5 years ago
The Obama apparatchiks mock Romney on Iran.
The Obama campaign mocked Mitt Romney Wednesday, warning that if the Republican pacesetter cowed before talk radio top dog Rush Limbaugh, he would be easy prey for Iran’s firebrand president.
Campaign aides to President Barack Obama were clearly enjoying the spectacle of Romney’s prolonged battle for the Republican nomination, after the former Massachusetts governor failed to kill off his rivals in Super Tuesday contests.
Obama political guru David Axelrod laid into Romney for his somewhat tepid response after Limbaugh said a Georgetown University student who wanted her college health plan to pay for birth control was a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
“If you don’t have the strength to stand up to the most strident voices in your party, how are you going to stand up to (president Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad?” Axelrod asked on a conference call with reporters.
Obama on Tuesday criticized the campaign bluster of Romney and other Republican candidates on Iran, saying “this is not a game” and cautioning against casual talk of war.
Limbaugh is the undisputed champion of the fiery conservative talk radio circuit and wields outsize influence in the Republican Party thanks to his huge audience built up over years of five-day-a-week broadcasts.
Democratic leaders however like to portray the multi-millionaire king of the airwaves as the “de-facto head of the Republican Party” in the knowledge that his brand of conservatism is unpopular with some moderate voters.
Romney’s response to Limbaugh’s attack on student Sandra Fluke, for which he has apologized,” was judged too timid by liberal observers, when he said merely that he wouldn’t have used such “language.”
Now, I’m not particularly a fan of Romney. Jonah Goldberg thinks he’s “frustratingly anodyne and undefined.” I think he’s a cardboard cutout that waves and smiles. But to see the Obama camp mock Romney in light of their own record with Iran is truly hilarious.
Having sent the Iranian people a video greeting on their New Year, President Obama is now inviting them to help celebrate a quintessentially American holiday, the Fourth of July.
Last Friday, the State Department sent a cable to its embassies and consulates around the world notifying them that “they may invite representatives from the government of Iran” to their Independence Day celebrations — annual receptions that typically feature hot dogs, red-white-and-blue bunting and some perfunctory remarks about the founding fathers.
Administration officials characterized the move as another in a series of American overtures to Iran. The United States has not had relations with Iran since the American Embassy in Tehran was seized by protesters in 1979; the country’s diplomats have not been formally invited to American events since then.
“It is another way of saying we are not putting barriers in the way of communicating,” said one administration official. “It is another way of signaling that there is an opportunity that should not be wasted.”
And then to show them what a bunch of bad asses we really are?
It was an attempt by President Obama to reach out to Iran with a classically American invitation: celebrate July 4 with hot dogs and hale fellowship at United States embassies worldwide. Now, hot-dog diplomacy is the latest casualty of the bloody clashes in Tehran.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had authorized diplomatic posts earlier this month to invite Iranians to their Independence Day parties, sent out a cable rescinding the invitations.
“Unfortunately, circumstances have changed, and participation by Iranian diplomats would not be appropriate in light of the unjust actions that the president and I have condemned,” she said. Embassies that had already invited Iranian diplomats were instructed to disinvite them.
It is not clear this will be much of a snub to the Iranians. The State Department spokesman, Ian C. Kelly, said he was not aware of a single diplomat who had R.S.V.P.’d, anywhere in the world.
David Axelrod. Providing a circus act since, well, a long time ago.