan’s negative impact on GOP chances to not only take the White House, but also increase its majority in the House and take over the Senate. In short, it was the start of a bad day. That all changed with one comment from Vice President Biden in Virginia yesterday afternoon. Now we have the unseemly spectacle of the presumptive Republican nominee in Ohio last night lecturing President Obama about “hate.”
His campaign and his surrogates have made wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the Presidency. Another outrageous charge came a few hours ago in Virginia. And the White House sinks a little bit lower. This is what an angry and desperate Presidency looks like. President Obama knows better, promised better and America deserves better....
….Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America.
As I wrote yesterday, what Biden said was “wince-worthy.” But as I said today on MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” neither the vice president nor the Obama-Biden reelection campaign has anything to apologize for. I detailed the hypocrisy of the Romney campaign's high dudgeon yesterday. Its glass-house musing on Biden wouldn't be so galling if Newt “food -stamp president” Gingrich and Donald Trump (Birther-N.Y.) weren't waving from the windows.
Romney “is genuinely outraged by what Joe Biden said and what he perceives as the president’s tactics,” Time magazine’s Mark Halperin said on MSNBC. “And . . . the president’s team is stunned that the president would be accused of being engaged in a campaign of hate.” After what the president’s been through for the entirety of his presidency, he and his team are right to be stunned.
Despite ample proof, Obama’s citizenship continues to be challenged. The legitimacy of his presidency has been challenged by birther nuts from its earliest hours. He’s been called a fascist trampler of the Constitution. And he is called “in over his head” and “not up to the job” and a “failure” by Republicans who vowed even before his inauguration to oppose him on everything. Republicans who rejected his far-too-many gestures at bipartisanship even when he adopted their good ideas. Republicans who refused to snuff out the birther lie because the political gain was more alluring than upholding respect for the president or preventing our national discourse from sloshing around in the gutter of paranoia and conspiracy.
After nearly four years of that, of relentless obstruction, recalcitrance and rudeness from the GOP and his own campaign, Romney can spare me the dramatic recitation of his scripted outrage about a “campaign of division and anger and hate.”