“If you can’t beat them, confuse them” – Harry Truman
Let’s play some word association. I write down a political attack, you name the first candidate from the 2012 election cycle that you think of. Once you get through them, I’ll tell you who said what about whom earlier today. Ready? Go:
“End Medicare as we know it”
“Out of touch”
If you guessed that President Obama said these things about Mitt Romney, you’re wrong. Romney levied those attacks against Obama earlier today.
During the 2004 campaign, Karl Rove made famous the strategy of attacking an opponent’s strengths, going after John Kerry’s military record and turning the Purple Heart recipient’s greatest asset into a liability. In 2012, Mitt Romney seems to be taking a slightly different approach, trying instead to attack his opponent where Romney himself is weakest.
The “I know you are, but what am I?” campaign shows that Romney doesn’t care about his differences with President Obama on the issues. He only cares about the voters not being able to understand those differences.
For Romney, the caricature of a political waffle, to project those criticisms onto any other candidate is pure misdirection. To say, as Romney did today, that President Obama hasn’t been serious about controlling the cost of Medicare and then attack the President minutes later for cutting $500 billion from Medicare Advantage (cuts that Romney endorses) is childish at best and malicious at worst. And for a man who is renovating his beach house in La Jolla to include an elevator for his cars to attack a man who, combined with his wife, graduated with $120 thousand in student debt as out of touch? I want to laugh, but I can’t.
The presidency is a serious job; running for president should be taken seriously as well. When Mitt Romney brings back the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” attacks from the elementary school playground, he reduces the legitimacy of the race and the presidency itself. Especially in an election with such vast differences between the two candidates, a confused electorate is not a good thing for a country.