You may recall a couple months ago, when Mitt Romney released an ad showing President Obama in 2008 quoting John McCain, but presenting it as if it were Obama describing his own position now. Romney’s campaign fiercely defended the violent wrenching of Obama’s words out of context, arguing at one point, “He did say the words. That’s his voice.”
Funny thing is, today Romney was talking about health insurance and he said:
I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me … You know if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.
Democrats are already happily snatching the phrase “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me,” which happens to dovetail nicely with their campaign to define Romney in his private sector career as a sadistic, Montgomery Burns–style tycoon who fires employees for sport. Maybe winning a one-day news cycle over a little-seen ad airing a year before the election wasn’t worth putting your campaign on record as endorsing any ad that uses a literally accurate transcription of an opponent’s words, regardless of context.