PHOENIX, May 17, 2012 — Mitt Romney tied one arm behind his back today when he repudiated efforts to make an issue of the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his connection to a former member of his congregation, Barack Obama.
Running a campaign much like that of failed 2008 Republican nominee, John McCain, Romney has taken an important issue off the table this election cycle. It is an issue that goes to the deep roots of Obama’s character.
Wright is arguably most famous for saying, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America!”
Wright was little mentioned during the 2008 campaign after John McCain opted to not link Obama to the controversial minister.
Now as we flash-forward four years, Wright is in the news again as a conservative group was planning a major ad blitz linking him to Obama.
The New York Times first reported this morning that a group of high-profile Republican strategists began plotting with a conservative billionaire to launch an ad campaign that would tie Wright, Obama’s former spiritual adviser, to the president himself.
Since then, however, the SuperPAC group has halted the ad campaign and rejected the proposal by the Republican strategists.
In the mix of it all, Romney cried foul before the group even announced its decision not to run the ad campaign.
“I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity — particularly for those in the middle class of America,” Romney said to Townhall.com, “And I think what we’ve seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination.”
Romney’s response surprised me as he was the same person who spent millions trashing all of his opponents in the Republican primary with vicious and fraudulent smear ads that employed the same tactics as the liberal left.
In January, Romney took an entire NBC Nightly News clip of Tom Brokaw falsely reporting on Newt Gingrich’s ethics investigation and spent millions turning it into a Florida primary campaign ad.
Now I am not suggesting we turn Wright into the sole issue of this election, but for Romney to completely take him off the table is nonsensical at best. Who says we can’t talk about Wright and the failing economy at the same time?
No one ever said that Wright should overshadow the economy this November, but simply that it is worth noting to the American electorate.
The Democrats are already digging up dirt on Romney from back in 1965, and now that Romney decries talking about Wright, it is clear that he isn’t fully committed to vetting the president.
Wright made very serious and racially-charged statements, and he advised Obama for over 20 years. Talking about Wright is not a personal attack against Obama. It is simply the thorough vetting process that failed to take place in 2008.
More knowledge to the American people is not a bad thing; knowledge is simply power and complete understanding.
As far as this election is concerned, Jeremiah Wright is completely fair game.
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