The Washington Post

President Obama mocks Mitt Romney’s mannerisms

President Obama mauled the Republican House’s budget in a Tuesday speech before the American Society of News Editors. The address was as wonky as it was aggressive in its denunciations. And, yet, the president couldn’t resist adding a less-than-veiled dig at Mitt Romney’s mannerisms.

Arguing that the budget wasn’t just the House’s, but the whole GOP’s, Obama said this of Romney: “He called it marvelous. Which is a word you don’t often hear about a budget. [Pause as Obama allows himself a chuckle] It’s a word you don’t often hear generally.”

Obama’s audience responded with knowing laughter, reconfirming that a narrative about Romney being out-of-touch has solidified firmly, particularly in elite circles. You could almost hear Obama’s thoughts: Attacking this guy is going to be too easy.

It’s not all that fair, of course. Obama, after all, isn’t exactly the great communicator. You also don’t hear frequent Obamaisms such as “relitigate” and “bend the curve” all that often out in Oshkosh. Besides – and more importantly – voters should object a lot more to Romney’s support of the Ryan budget than the words he used to endorse it. But reality, sadly, probably runs in the opposite direction.

Stephen Stromberg is a Post editorial writer. He specializes in domestic policy, including energy, the environment, legal affairs and public health.
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