Quote of the Day: On Mitt Romney’s Obama Birther Joke
Our political Quote of the Day reacts to presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s nosedive into birtherism as well as to a response by a Romney adviser. The New York Times’ Editorial Page Editor’s blog:
Politicians sometimes think they can get away with saying something profoundly offensive or just plain stupid by acting like it was a joke. It never works, just like it didn’t work today when Mr. Romney shamelessly played the birther card in what seems like an increasingly desperate campaign against President Obama.
Further down at the end:
But today’s crack was way over the line. His audience laughed and applauded, probably not because they thought Mr. Romney was doing hilarious stand-up comedy, but because they knew exactly what he was up to.
The Romney campaign’s response was especially lame. An adviser, Kevin Madden, said Mr. Romney was “only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised.” Right.
A spokesman for the Obama campaign, Ben LaBolt, pointed out that Mr. Romney has “embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them.” But, he added, “Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”
That’s absolutely right. The birther charges are not really about trying to disqualify Mr. Obama from being president. The point is to remind voters that his father was Kenyan and that Mr. Obama is a man of mixed race with brown skin. It’s racism, pure and simple.