Wednesday, July 25, 2012

NBC plays "gotcha" with Romney

On Monday NBC posted a "gotcha" excerpt from a speech that Mitt Romney gave to the 1992 Olympics.

You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power," said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year's Summer Olympics. "For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We've already cheered the Olympians, let's also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].

I've seen this quote passed around Facebook asking why it was alright for Romney to say this but not for Obama to say something similar about businesses.

Let's look at the differences:

NBC notes that this quote came directly after Romney praised the Olympic athletes directly. Obama's speech had nothing good to say about businessmen.

Romney was talking about people who directly helped the athletes. Obama was taking credit for the general infrastructure. There is a big difference between your coach and the road you drove on to get to a track meet.

Romney phrased this as "let's also give credit to...". Obama used the phrase "... you didn't build this."

Romney took nothing from the athletes' accomplishments. He said, "Let's also cheer..." He did not say, "You may thing that you are fast but there are plenty of fast runners out there."

Romney did not follow this by extolling group or team accomplishments over individual accomplishments. Obama made it clear that the only American achievements that he considered to be great involved public financing (roads, bridges, teachers, the moon landing).

And, last but not least, Romney was not making a case for higher taxes. Obama was (although he phrased it "giving back").

Even though there are a few similar phrases in the two speeches, it is ridiculous to claim that the two men were expressing the same sentiment. NBC should be ashamed for posting this.

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