At a town hall in Ohio this afternoon, a quintessential Crazy Town Hall Lady — the kind that John McCain sometimes faced in 2008 — mentioned, as an aside during her question to Mitt Romney, that she thinks President Obama “should be tried for treason.” For what? It wasn’t clear. A specific treasonous offense probably isn’t necessary anyway. Just try him on a general treasonous demeanor.
Romney had two options at that point. He could say, “Actually, Crazy Town Hall Lady, although I think Obama has been a terrible president, I don’t believe he has done anything treasonous,” which would risk alienating Crazy Town Hall Lady and all of her like minded mouth breathers. Or, he could just answer the rest of her question and pretend the treason part never happened. Which is what he did.
But lest there be any confusion, Romney’s silence on the topic did not signal agreement with Crazy Town Hall Lady:
After the event, reporters approached Romney on the ropeline to ask him whether or not he also believed the president should be tried for treason.
“No,” he told reporters from the Washington Post and New York Times. “No, of course not.” …
Later, Romney was asked by a reporter from CNN why he did not correct the questioner.
“I don’t correct all of the questions that get asked of me,” Romney said. “I obviously don’t agree that he should be tried.”
Of course, nobody is asking Romney to correct all the questions asked of him, which would actually be kind of a dickish thing to do. For example, telling a voter, “Actually, ma’am, the new French president’s name is pronounced oh-lond,” would be a poor decision. But Romney should feel free to make exceptions in cases like today’s.