On this eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., both presidential campaigns promised to hold their fire and not engage in partisan politics while Americans observed a day of remembrance. But it didn’t take long for Mitt Romney to break that promise.
Romney delivered a speech before the National Guard Association Conference that was mostly bland platitudes and predictable, but vacant, praise. But at one point he veered away from his pandering to say this:
“With less than two months to go before Election Day, I would normally speak to a gathering like this about the differences between my and my opponent’s plans for our military and for our national security. There is a time and a place for that, but this day is not it.”
If you are not going to talk about politics, you don’t do it by talking about how you are not going to talk about it. Romney inserted that segment into his speech to deliberately and covertly convey a message about the differences between his plans for the military and those of President Obama. Why else bring it up at an event that was supposed to be free of politics? He might just as well have said…
“With less than two months to go before Election Day, I would normally speak to a gathering like this about what a douchebag my opponent is and how his plans for our military are tantamount to surrendering to the enemy. There is a time and a place for that, but this day is not it. So just pretend I didn’t mention it.”
Romney’s machinations are particularly offensive because he thinks that he can get away with planting subliminal attacks in his speech on a day when the rest of the country is in mourning. His poorly disguised rhetoric is an insult to the Guardsmen in his audience, as well as to all Americans and the victims of 9/11. And this is coming from a man who didn’t think the troops were important enough to thank in his convention nomination speech. And that’s when he wasn’t reducing them to pawns in the military-industrial complex.