President Obama keeps hammering the message home that Mitt Romney is lying. Today, Obama diagnosed Romney’s poor debate performance as stage three Romnesia.
Here is the video:
THE PRESIDENT: Now, last night we had our third and last debate. And I hope that during the debate I made those differences very clear. Because the greatest responsibility I have as President is to keep the American people safe. That’s why I ended the war in Iraq, so we could go after the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. That’s why we decimated al Qaeda’s core leadership and brought Osama bin Laden the justice he deserved. That’s why we’re ending the war in Afghanistan, because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building here at home. In a world of new threats and profound challenges, America needs leadership that is strong and is steady. Governor Romney’s foreign policy has been wrong and reckless. Last night he was all over the map. Did you notice that? During the debate he said he didn’t want more troops in Iraq, but he was caught on video saying it was unthinkable not to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq, troops that would still be there today.
Last night he claimed to support my plan to end the war in Afghanistan. I’m glad he supports it. But he’s opposed a timeline that would actually bring our troops home. Early in this campaign he said he’d do the opposite of whatever I did in Israel, but last night I reminded him that cooperation with Israel has never been stronger.
Last night he said he always supported taking out Osama bin Laden, but in 2007, he said it wasn’t worth moving heaven and earth to catch one man.
Now, we’ve come up with a name for this condition. It’s called Romnesia.
AUDIENCE: Romnesia! Romnesia! Romnesia!
THE PRESIDENT: We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage three Romnesia. And I just want to go over with you some of the symptoms, Delray, because I want to make sure nobody in the surrounding area catches it. If you say that you love American cars during a debate, but you wrote an article titled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” you might have Romnesia.
If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate — but said just a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t hire any more because they won’t grow the economy, what do you have?
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll bet you’ve got some Romnesia. If you say you love Medicare — and by the way, there’s a theme here — he keeps on loving stuff and then wants to end it or cut it or not help it. But if you say that you love Medicare, but your plan turns it into a voucher that ends the guaranteed benefit of Medicare, you definitely have Romnesia.
So, I mean, we’re breaking down the symptoms here. If you’ve come down with a case of Romnesia, if you can’t seem to remember the policies on your website, or the promises that you’ve been making over the six years that you’ve been running for President, if you can’t even remember what you said last week — don’t worry, Obamacare covers preexisting conditions. We can fix you up. We can cure this disease. There’s a cure!
Listen, let me just say this. In all seriousness, I mean, we’re accustomed to seeing politicians change their positions from four years ago. We are not accustomed to seeing politicians change their position from four days ago.
The Romnesia line drives the Romney campaign absolutely nuts, because it is true. It was good to see the president not get caught up in using his entire speech to fact check Romney. The vast majority of the electorate is well aware of what Romney is up to. What voters want to hear from Obama is his message about the next four years.
Romnesia has become a nifty bit of political shorthand that allows the president to call out Romney’s ever changing positions without losing his own message. Romnesia helps Obama get out the vote. It is the counterattack to Mitt Romney’s efforts to make himself look as bland and non-threatening as possible.
The Romney campaign should be afraid of Obama’s Romnesia line, because it is working. For the next two weeks, swing state voters all across the country are going to hear about they can’t trust anything that comes out of Mitt Romney’s mouth.
With each laugh Obama’s Romnesia line gets, Mitt Romney inches closer to losing this election.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association