Friday, February 3, 2012

I did NOT take Mitt Romney's words out of context

I have gotten a lot of critical feedback in emails, on the post itself, and on THL's Facebook page, regarding my post entitled, "Mitt Romney is not concerned about the poor. His words, not Obama's, not mine. Still think Mitt Romney's the "safe choice" to beat Obama?" and several of you readers seem to think I was twisting Mitt Romney's words out of context.

Please take a moment to read the post more carefully. I didn't take Romney's words out of context at all. To begin with, I published "the context." I printed Romney's entire statement, the CNN interviewer's objection that what he said sounded a little "odd," and Romney's full answer clarifying what he meant (which was already clear anyway; he just worded it like an amateur). I also linked to the CNN page with the video of the entire segment in question so readers could watch it for themselves if they wanted to. That doesn't exactly smack of someone trying to twist someone's words out of context. I provided the context.

But furthermore, I never used Romney's words to imply he actually doesn't care about the poor. My entire argument was that Romney's words show what an amateur politician he is, that by phrasing his message that clumsily, he was inviting a bunch of Democrats to attack him by-- yes-- taking his words out of context, and that this is just one more example out of many gaffes showing what a tin ear Romney has. With his background and history, he's already going to make it easy enough for Obama to turn this bad economy around on Republicans if he gets the nomination, even though the bad economy should be Obama's biggest weakness. But instead of trying to minimize that liability, he keeps playing right into it and making it worse.

My argument was not that Romney said the wrong thing (essentially, that he wants to focus on the middle class in his campaign, which there's not necessarily anything wrong with), but that he said it the wrong way, and that this, among other things, shows just how unpolished, unprepared, and unelectable he really is. His supposedly biggest strength as a candidate is that he's a super-polished, super-safe, super-electable guy that Republicans can settle for because he can beat Obama. By getting on national television and saying the words "I'm not concerned about the very poor," regardless of what he said before and after that, regardless of what he meant, Romney made a really amateur mistake-- the latest of many. Please go read the entire post carefully. I didn't take Romney out of context.

This is not a publication that will stoop to any low, or use anything against political adversaries no matter how specious. Neither is this a publication that plays the class warfare, grievance-mongering game. I don't roll that way and I never have. I'm shocked so many readers would jump to that conclusion so quickly without taking a closer look first. I don't usually take this much time out to respond to critical comments and to feature my response in an entire new post, but I can't let anyone go on thinking that this is the kind of website that will spew that same garbage that the rest of the media does. That's important to me because it's a major part of what I'm trying to do with this website. I hope that helps to clarify things a bit.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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