Thursday, August 9, 2012

Right Wing Heads Explode Over Romneycare Gaffe


Apoplexy is probably the correct scientific term for the reactions of the far right over yesterday's statements of Andrea Saul, Romney's spokesperson.

Saul committed the sin of telling the truth, which is that Mitt Romney is proud of his achievements as Governor of Massachusetts, including the dreaded "Romneycare" insurance plan. But we can't just blame Andrea Saul since Romney also talked about his "experience with insurance" on the same day.

Saul was attempting to give an official response to an ad from the Obama campaign, about a GST Steel worker who lost his job thanks to a forced Bain closedown of the mill. Later he lost his wife to cancer, and blames it on their lack of health care.
When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my healthcare, and my family lost their healthcare. And a short time after that my wife became ill . . . and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia and that’s when they found the cancer and by then it was stage four/It was, there was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days.
~ Joe Soptic, former employee of GST Steel

Romney Press Secretary Andrea Saul responded on Fox News
“To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care."

Romney also mentioned his Massachusetts plan on the campaign trail in some kind of lame attempt to take it back from Obama, possibly the "etch-a-sketch" moment as he tries to move back to the center. Notice how the crowd claps tentatively, as if confused. I can understand that. The rightwing talking point is that "all health care is bad" even if you need it desperately and want it for your family. Major cognitive dissonance.

But basically Romney's constantly shifting views on Obamacare are the real problem, not anything that Andrea Saul said, since apparently she was just backing up the candidate. How can Romney be against Obamacare, but pro-Romneycare when they are basically one in the same?

Heads exploded with outrage:

This isn't about health care! They're out there saying that your guy killed this woman! And your answer is 'well, she'd a had healthcare if she lived in Massachusetts'?
. . . Andrea Saul’s appearance on Fox was a potential gold mine for Obama supporters. They can say, ‘Romneycare was the basis for our health care.'

~ Rush Limbaugh quoted by TPM

Spokeswoman Saul said these words that were followed by a thunderclap of hands smacking foreheads around the nation.
. . . Lord, lord, lord! The last thing conservatives want to talk about, even less than Romney's tax returns (because at least there, they have a common enemy in Sen. Harry Reid), is Romneycare's similarity to Obamacare. Saul's comment turns Romney into the conservative's worst nightmare! Their main complaint about Romney all the way back to the primary season was his implementation of Obamacare on a state level would make him an ineffective messenger on repealing the president's legislation.
~ Bill Schmalfeld on

Bob Shrum explained it best on Hardball:
Today they endorsed in essence the central idea of the Affordable Care Act. They've done it because they're in a lot of trouble. . . . they've lost the Long Hot Summer, they've ended up in a situation where Romney's upside-down in his favorable/unfavorable. These Bain ads are really hurting him. And they come up with this answer. It seemed opportunistic, but it was stupid. . . . When you run as somebody you're not, it's hard to keep straight who you're supposed to be.
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Next, Ann Coulter's head exploded while ranting to Sean Hannity of Faux News, and she called for Romney to fire Saul as spokesperson, which hasn't happened yet. Stay tuned for further developments.
“Her response was not that it was despicable, not that Bain… that Romney had left Bain five years earlier or the woman died five years after the plant closed and didn’t even get her insurance from her husband, her response was, ‘Well, if she had lived in Massachusetts with Mitt Romney’s health care plan, she would have had health insurance.’ Anyone who donates to Mitt Romney, and I mean the big donors, ought to say if Andrea Saul isn’t fired and off the campaign tomorrow, they are not giving another dime, because it is not worth fighting for this man if this is the kind of spokesman he has… There’s no point in you doing your show, there’s no point in going to the convention and pushing for this man if he’s employing morons like this. This ad is the turning point and she has nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! She should be off the campaign.”

They had a good discussion of Coulter's hissy fit on MSNBC's Last Word, making the point that if Andrea Saul has to resign over this, why not Eric Ferhnstrom, who coined the infamous "Etch-A-Sketch" phrase earlier this year in a major gaffe? Isn't it possible that Saul's statement is part of Ferhnstrom's strategy to move to the center anyway?

And what about that guy named Gorka, who told reporters to "kiss his a$$" at a "holy site" in Poland. Or maybe Dan Senor, the so-called "foreign policy adviser" who gave Romney some really bad advice about his Israeli speech that ticked off the Palestinians.

If Romney fires one, he might have to fire the whole gang. And while he likes firing people who provided services to him, I don't think he can really overturn his entire campaign at this point. People on Twitter are even joking that Romney should just fire himself. LOL

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