On Romney Debating Himself

First, the video itself. Then, point-by-point deconstruction:


“Look, the right course for America’s government, we were talking about the role of government, is not to become the economic player.”

“The last player that can step forward is government, and that’s why we’re going to have to have our government take action to stimulate the economy.”

… and…

“I think it’s frankly not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in.”

“On the spending front though we’re also have to spend more. I hate doing that as a conservative, but I think we ought to spend more.”

Here’s the source they come from. It’s only within the first two minutes of the video, so it won’t take long:


These two sets of seeming contradictions can be addressed together, as they both come from the same source. To the first point about “the last player that can step in” being the federal government. This is dishonest editing at its finest. Right after he made that statement on Meet the Press, here is what Gov. Romney said:

“I think, actually, that tax reductions for middle-income individuals, lowering our corporate tax rates, those will have the biggest impact. Actually, Greg (?), former Chairman of the Council of Economic advisors says that tax cuts have a greater muliplier effect; more bang for the buck, even than more spending.”

Onto the portion where he says, “I think we ought to spend more.” Of course, this is a mid-sentence edit. Directly following that, he says:

“to upgrade our military equipment. It’s been shot up, it’s been lost in the middle east. But the government is going to have to step forward, not only with monetary policy to add funding and capital to the capital markets so we see more lending, but also for additional spending and lower taxes.”

It seems to me that is a far cry from being on the opposite side from what he has been advocating. In the first instance he is talking about government reductionism within the stimulus. When he talks about spending, he points to the military, which is a legitimate federal government responsibility. The only question mark is the quick mention of monetary policy, which he didn’t get to get into due to the quick nature of these kind of round table formats.

Consider the first 25 seconds of Romney debating himself to be null-and-void.

“Regulation is essential. You can’t have a free market work if you don’t have regulation.”

“But I’m going to cut back on regulation. I’m going to put a cap on regulation.”

I’m not quite sure what the argument being made here is. Maybe if he said, “I’m going to get rid of all regulation,” then there’d be an argument. I can’t think of an instance where I have heard him say that. As it is, cutting back on regulation doesn’t mean there is no regulation. If you want, you can think of it this way. Recently, Al Sharpton said something along the lines of, “not all voter I.D. laws are equal.” The same is true here. Not every regulation is just as good as another. Each one must be looked at.

Consider the first 34 seconds of Romney debating himself to be null-and-void.

“Cuz I want to bring back housing.”

“Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

Of course this is presented as him being heartless or some such. Amazingly, that’s not the end of what he said:

“Number two, the credit that was given to first-time homebuyers was insufficient and inadequate to turn around the housing market. I think it was an ineffective idea, it was a little bit like the Cash For Clunkers program, throwing government money at something, which was not market-oriented, did not staunch the decline in home values any more than it encouraged the auto industry to take off. I think the idea of helping people refinance homes to stay in them is one that’s worth further consideration. But I’m not signing on until I find out who’s gonna pay, and who’s gonna get bailed out. And that’s not something that we know all the answers to yet.”

So there are other avenues he is thinking about. So putting this together with the out-of-context quote in the “debates himself” video shows that there is more to what is on his mind. Go figure.

Consider the first 41 seconds of Romney debating himself to be null-and-void.

“Cut taxes for the rich, that’s not what I’m going to do.”

“We’re going to cut taxes on everyone across the country by 20%, including the top 1%.”

Here we have bad wording from Romney. He distinguishes between “revenue” going to the government (taxes), and rates, during the presidential debate, while offsetting as much as possible by scrapping certain deductions and the like. It’s not the first time either. He talked about this while on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. That clip will be below, so for now, just consider this little segment null-and-void.

“And the key to great schools: great teachers.”

“More teachers? Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government.”

I can’t find a video which has the entire speech he gave here, only a very, very slightly longer clip. So I will go ahead and give a +10 seconds to this video that is not null-and-void.

“In fact I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions, that’s part of my health care plan.”

“You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well, and so that if you get ill you’ll be covered.”

Well, here’s a nice little video on Hulu that I referenced above when talking about the tax cuts/rates dealy-o. So you can see what he said about that, plus what he says about pre-existing conditions here:


When you listen to what he says on The Tonight Show, you will realize he is being consistent. He wants to address pre-existing conditions in a way that makes more sense. You can’t just let something happen to you, then approach an insurance company and say “insure me, I’m sick.” That makes no sense, as that person hasn’t ponied up any kind of money at all. But making an exception for someone that is in-between work and loses a certain coverage seems like a good idea to me. That will probably equal to only a bump in the road for an insurance company if it is handled in such a way. Maybe even have a method whereby the person can transfer a capped amount of funds from the other company to get them started at the new one. Anyway…

“And we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle, and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties.”

“Time and again I vetoed measure after measure.”

I don’t understand what this is trying to say. Just because he vetoed lots of things doesn’t mean there was no reaching across the aisle. I find this to be a bizzare pairing.

“As president I will sit down on day one […] I’ll sit down with leaders, the democratic leaders as well as republican leaders.”

“As our president, day one, I will take action to repeal Obamacare.”

I don’t get this either. Is this supposed to be an attack on Pres. Obama? I mean, that Affordable Health Care act was awfully partisan.

“I figured out from day one, I had to get along. And I had to work across the aisle to get anything done.”

“I was a severely conservative republican governor.”

Alrighty then.

I’ve got to say, this whole sound bite thing in politics gets old. I suppose that’s the nature of the beast. Unfortunately the ones that are losing are the people that want to know where a candidate actually stands. All I know is that out of a video with one minute and forty-three seconds, I found ten seconds that I can’t address. The main theme of the “debates himself” video is that Romney at the debates wasn’t the REAL Romney. After looking at the sources contained in the video that holds the contradictions, and also things he said at other venues that took place long before the debates, I am unconvinced that Romney wasn’t the REAL Romney. It seems to me that was him and the same views he has been putting forward.

Ah well.

Cross-posted on my personal site and Daily Kos.