A desperate, pathetic Romney smears Obama for supposedly selling out America
In response to the Obama campaign's call for Romney to release his tax returns going back to the 1980s, the Romney campaign has made a counter-proposal of its own:
"The Obama campaign is playing politics, just as he's doing in his conduct of foreign policy," Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul wrote. "Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he's not promising to sell out the country's interests after the election is over."
This is, of course, ridiculous. As Politico's Alexander Burns notes:
Releasing tax returns is a standard thing for a presidential candidate to have to do, which is not so much the case for releasing the transcripts of every conversation an incumbent president has had with a foreign leader. But of course the Romney campaign knows that, and the decision to answer with a non sequitur is a deliberate one. And the effectiveness of the tactic will hinge on voters are as prepared to believe that Barack Obama is bargaining away the country as they are willing to buy the idea that Mitt Romney is a secretive rich guy.
That's right. Basically, Romney is hoping that his completely baseless accusation that Obama is trying to sell out America, as if the president is basically a traitor, will stick. With the economy improving and his own approval ratings tanking, it's pretty much all he's got, this and his various other anti-Obama smears.
The selling out argument, such as it is an argument at all, has picked up speed after Obama was caught telling Russian President Medvedev that he'll have more flexibility after the election. Of course, he didn't mean that he'd sell out to Russia, just that politics limits one's viable options, particularly in the middle of an election season, but Republicans, as stupid and opportunistic as ever, jumped all over the remark as if it were the smoking gun they'd been waiting for.
The Romney campaign's "non sequitur," comparing apples to oranges, reflects just how pathetic it is, how desperate it is to smear Obama as a way to deflect from its own candidate's massive weakness.
And suggsting that "the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders" is fair game for public consumption isn't just ridiculous but reflective of a dangerously ignorant understanding of how the world works and of how diplomacy must be conducted. Simply put, the president, like any world leader, must be able to have private conversations, out of the public eye, with his fellow leaders. If it were all to be made public, no world leader would say anything of substance to the president, and the president would have to make every statement with an eye to how it would play, unfiltered, in the public arena. In other words, it would severely handcuff America's ability to communicate with, and make deals with, other countries. What the Romney campaign is suggesting, simply, is that the U.S. should willingly weaken itself on the international stage. If anyone is willing to sell out America, then, it's Romney. He would effectively disempower his own country.
It's unlikely, of course, that Romney and his people actually think this should be done. In addition to smearing Obama with the "selling out" charge, they're just using it for immediate political purposes as a self-defensive way to deflect attention away from Romney's tax returns, which should certainly be released for public consumption.