Barack Obama is attacking Mitt Romney's response to a question from a supporter at a friendly fundraiser. Is it appropriate to take what he said to supporters about campaign strategy to mean something totally different than what the supporters originally understood him to mean? What did they understand he meant by his comment that 47 percent of Americans getting government checks are “dependent” on government and beyond his concern?
First, he was addressing campaigning, not governing. No one present understood him to mean he was throwing half of America under the bus as a concern of his presidency. Campaigning requires selectivity — excluding some to target others in the use of time and money. Second, Romney was speaking to supporters who understood what he meant even if his words could be construed to mean otherwise. He knew they understood what he meant, rendering any further comment unnecessary!
But a video shown by opponents who take what he said and make it mean something entirely different from what his audience understood he meant is sheer duplicity. Every husband knows he can forgo further comment on something imprecise spoken to his loving wife when he senses she already understands what he means — a liberty he doesn't take with an estranged wife in a contentious divorce. If you want to know what Romney meant, ask those supporters he spoke to — not those political adversaries who take only what he said and spin it into meaning something entirely different than what his audience understood him to mean.
Douglas Burr, Edmond