Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"They'll Say Anything" Examples: 2012

EXAMPLES AND ANALYSIS: 2012 "They'll Say Anything"
"Candidates always have disagreements, arguing over the meaning of events or evidence. But Mr. Obama has taken ordinary political differences beyond anything we've seen. Every day, it seems, he attempts to disqualify his opponent through deliberate and undeniable falsehoods. ... Voters expect politicians to stretch the truth. But when the offender is as persistent with mistruths, half-truths and no-truths as Mr. Obama is, voters expect the other candidate to blow the whistle. ... Mr. Romney must call out the president. That is not so easy: Mr. Romney can't call Mr. Obama a liar; that's too harsh a word that would backfire. Mr. Romney must instead set the record straight in a presidential tone -- firm, respectful, but not deferential."
-- Republican strategist Karl Rove, September 26, 2012.

Comment: Rove is correct that Obama has distorted and demonized his opponents. But to suggest that Obama is doing this at an unprecedented level -- how would you measure this? At any rate, Rove seems to be engaging in the "only my opponent" caricature, as well as the "they'll say anything" caricature. Also, Rove effectively says that Obama is a liar, right? So why would it backfire to use the word "liar" in describing Obama if it's accurate?

"We know what we are up against. We know how desperate our opponents are to cling to power. But we are ready, and I hope you are too, because I know that we can do this. Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Let’s put these divisive years behind us. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s get this done, and elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States."
-- GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), September 14, 2012, addressing the Values Voter Summit.

Comment: It sounds like Ryan is implying that Democrats "will do anything to win". He is also using "unify the country" rhetoric without specifying what Obama has done to be divisive and what would be involved in uniting. For instance, if I don't accept the policies supported by Romney and Ryan, am I guilty of not "coming together for the sake of our country"?

"People now see that he'll say and do anything to be president."
-- Commentator Sean Hannity, August 16, 2012, referring to President Barack Obama during a radio interview with commentator Pat Buchanan.

"Doesn’t America deserve better than a president who will say or do anything to stay in power?"
-- "America Deserves Better", and ad released by former Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-MA) presidential campaign, August 10, 2012. The ad criticizes President Barack Obama.

Comment: This ad criticizes President Barack Obama for an ad put out by an organization supporting Obama, an ad which accuses Romney of being responsible for a woman's cancer-related death. Agreeing that Romney is not responsible for the woman's death, is this proof that Obama will literally say or do anything in order to win? Will a false claim by Romney's campaign similarly justify the accusation that "Romney will say or do anything to win"?

"Romney’s getting desperate, so he’s playing the race card. He’s campaigning on the bogus charge that Obama wants to gut Bill Clinton’s welfare reform law. ... Clinton pushed this issue back then for the same reason Romney is pushing it now: to appeal to white working class voters who can be swayed by not-so-subtle racist innuendo. Only Romney is also doing so to reinforce. ... No, facts don’t matter to [GOP presidential candidate Mitt] Romney. He’ll do anything, including exploit racism, to get votes."
-- Columnist Matthew Rothschild, August 8, 2012.

Comment: Rothschild wrote this as part of an article in which he criticized an ad from Romney's campaign that -- Rothschild believed -- distorted President Barack Obama's position on welfare reform. If Obama (or Rothschild, for that matter) are ever found to have distorted their opponent's record, does that prove that they, too, will do anything to get votes? Rothschild also accuses Romney of racism (presumably because some people associate welfare with minorities).

Obama and company are willing to "say anything to keep power".
-- Commentator Sean Hannity, July 24, 2012, referring to President Barack Obama during his radio show.

"This guy will say anything."
-- Commentator Glenn Beck, July 23, 2012, referring to President Barack Obama during the first hour of his radio show.

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