Friday, May 18, 2012

Should Mitt Romney use Jeremiah Wright to attack Barack Obama?

There was recently a proposal floated by some members of the GOP to attack Barack Obama by using his association with his former pastor, the reverend Jeremiah Wright. Romney distanced himself from that strategy, and repudiated the proposal.

Romney's decision has been criticized by more than one conservative. Specifically I heard Rush Limbaugh complaining that Romney attacked his primary opponents more aggressively than he will attack Obama.

Personally I have mixed feelings about Romney's decision. I personally have a low regard for Jeremiah Wright, and I believe that Obama turned away from the reverend Wright for purely political reasons. Wright's sermons are full of black liberation theology, and much of his message can be viewed as anti-American. In fact I view it as such. For years Obama sat in Wright's church and was seemed to be perfectly comfortable with Wright's point of view. Once Obama sought the White House, however, Obama cast Wright aside.

On the other hand, Jeremiah Wright is a private citizen. A few years ago Rush Limbaugh criticized Harry Reid for attacking him, a private citizen, but now Rush thinks it is perfectly okay to assassinate the character of Obama by assassinating the character of Wright, a private citizen. Granted, I have come to believe that Rush Limbaugh is capable of hypocrisy, so I am not exactly surprised that he doesn't recognize the double standard. I agree with Limbaugh that Reid's going after a private citizen was wrong. And it is just as wrong for Romney to attack Wright.

As I understand it, the focus of Romney's campaign is jobs and the economy. Obama has proven himself to be utterly incompetent in dealing with those issues, and Romney has attacked Obama aggressively on that.

I say let Romney continue to act presidential, continue to resist the temptation to pit American against American as Obama and his campaign do, and focus on jobs, the economy, Iran, contrasting Obama's government-centric vision with Romney's vision of limited government, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and the issues that really matter.


BOSMAN said...

Hi Noelle,

This is where Mitt and I part ways.

I've been involved in campaigns over the past 40 years. I've helped win more campaigns for the candidates I've supported than I've lost.

You use WHAT EVER you have on your opponent. If he/she doesn't throw dirt your way, it's because he/she doesn't have any. At the end of the campaign, win or lose, you have no regrets. No second guessing.

The Romney that beat up Gingrich and Santorum is the Romney needed to beat Obama.

Noelle said...

Charles Krauthammer agrees with you Bosman.

Anonymous said...

To me Romney really did not attack Gingrich and Santorum,Romney and Ron Paul just highlighted their dubious conservative records.

Romney should not attack the president using Wright. He needs to stay focused on Obama's record and then highlight what a Romney presidency would entail.

Romney should however attack the Obama campaign on the enemy's list where the Obama campaign targeted Romney's private donors. This to me would have more impact because it will show Obama's abuse of power.

Romney should let others attack Obama's questionable relationships with ant-American pastors,terrorists etc...Wright should have been an issue under McCain..but now I feel it is a little too Obama's record speaks volumes if communicated well.

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully—and I do mean that—disagree with the estimable Bosman.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright is old news, dating back to the 2008 campaign. Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and others on the Right couldn’t have done more at the time to expose Wright’s anti-white racism and anti-capitalist ideology. They constantly raised the question via their own media platforms in radio, TV, and print columns: How could Obama sit in church and listen to Wright’s racially charged anti-Americanism year after year, and not part ways with this extremist pastor and repudiate his vitriol?

For a variety of reasons (fawning major media coverage, Americans’ fear of being seen as racists, collusion of the liberal establishment, etc.), the Wright issue failed to take hold in the voting public’s imagination in 2008. Neither did the even more disturbing case of Obama’s longstanding, mutually supportive relationship to the anti-American communist anarchists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

With respect to Jeremiah Wright, what has changed since 2008? Today the MSM is more committed to Obama’s election than ever, no longer having to maintain the semblance of loyalty to Hillary Clinton. Americans still don’t want to be called racists, even when that accusation is totally false, unfounded, and unjust. In the workplace, in the neighborhood, and in the political arena, to have even the hint of racism attached to one’s name is the kiss of death. Finally, the liberal establishment, although disappointed in Obama in many ways, has nowhere else to go.

If there is new information about Obama’s current relationship—as president—to Wright’s anti-white, anti-capitalist, anti-American screeds, that is a different matter. Such a revelation would at least have to be addressed by the MSM, and could be used very effectively against Obama by the RNC and super-PACs. However, returning to the same arguments of the 2008 campaign (arguments that didn’t work back then) strikes me as a losing strategy.

I agree with the Romney camp on this issue. In the absence of explosive new current information, Jeremiah Wright can only hurt Romney. The shelf life of Wright’s ability to hurt Obama is past its expiration date.

cimbri said...

These attacks backfire more often than not. Look at the election so far. Every single personal attack on Romney has backfired, and this is one of the reasons Romney's favorables have gone up 11 percent.

If I were Romney, I wouldn't touch Wright, except as a rebuttal of a personal attack launched by Obama, and only if necessary. Then you slip in the $150,000 bribe offer by Obama's friend to Wright and go for the jugular. (That's assuming there really was a bribe offer, we have to see the email evidence.)

marK said...

How often did we hear during the primaries that "if only somebody would take RomneyCare to Romney", it would destroy him. Well they did, and it didn't. Then we heard from the ABRs that they didn't take it hard enough. They never figured out that it didn't matter how hard Newt or Santorum or anyone took MassCare to Romney, it was old news. It wasn't going to move the needle more than a fraction if at all. It was already baked into the cake as they say.

And so it is with Rev. Wright. He's old news. McCain should have used it four years ago. He didn't. Now it's too late. It's been backed into the cake. Bringing it up now will barely move the needle, if at all.

The only use of the good Reverend now is as a counterweight to the inevitable Mormon slurs. "Oh, you want to talk about Mitt's religion, do you? Shall we talk about Rev. Wright?"

Terrye said...

I don't think it will make any real difference. People know about Wright and they obviously could care less.

I did hear however, that Obama is fund raising off of the Wright ad that does not even exist.

Anonymous said...

Let the talking heads or conservative media play with those topics.

Mitt needs to STAY FOCUSED on the economy and jobs and Obama's record.

Mitt is not, by nature, a vindictive and vengeful man. Thank goodness!!! Others can do as they please......Mitt will be a man of integrity and character. Mitt will do all he can to turn our country on the right course.


Diana Rae said...

Mitt needs to focus on the real issues.

The pundits can handle all of that other crap. It's not that it will not be told, it just won't be told by Mitt and that's the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

I think Mitt is smart not to touch Wright, but if I were the conservative pundits, I would like Wright's anti Israel comments to Obama's anti Israel policies.

Anonymous said...

Mitt should promote his credibility. What would you prefer, if you were undecided at this point, a president who has a record of accomplishment when it came to the very issues that affect all of us the most, or the one who was not quite as much the rascal as the other?

Would you rather a president that is opposed to the policies and regulations that vexes and stifles our economic growth and personal liberty, or would you rather we be stuffed with even more stumbling blocks to progress?

If you attack Wright, you are changing no one's mind, you are preaching to one's who are already hip to the cause.