McDonnell: Romney’s Hatchet Man?
posted at 6:50 pm on February 13, 2012 by The Other McCain
One of Rick Santorum’s campaign slogans is “The Courage to Fight,” and sometimes his supporters might wish the senator would consider that old saying about discretion sometimes being the better part of valor. Any heckler or liberal reporter (but I repeat myself) can throw Santorum the most loaded “gotcha” question and, rather than brushing it aside, Santorum refuses to back down from a fight.
So it was when the subject of women in combat came up last week — the Obama administration wishes to expand the employment of women in such positions — and please observe the predictable response from Team Romney:
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell chided Rick Santorum on Monday for expressing concerns about women serving in military combat roles.
Santorum told CNN last week that having women on the front lines could lead to a “compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”
He later said he was referring to both male and female emotions.
Either way, the remark did not sit well with McDonnell, a leading Mitt Romney supporter whose oldest daughter Jeanine did a tour of duty in Iraq.
“I like Rick Santorum a lot, I just disagree with any inference he might have made that somehow women are incapable of serving in the front lines and serving in combat positions,” McDonnell said in an interview Monday with CNN’s Kyra Phillips.
“And I base that in part on my own daughter’s own experience as a platoon leader in Iraq with 25 men working with her,” he continued. “She did a great job, as in some very risky situations, and yet endured and led and I’m proud of her. So, I just wanted to make sure people didn’t think that women aren’t capable of doing the job. And I’ve got firsthand experience in saying that.”
Governor McDonnell, you’re arguing like a liberal: Taking the conservative argument about a policy and trying to portray it as being an attack upon people.
While no one has asked or authorized me to speak on Senator Santorum’s behalf, does McDonnell wish to suggest that no one can say that deploying women in combat is bad policy without also inferring that women are “incapable of serving” in such a capacity? And I personally happen to agree that it is indeed bad policy, without any such “inference” as McDonnell tries to attribute to Santorum.
McDonnell’s argument is dishonest and, furthermore, why can’t Mitt Romney fight his own fights? Should Mitt Romney wish to pick an argument with Santorum over this issue, by all means let him do so, instead of hiding behind Bob McDonnell’s skirts. Does anyone think it enhances Romney’s reputation to deploy his proxies to make liberal arguments against a conservative rival in a notoriously liberal venue like CNN? Why are Republicans doing the liberals’ work for them?
By the way, what happened to the sense of honor for which Virginians were once so famous? Why, as recently as 15 years ago, Virginians were willing to defend their state’s fine traditions, such as the all-male corps of cadets at VMI, all the way to the Supreme Court? It is rather shocking to see the governor of Virginia thus attacking Rick Santorum in such a despicable way — and on behalf of a Massachusetts liberal!
Far be it from me, as a Maryland resident, to meddle in the internal affairs of the Old Dominion, but if I were a Santorum supporter in Virginia, I’d be outraged by McDonnell’s scurrilous and unseemly attacks on Senator Santorum’s good name. I might even be tempted to contact Governor McDonnell’s office at 804-786-2211, and tell the governor to cease his mendacious campaign of character assassination against Mitt Romney’s conservative rival. If that didn’t get results, I might go so far as to contact the Republican Party of Virginia at 804-780-0111 and ask them why they were supporting McDonnell, who has so obviously hired himself out as Romney’s hatchet man.
Well, as I say, this is the course of action that might seem incumbent upon me if I were a Virginian, concerned about the fair honor of that venerable commonwealth. Were it my privilege to call myself a Virginian, I think my cheeks would blush with shame at the very thought of the dishonorable conduct of Governor McDonnell, who has defamed a fine Christian man like Rick Santorum at the behest of Mitt Romney.
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