January 22, 2012

WaPo's Carter Eskew says that last night Romney called Newt “an instrument of the left.”

He puts that in quotes, like Romney said those words. But we have listened and relistened to Romney's speech, and I have Googled and searched in the news of the last day, and the only place I can find that "instrument of the left" business is in Eskew's own blog post, which begins...
Pinch me. I think I’m having a rare and racy Democratic dream... The most beatable Republican has just made it a race.
Okay. You're having a wet dream, but you're writing in the Washington Post. Wake up and get your quotes straight.
This is Mitt Romney’s moment of truth... He will need to adapt and re-tool, and he will need to do better than tonight when he called Newt, “an instrument of the left.”
Maybe Eskew was taking notes during Romney's speech and paraphrased something that he later believed was a direct quote. But it's not even a good paraphrase of anything in the speech. It bears some resemblance to this from Romney:
"Our president has divided the nation, engaged in class warfare and attacked the free-enterprise system that has made America the economic envy of the world. We cannot defeat that president with a candidate who has joined in that very assault on free enterprise."
Romney doesn't name Gingrich there, but let's assume Gingrich is the "candidate." And you might say that the material about class warfare and the attack/assault on free enterprise equates with "the left." You still can't find anything that accuses Gingrich of becoming "an instrument of the left." Romney only says he's "joined" them in their assault, not that he's become their tool.

I don't know whether Romney should intensify his attack on Gingrich that way. (Should he?) But it irks me to see the Washington Post throwing out a bogus quote (assuming that's what it is). I hate the idea of crap like that going viral. Meade detected the first signs of viral infection over in the Isthmus forum. He pointed out the problem, and the response there was basically: Hey, it's in the Washington Post. If it were wrong, they'd correct it.

Would they?

ADDED: "Carter Eskew... was the chief strategist for the Gore 2000 presidential campaign...."

IN THE COMMENTS: chickenlittle said:
Eskew is askew. Eschew Eskew.

34 comments:

Mark B said...

AA: "I don't know whether Romney should intensify his attack on Gingrich that way. (Should he?)"

No. He should show us that he can make the argument against Obama-ism as clearly as Newt can; that he can take it to him with sharp clarity. His attacks on the one guy - flawed as he is - who can articulate conservative principles puts him in the role of attacking our tribune. Not a good way to make friends within the party.

Maguro said...

Corrections, when made, tend to be late and in obscure sections of the paper that nobody reads.

Mogget said...

If they were wrong they would correct it? The Washington Post? Correct something that fits the narrative?

Surely he's jesting!

chickenlittle said...

Eskew is askew. Eschew Eskew

Hagar said...

I tend to agree with Mark B.
Romney should make his case on his own accomplishments and keep away from Newt.
"You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas."

YoungHegelian said...

Professor, I know you're not really surprised by this kind of stuff anymore. it's really a daily occurrence now, isn't it?

You saw the standing ovation in the debate when Gingrich skewered the press.

The Right hates the press with such a burning, white hot hate that it's now a major rallying point for them. For them, this example would just be one more grain on the heap.

And, the press is just simply clueless as to "Why They Hate Us".

PWS said...

Good work Nancy Drew!

edutcher said...

Obama's the enemy.

Not Newt.

Not Milton.

I don't trust people who can't seem to get that through their pointy little heads. They're the morons who stayed home last time or voted for Bob Barr. They also seem to think turning this country into the Weimar Republic just so they can say, "Toldja so", is OK.

We know how it turned out last time.

But, yes, no plan survives first contact.

So now we find out what Milton is made of.

But will the media be so accommodating as to pull a John King before every primary?

WV "clingual" Go for it.

Mogget said...

But will the media be so accommodating as to pull a John King before every primary?

That's interesting. I wonder how long it will take the media to figure this out. And will they continue to try to skewer Newt, or will they think it in their interests to cut off his opportunities to shine?

Methadras said...

Leftists make up shit and lie. Why is this news to you or why should it shock you, prof?

ricpic said...

From Romney's speech: Our president has...engaged in class warfare and attacked the free enterprise system...

Indubitably true. The election is going to be about whether a majority of Americans are comfortable with communism.

CachorroQuente said...

The GloveMan is not happy and champagne corks are popping at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.




Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mittville — mighty Willard has struck out.

Cedarford said...

While the SuperPacs associated with Romney have gone after Newt, Romney himself has largely confined himself to attacks on Obama.
That might have been a mistake as Newt went around slamming Romney as a timid, predatory capitalist man of no integrity and not the Great Man Newt himself was - guiding Reagan into creating 16 million jobs and defeating the Soviet Union.
And while Newt's imbecile sidekick Rick Perry was calling Romney a jobs killing vulture capitalist.

So, unfortunately, Romney has to stop focus from 95% being on how bad a President Obama is and detailing what needs to be fixed - to spending half his time detailing why Newt Gingrich is no conservative, has baggage within his baggage - and is unfit to be a 7/11 manager, let alone President - on matters of executive ability and lack of a stable temperment and moral compass.

Newt is like Jesse Jackson - charismatic, sounds great on stage - but will go nowhere once voters again take the full measure of him.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

chickenlittle said...

Eskew is askew. Eschew Eskew


Hands down thread winner. Congrats, chick, you bear away the bell.

Hagar said...

Romney needs to focus on how good Romney is and what he will do the fix the mess we are in.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

We on the right will heap disaster on our own heads if we don't stop trashing our own people. I don't believe Mitt said what Eskew printed, let's leave that aside. I'm responding to what a lot of conservatives are saying, "Romney/Gingrich is as bad as/worse than Obama and I will vote third party/Rand Paul/not at all instead of for that goddamned RINO." Look folks, you can't have your favorite ideologically pure candidate, instead you get the candidates that are actually in the race. Decide now that you will vote for the Republican candidate, whoever it is, and for Christ's sakes stay positive unless you want another four years of Obama.

LarsPorsena said...

".....That might have been a mistake as Newt went around slamming Romney as a timid, predatory capitalist man of no integrity .."

Timid predators are the worst kind of predator.

Phil 3:14 said...

But you have to admit that things are askew when the candidate picked by conservatives:

1) criticizes his opponent for being successful in business
2) demands that his opponent publicize his tax returns

Are conservatives so hell bent on showing up the President in a public forum that they will lose the election?

PS re: Lincoln -Douglas debates; Lincoln lost the election.

I ♥ Willard said...

I thought Willard was eloquent as usual in his concession speech.

"This election is a battle for the soul of America."
...
"Those who pick up the weapons of the left today will find them turned against us tomorrow."
...
"If Republican leaders want to join this President in demonizing success and disparaging conservative values, then they're not going to be fit to be our nominee."
...
"The plan we're offering protects freedom and opportunity, and our blueprint: it's the Constitution of the United States of America."
...
"We still believe in that shining city on a hill."
...
"You guys are the best!"

Powerful stuff! Especially that bit about following the US Constitution. You have to give Willard credit for thinking outside the box on that one.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

To me Newt presented Romney with a scrimmage. 'OK, you say you're electable.' Let me run a class warfare play on you? How'd you do on that? How about a second play? Washington Post runs against Romney figuring that Romney is the nominee. Romney, in the language of a restaurant he doesn't take the kids to, gets 'scattered and smothered.' Newt kind of has nothing to do with it other than to contribute to showing that 'electable Romney' doesn't seem to have a defense. Make Newt into a well know pedophile good buddy of Sandusky that doesn't show that Romney won't be a road slick when he faces Obama.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I don't know whether Romney should intensify his attack on Gingrich that way. (Should he?)

The thing about Newt is, he's fake, and a lot of what he does is an act. All you have to do is call him on it, describe what he's doing as he does it and he will be destroyed. And it's a lot safer for everybody than waiting for Obama to do it.

traditionalguy said...

Mr Vulture Capitalist really believes in himself as a hero of capitalism when he fires workers from inefficient manufacturers and sells off the pieces.

In the long run that kind of capitalism creates wealth for its owners. But in the short run all of those workers and their families are destroyed.

Obama understands that Herbert Hoover was beaten in a landslide by by sticking that election meme about Hoover in 1932.

Gingrich is outflanking Obama on that meme and in the process saving the GOP from self destruction.

It's about losing jobs to China and India, stupid.

Only Romney would be so stiff and stubborn that he cannot react on the fly and change his weakness, like the hidden tax return issue, into a non event.

The 2012 election will be over and President Gingrich will be lecturing us before Romney figures it out. Capitalism is a system designed to attack and destroy inefficient business models and the workers jobs they provide.

The Jury is the insecure workers in the 2012 election. And no lawyer tells his jury to go to hell to save some intellectual system, unless he is trying to lose.

So why is Romney trying to lose? Or is it, wherefore art thou Jeb Bush of The Bush Family,Inc?

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

I 99% agree w/ Meadehouse.

But, there is a 1% chance that those were scare quotes.

Rich Vail said...

If it's in the Post...or written by a JournoLister, it must be true. How can you question authority like this Ann. That's unpatriotic!

/sarcasm

ricpic said...

I 99% agree w/ Meadehouse.

Suck up.

Craig Howard said...

I fear that quotation marks are now devolving into intensifier marks -- something to draw attention to a "great" idea. Sort of like asterisks to denote italics.

After all, we'll always have Youtube to hear what they actually said. Won't we?

EMD said...

ut in the short run all of those workers and their families are destroyed.


Or maybe they just went on to other jobs. Being fired or laid off is not akin to being sold into slavery, your home burned to the ground, and your wife and daughters raped and beheaded.

I know plenty of people who have been let go. Guess what? If they are worth a grain of salt, they find work elsewhere.

Jay said...

"Carter Eskew... was the chief strategist for the Gore 2000 presidential campaign...."

But there is absolutely no liberal media bias because...FAUX NEWS!

ken in sc said...

When the Roman Senators killed Caesar, they did not kill Caesarism. Octavian proved that. The danger for the next president is that he continues Obamaism—a vast over-reach of the legal authority of the president. Which candidate would be the best one to stop Obamaism?

Ralph L said...

"Those who pick up the weapons of the left today will find them turned against us tomorrow"
That might be what Eskew skewed.

Ann Althouse said...

The way Eskew used the quote marks clearly indicates a quote. The attempt to portray the marks as scare quotes or an "intensifier" (like on a semi-illiterate sign) does not work here at all. Look at the sentence Eskew wrote: "He will need to adapt and re-tool, and he will need to do better than tonight when he called Newt, 'an instrument of the left.'"

Eskew's writing isn't carefully proofread. That comma after "he called Newt" is a mistake.

EDH said...

AA: "I don't know whether Romney should intensify his attack on Gingrich that way. (Should he?)"

Only within the context of contrasting their leadership styles and abilities.

Bill said...

Things we do know about the primaries:

1) There was voter fraud in the SC primary. Over 900 dead people voted. It's currently under investigation

2) I was talking to one of my buddies, and we were chatting about how we've never seen a party so intent on losing an election. Whether it's Romeny or Gingrich, they're going to lose to Obama in a landslide.

Bender said...

The Romney-bots protest too much.

They have themselves, in these pages, practically called Gingrich a neo-Marxist, not genuinely conservative. Not that they really want a genuine conservative, they want Romney after all.

Meanwhile, those who are genuinely conservative are perfectly fine with Gingrich's conservativism, even if on occasion, professor-like, he flirts with considering ideas that, on further inspection, are not so conservative.