Mitt: It depends on what the meaning of “saw” is

posted at 11:55 am on December 21, 2007 by Allahpundit

Via the Corner. My pal Barnett, who knows Mitt personally, tells me what a great guy he is, how he’s exactly what he appears to be. I’ll take his word for it, but maybe Dean doesn’t know him as well as he thinks. From the Boston Globe, also via the Corner:

Mitt Romney went a step further in a 1978 interview with the Boston Herald. Talking about the Mormon Church and racial discrimination, he said: “My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.”

Yesterday, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom acknowledged that was not true. “Mitt Romney did not march with Martin Luther King,” he said in an e-mail statement to the Globe.

Coming soon: Hugh Hewitt explains how the dictionary definition of “march” also encompasses hallucinations of marching.


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TIME FOR A SECOND LOOK AT HUCK

TIME FOR A SECOND LOOK AT OBAMA.

Heck, the way things are going… TIME FOR A SECOND LOOK AT THE MONARCHY

Nineball on December 21, 2007 at 1:49 PM

In 1978 when he said he “marched” with his father and Dr. King, that was not true (although Broder and Hess did say that Gov. Romney marched with King, so it would be interesting to see their sources).

When Mitt says that he “saw” his father march with Dr. King, that is not lying. That is the figurative use of the word “see”.
Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Ah, so he didn’t actually march with MLK, but Mitt saw him do it. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

Hollowpoint on December 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM

Hey, the Fred supporters got ridiculed for making excuses for the silly hat incident the other day. Turnabout time.

I see Buy Danish digging a big hole. (Let us know when you wear out your shovel, and we’ll be happy to supply you with a new one.)

What I learned from the Fred silly hat incident: Acknowledge that your guy screwed up and could’ve done a better job. Hope he doesn’t do it again. Laugh and move on. The more you protest and defend such things, the deeper you dig your own hole and the more your opponents gain the upper hand–especially if you hypocritically defend your guy while coming down hard on others for the exact same behavior.

aero on December 21, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Ah, so he didn’t actually march with MLK, but Mitt saw him do it. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

Hollowpoint on December 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM

Sure he did. He imagined it. He “became visually or mentally aware” of something. Didn’t you read that lengthy dictionary definition?

Whether something actually, you know, happened – that doesn’t matter anymore.

Not in Romney/Clinton world apparently.

The Kool-Aid is indeed mighty strong this morning.

It’s too bad I can’t actually see (uh, by the old definition) some of the faces of these people spinning so desperately. I’m dying to know if they can do it with a straight face.

If so, I ain’t playing poker with them.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 1:55 PM

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 1:39 PM

Oh, so because an awful lot of people are not sufficiently well versed in the English language to know that the word “see” can be taken literally or figuratively, that is Mitt’s fault?

I posted the definition to show that the word has a lot of different meanings. Just trying to help out here! You may be “Professor” Blather, but you are wrong about me being wrong about what the word “see” means!

P.S. Your Jessica Alba analogy is a poor comparison, because you only saw her in your dreams while Mitt’s father did march FOR King and civil rights, if not WITH him, which means it wasn’t based totally on a fantasy.

Hoped you enjoyed it anyway.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 1:57 PM

aero on December 21, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Give that man a Kewpie doll. Perfect clarity in that post.

This is painfully and plainly indefensible, and just as Mitt kept right on digging deeper, his unthinking supporters are making his situation worse by pulling out a steam shovel and digging deeper yet.

Semantic arguments over bizarre definitions of “saw?” Think that’ll help Mitt?

The truth shall set you free. I think I “saw” MLK, jr. say that one time.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 1:58 PM

terryannonline on December 21, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Uh…gimme a sec…hey! Cynthia Mckinney announced. Sorry. What am I thinking. I must have a RINO virus.

ronsfi on December 21, 2007 at 1:59 PM

I utterly fail to comprehend how anyone could read about this scandal? failure?–let’s just go with incident and not roll their eyes. If Jesus was human in the sense of a memory being sometime unreliable when he was here, I’m sure he even did something like this.

thuja on December 21, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Nineball on December 21, 2007 at 1:49 PM

You mean we don’t have a monarchy?
I thought our rulers had to have the last name Bush or Clinton?
You mean all these years I actually had a choice!

terryannonline on December 21, 2007 at 2:02 PM

P.S. Your Jessica Alba analogy is a poor comparison, because you only saw her in your dreams while Mitt’s father did march FOR King and civil rights, if not WITH him, which means it wasn’t based totally on a fantasy.

Hoped you enjoyed it anyway.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Seriously? First of all, who are you to define “saw” for me? I get to define it anyway I want, don’t I? Your newfangled rules have me confused.

But let me make sure I understand that Clintonian masterpiece you just offered:

1) You admit that Romney (senior) may not have EVER marched “with” King, right? He may have marched elsewhere, in a cause similar to King’s … but never “with” him, right?

2) Further, you admit that Romney (Mitt) never actually observed this with his, you know, eyeballs?

But then you defend this sentence: “I saw my father march with King …?”

Seriously?

Let’s return to my Jessica analogy, since I do enjoy it so thoroughly. You’re now attempting to redefine the very definition you offered – ” being or becoming visually or mentally aware of something” – to apparently now mean only visualization of something you didn’t, you know, “see, with your, you know, “eyes,” …. but which actually happened. So now it can’t be completely imaginary, right?

Ok – parse this, my Clintonian friend: “I saw Jessica Alba at the Academy Awards.”

Assume I don’t own a television (or maybe you’d be supporting Mitt’s lie if he’d seen it on television?).

So I tell you in a bar: “I swear to God, dude … I totally saw my Jessica at the Academy Awards.”

Am I lying?

If she was there … and I became “mentally aware of it” … if I tell people for 30 years that I “saw here there,” am I telling the truth?

If not – why not?

And hey … what if it wasn’t the Academy Awards? What if she wasn’t even there … but was at perhaps another awards venue?

Close enough, right?

Watching you spin this is delightful if somewhat disturbing fun, and I really want you to try. If Mitt can claim he “saw” his father “march” “with King,” when not only did Mitt not see it with his eyes, but his father never even marched “with” King …

I want to know why I can’t brag about seeing Jessica at the Academy Awards.

Good luck. May both the force and the Kool-Aid be with you.

Exit question: do you honestly think your spinning is helping Mitt’s cause?

Exit question for the rest of the folks: if we hooked BuyDanish up to a polygraph and asked him if he believes a word of what he’s written …. would he pass?

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:09 PM

I utterly fail to comprehend how anyone could read about this scandal? failure?–let’s just go with incident and not roll their eyes. If Jesus was human in the sense of a memory being sometime unreliable when he was here, I’m sure he even did something like this.

thuja on December 21, 2007 at 2:00 PM

And if it was a simple case of misremembering an event decades prior- OK, a gaffe but understandable; apologizing for the error and moving on would be the natural response.

Mitt didn’t do that; instead he’s spinning with an argument over what “saw” means. This suggests to me that he knew it wasn’t true from the start, but didn’t think he’d get caught in the lie.

Hollowpoint on December 21, 2007 at 2:09 PM

Blather,

You’re correct! It is an argument about semantics, and you are using semantics when you state (incorrectly) that I am “wrong” when I use a figurative definition of the word “see”.

Aero,

What hole would that be? Do you have some more facts to bring to the table?

I have already said that he cannot be defended for saying that he “marched with his father and Dr. King” (except that it happened almost 30 years ago when he was a private citizen, and it was obviously done out of pride.)

I am not changing my position on his use of the verb SEE :-)

Gotta run folks. Not out of cowardice, but I have flights to meet.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Before I go -

Seriously? First of all, who are you to define “saw” for me? I get to define it anyway I want, don’t I?

Blather,

Who are you to tell me I’m defining it incorrectly? Hmmmmm???

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 2:12 PM

Give that man a Kewpie doll. Perfect clarity in that post.

This is painfully and plainly indefensible, and just as Mitt kept right on digging deeper, his unthinking supporters are making his situation worse by pulling out a steam shovel and digging deeper yet.

Semantic arguments over bizarre definitions of “saw?” Think that’ll help Mitt?

The truth shall set you free. I think I “saw” MLK, jr. say that one time.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 1:58 PM

The way I see it, Mitt made a statement in 1978 about marching with his dad and MLK.

Romney’s fact sheet says that his dad never marched in an event that MLK was actually at.

That doesn’t mean Mitt knew that 30 years ago. His father may have always told him they were marching with MLK and didn’t mention “in spirit,” or “well, not literally, but in an event concurrent to one King is marching in sponsored in his name.”

However, both of those sentences sound like crap in a speech, which is where the line originally came from.

In summary, this is fenagaling Mitt over a few omitted words in a speech, a speech which had nothing to do with marching with MLK Jr. If Mitt marched in Detroit with his dad at a civil rights event he can in fact say that he saw his father march with MLK Jr. If he was there, he can say he did too. The “in spirit” is inferred for anyone who isn’t a cheapshot artist like Hollowpoint.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 2:16 PM

One more thing.

Blather,

We don’t know that Mitt didn’t know his father actually physically marched with King. The Broder/Hess book said that he did, George Romney was the keynote speaker at the convention which initiated King’s marches in Detroit, et cetera.

The bottom line is that the Romney family deserve their reputation as civil rights advocates, but if you want to disqualify him for something he said in 1978, that’s your choice.

It seems a bit unfortunate to me.

Outta here.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Blather,

Who are you to tell me I’m defining it incorrectly? Hmmmmm???

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 2:12 PM

You’ve got me there, my Kool-Aid guzzling buddy. You’re right. In your world – let’s call it Clintonia – words apparently have no meaning. They mean whatever you decide they mean. Usually, you get to define them after you get caught in an obvious factual lie, which works out really well. Imagine if you had to decide ahead of time what simple words mean! That would be tough.

Obviously, anybody who thinks “I saw my father march with King,” means that he actually saw – with his eyes – his father march “with” – as in “with” – King is obviously just silly.

All simple declarative sentence are open to wildly varying interpretation in the brave new world of Clintonia.

Carry on. I’ve got to go see Jessica.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:18 PM

I nominate – - – Eisenhower

entagor on December 21, 2007 at 2:25 PM

We don’t know that Mitt didn’t know his father actually physically marched with King.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Ah. So as long as I don’t “know” something to be factually false, I can assert is as true? I’ll bet the dictionary definition of “know” would help here.

To summarize, in Clintonia:

“I saw” …. means “I mentally became aware of something that might be true or might not be true, but which I don’t know for a fact is untrue, so I can say I “saw” it.

“march” means either be near, stand, walk, participate, or engage in some activity that might have some similarity to somebody actually, you know, marching.

“with” does not mean, well, WITH, so much, as it means doing something sorta like the other guys is doing. So when I say I’m golfing “with Tiger Woods” this weekend, its perfectly true, since he’ll be golfing at the same time.

You guys are killing me. Never let it be said this sort of mind-blowing intellectual dishonesty is only found on the Left.

“I saw my father march with King.”

It’s pretty simple. And it’s a lie.

And I suspect this amusing yet pathetic spinning is just costing him votes. Honesty – from both Mitt and his supporters – might salvage things. But it ain’t going to happen.

The bottom line is that the Romney family deserve their reputation as civil rights advocates, but if you want to disqualify him for something he said in 1978, that’s your choice.

Even more intellectual dishonesty. That is a complete and not very clever straw man. Nobody, not one person, has denied the Romney families civil rights record. Nobody – not one person – is concerned about the original 1978 lie.

This is about the lies of this week. This is about that truly painful videotape posted above. And you know it, of course.

Last exit question – I really have to go “see” Jessica now, I’m going to sleep “with” her tonight! (disclaimer: see, of course, means be visually or mentally aware of her image, and “with” means we’ll be participating in a similar activity at a similar time) – the question is: do you honestly think when you’re discussing this with those of us who had decided to vote for Mitt but are now deeply troubled by both his conduct and that of his blinded supporters … that this is the best tact to take to preserve our votes?

You might want to skip the embarrassing semantics and think about that question. It’s the one that actually matters.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Obviously, anybody who thinks “I saw my father march with King,” means that he actually saw – with his eyes – his father march “with” – as in “with” – King is obviously just silly.

Or you could bother listening to what Mitt said in the clip and shorten it down to:

“I meant saw as in ‘my father supported MLK Jr’s cause in spirit and sponsored events cleared by him and for his benefit, even if the two were never physically together.”

Romney’s right, it is a very common figure of speech, and it makes perfect sense in that context.

For instance, I saw Professor Blather was unable to see any definition of saw other than the visual one.

Clearly I haven’t seen you because I’m typing on a computer.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 2:29 PM

OH! I thought he meant:

Main Entry: SAW
Pronunciation: \ˈsȯ\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sawe, from Old English sagu; akin to Old High German sega saw, Latin secare to cut
Date: before 12th century
: a hand or power tool or a machine used to cut hard material (as wood, metal, or bone) and equipped usually with a toothed blade or disk

TheSitRep on December 21, 2007 at 2:34 PM

“My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.”

I was willing to give him a pass on this read my posts, I defended the little creep)…I should have known better. Originally I thought he meant with as “I am with you in your thoughts and prayers”. But now it looks like he just was a little…well Goreish, as in “they developed “Love Story”, or “I invented the internet”. Man, I almost was fell for his line…please next time someone smack me on the side of the head, he is just to slippery.
We aren’t going to give Hillary a pass on “I have given the reserves health insurance”, we shouldn’t give a pass to this guy.
Man, was I fooled, he is good…oh he is very good.

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 2:35 PM

I nominate – - – Eisenhower

entagor on December 21, 2007 at 2:25 PM

The best reason? Because he asked for one-armed advisors…so they could never say “On the other hand”…one of the best lines ever, and very applicable here.

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 2:38 PM

I’m with The Race Card and Professor Blather on this one, especially after the new evidence. The only thing that has always bothered me about Mitt is his Clintonian slickness. Other than that he is a great man/executive.

Buy Danish and BKennedy, two very bright and eloquent debaters, whom I respect a lot, even if sometimes we differ, you sound like Hugh Hewitt on this.

Entelechy on December 21, 2007 at 2:41 PM

What is the big deal here?
Remember when Bill Clinton said, “I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child.” Well, there were NO church fires in Arkansas, but he was allowed to get away with saying it, for the most part.
Hillary says she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, but Edmund Hillary was largely an unknown until he climbed Mount Everest… but that was when Hillary was five years old. No one calls her on that either.
So what is the big deal, if Mitt padded his resume a tad?

ToddonCapeCod on December 21, 2007 at 2:42 PM

I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…I support…I’m with…I saw…I marched…
*
Okay, now I believe…if everyone did this enough times, you would believe also…try it, you will believe, you will believe…

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 2:43 PM

Carry on. I’ve got to go see Jessica.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:18 PM

You can’t. I’m seeing her.

JiangxiDad on December 21, 2007 at 2:47 PM

Remember when Bill Clinton said, “I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child.” Well, there were NO church fires in Arkansas, but he was allowed to get away with saying it, for the most part.
Hillary says she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, but Edmund Hillary was largely an unknown until he climbed Mount Everest… but that was when Hillary was five years old. No one calls her on that either.
So what is the big deal, if Mitt padded his resume a tad?

ToddonCapeCod on December 21, 2007 at 2:42 PM

No one called them on that? Are you kidding? They were slaughtered for that. How else do you know about it? How did I know exactly what you meant?

And they were slaughtered, crucified, by the same people who are ludicrously trying to parse Romney’s plain meaning now.

There are whole websites devoted to Clinton’s infamous church burning lie:

http://www.no-treason.com/wild/the_zepp_bet/index.htm

Maybe it makes sense to the Romney zombies? Perhaps Clinton “saw” church burnings in the sense that he was aware of them … even if they happened somewhere else … so he can factually claim to have “seen” them in Arkansas?

You’ll have to ask those guys. I can’t even wrap my mind around that kind of self-delusional thinking.

So what is the big deal, if Mitt padded his resume a tad?

Even if you set aside the fact that it was an obvious, explicit lie repeated for 30 years to pander to a voting block … even if you set aside the fact that he repeated the lie this week, that he’s still defending it … and even if you set aside the fact that it say a great deal about this “lifelong hunters” honesty and judgment …

Even if you set all that aside, its a big deal for a simple reason: every single one of us would hold the other side to a higher standard. Are we really going to be hypocritical enough to let such a blatant, self-serving lie slide … just because he’s (allegedly) on our side?

I have principles. Clear ones. That don’t require parsing or dictionaries. To me, that’s a big deal.

Merry Christmas. Jessica’s waiting. Peace.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Believe it or not, I understand what the Governor said and I might have phrased things the same way. This is a nothingn a nullity being kicked around.

thegreatbeast on December 21, 2007 at 2:56 PM

I’ll bet the dictionary definition of “know” would help here.

That is painfully funny. No, literally.

I read it, then yelped like a wounded seal before the energy drink started streaming from my nose.

Ouch and thank you.

The Race Card on December 21, 2007 at 2:57 PM

Buy Danish and BKennedy, two very bright and eloquent debaters, whom I respect a lot, even if sometimes we differ, you sound like Hugh Hewitt on this.

Entelechy on December 21, 2007 at 2:41 PM

Even I think Buy Danish’s massive posting on the defintion of saw was in bad form, but this “Mitt lied about his dad marching with MLK Jr! He couldn’t have seen it with his eyes because the two never marched together!”

And Romney’s explanation, politely worded as it always is, is that he meant saw figuratively as to be in spirit.

We all know Romney’s dad set up and walked in civil rights marches in Detroit, nobody is disputing that. What they are trying to do is the actual Clintonesque move, trying to define “see” so that it only has a definition that hurts Romney.

What Mitt is saying, reworded for the context patrol is this:

“No, we didn’t actually march with MLK Jr, as in physically next to, but we were engaging and promoting his work and spreading his message as if we were doing so.”

If anyone can’t see that, they have their blinders on. (Oh crap, I used see in the non-visual sense again! I’m Clintonian!)

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 3:06 PM

If your chosen candidate isn’t doing well, deal with it.

Good advice. Now say it into a mirror.

Jim Treacher on December 21, 2007 at 3:12 PM

“I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child.”

~ Bill Clinton (June 8, 1996)

I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

- Bill Clinton (January 26, 1998)

“That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is,”

~ Bill Clinton

I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared – seared – in me

~ John Kerry (1986)

I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life

~ Mitt Romney (April 2007)

I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life. I’ve never really shot anything terribly big. I used to hunt rabbits.”

Romney added: “Shooting a rabbit with a single-shot .22 is pretty hard, and after watching me try for a couple of weeks, (my cousins) said, `We’ll slip you the semiautomatic. You’ll do better with that.’ And I sure did.”

~ Mitt Romney (April 2007)

Romney has hunted exactly twice in his 60 year life.

My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit

~ Mitt Romney (1978)

I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.

~ Mitt Romney (December 6, 2007)

My dad marched with Martin Luther King

~ Mitt Romney (December 16, 2007)

My own eyes? You know, I speak in the sense of I saw my dad become president of American Motors. I wasn’t actually there when he became president of American Motors, but I saw him in the figurative sense of he marched with Martin Luther King. My brother also remembers him marching with Martin Luther King and so in that sense I saw him march with Martin Luther King.” He added, “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl. I saw my dad become president of American Motors. Did that mean you were there for the ceremony? No, it’s a figure of speech …..”

If you look at the literature … if you look at the dictionary, the term ‘saw’ includes being aware of in the sense I’ve described. It’s a figure of speech and very familiar, and it’s very common. And I saw my dad march with Martin Luther King. I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great effort.

~ Mitt Romney (December 20, 2007)

The pattern is clear. And clearly familiar.

I can’t defend it or vote for it.

I couldn’t defend it in Clinton or Kerry. I can’t defend it here. Not without willfully engaging in the worst sort of dishonest hypocrisy.

It is indefensible. Clearly. I can’t even try to defend it.

How can you?

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 3:13 PM

Maybe he really have meant Jesse Jackson?

That could change the equation because Jackson may have been in every march in history possibly including Hannibal crossing the Alps

entagor on December 21, 2007 at 3:16 PM

Eh. Does anyone seriously think that the alternative definition of the word “saw” is terribly controversial or Clintonian? “…what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is?”

I don’t.

Jaibones on December 21, 2007 at 3:17 PM

Does anyone seriously think that the alternative definition of the word “saw” is terribly controversial or Clintonian?

Jaibones on December 21, 2007 at 3:17 PM

What about the meaning of “with”? Or “I”? Word-parsing gets stupid really quickly, I agree.

But this hoopla is not really about this particular word, or story, or lie, or spin. It’s about the pattern that this story and other similar ones collectively represent in terms of Mitt Romney’s overall style of thinking and behavior. It’s just a red flag, that’s all.

aero on December 21, 2007 at 3:25 PM

So, first Romney is a closet racist because his church changed its policy only thirty years ago; now he’s accused of his father claiming hard-won credit for civil rights in the 1960′s. Critics, make up your mind; is the guy not friendly enough to minorities, or too friendly?

WasatchMan on December 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM

Oh my!

asc85 on December 21, 2007 at 3:32 PM

If Mitt gets the nomination, maybe this parsing of words will help him tack back towards the mainstream in the general election on abortion.

asc85 on December 21, 2007 at 3:33 PM

The pattern is clear. And clearly familiar.

I can’t defend it or vote for it.

I couldn’t defend it in Clinton or Kerry. I can’t defend it here. Not without willfully engaging in the worst sort of dishonest hypocrisy.

It is indefensible. Clearly. I can’t even try to defend it.

How can you?

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 3:13 PM

Because you’re being purposely obtuse, that’s why you can’t defend it.

I’ll try and explain this another way.

Henry Hyde, pro-life stalwart just passed away.

Now, a few months ago I walked in the Respect Life Walk in Boston. I was up near the front (I was there on assignment for my job, my first assignment actually), and Cardinal Sean O’Malley was there.

So if you were there you could say “I saw BKennedy walk with Cardinal O’Malley down the streets of Boston.” And that would be true in every sense of the word.

Now, back to Henry Hyde, lets assume that I actually did live in Hyde’s timeframe for walking at rallies, and my father or someone set up a pro-life walk in his name or under his direct request or with his help, but Hyde himself would be at another event.

Would you say I’m being Clintonian if I said I saw my father walk with Henry Hyde, even if he didn’t actually physically walk in the same event?

After all, he didn’t walk with Henry Hyde as in physically walked in an area adjacent to Henry Hyde’s physical location, but walked with as in was his ideological consult, friend, and promoter who was busy spreading the message to places that Hyde himself, by nature of being only one man, could not attend.

That is what Mitt Romney means, and the whole Clintonian meme isn’t actually started by anything Romney said, but on AP’s spin line. Romney isn’t saying “saw” has no meaning or demanding people forget what saw means, he’s clearly using a definition of saw which is common and fits in the context of what he is saying.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Jaibones on December 21, 2007 at 3:17 PM

You saw it one way, others saw it another, and some never saw it but said they did…see? I bet you didn’t see that coming, but you saw something. I saw the tablets of gold, but I never really saw them, I saw them in my minds eyes, they were a vision, which is the same as I saw them?
I think instead of being a flip flopper, he is on a see-saw.

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 3:41 PM

appears to be much ado about nothing; perhaps someone with an axe to grind.

What does this have to do with immigration, terrorism, defending the constitution, or America from our enemies….nada, zilch, zero

For the record, I did not march with King and am quite glad I was not there.

MarkB on December 21, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Well, I must say that this lowers my estimation of Romney quite a bit.

When you and your family have an excellent history in fighting against racism, there is absolutely no reason to be equivocal. You simply say:
“My Father and I both have worked hard at fighting racism; Look at the record.”

If you really have to bring up MLK for some reason, you can say “We marched with Martin Luther King in spirit or something like that.

Say I decide to run for mayor in my little town, and am trying to get our voters who have a higher concentration of melanin in their skins than I do. Do I tell them “I marched with King in the 60′s.” Which is a LITERALLY* true statement?. Or should I say “I will do everything I can to see that all races get equal treatment in this town.”

*I actually, literally DID march with King in the 60′s…. It was Jim King, we were in the same squad on year at the Military Academy and we marched together daily. But the way I used it previously was an equivocal statement; meant to deceive. Not much different than Romney’s use.

LegendHasIt on December 21, 2007 at 3:53 PM

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Sorry its not a big deal; its only a big deal for those trying to make it one.

You are generally dead on, in your comments…here I will agree to disagree.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

MarkB on December 21, 2007 at 3:53 PM

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 3:35 PM

With due respect – if you can read the plain, explicit, unmistakable language of the repeated quotes I listed … and still delude yourself … there’s really no point in arguing. Mitt’s words – like Clinton’s, like Kerry’s – speak for themselves:

I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.

Shooting a rabbit with a single-shot .22 is pretty hard, and after watching me try for a couple of weeks, (my cousins) said, `We’ll slip you the semiautomatic. You’ll do better with that

My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.

I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.

My dad marched with Martin Luther King

They are all simple declarative sentences, none of them are ambiguous in meaning, and they are all lies. He knew he was telling lies when he uttered them. He told them, intentionally, for political gain.

Defending it makes both you and he look foolish.

And I know that you know its foolish.

In fact, you could even say I “saw” you realizing how foolish it is. I really did. I saw it.

Kinda.

The bottom line is that I can’t vote for him. Not after this. And I doubt that I’m alone.

Your time would be far better spent arguing why I should rethink that decision, rather than literally drowning yourself in Kool-Aid.

Of course, by “literally,” I mean “figuratively.” But you probably “saw” that.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 3:55 PM

For the record, I did not march with King and am quite glad I was not there.

MarkB on December 21, 2007 at 3:49 PM

You may be the only one in America that admits to that, and you certainly are not a politician…they have all marched with MLK…just ask them.

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 4:03 PM

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 3:55 PM

The hunting and gun ones were probably just staffer suggestions to put out there. I don’t give them any weight because quite frankly I don’t view anyone who goes out and shoots animals for sport as an uber-manly role model.

It was probably just a poorly calculated move to get the gun vote.

Fact is, the Romneys DO have civil rights street cred, and I find whether they were hunters or not irrelevant. I don’t know why candidates who aren’t hunters like to appeal to the animal-shooting squad, but they do. It was an idiotic political folly and Mitt has since dropped it.

Thats the difference. Romney isn’t lying about himself or his family. Kerry attacked the character of all his fellow men in a revolting statement. Kerry probably would have won if it wern’t for the fact he sold his shipmates down the river when he got back.

If the only “pattern” you can detect is based on some early and obvious campaign pandering to a group that isn’t naturally atuned to Mitt anyway. Be my guest, but assaulting the Romney family on civil rights is idiotic.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Sorry its not a big deal; its only a big deal for those trying to make it one.

You are generally dead on, in your comments…here I will agree to disagree.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

MarkB on December 21, 2007 at 3:53 PM

Honesty matters to me. That is, in fact, a big deal to me. If you feel differently, that’s your call.

I was a Romney voter yesterday. I’m not now. Principles matter. Character matters.

No offense, but its only NOT a big to those spinning like drunken tops, willfully denying the very obvious truth, because it makes “their” guy look bad.

And what’s most frustrating – and most entertaining, in a way – is that we’ve all seen this before. We’ve all seen the lies told, and politicians and supporters ignore it and claim its “not a big deal!” (even though it would be a very big deal if an opponent did it) …. and we all know how the story ends.

Ask President Kerry. He knows.

It would have been refreshingly surprising if both Mitt and his supporters said: “I/he screwed up. That never happened. Won’t make that mistake again. Sorry.”

Instead, we’re going down the same path of intellectual dishonesty, semantic arguments, parsing every word, and claiming it doesn’t matter … bah.

It’s like we never learn. Honesty is a very big deal. On that one, you can disagree all day long, but you’re wrong.

Merry Christmas to you, as well. And a prosperous 2008.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Be my guest, but assaulting the Romney family on civil rights is idiotic.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Which, of course, nobody is doing. And you know it.

I already stated that explicitly.

Romney stating: “My family worked for civil rights” is a proud and true statement.

Romney stating: “My dad and I marched with King … I saw my Dad march with King … and I’ve been a lifelong hunter!” are all knowing, conscious, blatant lies, told to pander to specific groups of voters.

It is troubling that you can’t distinguish between the two.

The hunting and gun ones were probably just staffer suggestions to put out there. I don’t give them any weight because quite frankly I don’t view anyone who goes out and shoots animals for sport as an uber-manly role model.

No – you don’t give them weight because you’re blindly supporting your guy. You’ve abandoned clear principles for partisan political horse racing.

Fortunately – or unfortunately, for you – most people, especially most conservatives, won’t do that.

I’ll agree with you on one point, though: I suspect Romney has a serious problem with his advisors. They’re either actively encouraging him to lie as he panders, or they’re negligently failing to fact-check him – which is their job.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 4:11 PM

I don’t know, “Saw-gate” just doesn’t have the right ring to it, and certainly not “With-gate”.

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 4:12 PM

The hunting and gun ones were probably just staffer suggestions to put out there. I don’t give them any weight because quite frankly I don’t view anyone who goes out and shoots animals for sport as an uber-manly role model.

It was probably just a poorly calculated move to get the gun vote.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Yeah- dishonest pandering is A-OK if your advisors think it’ll help you get elected. No wonder Mitt’s your guy.

And by the way, your explanation doesn’t really fit what happened- he made the “hunter” comments while talking to an individual NRA member; we only know about it because a reporter happened to overhear the conversation. In other words, Mitt looked the guy in the eye and lied to his face just for the sake of pandering to him, not anticipating that he’d be caught in a lie by an eavesdropping reporter.

Hollowpoint on December 21, 2007 at 4:31 PM

technical aside ….. videos are notloading on Hot Air today ….

corona on December 21, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Saw 5: I Have a Nightmare

Jim Treacher on December 21, 2007 at 4:44 PM

how he’s exactly what he appears to be

Is it real or is it Memorex?

Rudy, er, Mitt, er, Fred, er…John Bolton for President!

Speakup on December 21, 2007 at 5:02 PM

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Your position my seem less laughable if Mitt Rommney was even available to see, perceive or even hear about his father’s interaction with MLK. According the article, Mitt was on his mission and incommunicado, unaware of the events taking place at the time.

Allowing for your highly-nuanced usage of a my 3-year-old daughter can both spell and define, when exactly did Mitt see his King and his dad March?

Should a front-running presidential candidate be using such confusing language?

from The Phoenix:

And, Mitt Romney would not have known about the event, let alone had a chance to “see” it. He was at that time in the middle of his two-year mission for the Mormon church in Le Havre, France. By his own description and others’, he was cut off from virtually all contact with his family; and at the time, King’s Grosse Pointe appearance was no more than local news.

***

So, first Romney is a closet racist because his church changed its policy only thirty years ago; now he’s accused of his father claiming hard-won credit for civil rights in the 1960’s. Critics, make up your mind; is the guy not friendly enough to minorities, or too friendly?

WasatchMan on December 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM

I look askance at people who need to obfuscate and parse language when speaking about issues of race. Nobody is discounting the senior Rommney’ important legacy. Nobody is calling Mitt a racist. Steaming dungheap arguments like that should come with carbon offsets.

The Race Card on December 21, 2007 at 5:21 PM

edit:
of a word my 3-year-old daughter can both spell and define

The Race Card on December 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Geez, just as I was coming around to Mitt, after hating him at first b/c I thought he was a too-slick phony, this crap happens. Now I have to break out Denny Green:

He is who I thought we was! Now if you wanna crown him, then crown his ass! But Mitt is who I thought he was!!!!

RW Wacko on December 21, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Nobody, not one person, has denied the Romney families civil rights record. Nobody – not one person – is concerned about the original 1978 lie.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 2:29 PM

That is indisputably false. Many comments indicated “concern” over the 1978 incident, including my own.

As for no one denying the Romney’s civil rights record, it is true that no one has done that on this thread, but many people do try to stain them with the past actions of the LDS church.

Don’t believe me? Look what happens when I Google Romney+Racist
361,000 entries.

Bkennedy,

I do apologize for listing every definition of the verb “see” but Professor Blather seems to be insisting that there is only one way to define it, and if you veer from his rigid definition you are a Clintonian liar.

The English language would be very sterile indeed if we lived by the Professor’s rules.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 6:12 PM

Look what happens when I Google Jesus+racist = 1,850,000
Look what happens when I Google Moon+racist = 1,390,000
Look what happens when I Google Martin Luther King+racist = 1,600,000
Look what happens when I Google Reagan+Racist = 1,630,000
Amazazing, 361,000 entries
Lets try bugs bunny+ racist=200,000 not as bad as Romney, but almost.
McCain+racist=369,000, John beats Romney!!!
Thompson+racist=455,000, Fred beats Romney and John!!!!
Gee, this is fun…

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 6:41 PM

“See” can mean whatever you want it to mean, as long as the guy I want to be president gets elected.

Jim Treacher on December 21, 2007 at 6:43 PM

Okay, Mitt can say that he “saw” his father figuratively marching with MLK, but Mitt is a well trained public speaker. He must know the impact of his statements. He must know what the hearers are going to think went he says he saw his father march with MLK. The hearer is going to envision Mr. Romney and MLK arm in arm shouting “we shall overcome” while a wide eyed young Mitt looked on admiringly. That is the impression the hearer gets and that was the impression INTENDED by Mitt when he made the statement. He was fudging the truth to gain your confidence. Mitt is a used car salesman and will say anything, do anything, adopt any position to make the deal — except there is no cooling off period — once you cast your vote, its too late.

Also, I guess the WSJ are a bunch of bigots too.

tommylotto on December 21, 2007 at 6:49 PM

Also, I guess the WSJ are a bunch of bigots too.

tommylotto on December 21, 2007 at 6:49 PM

Armand Mauss, a leading scholar on Mormons and race, and a Mormon himself, has noted that…”

But according to Mr. Mauss, the church has never repudiated the teachings that supported the policy…

Mauss is more then a leading scholar, he is there “go to” guy on history. This is the gentleman that I got nailed as a racist for quoting, looks like I am in good stead.
He is the kind of historian that will begin a change of direction of the Church, this is why longevity in a church is so important. Scholars come forward and begin to honestly dissect the origins and history of an institution.

right2bright on December 21, 2007 at 7:05 PM

tommylotto on December 21, 2007 at 6:49 PM

Thanks for proving my point about the attempts to paint Mitt as a racist. I am not familiar with Riley’s work, but this is a huge stretch, which, dare I say it, is far worse than using the word “see” figuratively:

Throughout his current campaign for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has declined to distance himself from the repugnant racial teachings of his church.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 7:13 PM

After thinking about this for almost a day, must agree w/ PB that Mitt has definitely lost my vote. Wasn’t aware of the hunter quote till today, and that, plus this, means–at a minimum– he purposely gives people the wrong impression for political gain. It’s a small thing but in a way, that makes it even more wrong: he didn’t even “need” to say it to establish civil rights cred, yet he did.

I hated that crap with the Clintons and I hate it with Mitt. Bush isn’t like that; he makes his share of mistakes but he’s not a liar.

If he wins the primary I might grit my teeth and vote for him. But I’d have to think about it. And NO WAY is he getting my vote in the primary. I’m not voting for a Republican Clinton to get the nomination, I’m just not.

inviolet on December 21, 2007 at 7:46 PM

Buy Danish on December 21, 2007 at 7:13 PM

It does not demonstrate that Mitt is racist, just that he is a priest in a religion founded on racist principles, in addition to being a liar.

tommylotto on December 21, 2007 at 10:15 PM

Yikes.

I really, really want to hook some of you up to a lie detector and ask point-black: do you actually believe what you’re saying? Do you really think “My father and I marched through the streets of Detroit with MLK” and “I saw my father march with MLK” are open to interpretation?

I think I’d add another question: if a liberal candidate had made the very same claim … would you be making the same arguments?

How this is even remotely different – when viewed objectively and logically – than John Kerry’s “seared Cambodian Christmas” … is beyond me.

Mitt lied. Repeatedly. For decades. And when called on the lie, his supporters twist and spin and quote dictionaries and stick their fingers in their ears and stomp up and down.

I was my father march with MLK.

I’m a lifelong hunter.

There’s really nothing else to add. And those of you who are still dancing and spinning ought to be embarrassed.

“See” can mean whatever you want it to mean, as long as the guy I want to be president gets elected.

Jim Treacher on December 21, 2007 at 6:43 PM

Yup. That’s the bottom line.

It doesn’t matter what Mitt did. He’s their guy.

Exactly like Democrats who support Hillary or Kerry. They spin the lies … “as long as the guy they want gets elected.”

There is no difference at all.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 10:28 PM

Yup. That’s the bottom line.

It doesn’t matter what Mitt did. He’s their guy.

Exactly like Democrats who support Hillary or Kerry. They spin the lies … “as long as the guy they want gets elected.”

There is no difference at all.

Professor Blather on December 21, 2007 at 10:28 PM

No, it doesn’t matter what Mitt did or didn’t do. If his usage of “see” and its various forms doesn’t fit the specific, physical sight-oriented definition you want it to he must be lying, obfuscation, pandering, whatever, depsite the fact the definition of see he’s using is also extremely common.

And I find it hard to square the march with Romney being in France at the time. Romney is 60 years old. He would have been on the mission somewhere between 17-20. That puts the year at around 1964-1967, after MLK Jr. has been martyred. Which means at the time King was marching, Romney would not yet have gone on his mission yet and could likely have attended a rally with his father George. After the mission Mitt may have participated in marches, but King wouldn’t be in them.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 10:51 PM

is isn’t

amend2 on December 22, 2007 at 12:35 AM

And I find it hard to square the march with Romney being in France at the time. Romney is 60 years old. He would have been on the mission somewhere between 17-20. That puts the year at around 1964-1967, after MLK Jr. has been martyred. Which means at the time King was marching, Romney would not yet have gone on his mission yet and could likely have attended a rally with his father George. After the mission Mitt may have participated in marches, but King wouldn’t be in them.

BKennedy on December 21, 2007 at 10:51 PM

King was killed on April 4, 1968. I don’t really care enough about it to look up when Mitt was in France, but if you use the wrong dates, it’s no surprise that you’d have trouble squaring them. It’s a “garbage in, garbage out” problem.

ReubenJCogburn on December 22, 2007 at 2:19 AM

A case study in what can and/or will sink Romney. He should have just said, “I meant it figuratively not literally” and left it there.

Spirit of 1776 on December 21, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Good point.

csdeven on December 22, 2007 at 5:44 AM

Wow, this is some really pathetic spinning going on here on this thread.

Good luck trying to make this gaffe disappear folks.

omnipotent on December 22, 2007 at 11:52 AM

Mitt being a liar and a flipper might get him some Dhemmocrat votes.

Mojave Mark on December 26, 2007 at 2:21 AM

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