Mitt Romney and his campaign today have been chiding the Obama forces for “adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed.” But the record shows the presumptive GOP presidential nominee regularly engages in the practice, too.
Romney, in an interview with NBC News, rebuked Democrats for seizing on comments that criticized President Obama made anonymously by two of Romney’s advisers to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph. One adviser is quoted as saying Obama doesn’t fully appreciate “Anglo-Saxon heritage.” (More HERE.)
“I’m generally not enthusiastic about — adopting the comments made by people who are unnamed,” Romney told NBC.
Earlier in the day, Romney spokesman Ryan Williams used stronger language. He said Vice President Joe Biden had “diminished” the nation’s highest office by criticizing Romney over “an anonymous and false quote from a foreign newspaper to prop up their flailing campaign.”
But Romney himself — and his wife, Ann — regularly blast Obama for a quote in an August 2011 Politico story attributed to a “prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.” The anonymous strategist is quoted as saying Obama’s strategy is to “kill Romney.”
“Early on we heard what their strategy was. It was kill Romney,” Ann Romney said in an interview with CBS earlier this month, alluding to the quote. “That was their memo that came out from … their campaign…”
Romney, in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl this month, also invoked the anonymous quote. ”There was a report that they said that their campaign would be based upon a strategy of ‘kill Romney’ end of quote and that is what they are trying to do as opposed to talking about what is the right direction for this country,” he said.
The Obama campaign has long disavowed the anonymous quote on strategy that appeared in the Politico piece — a spokesman saying the unnamed person “does not speak for the campaign” — just as Romney and his campaign now disavow the hit on Obama’s understanding of heritage ahead of the overseas trip.
“I don’t agree with whoever that advisor might be,” Romney said today. “But I do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”
The use of anonymous quotes as political tools can cut both ways.