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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Romney and GOP Decency Deficit Laid Bare

Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of the New York Times, gives Governor Romney a richly-deserved skewering over his “spineless” refusal to challenge a woman who said President Obama should be “tried for treason” at a Romney town hall gathering in Ohio. Rosenthal notes that former Sen. Santorum also wimped out when he had the chance to correct another woman in a Florida coffee shop who had called President Obama an “avowed Muslim.”
Rosenthal points out that Romney later said he did not agree with the woman, when he was called to account for his lack of response at the time.
Both of these incidents stand in stark contrast to Sen. McCain’s stepping up to correct a supporter who said that the President was a Muslim back in 2008. Whatever else can be said of McCain during his campaign, on that day he showed a streak of decency and a commendable commitment to honesty. Today, such a gesture on the part of any Republican would be cause for considerable surprise.
It’s a disturbing incident because it reveals a shameless willingness on the part of the GOP nominee-in-waiting to exploit a vicious distortion. Worse, since no other Republican leaders spoke out about the incident, it suggests a party-wide decency deficit.

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