What politicians say personally does matter, but I think that what politicians allow to be said via their ads matters as well. We are somewhat lucky in that we do not live in a so-called ‘swing state’, so we do not get the barrage of ads that apparently certain poor states receive, but we hear about them when we watch reliable news sources.
First there was the ad showing Mr. Obama repeating what John McCain had said about the economy in 2008 and presenting the quote as if Mr. Obama were saying it himself. In other words, they were inaccurate to the point of lying, and when they were called to account on it, they (the Republicans) declined to discontinue the ad. And Mr. Romney approved.
Then of course there was the famous/infamous “47%” speech, and Mr. Romney admitted he didn’t use the ‘most elegant’ of phrasing, but he (Mr. Romney) did not deny what he said or that he meant what he said.
Then there have been so many other things said and not said by Mr. Romney that apparently are permitted by his personal moral code but that would not pass a review by the Ten Commandments Committee. You know, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
And then they said, just a few days ago, that Chrysler Jeep was moving American production to China. And it wasn’t true. But frightened American Jeep employees were frantic. This untrue and unnecessary campaign ad created panic, stretched some folks’ nerves to the breaking point, and could have resulted in truly terrible personal tragedies with people who have already been through an awful lot. And the Republican ad campaign, when confronted, refused to stop the ad, even after statements of fact by the CEO of Chrysler and others.
And Mitt Romney approved.