SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Mr. Adelson, who gave large amounts of money to the Gingrich campaign. And much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from this casino in Macau.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Which says what?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: Which says that, obviously, maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign — political campaigns.
FRANK RICH’S Sunday column “Nuke ’Em” brings up interesting choices for Democrats and a question for Team Obama. It revolves around what we aren’t learning about Mitt Romney, which was a tactic repeated yesterday on “Face the Nation” when the candidate wouldn’t be specific about his own immigration plans and whether they would include continuing Obama’s DREAMers executive order. All candidates want to only tell you what they think will make them get votes, but Mitt Romney is raising the bar on what we aren’t allowed to know about him to a new level.
How badly does Team Obama want to win? Because I assure you Team Romney and the Republicans will do everything, including take money from Sheldon Adelson whose wealth very well could be buoyed by foreign casino-loving money, to keep Pres. Obama from getting a second term. See John McCain’s quote, which made some very nervous.
But the most brutal Romney takedown will require a fear factor, and for that, there may be no better inspiration than the likes of Marc A. Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld who is best known for his defense of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” and for his tireless efforts to portray Obama as soft on terrorism. In April, Thiessen wrote a little-noticed column for the Washington Post op-ed page headlined “Mitt’s Bent for Secrecy.” What had aroused his concern as a GOP loyalist was Romney’s stealth announcement, at 5 p.m. on a Friday, that he was delaying the filing of his 2011 tax returns. Thiessen worried that Romney’s continued ducking of questions about taxes was playing into the Democratic trope that Romney has something to hide. The serial evasiveness, he argued, could provide “a clever way for Obama to exploit some Americans’ discomfort” with Romney’s “secretive” Mormon faith “without ever raising the issue directly.” Mitt’s secrecy “could cost Republicans the election,” Thiessen wrote.
None of this is wrong, though Romney’s “secretive” faith looms larger than it should precisely because he keeps it secretive. He bristles when asked questions about the Church of Latter Day Saints’ controversial record on secular issues (like civil rights), and he refuses to let voters in on his own substantial career as a Mormon bishop and stake president. In a political culture where all candidates, and especially Republican candidates, advertise their own religious activities, Romney’s reticence is all the more conspicuous. But the overall scope of Mitt as Mystery Man is bigger than Thiessen indicated, or perhaps wanted to spell out. He did not mention, for instance, Romney’s strange departure from the Massachusetts governorship at the end of his term. Romney’s aides not only scrubbed all e-mails from a computer server in his office but also purchased and removed the hard drives from seventeen state-owned staff computers. This month, The Wall Street Journal uncovered a small cache of e-mails that had survived. They revealed that Romney was a gung ho defender of his health-care bill’s individual mandate, the single feature most vilified by foes of “Obamacare” now. What other secrets lurked on those hard drives?
Scorched earth cheerleading coming from a man who was suckered hook, line, which still makes me snicker, and who whined about Hillary, accusing her of all sorts of treachery, is a bit much, but the roll out of Team Obama hasn’t gone so well and he’s worried.
So, now the Mormon card is okay against Mitt?
Rich was clueless in ’08, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong now, though only because he dips into Mark Thiesen’s theory.
The “secrecy” charge is particularly damaging for Romney because it is a clever way for Obama to exploit some Americans’ discomfort with Romney’s Mormon faith without ever raising the issue directly. Recall the outcry last August when a senior Obama adviser declared their intention to highlight the “weirdness factor with Romney.” Team Obama knows many Americans see Mormonism as a “secretive” religion. Calling Romney a “secretive” candidate is a way to tap into those fears without incurring any political blowback.
Somebody still needs to explain to me why asking Mitt Romney in an interview about his faith is off limits.
What Barack Obama has had to endure on the Muslim question is topped only by the questions of his actual birth.
It would be great if no politician had to do the faith walk, but since no atheist is allowed near a national ticket it’s pretty clear that there is a litmus test for candidates, so knowing something about what informs them matters.
It’s the 21st century and if women are to have equality it should be across the playing field, including churches who instill in their parishioners that women are second class in the eyes of God.
Yeah, yeah, they’re busy raising kids and they love it!
That’s a choice, but Mormonism (along with many other religions) cut women out of church roles where they could make a difference. It’s an old example, but if women could be Catholic priests and bishops there would have been very little chance the pedophile scandal would have lasted decades.
But what holds Mormonism out beyond all other religions is that reporters and political writers are not supposed to write about the secrets, while most other religions that exclude women from leadership roles are far more open about their beliefs and practices. I found this out when I first started warning people about Mitt Romney in 2007, much of which echoes what’s being said today. It led to my writing being censored by two individuals who were Mormon and who owned my hosting company. Because I linked to a site they felt was disrespectful to Mormonism in general when discussing “Kolob,” which is listed in Wikipedia, they deleted the link without my permission and censored what I could write about Mormonism. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, a very long month.
I don’t care if a politician believes in a planet called Kolob or nothingness, but I am automatically leery of anyone wanting to be president who won’t discuss aspects of their faith when they’re devout, because the details are considered too sacred or precious for public consumption. I’d also like to know why an atheist is considered less moral than George W. Bush or Barack Obama, who have utilized torture and “kill lists,” respectively.
Republicans have no trouble in questioning Obama’s place of birth, his religion, you name it, even after a full term.
Unfortunately, the problem with Democrats is that if Obama allies started asking questions about Mormonism, even if they were interviewing a recovering Mormon like my husband, the next thing you’d hear is the Booker-Ford-Rattner-Davis-Bill Clinton contingent squealing that “Romney’s religion is off limits.”
It shouldn’t be.