Can Romney regain credibility after his Cairo/Libya Embassy blunder?

  1. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Will Romney be able to overcome his huge embassy debacle? What he said wasn't true, he had the facts wrong, he had the timelines wrong. The longer he waits before retracting and apologizing the worse it looks for him, IMO.

    The fact that this came from the Republican candidate for President is just mind boggling, IMO.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57511707/how-badly-did-romney-botch-response-to-libya-attack/

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/opinion/avlon-romney-libya-attack/index.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...642160a-fdd8-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_blog.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/u...sion-to-criticize-obama-on-libya.html?_r=3&hp

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-12/romney-criticized-for-handling-of-libya-protests-death
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. BobG

    BobG 2,364
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Foreign policy isn't Romney's strong suit.

    All in all, Romney is fairly one dimensional. He has had a very good grasp on business and economics, but has never been very strong on anything else.

    That can work for a governor, but it doesn't work so well for a President.
     
  4. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    I don't think it matters because our political environment is very polarized.
     
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I think it matters very much to people that understand the grave importance of the President having the ability to fathom foreign policy and that can handle an international crisis. Not to mention telling lies so blatant that there's no defending them, IMO.

    I haven't seen such an outpouring of negative feedback on a candidate since Palin, IMO.
     
  6. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree, it's been devastating...but then I'm in a blue state, and I don't have a TV, so I don't know what media most people see. But for a guy who already has credibility issues (the flip-floppy thing), this can't help.
     
  7. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

    Conservatives will just blame the liberal media for all of this criticism and make Romney out to be a victim. In addition, I think his comments will be very appealing to the tea party and to those wanting him to talk tough.

    And all of this will be forgotten in a few weeks time because the real race is over the economy.
     
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    LOL, well, there will always be people that refuse to admit the truth, but it seems this time that the lie Romney told is so blatant and been discussed so widely, that not many will be able to ignore it, IMO. I don't think this will go away before the election, it's too important, but time will tell.
     
  9. phinds

    phinds 9,155
    Gold Member

    Why would you expect this to be different from any other Romney statement?
     
  10. SixNein

    SixNein 224
    Gold Member

  11. I assume that you are referring to the fact that the embassy apology statement occurred
    before the actual break-in. Did he have any other facts wrong?

    I find that the embassy apology statement was inappropriate regardless of when it was issued. Of course, your opinion on this may differ from mine.

    The administration has seen fit to disavow:

    "The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government," an administration official told POLITICO.

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/09/white-house-disavows-cairo-apology-135247.html
     
  12. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, he flat out lied when he said this
    They made no apology. Have you actually read the statement? As you can see, there is no apology, that was invented by Romney.

     
  13. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    It looks like sympathy to me, Evo (Romney didn't say "apology"). The attacks (starting with violent protests) were done because of disrespect of Islam and the Embassy was saying it disagrees with disrespect of Islam. Translation: ' you've been wronged and we sympathize with you, so don't attack us!'

    Was the timeline in Romney's statement an error? A lie? Prescience?

    Later, Clinton at least criticized the violence too, but still puts most of her effort into criticizing the video: http://content.usatoday.com/communi...nton-libya-egypt-film/70000272/1#.UFMVl42PWBA

    Not as bad as the embassy statement, but still along a similar track.

    Additionally, the removal of the statement from the embassy website appears to me to be a tacit acknowledgement that it was wrongly toned. Conclusion:? (opinion)

    Romney was right about the content of the embassy statement. Focusing on the timing in order to get him in an otherwise meaningless "gotcha" lie is a pathetic attempt to distract from this. But the media sold it well and people are buying it; hook, line and sinker.

    As far as the disrespect angle is concerned? It is a matter of opinion, but IMO respect has to go both ways and Obama has been plenty ugly in this campaign. Democrats would of course love it if Romney supported Obama -- nothing is better than an endorsement from your opponent! But the idea that he should is just silly. If one were never allowed to criticize the President, not only would it never be possible for one to lose a re-election, this also wouldn't be America. There is of course a risk of hitting an incumbent too hard and that's the benefit of being an incumbent -- but it shouldn't be a total license to hide behind your job title.

    Can Romney recover? Depends. We're in the middle of a firestorm that the media has done a great job of creating for Obama. But it will fade. And as it does, Romney needs to keep hammering his message. Perhaps eventually, the people the media enraged will calm down and start actually analyzing the content of the message. If that happens, this issue may just swing to favor Romney. The title is, of course, presumptuous. Clearly, if we can move past direct discussion of the incident and just discuss the after-effects on Romney, it becomes a universally agreed-upon conclusion that Romney was wrong. But as the reporters said to (asked) Romney over and over and over and over in a press conference: that's "jumping the gun". Sure, it's a good trick, but Romney will need to keep the focus on/move it back to the actual statement.

    Perhaps the bigger question is whether the media can regain credibility after this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  14. According to Politifact, he did use the word apology.

     
  15. I believe it was because some people in the US were deliberately mistranslating the statement as
    to get bit ahead.
     
  16. This is a false dichotomy. The issue isn't whether 'one were never allowed to criticize the president' but rather whether there are occasions when it would be better not to. Moreover, it draws a false conclusion. Evo's post shows two examples where the opposing candidate supported the president under comparable situations. Reagan defeated an incumbent.
     
  17. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    My mistake. I was responding only to the quotes in the posts I quoted.

    I don't agree with "apology", but it is a pretty thin difference in tone vs what was actually said by the embassy. Maybe this part is more for the other thread though.
     
  18. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I guess I'll address it in the other thread, but people are quick to disagree with that translation without providing their own or a reason.
     
  19. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,298
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    To answer the OP's question, you have to have something before you can regain it.

    The problem with the statement
    Is that it can easily be parsed as "Our values are self evidently right, and if the values of the 95% of the human race who are not US citizens are different, they are self evidently wrong."

    Which would be funny, except that there seem to be people who really believe it.
     
  20. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I think it was one example, but in any case, in a free society, I am loath to err on the side of undue deference. Also, there is much hypocrisy here: Bush did not receive the same deference and in one case it was even more blatant: it is an unwritten rule that former presidents should not criticize current Presidents. Carter broke that.
     
  21. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    That is nowhere close to accurate, but even if it were, it wouldn't fit your conclusion! Yikes!

    edit, explanation:

    1. The value in question here is freedom of speech and most people agree with us about it. Freedom of speech is included in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    2. Even if others disagreed about the importance of freedom of speech, people should not be expected to make statements against their own beliefs and should be expected to say their beliefs are right. It is self-evidently true that if you believe something and someone else believes the opposite, you think you are right and they are wrong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
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