There’s nothing new about politicians making promises they are in no position to keep. Herbert Hoover’s 1928 campaign promised a “chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard, to boot.” Michele Bachmann is promising $2 a gallon gasoline. President Obama promised “hope and change.”
But when it comes to political pandering, it’s hard to beat a promise Mitt Romney made on Thursday in New Hampshire to a 21-year-old college student named Kallie Durkit, who wanted to know why college students should support Romney instead of Obama.
“What I can promise you is this – when you get out of college, if I’m president you’ll have a job. If President Obama is reelected, you will not be able to get a job,” Romney said.
And it be clear: Romney was not offering Ms. Durkit a job in the White House. That would be an easy promise to keep.
Romney’s promise was directed at all college students. He was crystal clear: If Obama is elected they will not find work. But If Romney is elected they will. A guarantee sealed by the promise of a man running for president.
Here’s the full question and response, courtesy of ABC News’ Emily Friedman:
Kallie Durkit: “Relatability has been a large issue for you on this campaign trail, and as a college student many people in my generation find it especially hard to relate to you as a candidate,” said 21-year-old Kallie Durkit, who attends Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “Why should we mobilize for you as a candidate instead of Obama, which we did in 2008?”
Mitt Romney: “What I can promise you is this – when you get out of college, if I’m president you’ll have a job,” said Romney. “If President Obama is reelected, you will not be able to get a job. That’s the reason I will hopefully get young people who are in college is to say, You know what, I understand what it takes to get jobs in America.”
The promise closely echoes something Romney said on an entirely different subject back in November. “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon,” Romney said during a debate on foreign policy sponsored by CBS News and National Journal. “If you elect me as president, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon.”
So, in summary: If Mitt Romney is elected there will jobs for everybody graduating college and a nuclear free Iran. If Obama is elected nobody graduating college will find work and the world will be one step closer to nuclear annihilation.
One final note: To be fair to Herbert Hoover, he never actually promised a chicken in every pot. That came from a newspaper ad placed in support of his campaign by the Republican National Committee in 1928 urging Americans to vote for Hoover. According to the Hoover Presidential Library, “The ad described in detail how the Republican administrations of Harding and Coolidge had ‘reduced hours and increased earning capacity, silenced discontent, put the proverbial ‘chicken in every pot.’ And a car in every backyard, to boot.’”