In an election year, you expect one party to attack the other party’s candidate over every little thing he says. Nowadays, you also have to expect the attacks to come from within the candidate’s own party.
When Mitt Romney was discussing health care and the importance of people being able to fire their health insurance company and go elsewhere when needs aren’t being met, he said, “I like being able to fire people” when they provide bad customer service.
Of course, liberals immediately took the comment out of context and tried to present it as Romney being the kind of guy who doesn’t care about jobs. When he’s clearly talking about a specific thing, and talking about the freedom to choose your health care provider and to choose better health care — something Democrats are no doubt in favor of themselves — then it’s intellectually lazy to turn that one remark, taken that far out of context, into an attack on something else.
But that’s what Democrats do with Republican candidates. And vice versa.
It’s even more intellectually lazy for Republicans to do it: on one hand, they’re making the same unfair twist the Democrats are. Jon Huntsman said that while Romney likes to fire people, he likes to create jobs. Rick Perry created a ringtone of Romney’s quote and posted it on his website. Really?
More importantly, on that second hand, they’re shooting down their own position on health care: it is the general position of the Republican candidates, from what most seem to want you to believe, is that the federal government has no business interfering with people’s health care. They say that states should decide what to do with health care instead. In Romney’s state, he passed a health care measure that has been compared to Obamacare. But here’s the thing: if they have a problem with that, then they’re lying about their own position on leaving it up to the states to begin with.
They can’t have it both ways: they either want states to handle it or they don’t.
There’s no denying that Romney could have come up with a better way to say what he was saying given the country’s economic conditions. But his point, when you actually take the time to look at the specific point he was making, is good.
Why aren’t the Democrats or Romney’s fellow Republicans talking about that?