When Michele Bachmann got into trouble earlier this campaign season for making a kooky link between HPV vaccines and mental retardation, she fell back on the old, “All I was doing was reporting what a woman told me” defense. Which isn’t a very legitimate defense at all. When she choose to publicly repeat something she’d been told by some random woman, she lent it the weight of her (admittedly not so vast — but still) credibility. Now Mitt Romney’s son — we don’t know him at all, but he should probably know better — has made a similar mistake by mentioning, as an aside, some birthery comments he’d heard recently.
The remark came during a stop at a senior center in Concord, New Hampshire, yesterday, after someone asked whether Mitt Romney would release his tax returns:
Matt Romney: He has not said that he will not do it, he has also not said that he will. I think it’s a matter of time until that issue comes up because I think everybody has to get a chance to do that. And so I don’t know the answer to that, I’m not sure if he knows the answer to that. But he’ll do everything that he needs to. He’s certainly not afraid of anything, not hiding anything – you know, I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things then maybe he’d do it. That was just a –
Tagg Romney: That was not my dad saying that.
Matt: No, no, no, that was just a suggestion.
In the video, you can hear maybe one person laugh after the birth certificate comment. Or maybe she was choking on her drink. Everyone else was silent, perhaps confused as to why Mitt Romney’s son — not Donald Trump’s son, not Rick Perry’s son — Mitt Romney’s son would repeat a conspiracy theory he heard from an insane birther.