Ed Driscoll

'Team Romney: Not Gonna Play Repudiation Game'

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The Romney campaign seems like they’re actually capable of learning from John McCain’s mistakes in 2008, according to Byron York at the Washington Examiner. “Mitt Romney’s refusal to repudiate Donald Trump sends a signal,” York writes, “both to Democrats and the voting public: With the nation’s future at stake in this November’s election, Romney will not accommodate calls that he disown supporters who make ill-considered, unpopular, or sometimes outrageous statements on matters not fundamental to the campaign:”

Another reason Romney is wary of such concessions is that John McCain tried them, and they didn’t do him any good.  For example, in February 2008, a local radio host introduced McCain at a rally in Cincinnati.  In the introduction, the host, Bill Cunningham, referred to Obama three times by his full name, which at the time some Republicans feared to do lest it open them up to unspecified charges of intolerance. “At one point, the media will quit taking sides in this thing,” Cunningham said, “and start covering Barack Hussein Obama.”  McCain immediately apologized and disavowed Cunningham’s remarks.  Eleven months later, of course, Obama took the oath of office, beginning, “I, Barack Hussein Obama…”  In retrospect, the Cunningham episode looked ridiculous.  But at the time, it contributed to an image of McCain in retreat.

Still, the bottom line is, Romney is determined to stay away from anything that distracts him from the main issue of the campaign.  In the end, the thinking goes, the heart of the campaign will always be the economy and Barack Obama’s stewardship of it.  Repudiating, or not repudiating, Donald Trump won’t change that.

Especially when, as Newsbusters notes, NBC is in full concern troll mode: “NBC Worried About Romney Hanging Around With NBC Star Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile, over at TimeWarnerCNN, as John Nolte writes at Big Journalism, “Romney Surrogate Sununu Destroys Trump-Obsessed Soledad O’Brien:”

Soledad O’Brien and CNN beclowning themselves to shill for Obama is hardly news. What is news, though, is Romney surrogate John Sununu aggressively pushing back against CNN and O’Brien for carrying and enabling the Obama campaign’s talking points regarding Donald Trump. It’s a thing of beauty to watch and embedded below.

If this is going to be Team Romney’s approach to the hostile media, it will pay big dividends with voters. In the segment, Sununu hits a rhetorical grand slam by controlling the conversation and methodically taking it to where it needs to go: economic policy.  Sununu also manages to do this without ever appearing angry or defensive. He’s aggressive, respectful, on offense (and therefore not complaining), and perfectly prepared for what’s coming.

Bringing up Bill Maher to expose CNN (and all of the media’s bias) bias is a masterstroke.

This is exactly what Romney’s supporters and  surrogates need to do — reject the premise of these distractions intentionally created by Obama’s Media Palace Guards to take everyone’s eyes off the ball of Obama’s failed economic policies. In other words, the exact opposite of anything John McCain would do.

Just as Donald Trump is a clown with NBC’s full backing (when their networks aren’t running hosts proffering conspiracy theories of their own), Maher is another TV clown with the full support of TimeWarnerCNN, which owns HBO, Maher’s television platform.

Much more from Peter Wehner of Commentary, who explores “The Media’s Complicity in the Birther Issue.”

Related:Why is it more important that Romney repudiate Trump than for Obama to repudiate [Jon] Corzine?”