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Scot Lehigh

Distortion becomes a strategic coup

Romney’s new ad underlines how self-serving his indignation about distortions really is.

By Scot Lehigh
Globe Columnist / November 30, 2011
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Mitt Romney has managed to attract huge attention with his most recent campaign ad. Problem: Most of that notice has been due to the ad’s deceptiveness - and the curious fact that Romney team considers the controversy it’s kicked up some kind of strategic coup. As close campaign observers know by now, the spot takes a Barack Obama quote from 2008 - “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose’’ - and, by clipping the first eight words, makes it seem as though Obama is describing his own plight. That’s dicey doings, particularly on the part of a candidate already under fire for his campaign-trail slickness and expedience. It erodes the high ground Romney might otherwise claim now that he finds himself under assault from dubious attack ads, one a hyperbolic hit from the Democratic National Committee, another an all-out mugging from Priorities USA Action. Certainly he’d be much better positioned to protest if he weren’t trafficking in the same sort of tactics.

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