Why Romney Was Wrong, VERY WRONG, To “Repudiate” Wright Attack PAC Plan
By now you’ve probably heard about the proposed plan for a Super PAC to focus on Reverend Wright around the time of the DNC Convention this summer. The plan, since rejected, set off the predictable outrage.
Before being killed in the crib, the “plan” managed to snag the Romney campaign. First Romney’s spokesman and then Romney himself bluntly and explicitly said he “repudiates” the effort.
This is bad for a couple of reason.
First and foremost, it puts Romney in the position of being the hall monitor for the right. Every time someone on the right does something, the press will run to Mitt and ask him if he “repudiates” them. Now he’s going to be constantly choosing between elements of the coalition. A candidate needs to be uniting as much of the potential vote as possible. He should not be the hall monitor in charge of scolding wayward children.
This is a neat trick the media plays. They will never ask Obama about any of his supporters but they’ll run to Mitt and demand he chastise some county legislator in East Podunk but misogynist Bill Maher? Never heard of him.
If Romney thinks chastising every conservative who says something slightly off key about Obama will buy him any grace on his Mormonism or any issue, he’s nuts.
What should Romney have said about this? Something like, “We don’t control that group, support them or know them but everyone is welcome to participate in this process. For our part, we are focused on Obama’s many failures like…….” He would have distanced himself from the issue, not slapped around potential supporters and focused back on Obama.
Personally, I’m not at all convinced that any of this ancillary stuff (Wright, college transcripts, Bill Ayers, who wrote his books) is even remotely important. Maybe 4 years ago when people were learning about Obama but now they know and they don’t seem to approve. Still if elements of the base want to go off and hit him on these things (Mitt shouldn’t get involved either way, stay focused on big ticket items) fine. We should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. The division of labor will work nicely.
What really will annoy me is people who have been saying “McCain wanted to lose like a gentleman” and “Vet the President” suddenly proclaiming this move by Mitt to be a solid bit of tactics. Don’t be a hack and a shill.