NYT Editorial: Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed….
The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.
Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance …. but no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.
It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.
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EJ Dionne: …. Once again, Romney showed that his campaign will launch attacks with little regard for their veracity. “Unlike President Obama,” he said, “I will not raise taxes on the middle class.” … Obama has in fact asked Congress to retain current tax rates for families earning less than $250,000 a year.
“I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour,” Romney also said. “President Obama began with an apology tour.” There was no apology tour. And Romney suggested that Republicans had been initially eager to work with the president, when in fact the party was determined from the beginning to oppose virtually all of Obama’s initiatives.
…. there will be a jarring contrast between the Romney who spoke of uniting the nation and his exceptionally harsh, relentless and divisive advertising campaign that includes factually-challenged spots on welfare plainly aimed at stirring resentment.
The stark disjunction will inevitably keep alive the question that his convention speech did not answer: Who is the real Romney?
Full article here