For months, maybe even years, conservative presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his supporters have accused President Barack Obama of going around the world apologizing to other countries for America. Like a lot of baseless accusations made against the President, this allegation is made without giving a single example and yet people buy into that rhetoric. He’s been accused of being an appeaser and of being embarrassed for everything that makes the United States so exceptional in many people’s opinion. Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is often described as weak and woeful and if Mr. Romney is elected President he will make America great again.
To shore up his foreign policy credentials, the Romney for President campaign is taking their show overseas. As the one person who had the vision to save the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal, Mitt Romney going to London, England to raise his foreign policy profile was an ideal opportunity for the conservative presidential wannabe. And if that wasn’t enough to get Mr. Romney out of the country, the opportunity to watch his wife’s horse compete in the dressage event was surely the icing to seal the deal.
But instead of coming off as a foreign policy star, Mr. Romney looks more like a foreign policy dud. A lot of people are comparing Mitt Romney’s performance to that of the bumbling Clark Griswold portrayed by Chevy Chase in the classic comedy European Vacation. Instead of acting like a man with exceptional political experience to become a President ready to deal with countries around the world, Mr. Romney looks like he learned his global political etiquette from somebody like Sarah Palin.
When asked by NBC’s Brian Williams for a comment about London’s preparations, instead of being gracious and giving England the type of support that comes from the head of state from its supposed closest ally, Mr. Romney expresses concerns and reservations. It was old news that the Olympic committee outsourced the security at the games to a company that came up woefully short. But Mitt Romney didn’t hesitate to criticize and rehash this old news. You would think he was stuck in campaign mode and made the mistake of thinking he was running against the London planners in his bid for President.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Mr. Romney’s lack of diplomatic tact was magnified when appeared to have forgotten Labour Leader Ed Miliband’s name during a press conference. Instead of referring to Mr. Millibrand by his surname, Mr. Romney referred to him as simply Mr. Leader. Some speculated it was jetlag. If so, did Mr. Romney really forget himself and thought that he was in North Korea? For the record, Mr. Millibrand and the Dear Leader look nothing alike. Maybe he simply never bothered to learn the man’s name in the first place.
And if that’s still not bad enough, Mr. Romney made another gaffe on his London trip by publicly acknowledging during a press conference that he met with the head of Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency. Mr. Romney’s meeting with MI6 head Sir John Sawers was not made an official item on his schedule and Mr. Romney himself made the major blunder by revealing it, CBS News and The Guardian reported. Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office told made a statement that Sir John Sawers meets with many people, but they don’t give public commentary on any of those private meetings. MI6 was not officially acknowledged until 1994. The British take their national secret intelligence service very seriously with a heavy emphasis on secrecy.
To his credit, Mr. Romney recognized his faux pas and did his best to walk back his comments. We all should remember that this is the man who doesn’t remember what he said but he stands by what he said whatever it was. But this time, he understood that he had to do a little damage control. It was his first appearance on the world stage after all and he couldn’t leave London with a big row in his wake. Anybody in a similar position would do the same thing.
But the bigger problem for Mr. Romney is that he has just lost one of his most often used reasons for taking Mr. Obama’s job. Mr. Obama goes around the world apologizing for America. But straight out the box on his first world tour as a presidential contender, Mr. Romney is walking back his comments and his woeful performance that makes him look like the stereotypical ugly American unfit to travel abroad. Foreign policy and foreign diplomacy has been proven to be a very weak point for this candidate.
Mitt Romney’s tenure at his old startup Bain Capital has taken center stage in the race for the White House. Mr. Romney said that his business experience is the primary reason he is most qualified to run the country. It’s not his experience as Governor of Massachusetts and not his experience saving the Olympics back in 2002. His success at making money is his presidential calling card.
However, there’s some disagreement as to whether or not the business of Bain is good for the American economy or not. Whether deserved or not, Bain appears to have a reputation for outsourcing jobs for the sake of profit. Mr. Romney says that when he ran the company Bain helped companies create job growth in America. It wasn’t until he left the company that Bain started its more ruthless practice of sending more Americans to the unemployment lines.
Mr. Romney says that he left Bain in 1999 to run the Olympics and had no responsibility for what the company did after that. But documents have been uncovered with the Security and Exchange Commission that appear to indicate that Mr. Romney was running Bain through 2002.
The Romney team explains this away as nothing but standard procedure that comes with running a major business in corporate America. It’s standard for a chief executive to leave management to subordinates while he moves on to bigger and better things. Although a CEO might sign documents, we’re supposed to believe that the signature on legal documents is just a formality and really does not mean that the person who signed the document can attest to their accuracy. But doesn’t that sound a lot like the type of corporate malfeasance that actually led to the housing crisis or to the type of scandals that led to Enron?
Mr. Romney said that in 2002 he retroactively retired from Bain as of 1999. So the documents that he signed to confirm his retirement in 2002 should really apply to 1999. The effective date on the retirement documents in 2002 really means nothing, kind of like the signature. So, if the signature is inaccurate and the effective date is inaccurate is there anything in the document that actually means what it might say?
The idea that Mr. Romney allowed his name to be associated with a company that he had no control over other than signing official documents to government agencies sounds preposterous. This is the man that told his gardener that he couldn’t allow undocumented foreigners helping to work on his lawn because he was going to run for President. Mr. Romney said he had enough initiative to make sure the gardener’s business was above reproach. It’s a sure bet that he didn’t have any documented responsibility to whatever the gardener did. Nevertheless, he didn’t want to suffer the risk of being associated with hiring people who shouldn’t be working in the country. But he never questioned the management practices of the company that he said he left in 1999 even though he continued to sign documents through 2002. We should just take his word and the word of the people who worked for him and not those unbelievable documents that say otherwise. That really doesn’t sound right.
Although it looks pretty obvious that he is trying to downplay his responsibility as the CEO of Bain, the point isn’t that Mr. Romney is downplaying his responsibility. The point is that Mr. Romney’s business experience doesn’t really look like something he can point to as proof that he is the successful businessman with integrity that America needs right now. His business documents don’t mean what they say. He has a history of sayings he wasn’t responsible for a lot of the success that has made him so financially successful. This is the man that claimed during many of the Republican primary debates that his investments were in a blind trust that he had no responsibility for. So where exactly should we be looking to see the business practices that make him most qualified to be President?
Coincidentally, the way Mr. Romney left Bain Capital to run the Olympics is kind of like the way he left the governorship in Massachusetts to make a run for the presidency. In the middle of his term Mr. Romney abandoned the people of Massachusetts to lobby and network with conservative politicians across the country.
If anything, Mr. Romney’s business experience as well as his political experience shows him to be unreliable, untruthful, irresponsible, and erratic. He left Bain to run the Olympics but simply forgot to sign the documents that would prove it. He left Massachusetts to work on his bid for the White House he just didn’t tell the people of Massachusetts. Even Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had the good sense to step up to the mic and resign. Despite her personal shortcomings when she knew it was time for her to leave she left and everything was kept above board and transparent. Not so with Mr. Romney. Things get unnecessarily complex. And if something as simple as leaving a business can get convoluted in legalese just imagine how complex running the United States will get.
If Mr. Romney’s business experience is his ace card then it really doesn’t look very good for him. The three year period of signing documents but not being able to verify the information within doesn’t bode well. America needs somebody who they can count on and not somebody who has a reputation for putting his signature on anything just for the sake of corporate convenience.
Mitt Romney is pushing back against calls for him to release more of his personal tax returns if he wants the White House. He refuses saying that he’s under no legal requirement to release anything else of the sort. He points to other presidential candidates that only released a couple of tax returns. He said that 2008 candidate John McCain only released two years and 2004 candidate John Kerry. Both of those guys lost their bid by the way. So if that’s what Mr. Romney has selected for role model all I can say to him is good luck with that.
Mr. Romney feels like he is being personally attacked. He feels that the President Obama is bereft of anything to give the people of America a reason to reelect him and has desperately settled on personal attacks against his opponent. Mr. Romney says that nobody cares about his taxes. But if that was true then whenever somebody from the Obama campaign said anything about Mr. Romney’s tax returns it would fall on deaf ears and people would move on to something else.
Instead, people hear that Mr. Romney has only released one tax return and they want to know what he could be hiding. Mr. Romney has made a lot of money over the years and he says that the size of his wallet has become his calling card. He says he loves America and as President he would put his business acumen into reviving the economy and putting this country back on the right track. He promises lower taxes for corporate America and will cut the budget of every government program he deems unnecessary. He wraps himself in the American flag and promises to put America first. Mr. Romney says he loves America so much and wants to do all he can for the country’s economy. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t he pay his fair share in taxes so that he’s not a drag on the economy?
So far, Mr. Romney has released only one year of tax returns and it was discovered that his tax rate was less than a meager fourteen percent, far less than the pay rate for the average joe. He promises to release his last tax return when it’s ready for viewing. But until then, people are going to have to make do with that single year because his opponent will never be satisfied. He released one tax return and they want to see more. He promises he’ll release 2011 when it’s ready but his opponent wants more. Based on the fact that he will release two years of tax returns and his opponent wants more, the conclusion is that anything more than that will not be enough and so enough is enough, despite the fact that his father who started the tradition of candidates releasing tax returns gave twelve in his failed bid for the White House.
Now Mr. Romney might feel like he’s being held to an unfair higher than necessary standard. Never mind the fact that his opponent released something like eight years of tax returns in his first run. Never mind his father’s twelve tax return release. Mitt Romney doesn’t want to give into pressure to do something he doesn’t want to do. But if Mr. Romney wants the job he’s applying for, he really needs to step to the plate and give his potential employer, the American people, what they want to feel comfortable with him as President.
Obviously Mr. Romney doesn’t apply for many average jobs. Almost every employer I ever went to work for wanted me to submit to a drug test. I didn’t want to do it. But that’s what I was asked to do if I wanted the job. There wasn’t a legal requirement to do so and I could’ve pointed that fact out. The potential employer would’ve said that I was completely within my rights not to submit to a drug test and would have thanked me for my interest as they threw my resume into the shredder. It’s what you do to get the job.
I have had employers ask me to submit to a polygraph. I have been asked to do take a test to prove my ability to do programming and database design. I have been asked to submit to forms of testing that nobody in the office I went to work in had to perform. The way I understood it, it wasn’t about them, but whether or not I wanted the job bad enough to jump through the hoops I was being asked to jump through. If I thought the hoop wasn’t fair or if I felt that I simply didn’t want to submit to what I was being asked to do, I was always free to decline. It’s funny, not one time did I get the job when I declined to do what I was asked.
If Mr. Romney doesn’t want to release his tax returns, if he wants to let that cloud hang over his application to run the company called the United States of America, that’s fine. If he doesn’t feel that he needs to do anything about what people are asking him for, then by all means he shouldn’t do it. But then he shouldn’t be too surprised if questions remain and people aren’t all that confident that Mr. Romney is the best man for the job. Romney should remember what happened the last time he asked a candidate for a job to do something and they refused. I bet it didn’t go very well for the candidate.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stepped up to the podium of the NAACP and proved to the world that he didn’t have a problem with going to black people and telling them how things are going to be under his administration. He went there with the purpose of putting a hard line display to the people that most people believe will be most impacted by an administration that is focused on fiscal conservatism. Black people have a reputation of living off the teat of the middle class. And the country can only get back on its economic feet if black people stopped depending on a handout and actually got off their collective ass and earned a living on their own for a change. We all know how irresponsible black people are.
Mitt Romney went to the NAACP and threw down the gauntlet. A program that will help provide more people with better opportunities for healthcare, that models his own formula for providing the people with healthcare in Massachusetts that he implemented as Governor, will be terminated as quickly as possible when he becomes President. Denying more black people access to better healthcare coverage is what makes Mitt Romney the best qualified to be President of the black community. If black people want to see who is best to lead black people then take a good look because he’s standing right in front of you. Not even all the ringers in the audience, all the black conservatives that the Romney for President campaign brought to the convention to attend his address, there to applaud the speech when nobody else would, could be heard over some of the booing that Mr. Romney provoked.
After the speech, Mr. Romney goes to a fund raiser and talks about his experience addressing the venerated black organization. He tells his white fund raiser audience that he was booed when he told the black people the way its going to be. He tells the white people that they can tell the black people that if they want handouts they can vote for the other guy. He left out the part that black people can do that or they can go to Massachusetts where he gave free handouts to everybody there. Nothing is free in government and black people need to realize that. One wonders why Mitt Romney is telling the white people to go and do that when he was already there and could have said it himself. Then again, nobody ever said Mitt Romney was a bastion of courage.
Black people have always been the whipping boy for our dysfunctional social arrangement. If we get tough on black people, use them to represent the weakness of a people unable to take responsibility for their own plight and step to the plate with responsible behavior that would change their pathetic situation around, we can prove our disdain for failure and our proclivity for hard work and self reliance, traits that are supposed to run deep in the character that defines America. White people work to get ahead while black people wait on handouts.
But was what Mitt Romney did much different the Barack Obama going in front of black people and saying that black people need to be more responsible and quit looking for a handout? Back in 2008, campaigning heavily and stiff arming the black community by avoiding any appearance to address black people in order to circumvent even the most remote any appearance of having a connection to black people, Mr. Obama finally relented and spoke to a black audience on Father’s Day. Mr. Obama used the speech to tell black people that the solution to the problems in the black community is for black fathers to stop acting like irresponsible fools and start acting responsibly. Black people need to take responsibility for what happens in the black community.
As an ideological message, how is what Barack Obama said to the black community four years ago any different than what Mitt Romney said last week? Whether or not our President is black or white our cultural philosophy is that we see black people as undeserving participants in the American society. What was the difference between the two messages? One significant difference is that Barack Obama was applauded for his tough love rhetoric while Mitt Romney’s hard line was immediately recognized as offensive. But they both essentially said the same thing. They both said black people need to quit being a drag on everyone else.
Another difference between the two candidates is that Mitt Romney showed up while Barack Obama had other commitments. Again he’s stiff arming black people. The time and place of the annual NAACP convention is announced a year in advance. Are we really supposed to believe that Mr. Obama had difficulty working this into his schedule? We all know that when it comes time to flying our friendly skies Air Force One is given top priority whether its flight is scheduled in advance or a last minute change. Mr. Obama could have been there if he wanted to. Obviously Mr. Obama feels that the association with other black people is an unnecessary risk right now. He knows black people will vote for him regardless of what he says or what Mr. Romney says.