Again, Projection

On one hand, you really have to admire the ginormous brass balls on these folks:

With the first presidential debate less than three weeks away, Mitt Romney is spending lots of time getting ready behind closed doors. In his first comments on that debate prep, he told me that Sen. Rob Portman is a tough stand-in for a president who basically lies in debates.

“I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,” Romney said. “I’ve looked at prior debates. And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

The Romney campaign has been nothing more than an attempt to get into Guinness for the most sustained lies in an election campaign, and here is is accusing the President of dishonesty. So, alleged journalists, which one of you is going to ask the Romney campaign for an example of Obama lying in a debate. Anyone? Oh, yeah. Stenographers. My bad.

235 replies
  1. 1
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    We’ll just leave it to the fact-checkers, who will conclude that it’s “partly true” because Obama once promised to do something in a debate that the GOP Congress wouldn’t let him do once he took office.

  2. 2
    Short Bus Bully says:

    It’s an alternate reality the GOP is living in and Rmoney is demonstrating that in the most conclusive fashion. To anyone not functionally retarded it’s got to be obvious that these folks are sociopaths, right? RIGHT?

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    I gotta say, for an always-has-been-very-rich somewhat-goodlooking Mormon guy, Mitt Romney really can plug into that seething wingnut resentment when he wants to.

    Wonder how that happens.

  4. 4
    amk says:

    And this qualifies as ‘ginormous balls’ how ?

  5. 5

    Yeah good idea, Mitt. Debate with a guy who basically doesn’t exist. You’re going to be crushed.

  6. 6
    Mike Goetz says:

    Every time Obama says “My fellow Americans…”?

    /Kobach out (drops mic)

  7. 7
    taylormattd says:

    Yup. The media stenographers are the reason all republican politicians lie all the time. I mean seriously, why wouldn’t they? You are dumb if you don’t lie, because almost every lie is simply reprinted uncritically as fact.

    Sometimes I have a little bit of hope; we’ve seen a tiny bit of blow-back from Mitt’s latest insanity.

    But it likely won’t last.

  8. 8
    BerkeleyMom says:

    Oh, and I heard Obama’s a Mormon too.

  9. 9
    quannlace says:

    And why he wasn’t struck by lightening is a mystery.
    *********
    You think Obama will let drop a few fibs, eh? So, call him on it. How big a wuss are you?
    Though I think this is his pre-excuse to go ‘Palin’ at the debates.

  10. 10
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @amk:

    Expecting people to believe that his opponent is guilty as sin of something that he demonstrates on a daily basis and getting away with it?

    Classic Rovian Projection tactics. It takes a lot of gall to pull off, but pays off like hell when it does. At worst, you get ‘Both Sides Same Thing’. At best, you can sin your ass off and then play ‘here’s the shiny’ by laying blame on your opponent for doing all the things you’ve indulged in.

    Encouraging signs that it’s finally played out and ineffective, but with the craven media, who knows.

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    Projection, motherfucker. Do you have it?

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker says:

    I see George modestly makes no mention of how he aggressively pressed Our Willard to, how shall I say it (!), give some examples of Obama lying in debates. I’m sure his producers urged him to save his Russert-like, bull dog persistence on this point.

    Also, too, I see that this is another outside interview. As I forget who pointed out, these out-of-studio interviews make it all but impossible to do the thing where the interviewee is confronted with written texts of their lies, falsehoods, evasions and flip-flops. Apparently those kinds of screens make the contradictions sink in with viewers.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    I guess that if you lie about everything, you’re going to lie about lying too. Where they can go from here, I just don’t know.

  14. 14
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @BerkeleyMom: “Oh, and I heard Obama’s a Mormon too.”

    he was given a pre-natal baptism!

  15. 15
    Meg says:

    Two posts, two minutes apart!
    Stop big-footing each other!

    But yeah, Mitten is a giant lying bastard.

  16. 16
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Steve Benen over at The Maddow Blog has blogged a 33 volume book’s worth Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity and there may not be enough internets to complete it by the time the campaign is over.

  17. 17
    lonesomerobot says:

    Wow Snuffalufagous, really?

    a tough stand-in for a president who basically lies in debates.

    So, are you going to put that in quotes or something? Or is that just your way – repeating something your interview subject said without adding any clarity?

    Rhetorical, I already know the damn answer.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    @taylormattd: Also helps when a lot of the analysis is: Republicans Lie – Let’s analyze the tone and feelings.

  19. 19
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    The problem with projecting ginornmous balls is that they make a very easy target to aim for and it hurts when you get kicked in them.

  20. 20
    amk says:

    shorter craven cowardly lying muthahfuckah – I will keep lying during the debates regardless of your questions.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Gonna run out of pixels.

  22. 22
    Bokonon says:

    Here comes the next “narrative” from the Romney campaign (which is their way of saying “sustained lie that we use as a talking point during every media encounter”).

    So … they are telegraphing their next move. If Obama sounds good during the debates, and challenges Romney on substance … they are going to spin this to the GOP faithful and the media that this is because Obama is a lying SOB who plays dirty and will do anything to win. Don’t believe a word coming out of Obama’s mouth! Everything is false! Stick your fingers in your ears! Listen to our slogans!!

    Projection, Mitt?

  23. 23
    bluehill says:

    This is a preemptive move by Romney. I think his team realizes that Obama is going to use facts during that debate that Romney cannot counter, perhaps some of the same ones that Clinton used during his convention speech.

    On a more basic level, it reflects fear. A confident debater would not wonder what to do if he really thought that he opponent was going to lie. That’s an opening to destroy the credibility of your opponent.

  24. 24
    Felinious Wench says:

    He’s setting it up for the fact that he’s going to stick to his talking points, ala Palin. When he doesn’t respond to the points Obama makes, he can then say “well, it was a lie, and I didn’t think it was worth a response” after the debate.

    This debate will be all about canned, memorized responses by Romney.

  25. 25
    MattF says:

    Seriously folks, it would be projection if Mitt thought lying was unacceptable– and consequently attributed the unacceptable behavior to someone else. But it’s clear that he thinks lying is just dandy. So, it’s not really projection, it’s just lying.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    @Short Bus Bully: That is a very unfortunate typo in your name.

  27. 27
    scuffletuffle says:

    Pot calling kettle blah…

  28. 28
    gbear says:

    I’m not going to feel obligated to admire anything about the Romeny campaign. No way, no how.

  29. 29
    LanceThruster says:

    As far as Obama lies go, didn’t he say at his DNC speech that Romney was a good man, or something like that?

  30. 30
    shortstop says:

    @Felinious Wench: I think this is about it. However, let’s all remember that he won’t be able to pull it off. He’ll become flustered and even more wooden, lie ever more obviously, and further endear himself to the American people who are already so taken with his personal style.

  31. 31
    amk says:

    @Felinious Wench: Yup. And it won’t work just like it didn’t in 2008. And in 2008, we didn’t even have twitterdom.

  32. 32
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    What about an ad by democrats, ESPN style, called “lie of the week”? With instant replays and sports style commentary. Everyweek documenting an obvious lie by a republican (eg, with contradictory videos). Could be kind of cool

  33. 33
    lonesomerobot says:

    fywp! oh well.

  34. 34
    RareSanity says:

    “I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true,”

    Man is he going to be surprised during the actual debate when this doesn’t happen.

    This is like planning to invade a country, thinking that you would be, “greeted as liberators”, only to find out that you are actually greeted as an invading, foreign force.

    Funny thing, that…

  35. 35
    lonesomerobot says:

    @The Bearded Blogger: you could do one for every minute of the day.

  36. 36
    Randy P says:

    I think this pretty clearly telegraphs the debate strategy: spout “facts” from Romney/Ryan universe, and greet facts from our universe with some equivalent of the Reagan “There you go again”. Preferably in a way that implies the fact is a lie.

    We all know both these guys are going to throw huge squid-clouds of made up stuff in the debates. Take any random 2 minutes from Ryan’s convention speech. I am very interested to see how both Obama and Biden handle that.

  37. 37
    Felinious Wench says:

    @shortstop:

    However, let’s all remember that he won’t be able to pull it off. He’ll become flustered and even more wooden, lie ever more obviously, and further endear himself to the American people who are already so taken with his personal style.

    Biden was a gentleman towards Palin in 2008, as he needed to be in order not to create sympathy for her. Obama is under no such constraints towards Romney.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Felinious Wench: And the Village will gush about how his responses were brave and daring. And there will be no instant reaction groups to interfere with HORSERACE!!

  39. 39
    UpisDown says:

    @quannlace: This. What else can he do? He can’t possibly respond coherently to any points the Pres might make about how their math doesn’t work, or any of other reality-based critiques of Willard’s records and ‘policy’ ideas that might be made. If Palin got away with it, why wouldn’t he?

    I would not be at all surprised to see him use his response time to the first question on a monologue about how the Pres never does anything but lie, so he’ll not be addressing any of his lyin’ claims and will instead talk about whatever he wants to talk about instead of addressing any ‘gotcha’ questions posed by moderators. I don’t see that he has any option but to go Palin. He won’t be there to debate; he’ll have statements prepared equal to the number of questions anticipated, and he’ll spew BS and platitudes on some topic remotely related to the question. It’s the only way his team can safely prep him; if he were to actually listen to Obama’s points, he’d inevitably come unglued when Obaama got under his skin and into his head. Only safe approach is to coach him not to even listen to what Obama says and justs to spew platitudes about ‘principles’ on the general topic.

  40. 40
    Meg says:

    Mitten has out-Palined Palin.
    They really believe that the reason McCain lost in ’08 is because they did not follow Palin’s gut feeling.

    Mitten is lazy, ignorant, dishonest, mean spirited, arrogant and entitled just like Palin, but without the “charm”.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:

    Where’s the meme pic for “pre-emptive facepalm?”

    I mean, this is just setting Mitt for only two possible outcomes: he responds to every Obama statement with “YOU LIE!” (which will invite the press to fact check, which really hasn’t gone well for Willard so far) or he dodges the questions for 90 minutes. Either way, it ain’t gonna go over well for him.

  42. 42
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Felinious Wench:
    I believe that you nailed it. Romney is too fucking stupid to actually debate so they’re training him to respond to keywords. He’ll have a drummed-into-him response for “taxes,” “recovery,”
    “economy,” etc.

  43. 43
    jibeaux says:

    Jon Stewart was right….there IS an Obama that only Republicans can see.

  44. 44
    Betsy says:

    How do you spell “Republican”?

    P – R – O – J – E – C – T – I – O – N

  45. 45

    Every time Obama says, “Governor Romney …” he’s lying. Romney isn’t governor anymore!

  46. 46
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Randy P:

    We all know both these guys are going to throw huge squid-clouds of made up stuff in the debates. Take any random 2 minutes from Ryan’s convention speech. I am very interested to see how both Obama and Biden handle that.

    Very easy. “You didn’t respond to the question/my point.” Then the back and forth of “yes, I did, I said X,” and “but you gave no specifics, how would that work?” That’s when gaskets blow, because they can’t do that, and Obama and Biden can.

  47. 47
    BC says:

    Not so sure it’s projection as it is playing defense – saying that Obama lies now means that when Romney is caught in a lie he can retreat to the “both sides do it” and have MSM go along. Although, media is beginning to change on Romney with his recent pratfall on the Libya/Egypt riots. If the media goes with the meme that Romney is “shoot first, aim later” that will begin to color how Romney is treated in press reports. Remember, they used the exaggeration (he thinks he’s the smartest person in the room! he says he invented the internet!) on Gore even though Gore never actually exaggerated to the degree they implied. Now Romney has actually given them fodder for the meme they will have . . .

  48. 48
    greennotGreen says:

    @The Bearded Blogger: Yeah, but it can’t be called “lie of the week” because calling someone a liar is thought to be rude. Just call it “Republican talking point of the week” or some such and counter their assertions with facts from non-partisan sources or, better yet, their own words from the previous week/month/election cycle. Let the viewer come to their own conclusion that the Republicans are lying. More powerful that way.

  49. 49
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Felinious Wench:

    Biden was a gentleman towards Palin in 2008, as he needed to be in order not to create sympathy for her. Obama is under no such constraints towards Romney.

    The way Mitten’s is going Obama could call Romney an asshole on TV and get away with it.

  50. 50
    Tom the First says:

    I genuinely think they’re basing their campaign on the notion that people will think “no one would be THAT dishonest, therefore he must be telling the truth.”

  51. 51
    amk says:

    @different-church-lady: Yup. How many times can he say “there you go again”, really ? You can bet your 10,000 dollars that he will botch it the first time he says it.

    And the idjit thinks that Obama will not be prepared for such stoopid put downs.

  52. 52
    Meg says:

    What’s with GOP? They shunned Palin at their convention.
    And then they pick a candidate who emulates Palin 100%.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LanceThruster:

    As far as Obama lies go, didn’t he say at his DNC speech that Romney was a good man, or something like that?

    I think it was along the lines of, “Mitt Romney is a good family man, bless his heart.” Though the “bless his heart” was implied.

    If you’re not sure what “bless his heart” means, ask any Southerner.

  54. 54
    Bago says:

    During the debate, Barry just needs to hold up his iPad and play each side of the position mitt has held.

  55. 55
    quannlace says:

    so he’ll not be addressing any of his lyin’ claims and will instead talk about whatever he wants to talk about instead of addressing any ‘gotcha’ questions posed by moderators.

    Well, he’s certainly shown that he believes that rules are for the little people.
    (Demanding 10 years of tax returns from his VP candidates? Hmmm)

  56. 56
    kofu says:

    @bluehill:

    This is a preemptive move by Romney. I think his team realizes that Obama is going to use facts during that debate that Romney cannot counter…

    Agree. But more than that, he and his crew realize their wingnut base, and those coming under the influence of the flood of ‘Citizens United’-funded ads, will need an excuse for their experience of cognitive dissonance.

    Like the guy sitting in the empty chair — only the GOP can see. When they’re watching the real guy (which they rarely do, except through the Fox News prism), they might wonder about the the truth, so it’s really to relieve their suffering that they advise them to imagine it’s all lies.

  57. 57
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Every time Obama says, “Governor Romney …” he’s lying. Romney isn’t governor anymore!

    I’m not understanding why Romney gets the honorific “Governor” when he’s repudiated everything that he did while he held that office.

  58. 58
    rlrr says:

    @amk:

    How many times can he say “there you go again”, really ?

    I’m guessing zero since Clinton co-opted the phrase during his convention speech.

  59. 59
    jibeaux says:

    @Felinious Wench: Yep. And all debate prep for any candidate involves a certain amount of training to not necessarily answer the exact question asked. I remember this was something Obama was reported to have worked on in ’08, because his natural instinct was to respond very directly to questions and not to necessarily seize that springboard opportunity. But Obama is very artful in responding and R is, well, less so. Plus I’d like to think there’s some semblance of a narrative that the Romney campaign is completely, totally, VAGUE about everything. (Seriously, if you want to get under the skin of a Romney supporter, ask them which specific proposal for cutting government spending they agree with the most.) So I would think that the more he ducks and weaves questions, the more we could call attention to that.

  60. 60
    Chyron HR says:

    @amk:

    How many times can he say “there you go again”, really ? You can bet your 10,000 dollars that he will botch it the first time he says it.

    A McCain-esque “There it goes again”?

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    …they’re training him to respond to keywords. He’ll have a drummed-into-him response for “taxes,” “recovery,”
    “economy,” etc.

    Wow, it’s going to be as though the reprogrammed ELIZA to be a politician.

  62. 62
    MattF says:

    @Mnemosyne: Southern lady once explained to me that if she says someone has lovely hands, it means that she can’t think of anything positive to say about the other body parts.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You can just see Mittens following the Sarah Palin playbook of ignoring the moderator’s question to revert to talking points, then winking (right at Rich Lowry, causing a starburst explosion!) as an effective distraction that will cause the Villagers to all go “WTF?” and then be so dazed that the litany of lies that come next whoosh right past them like an SR-71 coming back from a photorecon mission north of the DMZ.

  64. 64
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: And Brutus in an Honorable Man.

  65. 65

    It has also occurred to me that Romney makes Nixon look like a piker.

  66. 66
    jibeaux says:

    @Meg: Much like Bush, there are leaders in their party that they like, but they know no one outside of the 27% likes, so they feel something that is sort of like shame, except it’s coldly calculated instead of heartfelt.

  67. 67
    trollhattan says:

    Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

    Wasn’t that what Sarah(tm) said at the outset, at the VP debate? Has anybody peeled back Willard’s chitin plates to see whether that’s not Sarah(tm) inside? Could explain her convention absence.

  68. 68
    RareSanity says:

    OK, there have been two front page posts about this same interview with Stephanopoulos, I’m quite surprised that no one noticed this little gem…

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
    __
    MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them. Number two, don’t reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest. The top 5% will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today. That’s principle one, principle two. Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs. And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now.

    Who the hell would define “middle-income” simply by the threshold for the highest income tax bracket?

    I’m frickin’ speechless…

  69. 69
    Hoodie says:

    Playing the expectations game, but it’s weird because it seems it’s structured as an excuse to the base more than an appeal to the swing vote, i.e., Willard still seems to be afraid that the base thinks he’s a wimpy liberal pretending to be a wingnut and/or a screwup and that they’ll think that even more after Big Bad Obama beats the shit out of him.

    it’s difficult to say, ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

    That whiny shit seems to be setting up for refusing (and being unable) to engage Obama on policy and just trying to pull a Palin and talk to himself. That kind of worked for her, but Willard ain’t go no tits, cutesy wink or phony backstory to help him get away with it. The guy is a coward with no game whatsoever.

  70. 70
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If you’re not sure what “bless his heart” means, ask any Southerner.

    Heh. I had a boss who was confused by my saying “Bless his heart,” when someone in the organization was trying to fuck us over.

  71. 71
    lacp says:

    @amk: “You there! Go again!”

  72. 72
    The Moar You Know says:

    ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

    Let me guess.

    This is how he always deals with the press: ignore the question and pile the wingtard bullshit higher and deeper. This is what he’ll do in the debates too.

  73. 73
    trollhattan says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:
    Nixon liked politics. Willard likes the idea of being president. Willard deserves to be president. Because.

  74. 74
    Betsy says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: I don’t know if it’s deliberate Rovian projection. I think Mitt’s projection is his sociopathic little weird little tweisted little version of a substitute capacity, in place of the capacity of EMPATHY that all normal people have .

    As in, instead of EMPATHY, which is the capacity to feel others’ emotions and perspectives inside oneself, he actually does the reverse, PROJECTION, which is to attribute one’s own emotions and perspectives onto others.

    So when he says “you wonder whether to spend all your time responding to the other side’s lies, or to get your own message out there,” that’s his creepy little unconscious perception of what he thinks the Obama campaign must be frustrated by.

  75. 75
    lonesomerobot says:

    @trollhattan: He’s going to talk about the things he thinks are important, not a laundry list…

  76. 76
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    You know what I bet we will see in the debates; Romney trying to answer Obama’s questions for Obama. Romney has his empty chair Obama and isn’t going to like talking to the real Obama.

  77. 77
    EdTheRed says:

    Sticking with the theme of brass balls: “F**k you, that’s my income tax rate. You know why, mister? Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an eighty-thousand dollar BMW. THAT’s my tax rate.”

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RareSanity:

    Have you figured out that your boy is going down to a defeat for the ages yet?

  79. 79
    Richard says:

    Something to ponder when you see Romney flash his smirks…

    Duping delight is a term coined by Dr. Paul Eckman a leading researcher on deception. According to Eckman, “duping delight is the pleasure we get over having someone else in our control and being able to manipulate them”. Some people get a thrill from lying and getting away with it. You see examples of duping delight at a poker table. If a player thinks he has a winning hand, he will flash a brief smile as he watches the other players throw money in the pot. Sometimes, this smile happens in a fraction of a second.

    He was smirking when he made that “Obama’s a liar” comment in the interview.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, I got my nyms mixed up. RareSanity is not our Mittens fanboi.

    My apologies here, as I can’t go back (thank you again, FYWP!) to edit my stupid comment.

    Oh, and RareSanity, it was noted in the comments, but not by a front pager on the front page.

    We’re all reeling from the endless stream of near-pure stupid that Mittens is spewing forth.

  81. 81
    greennotGreen says:

    @Meg: “Mitten is lazy, ignorant, dishonest, mean spirited, arrogant and entitled”

    I don’t think he’s lazy or mean-spirited, and he may not even be arrogant, but he’s totally dishonest, ignorant, and entitled. He has no clue how most people live and not enough empathy to think he should probably find out.

    Lots of people are like that. Most of them are Republicans. Liberals are aware that disease and lack of education and environmental degradation are problems for the whole world, and we believe we address those through government which can use our tax money to research cures, support public schools, and raise alarms about (if not actually do much to stop) global warming.

    Republicans like Mitt generously support a foundation for one disease because there was a personal connection, support private schools for their own children, and care about the environment when it affects their vacation homes. There’s just a basic inability to see the larger picture.

  82. 82
    lacp says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well, if it will make you feel better, UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!

  83. 83
    RareSanity says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I have, but it is still remarkable that even at this point of his decades of campaigning, he can still reach new levels of public assholery…

    ETA: I knew you didn’t mean to actually say he was really “my boy”…I just thought it was sarcasm…

  84. 84
    quannlace says:

    Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

    Uhh, isn’t that what he already does everytime he gives a campaign speech? So what’s holding him back?

    Also, he can always announce a press conference. On MSNBC they were discussing what Mitt could do to get back on track. Someone said he should give a major policy speech on the economy, laying out exactly what he’s going to do.

    Ha-ha. yeah, I know, that’ll happen.

  85. 85
    amk says:

    @lacp: egg.sack.lee

  86. 86
    Waldo says:

    @bluehill: Yeah, I think he’s setting up his real game plan. To avoid getting pinned down on policy specifics, Mittens will spend most of his debate time calling Obama a, how shall I say it, liar.

    The best part: the fact checkers would have fact check Obama’s statements to see if Romney was lying. It’ll be like he wasn’t even there. Brilliant!

  87. 87
    jibeaux says:

    @RareSanity: See, this is the confluence of being completely out of touch with being just a bad politician. Both parties have set up this $250k or the $200-$250k range as a threshold in tax reform. The difference is that Obama is always careful to refer to this in terms like “lowers taxes on income less than $250k”, etc., spelling out the number. Giving R the benefit of the doubt, what he’s probably trying to explain is that in his shorthand discussion of his tax policy, whatever the hell it is today, the threshold is not $100k but would be $200k or $250k, but his response makes no sense. If he has to use the shorthand “middle income”, it would be a lot clearer this way:
    Q: is $100k middle income?
    A: Yes, I’m referring to everything for tax purposes under $250k as middle income…
    Instead he says NO, then says it’s $200-$250k AND UNDER, which of course makes no damn sense. Which is problem one, and problem two is that he needs a different way of referring to sub-$250k a year other than “middle”.

  88. 88
    scav says:

    aahhhhh, we could probably recycle those large billboards with W’s mug shot and “Miss me Yet?” printed on them and catch large numbers of the devout helplessly weeping under them for their lost age of relative competence.

  89. 89
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @RareSanity: There were lots of comments about it. When you have this many things to talk about, though, you don’t want to turn it into a laundry list, you want to talk about the important things…

  90. 90
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @quannlace:

    Also, he can always announce a press conference. On MSNBC they were discussing what Mitt could do to get back on track. Someone said he should give a major policy speech on the economy, laying out exactly what he’s going to do.

    The difficulty there is that his speechwriters don’t seem to be clever enough to making busting out America sound like a good thing.

  91. 91
    Chris says:

    @Meg:

    Mitten is lazy, ignorant, dishonest, mean spirited, arrogant and entitled just like Palin, but without the “charm” boobz.

    FTFY.

  92. 92
    Yutsano says:

    @trollhattan: Willard is destined to be President. And I sincerely believe he buys that White Horse Prophecy.

  93. 93
    Ann Rynd says:

    Is Dick Cheney his debate coach? This is just a Cheney especialmente preemptive attack that worked so well for them for 8 years. of course Romney doesn’t have the borrowed heart that Cheney has. He’ll just have to improvise having a heart.

  94. 94
    Meg says:

    @RareSanity:
    If $350,000 speaking fee is “not much money” for him, of course it is not strange to think 200K represent middle income.
    This guy is completely out of touch.

    On the other hand, he could be just lazy and ignorant.
    There are plenty of wealthy politicians who manage to have those numbers correctly on top of their heads.

  95. 95
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @quannlace: Didn’t he already try (and fail) to do that a few weeks back, at a gathering called a convention or something? Jeebus, do people at MSNBC actually get paid to spout this bullshit?

  96. 96
    Betsy says:

    @Felinious Wench: Are you kidding? a WHITE MAN?

  97. 97
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @amk: How many times can he say “there you go again”, really ? You can bet your 10,000 dollars that he will botch it the first time he says it.

    Exactly what I was thinking.

  98. 98
    Arclite says:

    Anyone? Oh, yeah. Stenographers. My bad.

    Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.

  99. 99
    quannlace says:

    Ugh, Romney’s latest excuse for why he condemned the embassy ‘apology.”

    MITT ROMNEY: Well, early on, with the developments in Egypt, the embassy there put out a statement which stayed up on their website for, I think, 14-15 hours.
    …… Well, it first went up before they breached the wall. But it stayed up. And they reiterated the statement after they breached the wall, even after some of the tragedy in Libya, the statement stayed up.

    ******

    That’s right. By Golly, when the embassy and staff were being attacked by an angry mob with rocket launchers, how dare they not update their website!

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    Jeebus, do people at MSNBC actually get paid to spout this bullshit?

    Yes, which really pisses me off, as I can spout bullshit of that poor quality all fucking day and not so much as cause my pulse to vary at all.

    And I won’t get paid for it.

  101. 101
    taylormattd says:

    @Suffern ACE: Yup.

  102. 102
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Death Panel Truck:
    He has a 53 point plan. He just doesn’t want to reveal it because the economy is very skittish at the moment and it might run away before Mitt can get his mitts on it.

  103. 103
    jibeaux says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Someone said he should give a major policy speech on the economy, laying out exactly what he’s going to do.

    Yeah, this is….not going to happen.
    I mean, if I were an undecided voter, I would lay out my options as if I were shopping for a car. (I know, many undecided voters have more unorthodox selection methods, but this is just how I am.) I would make a list of priorities I would like to see, go to the websites and speeches, etc. and figure out each candidate’s specific proposals and write them down and evaluate how well that answered my concern. I would just have a big frickin’ BLANK SPACE for most of my Romney column.

  104. 104
    jibeaux says:

    @jibeaux: And point two is, you can’t stretch “Taaaaaxxxx cuuuuutsss” into a real speech all by itself, no matter how you try.

  105. 105
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Rob Portman is the stand-in for Obama. heehee.

  106. 106
    lacp says:

    @Chris: I didn’t think it was possible, but the Republicans have come up with somebody who makes Dubyuh look good. OK, not “good” good, more like “Christ, you mean there’s somebody worse?” good.

  107. 107
    Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker says:

    @quannlace: .

    On MSNBC they were discussing what Mitt could do to get back on track. Someone said he should give a major policy speech on the economy, laying out exactly what he’s going to do.
    Ha-ha. yeah, I know, that’ll happen.

    I think it was Ben Smith of Buzzfeed, ex-Politico, who I heard on MSNBC via sat radio saying that Our Willard has been specific on foreign policy: He wants to be tough and bomb Iran. Smith also seemed oddly persuaded that it is very important that Netan-Yahoo approves of Willard’s foreign policy.

  108. 108

    @Dennis SGMM: Exactly! I am looking forward to the Obama campaign putting out an ad similar to the one Ted Kennedy put out when Romney ran for Senate.

  109. 109
    amk says:

    @quannlace: Keep digging asshole.

    /not you.

  110. 110
    quannlace says:

    Didn’t he already try (and fail) to do that a few weeks back, at a gathering called a convention or something?

    Yeah, but conventions are nothing but a big ol’ Valentine card.
    They were talking about actual details, something Romney’s been avoiding like Kryptonite.

  111. 111
    KG says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Romney: blah blah tax cuts blah blah, apology tour, blah blah

    Obama: With all due respect, sir, you are an asshole

    Romney: you can’t say that!

    Obama: I said “with all due respect”

  112. 112
    RaflW says:

    Well, one thing Obama can say, plus or minus a few points, is that the Dow has gone up about 5,250 points since he was inaugurated nearly four years ago.

    And since Romney has chickenfucked the 4 year frame, I hope Obama tells the truth about the Dow. Hahaha.

    .

    ETA linkee

  113. 113
    SatanicPanic says:

    Are the debates even going to allow for rebuttals? Seems like when I tuned in last time it was just two people giving short, canned speeches based (somewhat) on the question asked. This was especially true for Palin.

  114. 114
  115. 115
    different-church-lady says:

    @quannlace:

    They were talking about actual details, something Romney’s been avoiding like Kryptonite.

    One cannot avoid something that doesn’t exist in the first place.

  116. 116
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @lacp:
    I mentioned on another thread that I have become convinced that Romney owes his candidacy to the fact that someone had to rehabilitate the Bush family politically. Nothing else makes any sense to me.

  117. 117
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    Well, these won’t be the Lincoln-Douglas debates. They never have been since we tried to re-construct them back in 1960. These “debates” are just another excuse for the participants to give another stump speech whether or not it’s relevant to the question. So, I figger Romoney will not have as much of a tuff time getting thru it as most folx here think. It’s gonna depend mostly on the “journalistic analyses” afterward that count. And, of course, the hair. The Hair.

  118. 118
    roc says:

    If Romney can get the press to echo his projection, he can feed that ‘both sides do it’ centrist excuse to stay home and better his chances.

    The over-arching Republican goal, since the ‘southern strategy’ has always been about turnout. And that means not only lying and dog-whistling your ass off to get conservatives to the polls, not only explicitly trying to disenfranchise liberals, but it also means convincing the generally-unaffiliated people from seeing any difference between the two.

  119. 119
    different-church-lady says:

    @SatanicPanic: You don’t remember, “Say it ain’t so, Joe”?

  120. 120
    Meg says:

    @greennotGreen:

    I don’t think he’s lazy or mean-spirited

    Well, maybe I should say he is intellectually lazy.
    Look, he has years to prepare his presidential narratives and he knows or should have known in what areas he is going to be attacked or questioned(eg, Bain, tax return, Romneycare…). But so far all he did was flailing around when anybody asked him any questions.

    For God sake, he couldn’t produce more than 2 years of presentable tax returns.

  121. 121
    RareSanity says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    There were lots of comments about it. When you have this many things to talk about, though, you don’t want to turn it into a laundry list, you want to talk about the important things…

    Touché…

  122. 122
    owlbear1 says:

    I can’t wait for the Rmoney campaign to accuse Obama of hiding bank accounts in Switzerland.

  123. 123
    amk says:

    @KG: you betcha. also. too. “Can I call you, mitt? “

  124. 124
    rlrr says:

    @different-church-lady:

    President John McCain owes a lot to Palin for devastating Joe Biden in that debate…

  125. 125

    @greennotGreen: I’m partial to “The Weekly Whopper”. Burger King might take issue with that though…

  126. 126
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Rob Portman is the stand-in for Obama. heehee.

    __
    You missed the best part:

    In his first comments on that debate prep, he told me that Sen. Rob Portman is a tough stand-in

    __
    Read between the lines: Romney got his ass handed to him by the stand-in during their practice debates. This is like an NFL team before The Big Game bragging “yeah, those tackling dummies really gave us a workout…”

  127. 127
    SatanicPanic says:

    @different-church-lady: I refuse to believe that Palin didn’t have that written on her palm and was going to bust that one out no matter what Joe said.

  128. 128
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: About three months ago I stopped watching MSNBC. I never watched the daytime segments because I don’t have time, but I watched Ed and Rachel. I can’t stand any of it anymore, even the hosts I generally agree with. I have to deal with hypertension and a mild kidney disorder, and I don’t need to do any more damage to my body than I already have. Even alcohol is off-limits, which really hurts during this particular election cycle. Just coming here to read about Willard and his lie(s) of the day makes me wish I could still anesthetize myself with booze like in the old (pre-kidney damage) days.

  129. 129
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Betsy:

    Are you kidding? a WHITE MAN?

    He won the last election and is most likely going to win this one too. He’s already behind in the white male vote. The rest of the country seems to be about sick of these conservative white male Republicans. So, I’m not kidding. He’s got plenty of room to let him have it.

    And of course, this excludes all of the wonderful, exceptional white males here. :)

  130. 130
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dennis SGMM: That was always my theory about the Dubya Bush candidacy: an attempt to create nostalgia for the Poppy Bush presidency — by being so oafish and ridiculous to make the first Bush look masterful by comparison — gone terribly, horribly awry.

  131. 131
    KG says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni: the real point of the debates is that it’s basically the only time you get to see the viable choices actually next to each other, interacting with each other. It’s easy to see a lot of any politician giving canned speeches and choreographed photo opps with “real people” and think “yeah, that guy could be president” – it’s even true with Romney to some extent. But actually seeing the two choices up there on one stage can define an election…

    Mondale laughing at Reagan’s joke about not using his youth and inexperience against him; GHW Bush checking his watch; Gore with the sighs; McCain ignoring Obama in 2008 as Obama tried to engage him… those things can matter, or at least look like they do in the post-election analysis.

  132. 132
    different-church-lady says:

    @SatanicPanic: Sure, but the reason I mentioned it was because it was during the rebuttal time. Which answers your implied question about whether there were rebuttals last time.

  133. 133
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Well, we’ve now seen a glimpse at the Romney debate strategy: Ignore the questions, ignore whatever the President says or asks, rattle off his prepared talking points by rote, and then claim he had to do it that way because Obama was lying and the media’s biased.

  134. 134
    rlrr says:

    @KG:

    I predict we’ll see Romney wipe his hand after shaking hands with Obama…

  135. 135
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    The joke being that “with all due respect” ALWAYS precedes something quite disrespectful, indeed!

  136. 136
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni: True, but I’ve watched the Kennedy-Nixon debates and read the transcripts, and for the most part the media asked pertinent questions, and the candidates tried to answer them. Even Nixon came prepared with facts. But he also showed up drenched in sweat with a five o’clock shadow.

  137. 137
    catclub says:

    @roc: “And that means not only lying and dog-whistling your ass off to get conservatives to the polls”

    Of course, Bush may not be a good president, but he was an excellent campaigner. Nonetheless, they also had LOTS of
    red-meat (mostly anti gay marriage) ballot issues on the ballot in various states. Romney doing any of that?

    Didn’t the Democrats in NC maneuver to get that ballot initiative on the primary ballot RATHER than the November one?

    Yogi Berra’s “Doesn’t anyone know how to play this game?”
    comes up.

  138. 138
    gogol's wife says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yeah, you confused the heck out of me. I went back to his answer and didn’t see any all caps, so I was at sea.

  139. 139
    japa21 says:

    I am hoping that Obama brings up the quote of Mitten’s how he learned in the Senate race against Kennedy that if you get specific about what you want to do people won’t vote for you. This would of course be perfect after Romney declines to go into specifics. And the thing is, Obama can do it in that way he has of saying something that is really brutal but with a smile on his face.

  140. 140
  141. 141
    Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker says:

    I just turned on MSNBC long enough to see “Breaking News” that John McCain said that Obama ‘doesn’t understand American leadership’, while Joan Walsh whimpered that it’s a shame that John McCain isn’t the “sober voice he has so often been”. Could somebody on TeeVee pretty please just point out that this emperor is naked? Just say it, acknowledge beforehand (because we’ve gotta pick our battles etc) that he is a war hero, but point out that the actions of a junior officer in southeast asia 45 years ago have absolutely fuck-all to do with the ME in 2012. Point out that if he were deciding American foreign policy* we would currently be occupying and/or fighting in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan? Just make the point, please? Thank you, somebody on TeeVee, thank you.

    *where the actual troops to do this, much less the money to pay for them, would come from is another question. A meta-hypothetical?

  142. 142
    amk says:

    As they say, your best orgasms happen when you sleep. Dream on mittbot.

  143. 143
    SatanicPanic says:

    @different-church-lady: Oh, ok. I wasn’t paying that much attention. Maybe it the presidential debates that didn’t allow rebuttals. Or maybe I’m just talking about things I don’t know anything about. Is this irresponsible?

  144. 144
    lacp says:

    The cyborg does not debate, it terminates.

  145. 145
    daryljfontaine says:

    “If the American people wanted to hear Governor Romney ignore their questions and repeat the same tired talking points again, they could just watch his campaign speeches on YouTube. Meanwhile, here are the facts about…”

    /debate over

    D

  146. 146
    Amir Khalid says:

    @rlrr:
    In The Audacity of Hope, Obama describes his first meeting with President George Walker Bush: after shaking hands, Bush brought out hand sanitizer and used it, then offered some to Obama. I remember reading that, and thinking of W: “Now that is one weird man.”

  147. 147
    nemesis says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Ha. Poor Portman. He was the John Edwards standin back in 2004. Cheneys man crush on Portman led to two large career opportunities.

  148. 148
    different-church-lady says:

    @catclub:

    Yogi Berra’s “Doesn’t anyone know how to play this game?”
    comes up.

    Stengal. But I’ve have the same quote running around my head for at least the past month in regard to Mitt’s campaign.

  149. 149
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @KG: My point exactly, but as for substance, not much. Kennedy “won” the debates with Nixon basically because his make-up artists were a lot better. Watch Nixon sweat thru his 5:00 shadow while Kennedy looked tanned and fit. It’s not so much what they said, as how they looked. That first debate, on substance, I think, was “won” by Nixon, but it didn’t matter. Kennedy just looked better. BTW I never voted for a Repugnican in my life, but us Demoncrats are just much prettier than our opponents. It helps a lot LOL.*

    *and this will be my short abbr. so long as nobody comes up with a better one

  150. 150
    Hill Dweller says:

    Benen has more from this interview, including Willard saying his Iran policy is no different than Obama’s Iran policy, effectively undermining, in 20 seconds, the Republicans’ years long campaign to portray Obama as weak on Iran.

    Willard is an awful candidate running an inept campaign.

  151. 151
    amk says:

    @daryljfontaine: Or “Yes, here I go again, govnor, … with the facts….”

  152. 152
    Calouste says:

    @lacp:

    Romney is the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Bush. Chances that he was going to be better than Bush were pretty slim to start with.

  153. 153
    ET says:

    I can’t decide……

    One – is it that Romney lies (and knows it) so much he assumes that everyone else does it?

    Or two – is it that he is so deep in the right-wing bubble that makes up it own facts that he truly wouldn’t understand the truth as the rest of the world sees it?

    Neither speaks well for him to be PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

  154. 154
    Jim, Foolish Literalist and Fact Checker says:

    @Amir Khalid: My small telling moment about the Shrub was on Letterman, when during a commercial break a producer wearing a big, oversized shirt was talking to Letterman, and Bush reached out and used the tail of this woman’s shirt to clean his glasses, as if that were just something people do, as if the producer were an inanimate object. That’s when I understood that Maureen Dowd was not exaggerating when she said the Bush’s divide the world into two classes, peers and ‘the help’. I think Willard makes Bush look well-adjusted and respectful.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    amk says:

    oh btw cole. stop your chicken littling. mittbotis not gonna ‘own’ the debates.

  157. 157
    different-church-lady says:

    @Raven: Stingle!

    No, wait… “D’ho!” (or is it “D’oh!”?)

  158. 158
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Obama: What is your stand on this issue? (Looks at watch.) I realize that some minutes have passed since the debate began so your most deeply held principles have probably changed in that interval. Take your time.

  159. 159
    Brachiator says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    Even alcohol is off-limits, which really hurts during this particular election cycle.

    I know what you mean. To paraphrase Airplane:

    Steve McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong election cycle to quit sniffing glue.

    But I’m way past being steamed by stupid shit Mitt Romney says. I am somewhat concerned that there might be enough fearful goobers to vote Romney into office despite his manifest incompetence, but I can just do what I can to support Obama and the Democrats, and see what happens.

    Apart from that, I am beginning to enjoy the false bluster and inanity which is the Unbelievable Lightness of Mittens.

  160. 160
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Brachiator: Hmmm…perhaps glue would be the safer alternative to booze for me. ;)

  161. 161
    quannlace says:

    There’s three debates, right? And I think they each have a different format. One’s the formal, standing at the podium. The last one usually is the sitting down, just-talking-like-plain folks. The one where McCain seemed to be wandering around the set while Obama was speaking.
    They all allow for rebuttals, don’t they?

  162. 162
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I don’t really know about that. Candidates shake so many hands on the campaign trail that they would be ill half the time if they didn’t use hand sanitizer every 10 minutes. It’s probably just a habit Bush picked up, although taken somewhat to the extreme. At least he was polite enough to offer the sanitizer to Obama and not imply that it was just Obama’s hands that could be dirty. If the Romdroid had to worry about germs, we can all exactly predict how he would behave in that situation.

  163. 163

    @Dennis SGMM: Heh. Riffing off of John Kerry at DNC 2012–

    Obama: So Governor Romney–is Osama Bin Laden better off than he was four years ago?

  164. 164
    Richard says:

    ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?”

    It really sounds like he intends to borrow Clint Eastwood’s act, and pretend that he’s debating an empty chair.

    Brilliant strategy. It will make for an interesting train wreck.

  165. 165
    Redshift says:

    @Calouste: It’s not using hand sanitizer that’s weird, it’s doing it right after shaking hands, while the person is standing there.

  166. 166
    catclub says:

    @different-church-lady: Nobody check’s Roget’s anymore, its too full of quotes.

    Thanks.

  167. 167
    lonesomerobot says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: The amazing thing to wonder about this is, are they giving Portman the talking points (aka “lies”) that they imagine the invisible Obama would say (imagine BaRoback PortmObaman saying, “to all the terrorists out there, I apologize for American values!” or “I really hate America!”)? Because that will be a funny thing to see when Dubya Mitt is totally unprepared for what Obama actually says.

    Or is it more that Obama will actually say things that are true that they believe to be lies, because at this point in republican bizarro world, they can’t actually even begin to fathom things like, “facts” and, “truth”?

    It must be so hard to prepare for a debate with the fictional character that exists only in the minds of these unhinged people.

  168. 168
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Brachiator:

    I am somewhat concerned that there might be enough fearful goobers to vote Romney into office despite his manifest incompetence

    I worry about that somewhat, but it seems some days that Willard’s campaign is like a slow-motion Hindenburg, on fire and on its way to the ground, never to reach the mooring mast. He came out of the convention with a negative bounce, so it looks like the American people didn’t come away with a positive impression after their first sustained look at the man who would be president.

  169. 169
    KG says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni: Nixon screwed the pooch on the ’60 debate, from what I’ve read of it… he was sick the week before so his suit didn’t fit right, he was the type of guy who had a five o’clock shadow by 11 am, and on top of everything else, he didn’t even wear make up (in his defense on that, it was early in the TV era and not many understood the need to wear make up like they do now).

  170. 170
    dance around in your bones says:

    I don’t know if anybody is watching the return of the bodies of the Ambassador and the three other Americans killed in Benghazi, but the whole ceremony has me in tears.

    Just….fuck.

  171. 171
    catclub says:

    @Hill Dweller: “including Willard saying his Iran policy is no different than Obama’s Iran policy”

    The basic risk aversion. Just like when he was offered Bain, and made sure that he could come back to the original company if it did not work out.

  172. 172
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @KG: Nixon also wore a grey suit that blended into the black-and-white background, while Kennedy wore a dark suit that accentuated his “bronze warrior” look, to quote Don Hewitt, producer of the first debate.

  173. 173
    LanceThruster says:

    When did debate format become giving prepackaged drivel without an attempt to even connect the message specifically to what was asked?

    Why even bother with questions?

    Why not make it a “free period” where the candidates can go on at length and their leisure about whatever suits their fancy?

    Is that what you’d prefer, Mr. Mittens?

  174. 174
    catclub says:

    @KG: I think Perlstein mentions that Kennedy gave Nixon the impression that he would not use makeup, but had hired experts.

  175. 175
    Brachiator says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    RE: I am somewhat concerned that there might be enough fearful goobers to vote Romney into office despite his manifest incompetence

    I worry about that somewhat, but it seems some days that Willard’s campaign is like a slow-motion Hindenburg, on fire and on its way to the ground, never to reach the mooring mast. He came out of the convention with a negative bounce, so it looks like the American people didn’t come away with a positive impression after their first sustained look at the man who would be president

    Yes, much of the electorate appears to be distinctly unimpressed with what they saw at the Republican convention, and Romney is doing everything he possibly can to reinforce that negative impression.

  176. 176
    LanceThruster says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    It is quite sad, but I would also like to see some coverage of the ten Libyans who died trying to protect the Americans in the US consulate.

  177. 177
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Just….fuck.

    I find myself saying those words quite often these days. There aren’t enough tears.

  178. 178
    Soonergrunt says:

    What has been seen cannot be unseen.
    The Rmoneys did LIVE! with Kelly and Michael.
    Yes, I saw this today. I thought (hoped like hell) that the drugs were causing a hallucination.
    Unfortunately, no.
    The nightmare image:

    He was also asked what he wore to bed at night and replied, “I think the best answer is as little as possible.”

    You’re welcome.

  179. 179
    KG says:

    @Death Panel Truck: yeah, I think I remember reading that too, was working off the top of my head on the other stuff. All in all, it was a terrible appearance by Nixon.

    @catclub: and the beginning of Nixon’s great distrust of all things Kennedy (and probably the beginning of his descent)

  180. 180
    LanceThruster says:

    @KG:

    Plus, if not already mentioned, the majority of those who heard the debate on radio felt Nixon won.

  181. 181
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @LanceThruster: I’ve always thought of these modern “debates” as little more than joint press conferences, except that the participants give different answers to the same questions.

  182. 182
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @catclub:
    I’m one of the old gators who remembers the Kennedy-Nixon debate. Nixon looked terrible. I recall wondering how his people could have allowed him to appear so un-telegenic.

  183. 183
    LanceThruster says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    Agreed, that is when they’re not giving the same answer to different questions.

  184. 184
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Death Panel Truck: Again, Kennedy LOOKED better. I really don’t think mere appearances are gonna matter much this year (I truly hope), other than the fact that Obama doesn’t look exactly “white,” (which makes a huge difference with a percentage of the populace), but I hope the fact that Demoncrats are far far prettier than their opponents (as well as being far better able to articulate their positions) will make a difference. I think the election is decided already. Romoney can only get worse. We’re onna roll here, but I am concentrating mostly on down-ballot races these days.

  185. 185
    jimmiraybob says:

    …ginormous brass balls…

    I’d go with lead for two reasons: 1) it’s going to sink him, and 2) so as not to confuse the Romney BS with Colbert’s talk-to-power brass.

  186. 186
    LanceThruster says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Ick!, though I’m not sure why. I have no pre-programmed revulsion to a Ken doll.

    “I just can’t stand Mittens on any level whatsoever” is good enough for me.

  187. 187
    Another Bob says:

    George Stenographoulos?

  188. 188
    dance around in your bones says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I would, too, actually.

    @Dennis SGMM:I’m getting too old for all this shit. I actually lived across the street from the American Ambassador to AFG (Adolph Dubs) when he was murdered in Kabul in 1979. It was so shocking and traumatic ….. and here we go , yet again.

    And again, and again, and again………

  189. 189
    Cap'n Magic says:

    With many of the GOP enablers stating that if Romney loses those folks will quit the GOP, it would be so glorious if Obama wins to use those quotes and say: “Too bad you’re not a man/woman of your word.”

  190. 190
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Soonergrunt: Dude.

  191. 191
    Nina says:

    Romney is a Snooki fan. He said so on Kelly Ripa.

    The Apocrapocalypse is at hand.

  192. 192
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Another Bob:

    George Stenographoulos?

    Nicely done. I can’t recall where or when I first heard the term “smoothboy.” It seems to fit Stenographoulos to a T.

  193. 193
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni: Of course Kennedy looked better. That’s why I pointed out Nixon’s five o’clock shadow, his sweatiness and the grey suit, which was a poor choice for a black-and-white broadcast.

    I think Obama will come off as prepared and articulate, while Willard’s petulance and his “I’m better than you and don’t you forget it” arrogance will doom him. At least I hope so.

  194. 194
    LanceThruster says:

    @Nina:

    The Apocrapocalypse is at hand.

    That rolls so trippingly off the tongue. :-)

    a-PAH-cra-PAH-ca-lips.

    I love it!

  195. 195
    scav says:

    @Soonergrunt: Given that I know the quality of the airbags protecting you, I feel safe in saying I will track you down . . . .

  196. 196
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    I think Obama will come off as prepared and articulate, while Willard’s petulance and his “I’m better than you and don’t you forget it” arrogance will doom him. At least I hope so.

    Romney also has that “How dare you question me?” thing going on. He’s a thin-skinned, arrogant, prick and I’m guessing that team Obama has a rope-a-dope strategy that will allow Willard to make a fool of himself.

  197. 197
  198. 198
    artem1s says:

    I can’t believe how many times I get asked what would be a win in the debates. At this point I feel like if – and only if – Ritchie Romney accidentally lights his podium on fire does the President have a fighting chance.

    personally, I’m kinda hoping to see that…

  199. 199
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Don’t know if anyone has commented on this yet, but Mitt’s delivery and phrasing struck me as very similar to what we heard from the Prez yesterday (I paraphrase): “Mitt Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later….” Is it possible that Obama’s words especially stung Mittens and now said Mittens is trying to go all “I know you are, but what am I?”

  200. 200
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I’m guessing that team Obama has a rope-a-dope strategy that will allow Willard to make a fool of himself.

    I think you’re right about that. I think that Obama can also float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, to use another Ali allusion. I don’t think Willard’s gonna know when he’s been made a fool of. I just fear the media’s going to try to rehabilitate him after every disastrous appearance.

  201. 201
    KG says:

    Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and Moses… I just read the transcript of Romney’s $200,000 is middle class, thinking he couldn’t have said anything that stupid. Well, I was right, it was even worse…

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income? MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce — or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them.

    That doesn’t even make sense. Besides the fact that $200,000 puts you in the top 3%, it just hurts my brain that it goes like that. I mean, I can’t even understand what he’s saying. The debate is going to be a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

  202. 202
    Chris says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Benen has more from this interview, including Willard saying his Iran policy is no different than Obama’s Iran policy, effectively undermining, in 20 seconds, the Republicans’ years long campaign to portray Obama as weak on Iran.

    Utterly fantastic.

    I think he’s basically hoping that statements like that make their way to the moderates while his more extreme ones make their way to the fanatics in his base. I doubt if the wingnut blogosphere will even report that statement, just as I doubt if they’ll report his condemnation of the anti-Muslim video, so he’s got some help.

  203. 203
    Cap'n Magic says:

    Latest from electoral-vote.com: 332 Obama, 206 Romney.

  204. 204

    @Soonergrunt:

    Congratulations on your survival, dear.

    ETA: There is a shiny new thread and some jokes up above if anyone is interested.

  205. 205
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    thinking he couldn’t have said anything that stupid. Well, I was right, it was even worse…

    Like I said earlier, a firehose of stupid. He can’t turn it off.

  206. 206
    ThatPirateGuy says:

    Anyone else think Romney will refuse sit down debates due to his now profound fear of chairs?

  207. 207
    Tonal Crow says:

    Seriously folks, it would be projection if Mitt thought lying was unacceptable—and consequently attributed the unacceptable behavior to someone else. But it’s clear that he thinks lying is just dandy. So, it’s not really projection, it’s just lying.

    It’s neither projection nor just lying, it’s propaganda. More specifically, it’s The Big Lie, in which the perp lies a whopper so big that his targets conclude that it must be the truth, because no one could possibly get away with lying such a ginormous lie.

  208. 208
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Thanks! It beats the alternative.
    Say, what aperitif would you mix with Hydrocodone?

  209. 209
    Brachiator says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Benen has more from this interview, including Willard saying his Iran policy is no different than Obama’s Iran policy, effectively undermining, in 20 seconds, the Republicans’ years long campaign to portray Obama as weak on Iran.

    Is the point, then, that Iran policy will be better because it will be directed by a Real White American Republican(tm)?

    @Death Panel Truck:

    I think you’re right about that. I think that Obama can also float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, to use another Ali allusion. I don’t think Willard’s gonna know when he’s been made a fool of.

    But what Obama needs to do is to make sure that whoever watches the debates comes away seeing how thoroughly unacceptable Romney would ever be as president.

    There’s a lot of chatter here about the Nixon Kennedy debate. Nixon may have been unlikeable, but he was no lightweight.

    I would hope that Obama might take a look at some of the debates between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole.

    Here’s a slice (well, an entire 90 minute debate).

    Here’s a comment I like: Debate was over after Bill Clinton’s opening statement.

    Both sides will keep in mind how Obama neutralized John McCain. And here’s a possible repeat: McCain tried to position himself as a master of military affairs and foreign policy. Obama held his own, and was helped by McCain’s stupid reaction to the looming financial crisis.

    Obama has already been given the gift of Romney’s foreign policy follies. Obama needs to drive the knife home.

    This leaves Obama room to take down Mittens on Romney’s supposed strong suit as master of the economy. I think he can kick Romney’s ass here.

    He also needs to go after Romney’s character, which will sting big time. As far as I am concerned, Romney cannot simply decide on his on whether to hide or disclose his tax returns. It’s not just about whether Romney paid zero taxes. He keeps saying “trust me” but has done nothing to demonstrate that he has earned the nation’s trust.

    BTW, right now, I am pretty sure that Biden is going to dismantle Ryan’s Hope rather easily.

  210. 210
    priscianusjr says:

    @MattF:

    guess that if you lie about everything, you’re going to lie about lying too. Where they can go from here, I just don’t know.

    You’ve got to go post-postmodern.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  211. 211
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Okay, a bit off-topic, perhaps, but isn’t Romney that guy in 80’s movies who showed up in a tennis sweater and perfect hair, who had the a cute girl, and who said lots of mean and stupid things — a guy who pretty much everyone secretly hated?

  212. 212
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    The Ted McGinley archetype?

  213. 213
    nhoj says:

    @Soonergrunt: Alcohol and most hydrocodone preps don’t mix – unless socialist medicine starts growing livers on trees.

  214. 214
    ralphdibny says:

    Let’s all stop repeating urban legends about the Nixon/Kennedy debates.
    http://mediamythalert.wordpres.....late-anew/

    Nixon didn’t take the debate very seriously, and the media hammered him for it. But there is little evidence that he came off any better on the radio, or that the debate mattered at all to the outcome of the election. But the media tells us it was very very important, because that’s what the media does–fluff themselves.

  215. 215
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    Obama needs to drive the knife home.

    Obama does not drive knives home. Obama presses them in, steadily, inch by bloody inch, with surgical precision.

  216. 216
    LanceThruster says:

    @ralphdibny:

    Interesting information. When looking to confirm or reject said assertion, I found this.

    Other sites had the conventional assertion.

  217. 217
    LanceThruster says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Like I said earlier, a firehose of stupid. He can’t turn it off.

    While at the same time, oozing from his very pores.

  218. 218
    dance around in your bones says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    I’m thinking Doug Neidermeyer from Animal House – eventually “killed by his own troops in Vietnam”.

    heh.

    (P.S. Clip includes dressage-type horse:)

  219. 219
    humbert dinglepencker says:

    These reality shows are hardly ‘debates.’ I wish they would have real, honest-to-FSM, debates. Get the celebrity ‘moderators’ out of the way (they’re less than useless anyways). 10 questions from the Merkin pipples, 5 minutes each person, 5 minute rebuts. Make it real. I suspect both would show poorly.

  220. 220
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    I just fear the media’s going to try to rehabilitate him after every disastrous appearance.

    Of course they will. That’s as safe a bet as you could make.

    Look how many in the SCLM (especially TV) have fallen all over themselves to rehabilitate Romney’s fuck-up regarding Egypt and Libya this week.

  221. 221
    dance around in your bones says:

    Oh wait – even better! Greg Marmalard from Animal House. (He’s the supercilious one with the blue sweater w/gold stripes).

    Bluto tells them what’s what.

    Heck, Marmalard almost rhymes with Willard.

  222. 222
    Brachiator says:

    @different-church-lady:

    RE: Obama needs to drive the knife home.

    Obama does not drive knives home. Obama presses them in, steadily, inch by bloody inch, with surgical precision.

    This is exactly why Obama needs to mix it up. He can maintain his cool, but Romney loves to pose as the imperious rightful would-be president, the real American with real American values. And Romney’s vulnerability is his breezy bluster, and the way that he smiles as he relentlessly repeats lies.

    In the past, he has got away with this. I saw him knock Rudy G off his stride when he talked some shit about the NY mayor in the 2008 primary. You could see Rudy react with “what’s up with this guy?” But he failed to strongly follow through.

    Obama needs to make Romney look like a fool and to make sure that Romney knows that he is being mocked, knocked and dismissed. Obama needs to do this in the first debate. This is how you handle cowards. You kick them in the ass and dare them to do anything other than skulk back into their slimy little cave.

    This is a bit of what Clinton did in the DNC speech, the impact of which Romney refuses to acknowledge.

    In the remaining debates, Obama should punish Romney, slap him around for even thinking that he should be on the same stage with him.

    As I have noted before, Obama needs to treat Romney the way that Wyatt Earp treats the cowardly blowhard Johnny Tyler in Tombstone.

    Wyatt Earp: [Tyler reaches for his gun] Go ahead, skin it! Skin that smokewagon and see what happens…
    Johnny Tyler: [pauses, scared] M-mister, I’m gettin’ tired of your…
    Wyatt Earp: [slaps Tyler across the face, unafraid] I’m gettin’ tired of all your gas, now jerk that pistol and go to work!
    Wyatt Earp: [slaps him harder, now completely steely-eyed] I said throw down, boy!

    The debate prepr begins here (Tombstone Bitch Slap).

  223. 223
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    @RareSanity: Who would say “no” to that question, and then say anything less than $250K is middle income? The correct answer is “yes” given Romney’s definition. Which means he either lied again or he’s a moron, but I guess those aren’t mutually exlusive categories.

  224. 224
    Paul says:

    @KG:

    That doesn’t even make sense. Besides the fact that $200,000 puts you in the top 3%, it just hurts my brain that it goes like that. I mean, I can’t even understand what he’s saying. The debate is going to be a clusterfuck of epic proportions.

    Well, if 2008 is any indication, Romney will still get 47% of the vote. It is amazing how many people gladly will vote against their own economic interest.

    Either they are completely clueless. Or it is more important to these folks that the gay people next door can’t marry, that we attack Iran with money we don’t have, that women they don’t know can’t have abortions even if raped than their own economic well-being.

    I wish these poor folks “good luck”. You make your own bed.

  225. 225
    Beauzeaux says:

    @Felinious Wench: Nor is Biden when debating Ryan.

    That one should be serious fun.

  226. 226
    LanceThruster says:

    @Brachiator:

    Obama needs to make Romney look like a fool and to make sure that Romney knows that he is being mocked, knocked and dismissed. Obama needs to do this in the first debate. This is how you handle cowards. You kick them in the ass and dare them to do anything other than skulk back into their slimy little cave.

    This.

  227. 227
    LanceThruster says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    I also like “Mittenstein” but the original Frankenstein’s monster had more warmth and likeability.

  228. 228
    Beauzeaux says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    I saw the Kennedy/Nixon debates in real time. It may have well been the last one I ever watched. I remember that a major issue was Quemoy and Matsu. Still hotspots?
    At the time, Kennedy appealed because he seemed optimistic…appealing to an idealistic kid. Nixon was every kids nightmare. He looked angry and bedeviled.

    My long record of debate abstention will probably be broken this year. It’s an article of faith for the teabaggers that the President lies about everything. The Presidential debate will be an interesting watch because I don’t think Romney can handle it.

    I particularly look forward to Biden/Ryan. Biden will tear that fool to pieces, set him on fire, and stomp on the ashes.

  229. 229
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bokonon: But the problem for Romneybot is that he and his supporters are pinning all of their hopes on some greater-than-Winston-Churchill performance on Romneybot’s part during the debates.

    If Romneybot is not able to win the first debate decisively, that’s all she wrote. The RNC was a disaster with the only memorable moment being an old actor talking to an empty chair. Did nothing to boost Romneybot’s image with the electorate.

    I can’t see Repubs successfully spinning away a Romneybot loss during the debates. The debates are his absolute LAST CHANCE before the election to show that he’s remotely presidential.

  230. 230
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Thanks for the link, dance around your bones! (I am one of six people in the world who has not actually seen Animal House, but, yes, Romney IS that guy!

  231. 231
    dance around in your bones says:

    @LanceThruster: Heh, Mittenstein is good. Sorry, got lost watching SNL videos after the Animal House blowout. Sometimes I just have to cut away from the politics, doncha know.

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Dude, go forth and watch thee some Animal House. I guarantee thou shalt be amused. Prolly split yer sides amused. Make sure you watch to the end credits – they tell you what happened to each character ;)

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  233. 233
    Gex says:

    These are the statements of a man who already knows he will be declared the loser, and is setting up this excuse now.

  234. 234

    […] Victim and Offender: Romney on Debates: Obama Will ‘Say Things That Aren’t True’.–John Cole:The Romney campaign has been nothing more than an attempt to get into Guinness for the most […]

  235. 235
    tech98 says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    isn’t Romney that guy in 80’s movies who showed up in a tennis sweater and perfect hair

    Rmoney: the William Zabka of politics.

    http://tinyurl.com/9c5dhu3

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