Tuesday Reads: Media Reactions to Romney Revelations and Other NewsPosted: September 18, 2012
This is going to be mostly a link dump with little commentary, because I have a lot of news to share and I’m still tired from last night.
Yesterday was a day that will very likely go down in presidential campaign history along with the day Mike Dukakis posed for photos wearing a silly-looking helmet and riding in a tank. In a series of surreptitiously recorded videos/audios, we heard the real Mitt Romney–a man who truly believes that he and other wealthy people got where there are on merit alone and that those pathetic Americans who are not so “successful” are worthless, lazy drones who have the nerve to think we are entitled to food, shelter, health care.
Late last night, Romney finally responded to the firestorm over the leaked videos at a hastily called press availability. He looked desperate–his hair mussed and bags under his eyes, his expression sheepish yet defiant, but he stood by his statement at the May 2012 fundraiser that 47% of Americans are dependent on the government and pay no taxes.
For your reading pleasure, I’ve gathered some of the media reactions to yesterday’s stunning events, but before I get to those, there’s even more from David Corn this morning. After yesterday’s big scoop and his appearances on MSNBC last night, Corn released another episode from the Romney fundraiser bootleg videos: SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution
During the freewheeling conversation, a donor asked Romney how the “Palestinian problem” can be solved. Romney immediately launched into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”
Romney spoke of “the Palestinians” as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.”
Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: “[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”
Romney did note there was another perspective on this knotty matter. He informed his donors that a former secretary of state—he would not say who—had told him there was “a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” Romney recalled that he had replied, “Really?” Then he added that he had not asked this ex-secretary of state for further explanation.
Video at the Mother Jones link.
Also at Mother Jones, a list of likely guests at the Romney fund-raiser.
Joe Coscarelli at New York Magazine: How Jimmy Carter’s Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video
The damning video of Mitt Romney telling a room of wealthy donors how he really feels about the freeloading 47 percent of Americans “who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,” among other candid things, has been floating around online in bits and pieces for three months, but didn’t hit the big time until it was published by David Corn at Mother Jones today. Credited as a “research assistant” on the story is James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, who has been toiling online as an opposition researcher and is “currently looking for work,” according to his Twitter bio. “I’ve been searching for clips on Republicans for a long time, almost every day,” said Carter this evening. “I just do it for fun.” But by connecting Corn with the mysterious uploader of the clip, Carter has uncovered his biggest story yet, one that could potentially affect the outcome of the election. (And get him a job.)
Carter told Daily Intel that he first noticed a portion of the video in which Romney discusses using Chinese labor while working at Bain Capital. That clip, uploaded by a YouTube user named “RomneyExposed” in late May, and then again in late August by an account called “Rachel Maddow” that has since been deleted, eventually made it to Buzzfeed and Daily Kos.*
Additional pieces of the tape were then added to a YouTube account called “Anne Onymous” starting three weeks ago. “There was a minor uproar about it on Twitter when I found [the first clip], so I kept doing research on it and that eventually led me to be able to narrow down who it originated from,” said Carter. Via Twitter, he contacted the person who claimed to have secretly taped and uploaded the video, and then sought to help publicize the remarks. “That seemed to be the purpose of [the filming] — to get it to a larger audience,” Carter said.
Now for those reactions…
Charles Pierce: The Worst Thing Romney Has Said About Americans Yet
Chris Cillizza: Mitt Romney’s Darkest Hour. Chris transmits what is probably the reaction of most Villagers–that the videos are just a distraction and won’t spell the end of Romney presidential campaign.
Jonathan Chait finally faces the reality that Romney is not a moderate Rockefeller Republican: The Real Romney Captured on Tape Turns Out to Be a Sneering Plutocrat
The New Republic staff: Three things we learned from the secret Romney video.
Right wing nut blogger Erick Erickson announced that he has given up on Romney winning the election.
Dave Wiegel: We Are the 47%: The Lousy Math Behind Romney’s Gaffe
Brad Plummer at the Wonkblog: Mitt Romney versus the 47%. Plummer explains why Romney is wrong about half of Americans being shiftless louts who contribute nothing to society.
David Graham at the Atlantic: Where Are the 47% of Americans Who Pay No Income Taxes?
Ben Smith at Buzzfeed: The Long Strange Leak Of Mitt Romney’s 47% Video
The Guardian: Mitt Romney ‘victims’ gaffe: key players
In Other News…
The Nation: What’s Behind the U.S. Embassy Protests in Egypt
WaPo: US Aid to Egypt Stalled