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GUEST COLUMN

Desperate and losing, Romney makes unforced errors

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cartoon by Jan Ting

In Mitt Romney's appearance on NBC's Meet the Press on Sept. 9, he reiterated his promise of an across-the-board income tax cut for all Americans, including those like himself in the top 1 percent. The Romney-Ryan tax plan actually would cut taxes on income from capital, as opposed to labor, from 15 percent down to zero.

Romney said those tax cuts would not add to the deficit because they would be offset by eliminating loopholes and deductions. But when asked by NBC's David Gregory which loopholes and deductions he would cut, Romney was unable to name a single one.

After campaigning on the promise to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, Romney announced in the same Meet the Press appearance that, "Well, I'm not getting rid of all health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage."

Immediately after the broadcast, the Romney campaign had to clarify its candidate's remarks as not in fact supporting the Affordable Care Act's assurance of health care insurance for Americans with pre-existing conditions. That assurance could only be achieved through the Act's individual mandate requiring that everyone purchase health insurance who can afford to do so.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Romney tried to find political advantage in the attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates by saying, "It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks."

Sympathize? What was Romney talking about?

Apparently, he was criticizing a statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, which had been released before the demonstrations expected in response to an anti-Islamic video. The statement said that the U.S. embassy, "...condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims..."

After being told that the embassy statement had been issued before the demonstrations and attacks had occurred, Romney denounced President Obama for not defending the filmmakers' free speech rights. "Apology for America's values is never the right course," said Romney.

Apology? Again, what the heck was Romney talking about?

After a day of associating himself with the extremist filmmakers preaching hatred of Islam, Romney was forced to eventually denounce them himself, notwithstanding his earlier criticism of President Obama for the administration's criticism of the film.

As President Obama has observed of his Republican opponents, they are "new to foreign policy." Romney's the guy who criticized British preparations for the Olympics while in Britain, and contrasted Palestinian cultural flaws against Israeli financial acumen while in the Middle East. Romney promises a trade war with China from day one of his administration, and identifies Russia, not Al Qaeda, as our Number One enemy.

Romney should not be president of the United States. And fortunately, he won't be.

- A professor of law at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, Jan Ting's columns are distributed by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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