A super PAC supporting Mitt Romney had planned to release an add reviving the Reverend Wright attack line against Obama. Apparently someone in Romney’s campaign realized that this could backfire. Romney said that bringing this up would be the “wrong course” and the ad was dropped. (There is also some question as to whether the PAC actually planned to release the ad or if this was just a way to dominate a news cycle).
Romney might have come out of this looking good if not for the fact that he previously raised Wright when appearing on Sean Hannity’s show in February.
The video is above. Here is a summary from ABC News:
In the clip, after Hannity played a sound bite of Obama saying, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation,” Romney said he believed Obama didn’t understand “that Judeo Christian philosophy is an integral part of our foundation.”
“I’m not sure which is worse: him listening to Rev. Wright or him saying we must be a less-Christian nation,” Romney said.
Needless to say, besides bringing up Wright on his own, Romney is also wrong in his belief that this is a Christian nation, contradicting the views of the Founding Fathers.
Romney made matters worse for himself when asked if he agrees with his former statement (which contradicts the view he expressed today). Here is the transcript of the exchange (with video above via ThinkProgress):
QUESTION: “When you did an interview with Sean Hannity in February, you said that you believed that Obama is trying to make America a less Christian nation. It was responding to quote that he had just played for you on the radio. Do you stand by that? And do you believe that President Obama’s world view was shaped by Reverend Wright and do you see evidence of that in his policies?”
ROMNEY: “I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
This is reminiscent of the comment which hurt John Kerry in 2004: “”I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” While poorly worded, Kerry’s gaffe actually did make sense in context. There were two different votes with differences in how the supply was funded. Kerry is hardly the only Senator to vote in different ways when there are significant changes in different versions of a bill.
In contrast, Romney’s statement reinforces what we have already seen. Romney will say whatever he sees as politically beneficial at the time, regardless of what he might actually believe, and regardless of the facts.
Someone such as Romney who takes different positions on different days will inevitably have difficulty recalling what position they took on a prior day. It might be fun to ask Romney about more of his previous statements. We could see how many he actually remembers, and how often he will stand by previous statements contradicting current statements.