Mitt: No Muslims in my cabinet? Update: Mitt clarifies, sort of; Update: Ijaz says quote was accurate

posted at 10:00 am on November 27, 2007 by Allahpundit

Got an outraged e-mail about this last night that relayed the quote but not the context.

I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that “jihadism” is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, “…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.”

That’s a bizarre answer insofar as it reduces the cabinet to an almost mathematical quota system, which is why I’m suspicious of the ellipsis. Read the piece. The “I” in that passage is Mansoor Ijaz, making the case for appointing a Muslim ostensibly for the cultural understanding he’d bring to the war on terror but mostly just because it would be a nice sign of inclusiveness. How did Ijaz present his question? Was it “Will you consider appointing a Muslim to your cabinet?”, whereupon Mitt launched into some freaky non sequitur about quotas? Or was it “Don’t you think it’s important to have all races and religions equitably represented at the top levels of government? And if so, will you consider appointing a Muslim?” If he framed the question in terms of quotas — and judging from the tenor of his op-ed, that’s distinctly possible — it makes Mitt’s answer potentially more coherent. E.g., “There are lots of ways you could go about deciding appointments. If, for argument’s sake, you follow the quota model you’re suggesting, then…” See why I’m curious about the ellipsis that replaced the beginning of his answer?

As Powerline says, “If Ijaz’s quote is accurate, Governor Romney has demonstrated a remarkably poor understanding of an issue he should have thought through long ago.” Quite so, especially given the eagerness with which some of his supporters accuse others of religious bigotry. If that’s really what Mitt said, unbidden by any question about quotas, then it looks like a cop out aimed at promising conservatives he won’t appoint Muslims — a promise he shouldn’t make and shouldn’t have to make given the fact that there are eminently qualified candidates — without stating the real reasons why. A simple, meritocratic “I’d appoint the best man or woman for the job” would have done nicely.

Update: The Romney camp is skeptical of Ijaz’s account. Follow the link to find a more solid answer.

Update: Anything else CSM would care to tell us about our correspondent here?

Update: Democratic donor or not, he doesn’t seem to much care for Harry Reid.

Update: Reporters pounced at a presser today in Florida. How did he get from this Point A to the Point B recalled by Ijaz?

At an availability with reporters here, Romney answered questions about today’s report suggesting that he would not appoint Muslims to his Cabinet. “No, that’s not what I said. His question was, Did I need to have a Muslim in my Cabinet in order to confront radical jihad, or would it be important to have a Muslim in my Cabinet?’ And I said no, I don’t think you need a Muslim in the Cabinet to take on radical jihad any more than we needed a Japanese American to understand the threat that was coming from Japan or something of that nature.”

Romney continued, “It’s something I rejected, number one. And number two, point out that haven’t given a lot of thought to the people I would have in my Cabinet. I don’t have boxes I check off in terms of ethnicity, and it’s not that I need a certain number of people representing ethnic groups. Instead, I would choose people based on their merits… I’m open to having people of any faith, ethnic group. But they would be selected based on their capacity and capabilities and what they could bring to the Administration, but I don’t choose people based on checking off a box.”

Good answers all, but where does the part about Muslims not having enough numbers to warrant a cabinet spot come in? Is he excusing Ijaz of simply making that up?

Update: Jim Geraghty spoke to Ijaz and was assured that the quote was perfectly accurate and fairly contextualized.

He is certain that his question was whether Romney would “consider” including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, and that there was no aspect of quotas, guarantees, or promises to the question. He asked the question, Romney repeated the question so that everyone in the room could hear, and Ijaz clarified when Romney believed the question was whether he would have Muslim advisors regarding the war on terror.

Someone must have video.


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Another angle here

Weight of Glory on November 27, 2007 at 10:06 AM

I read this too and was pondering a post about it. Suffice it to say that I think Ijaz is playing identity politics, and that he’s way off base on the notion that it takes a Muslim to fight a Muslim.

Bryan on November 27, 2007 at 10:07 AM

Muslims? In my cabinet? Its more likely than you think.

Bad Candy on November 27, 2007 at 10:10 AM

Hmm…if we go with a quota system, Mormons aren’t a large enough percentage of the population to have one be President.

James on November 27, 2007 at 10:11 AM

Think about this. Ihaz wants an appointment based primarily upon his/her identity as a Muslim.

Weight of Glory on November 27, 2007 at 10:12 AM

I thought he said muslin in my cabinets.

saint kansas on November 27, 2007 at 10:13 AM

I don’t like Ijaz because he has a diphthong.

Weight of Glory on November 27, 2007 at 10:15 AM

Never trust someone with one of those.

Weight of Glory on November 27, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Maybe Ijaz is trying to lobby HIMSELF for a high security post.

I wonder what the CAIR monkees will make of all this.

Always Right on November 27, 2007 at 10:21 AM

That’s a bizarre answer insofar as it reduces the cabinet to an almost mathematical quota system…

Allah

Wait…you mean it isn’t?

Jaibones on November 27, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Whoever answers:

Since Islam is an anti-Constitutional theocratic tyranny at heart, and all of its serious followers de facto seditionists against secular rule, why bother?”

-gets my vote.

profitsbeard on November 27, 2007 at 10:27 AM

The outrage/questioning/punditry is focusing in the wrong direction on this one. The relevant question to ask BEFORE asking Romney how many Muslims he’s going to put in his cabinet to advise on national security matters is to ask how many Muslims are part of the American national security apparatus!

Yes, it feels good to elevate Muslims to positions where they can be “culturally sensitive” and, yes, part of the cold war legacy is a decidedly Western bias in the intelligence community. That being said, how many Muslims are serving in national security roles now? What would appointing people merely because of their faith add to our national security?

highhopes on November 27, 2007 at 10:30 AM

I look at it this way ….. Mitt’s in favor of a cautionary pre-emptive strike.

Works for me.

fogw on November 27, 2007 at 10:30 AM

“President Roosevelt, if you are re-elected in 1940, will you name a Nazi to your cabinet?”

Labamigo on November 27, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Maybe Ijaz is trying to lobby HIMSELF for a high security post.

Considering that he’s the only one with the credentials, my first thought was that he was actually lobbying for a job and or shopping candidates to find one who would “put him on the team” in exchange for his endorsement.

As to CAIR, they have already filed lawsuits alleging bias against Muslims by the US government and a President to be named later. ;0

highhopes on November 27, 2007 at 10:33 AM

A president appoints who he wants, and why he wants them. Go ahead and call him a bigot (a couple of posters if they are honest will), but with dozens of people “qualified”, he can use any system he wants to choose who works for him. No one is the “most qualified”. Mitt would be judged by who he chooses, at least he is finally taking a stand on something.
This just causes some heartache to those who call everyone a bigot that uses profiling to make a choice. Now they have to apply that word to Mitt…shame on them for not being a little more open minded.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 10:37 AM

I wonder if Obama would appoint a muslim Secretary of Defense.

thuja on November 27, 2007 at 10:40 AM

Remember the days when a President’s cabinet was a group of empowered advisers he got to pick because he wanted them around as his empowered advisers?

If a President is supposed to pick someone of a certain faith so he gets the inside on the jihad plans of that faith, we need a Jewish cabinet member too. Better yet appoint an Israeli. Since Jews, per se, so not have a plan to impose the Jewish state upon the world, a regular American citizen Jew would be of little value. However a nationalistic Israeli Jew could give insight to the dangerous forces of Zionism. This would also bring more balance to the Cabinet, especially if they were about the same weight and heighth and hopefully both ivy-league.

If we can’t profile at airports, why should be be allowed to profile Cabinet appointees?

Romney just airported the guy

entagor on November 27, 2007 at 10:43 AM

“President Roosevelt, if you are re-elected in 1940, will you name a Nazi to your cabinet?”

Super. If Ijaz’s quote is accurate, you’re exactly the guy Mitt was trying to pander to with his answer. Except he didn’t have the balls to speak to you in your own language.

Allahpundit on November 27, 2007 at 10:46 AM

This is a double-edged idea. Would he refuse Muslims in favor of Mormons? That would be dangerous. However, if he would refuse Muslims because he is aware of not only the security risk, but the creeping sharia looming as well, then good for him.

MadisonConservative on November 27, 2007 at 10:47 AM

He doesn’t want any Muslims in his cabinet, and wanted to signal this with out sounding racist (or, Islamophobe). Too bad that that was the best excuse he could come up with on the spot. The quota thing clearly doesn’t make sense since there are plenty of Jews in the US government, and there are less Jews than Muslims in the US.

AlexB on November 27, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Hmm…if we go with a quota system, Mormons aren’t a large enough percentage of the population to have one be President.

James on November 27, 2007 at 10:11 AM

44 Presidents and only one Mormon. I think that works on a quota basis…

Jaibones on November 27, 2007 at 10:49 AM

Until Muslims are more outspoken and helpful against islamofascism, I wouldn’t put them in my cabinet either.

Darksean on November 27, 2007 at 10:56 AM

So … is this something else muslims can riot, burn, loot and kill over? No muslim cabinet appointment?

Any candidate who capitulates in any way, shape or form to muslim threats will not get my vote, and hopefully no one else’s either.

darwin on November 27, 2007 at 11:02 AM

>

I wasn’t aware Mormons were any more qualified (on the basis of faith) than Muslims to advise on national security issues.

When did it become mandatory that the Cabinet look like a Gap commercial? Whatever happened to the idea of a President being expected and able to surround himself with the brightest and most qualified individuals he could find- in order that the business of the American people was done well?

highhopes on November 27, 2007 at 11:22 AM

…here are plenty of Jews in the US government, and there are less Jews than Muslims in the US.

AlexB on November 27, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Well, maybe because Jews are smarter?…

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:24 AM

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:24 AM

Whatever the reason may be, it isn’t because of quotas.

AlexB on November 27, 2007 at 11:26 AM

Until Muslims are more outspoken and helpful against islamofascism, I wouldn’t put them in my cabinet either.

Darksean on November 27, 2007 at 10:56 AM

“They” are not a monolithic group. Though we tend to think of Muslims that way after spending too much time on the internets. There are some individual Muslims who would fit the bill for Cabinet-level positions. You know, like real people who are not Islamofasicsts and stuff, that do speak out against the bad guys and all. Just saying….

RW Wacko on November 27, 2007 at 11:30 AM

This is a double-edged idea. Would he refuse Muslims in favor of Mormons? That would be dangerous….
MadisonConservative on November 27, 2007 at 10:47 AM

The answer is yes, he would probably choose a Mormon. And why wouldn’t he? If he feels comfortable, and he is more efficient as a President with like minded people, than that is what he should do. I would expect a Jewish senator to have a larger then average Jewish staff than say a Mormon would. If your religion is your driving force, then you want that drive and vibe around you. Your faith is what drives most people, you want that faith to be supported and understood.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:30 AM

I am waiting for the “BIGOT” name callers to come on down, and start calling Mitt a BIGOT. Where are you?
Let’s show a little consistency here.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:32 AM

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Jews are smarter?? that is offensive to jews i imagine, even though it is a positive stereotype it is still a stereotype. And as for claiming all jews are smarter than any muslims…that is just nonsense.

zane on November 27, 2007 at 11:36 AM

Mitt is off his game. He needs to relax and not worry about saying what people want to hear. He needs to say what he believes and let the chips fall where they may. The only correct answer to this question is “I will appoint the most qualified persons regardless of race, sex or creed.” Its such a simple answer that should hopefully come so naturally that I’m a little disturbed he missed that opportunity.

Zetterson on November 27, 2007 at 11:38 AM

Whoever answers:

“Since Islam is an anti-Constitutional theocratic tyranny at heart, and all of its serious followers de facto seditionists against secular rule, why bother?”

-gets my vote.

profitsbeard on November 27, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Hear, Hear!!

awake on November 27, 2007 at 11:43 AM

Sounds like he’s being consistent with the Mormon doctrine to me. But really, is there a pool that he can actually pull from that support his policies?

ackrite55 on November 27, 2007 at 11:48 AM

I wouldn’t care if Mitt had some Mormons in his Cabinet. People normally appoint those who they hae surrounded themselves with over the years. Bush got to put in all his cronies. His best friends, friends of his daddy, nieces of his friends, on and on, qualifications be damned! Yes, he had some good ones, too, I know.

RW Wacko on November 27, 2007 at 11:49 AM

zane on November 27, 2007 at 11:36 AM

Relax, that is one for all of the Joooos.
BTW, name a culture that has produced more in the way of medicine, music, art, written word, etc., then per capita the Jews.
The only weakness is that they breed too many attorneys (that’s a little joke, relax).

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:58 AM

I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters

The Koran is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, hence there are no qualified Americans of the Islamic faith.

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:02 PM

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:02 PM

Get a grip, dude.

And yeah, I read JihadWatch, so I don’t need a barrage of Koran quotations.

I still think Ijaz asked a legitimate question that Mitt may or may not have bundled, depending upon the context of the question. I wouldn’t assume it is a setup off-hand. Dude is involved in politics, and Mitt has been the most vocal of all the candidates in talking about Islamofascism. So it wouldn’t surprise me to see Ijaz ask Mitt that question at all, legitimately. He didn’t force Mitt to answer in the wishy-washy way he did. If Mitt answers strongly, there is no embarrasing mention in the CSM to begin with. But yeah, CSM came up way short on its disclaimer for sure.

RW Wacko on November 27, 2007 at 12:14 PM

and that he’s way off base on the notion that it takes a Muslim to fight a Muslim.

Bryan on November 27, 2007 at 10:07 AM

It takes drug addict to fight drug addict.

It takes mafia to fight mafia.

It takes drug cartel to fight drug cartel.

Same-same.

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:16 PM

“President Roosevelt, if you are re-elected in 1940, will you name a Nazi to your cabinet?”

Labamigo on November 27, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Jeeves, give this man a cigar, one from the good box.

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Get a grip, dude.

RW Wacko on November 27, 2007 at 12:14 PM

I’ve got a grip, now you get a clue.

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:26 PM

And yeah, I read JihadWatch, so I don’t need a barrage of Koran quotations.

RW Wacko on November 27, 2007 at 12:14 PM

Mosques are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but morals and whiskey are scarce. The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to drink. Their natural instinct does not permit them to be moral.
- Mark Twain

Not a barrage and not from JiadWatch, so don’t have a cow.

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:30 PM

Mitt does have a history of “diversity” appointments based on gender and race- case in point the judge who let a killer go free and kill again. I think we’re seeing Mitt’s affirmative action mentality slip through.

Otherwise, the article was self-serving garbage.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 12:37 PM

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:30 PM

I won’t, but I think I like the Koran ones better, now that I’m confronted with that one.

It takes drug addict to fight drug addict.

It takes mafia to fight mafia.

It takes drug cartel to fight drug cartel.

Same-same.

MB4 on November 27, 2007 at 12:16 PM

I like your thinking on that one, however. I’d love to see someone have an all white male Cabinet just to see the reaction of the press and all the aggrieved special interest groups.

RW Wacko on November 27, 2007 at 12:44 PM

It takes mafia to fight mafia.

Sometimes it helps. After getting out of sing-sing, Rudy’s father was a muscle man for Rudy’s uncle who ran a loan-sharking operation. Because of that Rudy probably better understood organized crime than someone who grew up in a preppy environment.

dedalus on November 27, 2007 at 12:53 PM

I think if I was a presidential candidate that I would have a mic on the whole time I was meeting with people. It’s very doable today and becoming a necessity. There’s no reason to have he-said he-said moments today.

Sebastian on November 27, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Mitt does have a history of “diversity” appointments based on gender and race- case in point the judge who let a killer go free and kill again. I think we’re seeing Mitt’s affirmative action mentality slip through.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 12:37 PM

Cheap shot, but not unexpected from you.

I don’t believe that Mitt knew the gender of the female Judge whom he selected. He received a blind file on 3 prospects without their names attached. She was selected based entirely on her qualifications and experience.

In any case, appointing one female Judge does not make one a slave to the diversity police.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 1:42 PM

More Macaca…

DANEgerus on November 27, 2007 at 1:44 PM

This is what I keep talking about!
Romney, Fred, and even Rudy have never run a Presidential campaign before. This is no time for rookies! Every mis-step will count. And you know who won’t mis-step? Hillary. She has been through this twice before. She knows what she is doing. We need someone who knows it too. I don’t have to tell you who I think it is.

Rightwingsparkle on November 27, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Rightwingsparkle on November 27, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Thats a good argument Rightwingsparkle but all of the top 3 have been in the politics game a long time. McCain has never made it out of the Republican primaries so ipso facto he has the same amount of experience as any of these fellas. He can misstep just as easily as Rudy or Mitt.

Zetterson on November 27, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Update: Democratic donor or not, he doesn’t seem to much care for Harry Reid.

So he’s anti-Mormon?

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 2:02 PM

McCain has never made it out of the Republican primaries so ipso facto he has the same amount of experience as any of these fellas. He can misstep just as easily as Rudy or Mitt

Plus his disregard for his desires of his base – a key element in a representative form of government:)

Spirit of 1776 on November 27, 2007 at 2:13 PM

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Jews are smarter?? that is offensive to jews i imagine, even though it is a positive stereotype it is still a stereotype. And as for claiming all jews are smarter than any muslims…that is just nonsense.

zane on November 27, 2007 at 11:36 AM

I have no Jewish blood in me, but I tell people I’m racist because I’m pro-Semetic. Jewish culture has made Jews use their mind and thus be smarter. It’s nothing genetic. It’s the encouragement of intelligence.

thuja on November 27, 2007 at 2:22 PM

McCain? Yeah, he’s experienced in using the gook word so he’d be a real pro in handling this thorny Muslims in the cabinet issue.

Allah asks:

Is he excusing Ijaz of simply making that up?

Maybe Ijaz is the one who is making things up? Does he has this in writing or on tape? I’m not entirely sure what “excusing Ijaz” means, come to think of it.

I also find it curious that Mansour Ijaz is on the Clinton team since he has emphatically blamed Bill Clinton for screwing up the Sudan’s offer to hand Bin Laden over to us.

I guess we’ll just have to follow the money.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 2:23 PM

Rightwingsparkle on November 27, 2007 at 1:45 PM

And his support of amnesty during the course of his campaign wasn’t a “misstep”?

“Hey, my guy has experience losing a campaign- let’s nominate him!”

A bit of a stretch there honeybuns.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Cheap shot, but not unexpected from you.

I don’t believe that Mitt knew the gender of the female Judge whom he selected. He received a blind file on 3 prospects without their names attached. She was selected based entirely on her qualifications and experience.

In any case, appointing one female Judge does not make one a slave to the diversity police.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 1:42 PM

O rly?

“We would like the bench to reflect the diversity of the community at large,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, the governor’s spokesman.

Fehrnstrom said the appointment of women to the bench has been a top priority for the administration, and Romney recently asked his Judicial Nominating Commission to recommend the names of more female and minority applicants.

“It does take a concerted effort to get women on the bench. There was a lot of outreach to encourage more female applicants,” Fehrnstrom said.

Also, he didn’t blindly pick her off a list- he met with her first.

The point isn’t that he nominated a bad judge- it happens; no one can 100% predict how an untested judge will rule. The point is that in response to criticism, he folded to the PC crowd in pushing for nominations based on factors other than qualifications- and that may have been a significant factor in why the judge in question slipped through. It also contradicts his statement that he’d appoint based stictly on qualifications.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 2:33 PM

Actually, the appointment of someone like Zuhdi Jasser to even a symbolic post (not necessarily cabinet) could be importantly…symbolic. And I think, in Jasser’s case, even substantive.

eeyore on November 27, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 2:33 PM

This is not the example you used originally, where we were led to infer that the mere act of appointing a single female Judge was done out of political correctness.

Thank you for providing some facts to back up your claim this time.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 3:23 PM

It’s the encouragement of intelligence.

thuja on November 27, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Or the fight for survival.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 3:37 PM

This is not the example you used originally, where we were led to infer that the mere act of appointing a single female Judge was done out of political correctness.

Thank you for providing some facts to back up your claim this time.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Except that wasn’t my implication- one female judge does not a PC appointment make. However it’s pretty clear that he did in fact take race and gender into account (and not just qualifications as he says he’d do now) and the judge was likely one result of that stance. Whether he used an actual quota or not I don’t know, but that fact does shed some light on the quote in this story.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Is he excusing Ijaz of simply making that up?

Maybe Ijaz is the one who is making things up? Does he has this in writing or on tape? I’m not entirely sure what “excusing Ijaz” means, come to think of it.

I believe that is what AP is saying. Going by what Mitt says Ijaz apparently just made that part up, so in effect Mitt is excusing him for doing so by not saying anything about it.

Gianni on November 27, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Gianni on November 27, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Mitt corrected the record. Maybe I need another cup of coffee, but I don’t see how this is “excusing” Ijaz:

At an availability with reporters here, Romney answered questions about today’s report suggesting that he would not appoint Muslims to his Cabinet. “No, that’s not what I said. His question was, Did I need to have a Muslim in my Cabinet in order to confront radical jihad, or would it be important to have a Muslim in my Cabinet?’ And I said no, I don’t think you need a Muslim in the Cabinet to take on radical jihad any more than we needed a Japanese American to understand the threat that was coming from Japan or something of that nature.”

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Oh yeah. I definitely need some coffee. I did not mean to put a strike through Gianni’s name!

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 4:04 PM

If there is anyone that can waffle his way out of this, it will be Mitt. And that’s the problem, he shouldn’t waffle.

Who cares how he selects his cabinet? First we choose the President, and with all of the background checking, the investigation into their lives, personal and business. We select the best candidate. Then we sit back and let him do his thing. He’ll know if his appointments aren’t met with enthusiasm. But the point is, it is his obligation to select whom he thinks he can work with best, however he thinks that selection best suits himself and the nation. And the Republican we select will be able to do that better than any Dem.
This is much to do about nothing. Mitt has made major mistakes in the past, this is about one he may make in the future…besides, he’ll probably change his mind next week.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 4:12 PM

President Roosevelt, if you are re-elected in 1940, will you name a Nazi to your cabinet?”
Super. If Ijaz’s quote is accurate, you’re exactly the guy Mitt was trying to pander to with his answer. Except he didn’t have the balls to speak to you in your own language.

Allahpundit on November 27, 2007 at 10:46 AM

AP, if your sarcasm detector is no better than that, you need so seek another line of work. The written word is way over your head.

Labamigo on November 27, 2007 at 4:57 PM

An amusing aside from the latest update at NRO where Ijaz stands by his story:

I must, however, gently advise you with all due respect that you are absolutely incorrect when you say that the next president should consider appointing a “qualified Muslim” to the cabinet. Fact of the matter is that no one should be asking anyone any questions regarding their religious background during a job interview, and that includes the President for government jobs. Generally speaking, unless a job is for a religious institution and a person’s faith is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ as we say) for the position, it is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make a hiring decision because of someone’s religious faith.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Well, if a Muslim uses Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a source for their argument, then they’re not Muslim. What about the refusal of Islamic states to offer equal employment to women, to allow them to drive, to allow them to speak to anyone they choose, to allow them to dress as they choose, go where they choose. Are these not all violations of the Act? This is why I wouldn’t appoint a Muslim, no fealty to our laws before to Mohammed( whose charcoal drawing I did of him in protest, still hangs on my wall).

MNDavenotPC on November 27, 2007 at 5:28 PM

Mitt corrected the record.
Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 4:04 PM

No, Mitt tried to do damage control. His “correction” was more along the lines of “what I meant to say was…”. Notice he didn’t actually claim the quote was inaccurate.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 5:29 PM

I don’t like Ijaz because he has a diphthong.

Weight of Glory on November 27, 2007 at 10:15 AM

As long as he doesn’t wear it in public.

ronsfi on November 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM

I like Mitt’s clarified answer.

I’m not going to have my candidate picked for me by some gotcha journalism.

Nessuno on November 27, 2007 at 5:37 PM

I like Mitt’s clarified answer.

Me too. But…if he gave the original answer he’s got some problems and deservedly so.

I liked when Hillary clarified her answer to say no to licenses for illegals but that didn’t absolve her of her answer(s).

Drew on November 27, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Damn.

That should read:

I liked when Hillary clarified her answer to say no to licenses for illegals but that didn’t absolve her of her earlier answer(s).

Drew on November 27, 2007 at 5:57 PM

Notice he didn’t actually claim the quote was inaccurate.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 5:29 PM

What do you think this is?

No, that’s not what I said. His question was, Did I need to have a Muslim in my Cabinet in order to confront radical jihad, or would it be important to have a Muslim in my Cabinet?’ And I said no.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 6:11 PM

What do you think this is?

“No, that’s not what I said. His question was, Did I need to have a Muslim in my Cabinet in order to confront radical jihad, or would it be important to have a Muslim in my Cabinet?’ And I said no.
Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 6:11 PM

It’s a politicians way of trying to convince people that what he said meant something other than what the quote actually conveyed. They do this all the time as damage control; however when misquoted they’re usually quick to say so. Mitt didn’t say the quote was inaccurate, only that he said (read: meant) something else even if the quote was correct. It’s the same as claiming a quote was “out of context” when in fact it wasn’t.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Come on! You’re being too smart by half here.

If there’s a video we’ll soon know anyway. At the very least, there were other people in the room who may remember what was said.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Mitt didn’t say the quote was inaccurate, only that he said (read: meant) something else even if the quote was correct.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:26 PM

I don’t read said to mean meant, and I don’t see why that conclusion must be drawn in this case. Mitt is on record saying that’s not what he said. That’s as clear as anything I can think of in saying he was misquoted.

Would he have to say those exact words or what?

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Honestly, the only reason I don’t believe Mitt said that is because it’s a stupid response unless the question was, “Statistically do you believe you’ll have a Muslim in your cabinet?”

That’s the only way his response even makes coherent sense.

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:42 PM

I don’t read said to mean meant, and I don’t see why that conclusion must be drawn in this case. Mitt is on record saying that’s not what he said. That’s as clear as anything I can think of in saying he was misquoted.

Would he have to say those exact words or what?

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Like I said, it’s just like the “I was taken out of context” excuse. An actual quote, out of context, doesn’t always convey what was actually said. Same thing here; if the quote was fabricated, it would be very easy for him to say so but he didn’t and gave a “clarification” instead. They do this all the time rather than admit they screwed up.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:48 PM

They do this all the time rather than admit they screwed up.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:48 PM

I don’t deny that, but I don’t see that you’ve proven that Mitt has done that here.

Sure, it’s possible. I personally just don’t find it probable.

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:51 PM

Honestly, the only reason I don’t believe Mitt said that is because it’s a stupid response unless the question was, “Statistically do you believe you’ll have a Muslim in your cabinet?”

That’s the only way his response even makes coherent sense.

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:42 PM

The quote makes perfect sense if he interpreted the question as “will you apply diversity to your cabinet by including a Muslim in your cabinet?” As I pointed out earlier, he’s taken race and gender into account when making nominations in the past.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:53 PM

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Phew! It’s nice not to be a voice in the wilderness.

They do this all the time rather than admit they screwed up.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:48 PM

I think you’re projecting.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 6:54 PM

I don’t deny that, but I don’t see that you’ve proven that Mitt has done that here.

Sure, it’s possible. I personally just don’t find it probable.

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 6:51 PM

Of course I can’t prove it- that’s why this strategy of a non-denial denial is used in the first place. If tomorrow it turns out that someone recorded the exchange and proves that the quote was authentic, his clarification isn’t technically a lie since he didn’t specifically state that the quote was inaccurate. In that case, he can simply repeat that the quote didn’t accurately convey what he was trying to say even if it was accurate.

However, if the quote is completely inaccurate or was fabricated out of whole cloth, don’t you think he’d say so specifically?

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM

Hollowpoint,

Since when is NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID a “non-denial denial”?

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 7:02 PM

The quote makes perfect sense if he interpreted the question as “will you apply diversity to your cabinet by including a Muslim in your cabinet?” As I pointed out earlier, he’s taken race and gender into account when making nominations in the past.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 6:53 PM

Maybe so, but why would he flat out state that he would base his decision on pure statistics?

Doesn’t that seem odd at least?

I mean let’s say I ask people if they’d ever hire a black person. Would you expect anyone to respond that statistics would play a part in their decision?

Even if it’s the truth, why would he have said that?

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 7:03 PM

I think you’re projecting.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 6:54 PM

And you’d know all about admitting you’re wrong, wouldn’t you? Oh, wait…

I don’t believe that Mitt knew the gender of the female Judge whom he selected. He received a blind file on 3 prospects without their names attached. She was selected based entirely on her qualifications and experience.

In any case, appointing one female Judge does not make one a slave to the diversity police.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:03 PM

However, if the quote is completely inaccurate or was fabricated out of whole cloth, don’t you think he’d say so specifically?

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM

See, that’s where you and I disagree. I believe he has said that by saying it’s not what he said. I believe had the context been the issue he would have said that instead.

Maybe I’m being too trusting of a politician, but as I’ve said previously, it’s just too stupid of a statement to be accurate. Either Mitt is really that stupid, in which case, how was he able to get even this far, or he didn’t say what he says he didn’t say.

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 7:05 PM

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Note the brackets in Ijaz’s quote:

He answered, “…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.”

We don’t even know exactly what Ijaz said he said :-)

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 7:09 PM

Even if it’s the truth, why would he have said that?

Esthier on November 27, 2007 at 7:03 PM

I wasn’t there and don’t know what he said, but it would make sense in the “diversity” context if the quote is accurate. We’ve all heard the PC police argue that important positions should have a gender and racial makeup that better reflect that of society in general. However Muslims represent a small percentage of the population, so you could argue that a diverse cabinet probably wouldn’t include a Muslim.

If the quote is accurate, it sounds like Mitt was looking for a way to say that he wouldn’t have a Muslim in that position but didn’t want to sound like a religious bigot (for obvious reasons) so he framed the answer as he did. As anyone who’s watched the debates can attest to, it wouldn’t be the first time a candidate gave an answer that doesn’t match the question.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:10 PM

And you’d know all about admitting you’re wrong, wouldn’t you? Oh, wait…

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:03 PM

GFY! You know perfectly well that that was not the end of that thread. What you excluded:

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 2:33 PM

This is not the example you used originally, where we were led to infer that the mere act of appointing a single female Judge was done out of political correctness.

Thank you for providing some facts to back up your claim this time.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Facts that contradicted what you said… yet all you did was thank me for providing facts without acknowledging that you were mistaken. Is that that a bit of projection on your part perhaps?

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:24 PM

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 7:24 PM

Where I live, if I acknowledge that you provided facts to back up your statement, it is an acknowledgment that I was mistaken.

However, the fact remains that when you made your initial comment about the judge you implied that the mere fact of appointing a female judge made him a lackey for the PC police. That miscommunication was an error on your part, not mine.

I have nothing to apologize for.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 7:54 PM

Correcting a statement, does not always mean they are sincere. Do you really think Hillary doesn’t want to give illegal immigrants a drivers license?
Mitt has a history of flipping, and he showed it here. This will be a theme throughout, he does not have a clear idea of where he stands, he is always trying to read what the public wants.
The irony is, what he said was a bigoted statement last week if said by someone else towards Mormons.
You should be able to select whomever you want, for whatever reasons, to serve the public, the constitution, the President. He should show some leadership, and quit pandering.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 8:40 PM

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 8:40 PM

But he’d make a super VP, right r2b?

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 8:55 PM

I have nothing to apologize for.

Buy Danish on November 27, 2007 at 7:54 PM

Point: Proven.

Also, go back and read the post you originally responded to- it does not say what you think it says.

Hollowpoint on November 27, 2007 at 9:21 PM

Ok, Mitt says no muslims in his cabinet, So what is the downside? My opinion of him just went up.

Given the fact that the lion’s share of terrorist incidents are caused by muslims, any candidate the refuses to reward their bad behaviour with a cabinet position warrants serious consideration.

Texas Nick 77 on November 28, 2007 at 9:07 AM