Mitt Romney has a way of deflecting criticism that is uniquely his. Where most politicians tend to pivot to another topic if they don’t like what someone is accusing them of, Romney takes an I’m-rubber-you’re-glue approach to attacks, accepting them as true but then simultaneously making the same accusation of his opponent.
Just today, the Romney campaign has started reflecting back allegations of outsourcing by saying that, in fact, President Obama was the one who really outsourced jobs. This is just the latest maneuver of the sort. Here are the top six times that Romney has had a “I Know I Am But So Are You” moment:
1. Mitt Romney “offshores” jobs, but Obama outsources. When the Washington Post ran a story depicting how Mitt Romney sent jobs overseas during his time at Bain Capital, the Romney campaign rushed to specify that he had “offshored” jobs, not “outsourced” them. But now, the campaign is saying that it was in fact Obama who outsourced jobs, since the Recovery Act funded US-based renewable energy projects by companies that also did work overseas. Those claims have been debunked previously as patently untrue.
2. Romneycare’s individual mandate is constitutional, but Obamacare’s isn’t.Mitt Romney’s spokespeople have argued that the individual mandate is an “unconstitutional penalty.” Romney called it a constitutional tax. But whatever it’s called, he wants to be clear that Obama is raising taxes and Romney, when he passed a nearly identical bill in Massachusetts, was not. (He did, however, briefly say it was a tax then too)
3. Mitt Romney got two degrees from Harvard, but Obama “spent too much time” there. Mitt Romney got two degrees — a JD and MBA — at Harvard; President Obama only received his JD. But Romney told his audience at a rally earlier this year that Obama “spent too much time at Harvard.” This argument tries to frame Obama as the out-of-touch elite, despite the fact that Romney is the millionaire son of a governor.
5. Romney says he shouldn’t be held accountable for inheriting a recession in Massachusetts, but holds Obama accountable for 2009 job losses. In 2006, when job creation was incredibly slow in Massachusetts under a Romney governorship, he asked constituents to understand how hard it is to pull a state out of a deep recession. But the Romney campaign still blames Obama for job loses that occurred in the early days of his administration.
6. Mitt Romney’s big houses are a sign of success, John Kerry’s big house shows he’s rich and out of touch. In 2004, when Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) was the Democratic candidate for President, Romney went on the attack, joking that he didn’t know why Kerry would want to be president since “he would have to move into a smaller house.”