Mitt Romney wasted no time in spotting and capitalizing on the mega-error by President Obama in telling the Russian president he’ll have “more flexibility” after the election. (Eric Fehrnstrom should breath a sigh of relief; a comment this bad from the actual candidate dwarfs whatever an adviser could possibly say.) The Romney team blasts out an e-mail from its candidate:
“President Obama had a revealing and unguarded moment when he was caught on tape telling Russia’s president, ‘This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.’ President Obama signaled that he’s going to cave to Russia on missile defense, but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be ‘flexible’ in a second term. Higher taxes, more spending and increased debt are all on the table as long as Barack Obama is in the White House, despite what he says publicly. President Obama needs to level with the American public about his real agenda.”
As I suggested earlier, this is quite a stunning gift from the Obama camp to Romney. The legitimate concern that Obama will take his reelection as a mandate to head left will become, I suspect, an all purpose weapon for Romney. For example, “He says he’ll only raise taxes on the rich. But after the election he’ll have ‘more flexibility.’” The same is true on Israel. “He says he’d never impose a peace agreement on Israel, but after the election he’ll have ‘more flexibility.’”
The reason — aside from the fact it comes directly from Obama’s own mouth — this is so potent is that it is true in the aggregate. What is the left going to say, that Obama won’t act on the liberal agenda wish list if he gets a second term? We can argue about what liberal items would be on the list, but the president can’t honestly claim he is not going to try his very best to “complete” his agenda or “finish the work.” Given his recent turn to the left both substantively and rhetorically, the “more flexibility” statement is going to be hard to live down.