Tagg Romney wants to slug the President for calling his dad a liar. That is, before he changed his mind and said he didn't mean it. The New York Times reports:
Tagg Romney said his instinct was to “jump out of your seat” and “rush down to the debate stage and take a swing’’ at President Obama. Then he backtracked so fast he left skid marks and claimed he was just "joking." Was he lying?
He was answering a North Carolina radio host, who asked how it felt to hear the president “call your dad a liar.’’
Romney quickly backtracked on his remarks, but the liberal press didn't take his remark very well. Salon.com issued a scathing indictment calling Tagg Romney the product of white privilege:
Tagg Romney, grandson of George Romney, son of Mitt Romney, is the latest flesh-and-blood embodiment of White Privilege on the national presidential stage. Though that stage has historically been a catwalk for the whitest and most privileged in the world, Tagg is in a class few achieve. With his lineage and his inherited wealth he equals George W. Bush when it comes to getting advantages by virtue of nothing more than whose crotch he popped out of in the hospital delivery room.
Now, thanks to his comments yesterday, he has surpassed even Bush, becoming not just an image of White Privilege, but an example of how that privilege quietly operates in too much of America.
Tagg was also asked how his father feels before the high-stakes presidential debates.
"Are you kidding? He's terrified before he gets out there!" he responded, before correcting himself, "Terrified is too strong a word. but you know, like anybody, he gets butterflies a little bit. And then once he's in it, two or three minutes, he's forgotten about the nervousness."
The fact that Tagg Romney, like his father, grew up as a child of privilege is a fact that many on the right choose not to believe, especially when his father said that "everything I have I got by hard work." The New Republic writes that not only does the "white privilege" moniker bear weight, but also that Tagg was supposed to be in the background, running his own business, and has lately been spending a lot of time running his dad's campaign instead:
The punishing schedule—one friend compares it to “coughing blood”—is especially curious in light of how badly Tagg wants to be seen as more than his father’s son. Indeed, if all families have their own myths, a kind of founding narrative that’s passed down through the generations, for the Romneys it’s about personal initiative. George Romney’s family fled the Mexican revolution destitute when he was five years old, heightening his pride in the wealth and power he attained later in life. Mitt Romney speaks often about giving away his inheritance so that whatever he achieved would be his alone. “Everything that Ann and I have, we earned the old-fashioned way, and that’s by hard work,” he said at the notorious Boca Raton fund-raiser in May. For his part, Tagg “has a high desire to make Solamere a big success,” says one close friend, adding that he’s determined to “create his own name.”
What’s so strange about the Romney myth is that its grip hasn’t weakened even as it has become less true. The affluence Mitt was born into paid for his elite education and financed his first home. The wealth Tagg stands to inherit has given him the freedom to pursue any career and take any professional risk he wants.
That’s not to say he set out to trade on his pedigree. Not long after graduating from Harvard Business School, he turned down offers from several prominent firms to join an obscure start-up called eGrad, whose meager resources gave it a kind of grunge aesthetic: secondhand furniture and heating so erratic he brought in blankets to keep warm. When Tagg wasn’t cold calling would-be corporate partners, he could sometimes be found packaging merchandise and mailing it. But making it on your own is never so clear-cut when you’re a Romney. Some of the biggest meetings he landed were with Staples, which his father had funded at Bain Capital, and General Motors, a company where his last name still carried weight.
Tagg’s biography is littered with similar stories—short cuts he couldn’t have taken without his last name, obstacles that melted away before he was even aware of them. And yet, thanks to the Romney myth, he and his family believe that most of what he has achieved comes from old-fashioned industriousness, not older-fashioned status and wealth.
Mitt Romney got out of military service by serving on Mormon missions, something that Ann Romney has compared as being equal to military service. Raw Story.com adds:
The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday said that her husband and sons had not joined the U.S. military but had found “different ways of serving” by going onreligious missions in France, England, Australia and Chile as part of their obligation to the Mormon church.
During an interview on ABC’s The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked Ann Romney how she would explain to the families of fallen soldiers why her husband and sons had not served their country.
“When I read about your husband, what I had read — and maybe you can correct this — is that the reason he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion,” Goldberg said.
“That’s not correct,” Ann Romney insisted. “He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans.”
“So, you know, we find different ways of serving,” she added. “And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.”
The candidate’s wife explained that Mormon missions were like military service in that “you’re going outside of yourself, you’re working and you’re helping others. And it changes you. And are we so grateful in this country for those people — men and women — that are volunteering, they’re sacrificing their life for us, and we cannot forget that or we have to acknowledge that always.”
Lawrence O'Donnell challenged Tagg to a real fight, but Tagg has been silent about participating. Which is just as well because the last thing the liberal press needs is a pointless rant picking on a rich guy's kid.
And about the lies? Apparently in the last debate Romney told 31 lies in 41 minutes. He has mastered the conservative talent of repeating a lie often enough so that people believe it (like how hard he's worked for his money when his dad paid for his Harvard education, his first house and his first car).
If you tell a lie, doesn't that make you a liar? And when you tell lies all the time, don't you become a habitual liar, or a pathological liar? This video outlines only 31 lies. Obama isn't off the hook either, but he doesn't seem to be making a dog and pony show out of the totality of bald face lies he can tell in front of the camera. But that's just me. Mitt's mendacity has gotten to be such a joke that MSNBC has made a journal called "Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity."
And maybe Obama wasn't lying after all when he said that Mitt is a liar. Is Tagg just as much a liar by going along with these falsehoods, going along with the family myth of hard work, when it is clear to everyone who can see that the last time the Romneys worked hard for anything was when George Romney worked to build the business that gave his son and grandson the privilege they have today? Does the President by virtue have to be a liar? If so, Mitt is uniquely cut out for the job.
And maybe it's not a joke either to the millions of Americans who won't do the research, who depend on soundbytes from FoxNews and other news outlets for the information. No. It's not a joke at all.