One thing Republicans hate more than facts is those pesky little fact checkers, especially if they are one of those sharp-tongued women Willard runs away from. Last night, Romney may have wished he could have traded debate moderator Candy Crowley for Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
In the name of salvaging what remains of the Romney/Ryan ticket after a disastrous performance in last night’s debate, Republican surrogates made the rounds whining about Candy Crowley’s fact checking.
“it wasn’t necessarily your place to try to be fact checker right there. I happen to think that your assessment of that was wrong. … It’s not the role of the moderator to say, ‘Mr. President, you’re right.'”
“If CNN wants to maintain any shred of credibility as a ‘news’ organization, they should fire Crowley immediately for her gross violation of whatever remains of journalistic standards.”
“There goes Candy holding Romney’s feet to the fire while, letting Obama unchain his muse.”
And then there’s Rush Limbaugh:
“She committed an act of journalistic terror or malpractice last night. If there were any journalist standards, what she did last night would have been the equivalent of blowing up her career like a suicide bomber. But there aren’t any journalist standards anymore. And she’s going to be praised and celebrated, probably even get a raise, give her another half hour on that show she hosts.”
Ah yes, moderators must “know their place” in Romney world.
Facts must also know their place as conveyed by Neil Newhouse back in August : “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,”
In a Republican world, women should also know their place. As we learned from other Republican candidates, women are supposed to be lady like during political debates. Whether the woman is a candidate or a moderator, she must know her place as the demure helpless female with no brain to check.
We saw it in Romney’s decision to cancel his appearance on “The View” because of those sharp tongued women, well except for Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She knows her place so very well.
The notion of fact checking is obviously problematic enough for the Romney campaign, but when a sharp tongued woman focuses on checking facts instead of dinner or the laundry then has the audacity to “correct” the man; she’s asking for blow back. Let’s face it, there is more to this story than the whine about Candy Crowley. Romney made both a factual and tactical error in his effort to distort the President’s comments on Benghazi.
Just so that we’re clear, here is a partial transcript, courtesy of Politico of the exchange involving Romney, the President and Crowley:
CROWLEY: Because we’re — we’re closing in, I want to still get a lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, and then have the governor just quickly.
Your secretary of state, as I’m sure you know, has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?
OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president and I’m always responsible, and that’s why nobody’s more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do.
The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.
And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.
And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.
CROWLEY: Governor, if you want to…
ROMNEY: Yes, I — I…
CROWLEY: … quickly to this please.
ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.
OBAMA: That’s what I said.
ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.
It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?
OBAMA: Please proceed governor.
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…
OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
ROMNEY: This — the administration — the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.
CROWLEY: It did.
ROMNEY: It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And to suggest — am I incorrect in that regard, on Sunday, the — your secretary —
Regardless of Romney’s issues with sharp tongued women, and anyone who challenges his created facts; by virtue of saying I want to make sure we get that for the record, he opened the door for Candy Crowley to get all fact checky and sharp tongued.
Moreover, Romney made a fatal error if one of his objectives was to gain support from women during that binders full of women moment.
Aside from the lies about these binders Romney reminded us that his views on women are, to be charitable, archaic.
When someone sees a woman as “the” person who does the cooking, the laundry and checking the homework, they probably consider themselves as open minded when they are receptive to flexibility in hours.
“I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.
She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you. …What we can do to help young women and women of all ages is to have a strong economy, so strong that employers that are looking to find good employees and bringing them into their workforce and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to afford.”
In short, Romney’s inferred argument is that women are paid less, but it comes out equal because they are granted flexibility in hours to go home and cook dinner.
It also reminds us that Romney’s idea of a woman’s “place” remains in the home, fluffing and folding, while occasionally checking on the roast in the oven. If she wants a real challenge, she can try out a new recipe. Work is something we do for fun; when we need to get out of the house or get some extra money to buy that new dress.
With that mindset, it’s little wonder that Republicans are so critical of a women who dares to fact check their Willard, let alone calling him out on his ….. distortion of the facts.
As noted by CBS, “let’s attack the moderator” is the parlor game of choice this election season
“The attacks on Crowley are different than the criticism of moderator Jim Lehrer after the first presidential debate. Lehrer was deemed too deferential, while Crowley is being criticized for inserting herself into the conversation with questionable facts. But the overarching dynamic is the same:In this polarized political age, a debate moderator has little chance to escape a harsh critique. Even Martha Raddatz, who kept tight control on last week’s vice presidential debate and challenged both candidates, was deemed by conservatives to have sided with Joe Biden.”
The Republican reaction to Candy Crowley was a combination of damage control, an aversion to facts and the reality that Candy was one of those sharped tongue women with a brain who Willard is scared of.
Image from Zimbio