President Obama: Romney would enact extremist agenda whether he "believes in those or not"

From an AP interview of the president:
"I can't speak to Governor Romney's motivations," Obama said. "What I can say is that he has signed up for positions, extreme positions, that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he's talked about."
This is a critical point. Mitt Romney is a weak man of little conviction except that he should be President. He will do as he is bid by the extreme base of the Republican Party. No Pat Buchanan primary challenges for him if he can help it. At a conference I attended last May, conservative legal scholar Michael Greve said:
[Liberals cannot] seriously believe that, but for their extravagant positions, we would hand over the country to Opus Dei, bind our wivesí and daughtersí feet, allow George Soros or David Koch to buy their very own Congressmen, or for that matter toss ailing widows and orphans into the streets. The real fear is that the Constitution might pose some limit to progressivismís anything-goes imagination.
Michael Greve does not call the shots in the GOP, and neither will Mitt Romney. The President has it right - whether he believes it or not, Mitt Romney will implement the extremist GOP agenda.

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    "Mitt Romney is a weak man of little (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by desertswine on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:45:56 PM EST

    Well I think that pretty much hits the nail on the head.  Romney believes in money and power and that's about it.

    Obama has a kill list ... (1.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:52:06 PM EST
    which includes American citizens and children.  None of whom have been convicted or even indicted for any crime.

    That's genuinely extreme.

    Children on the kill list? (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:56:43 PM EST
    Look, I think we can have a genuine discussion about the rules of war in the age of terror and how they apply, but please keep the damn conversation within the realm of reality.

    To wit, there are no children on a kill list.


    I understand the children we kill via (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:11:51 PM EST
    drone and other methods are not the targets.  They are collateral damage to those on the kill list.  See the sheikh who counseled the Ft. Hood alleged mass murderer.  

    There are minors ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:17:48 PM EST
    (i.e. children) on the kill list:

    From the New York Times:

    This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.

    That's in the first 'graph of the NYT story.


    Porter.. (none / 0) (#27)
    by docb on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:04:46 PM EST
    A diversion...The truth is that we KILLED 1 million in unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan including 7,000 of our own,,, Traditional boots on the ground warfare! Many of those million are collateral damage!  

    The issue is the radical and nonspecific positions romney has pretzel-ed himself into already..Including the fact that he has ryan already lying about his positions! Mr Huntsman a fellow mormon called him a well lubricated weather-vane!  That was kind.

    Then is:

    His ads are pants on fire, his plans are discredited as immoral or unworkable or out and out lies...What about extreme is not true?


    I don't see any comparison ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:38:30 PM EST
    between a demonstrably unconstitutional act by a sitting president (the extralegal killing of American citizens) and something Romney might do in the unlikely event that he's elected.

    I think a reality trumps a possibility.  And the erosion of our basic civil liberties trumps changing the marginal tax rate.  Or whatever.

    Other opinions are available.


    Do you believe a Pres. Romney (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:55:51 PM EST
    would go to war against Iran?

    yes (none / 0) (#34)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:22:49 PM EST
    Yes ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:23:48 PM EST
    but I can see Obama doing it as well.  Obama has already started at least one undeclared, unprovoked war.

    But, again, I think Romney winning the presidency is about as likely as a sentient iPad winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year.  It's just not going to happen.


    Sounds familiar -- (none / 0) (#36)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:39:54 PM EST
    Iike what some on the left in 2000 were saying about Doofus Dubya's chances of winning (as they casually downplayed the Nader Effect).

    As for Iran it seems, so far, that Obama has tried a moderate responsible route of sanctions and diplomacy.  Romney clearly strikes me as someone eager to lock arms with Israel and buddy Netenyahoo towards a unilateral military strike against their nuke facilities.
    But the more interesting Q is whether Netenyahoo will try to engineer some October Surprise re attacking Iran in order to benefit Romney before the election, forcing Obama into a difficult decision about supporting a key ally.  Wouldn't surprise me.


    No (none / 0) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:43:17 PM EST
    BHO showed restraint by not getting America militarily involved in Iran in 2009 after the crackdown on Mir Hossain Moussavi and Green revolution supporters despite pressure from Republicans, neocons, Israel and other forces. He has also resisted pressure from all these forces and the military industrial complex to strike Iran's nuclear facilties or provide tacit approval to Israel to launch a strike in Iran throughout his Presidency.
    I really believe that BHO handles matters relating to wars very responsibly.

    Yes, he's responsible ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:54:13 AM EST
    responsible for the death of tens of thousands in Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    In a skinny minute (none / 0) (#40)
    by Amiss on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:42:05 PM EST

    Why is Mitt Romney, if elected, (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:41:27 PM EST
    bound to fulfill his promises to the conservatives when Barack Obama wasn't?  

    Let's try that question again: (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:57:01 PM EST
    Barack Obama made many firm promises to the left portion of the electorate during the 08 campaign.  And quickly moved away from those positions.  Why is it a given Mitt Romney will not move away from his more extreme positions if elected?

    Explained in post (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:00:44 PM EST
    Because he is scared of the extreme right wing of the GOP.

    Obama, for better or worse, does not fear the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

    But you knew this.


    Yep. Except for a few (none / 0) (#9)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:43:42 PM EST
    vocal lib critics, w/limited clout (eg Smiley & West), most libs are still backing him despite some fair-sized disappointments.  

    Obama and his WH team rightly calculated they would still have the libs on board even with a good deal of too-moderate and even conservative governing.

    Libs still like him for who he is, the liberal ideal of a multi-racial society he represents, and for the fact he's the last guy standing between the GOP crazies and the WH.


    What do you perceive the far right could (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:59:25 PM EST
    do to Romney if he is elected Pres.?  Besides deny him a second term.  If he has no strong positions he is willing to fall on his sword for, what else will trouble him if thwarted by the right?

    Right (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:10:37 PM EST
    now they are threatening him with a primary challenge if he does not push their agenda. So I guess that would go under denying him a second term. Past that I'm not really sure what they could do about what he does while in office.

    The odd thing is Romney could have picked a more moderate VP and be in better electoral shape because the people who are voting against Obama would still vote against Obama no matter who he picked as VP.


    Besides deny him a second term (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:10:48 PM EST
    other than that . . .

    But in the process (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:43:28 AM EST
    Wouldn't that win him the goodwill of those moderates and independents then?

    The extreme right is a small minority of those who vote Republican.  You think that, Romney, if elected, and if he shifts more to the middle would be denied a second term because the Tea Party could actually mount a successful primary challenger?


    If the tea party types (none / 0) (#42)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 10:28:41 AM EST
    Or similarly far right groups control the primary process (as seemed to have been demonstrated as to various Congressional primary results this year & earlier), then Romney would be controlled in the same way.  Whatever Romney's original intent, he does seem to have ceded all or virtually all positions to his party's increasingly powerful far right.  Hoping that the "new" Romney would change to a moderate Romney really is an instance where hope & change cannot be realized :)

    Right (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:50:00 PM EST
    Because, by the same token, Obama has been controlled by Nancy Pelosi and all those college kids.

    (rolls eyes)


    Huh? Ask Indiana's Richard Lugar (none / 0) (#44)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 05:35:02 PM EST
    & others that formed the right's prey/targets/whatever you might want to call the vanquished.  My only surprise:  How easily the Tea Partiers and their $$$ sponsors made the almost complete takeover appear...that Ryan looks like someone's sweet nephew ( and he acts so charming!). Hoo, ha.  Ya gotta  admit:  One day the take-over & shrinkage of the once-proud Repubs will make for good political-sci study.  If not immediately...then, when the changing US demographics make the present bamboozle impossible.

    He certainly (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:07:47 PM EST
    appears to be right now but will it continue if he's elected and if his policies are shown to be unpopular with the public? I wonder sometimes about this. He's running from the GOP social platform right now but will he embrace it if elected? He sure could.

    I guess Romney's acceptance speech might tell you something.


    I am absolutely convinced it doesn't matter (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:10:12 PM EST
    what a Pres. candidate says during the campaign, except to try and get the nomination and the electoral votes.  Actions after elected are the test.  

    I can see (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:12:06 PM EST
    that after Obama. The problem comes when you have people who expect him to do what he said he was going to do.

    All me naive, but, even though I (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:14:06 PM EST
    was a really tepid Obama voter, I still expected him to at least try to instigate some/more of the stuff he advocated for as candidate.  

    You are not naive, you are dissembling (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:36:07 PM EST
    Obama never campaigned as a liberal icon in 2008; he tried very hard to win votes of conservative independents and even Republicans in 2008. His signature campaign slogan was that he did not see a red America or a blue America but a United States of America. He repeatedly said that both sides have good ideas (never said that only the left had good ideas) and as President he would try to bring both sides together.
    This is quite different from the campaign BHO is running in 2012 where the contrast between the 2 parties is being emphasized.
    The situation is very different with the Romney campaign in 2012. I believe that you know it but are intentionally stirring the pot.



    I didn't support (none / 0) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:56:55 PM EST
    Obama in the primaries for what he told us in the primaries.  Obama told us what he'd do but many people just overlooked the important details.  I voted for him in the general and will again in 2012 because there's no way I'm going to vote for any of today's Republicans.

    What Obama's done in office should have been no surprise to anyone who followed the primaries.

    But Thomas Frank tells it much better than I can

    The link is to a Salon interview with Frank about his Harper's essay but you need a subscription to Harper's to read the essay itself.

    Both are worth reading even if it all boils down to a retelling of the story.

    It should be remembered Obama said he'd change the way things are done in Washington not the outcomes in Washington.


    Hey, I'm voting for our guy. I just don't (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:54:16 PM EST
    expect any of them to do what they say anymore.  

    It's a weak argument ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:10:36 PM EST
    not supported by any historical precedent.  If he were elected he would just continue to pay lip service to these "extremists".  And do the bidding of the banksters, the neocons and their minions.  As has Obama.

    All fairly moot.  Since Romney has zero chance of winning.

    We should be fighting against this unsustainable banking systems.  Rather than worrying about a completely meaningless election.


    It's an obvious argument (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:11:41 PM EST
    that anyone but a simpleton would understand.

    And with that (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:12:11 PM EST
    I'm suspended, but Robot Porter has been piling on the stupid today so I had my fill.

    Enjoy the rest of your day.


    Appropriate typo ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:51:00 PM EST
    but I was done for the day anyway.  Have a meeting and a flight to catch.

    But we are in an Alice in Wonderland world when the objection to the extralegal killing of American citizens and some appropriate analysis of speeches is seen as "piling on the stupid".

    See you next week.


    We cannot elect a man with such (none / 0) (#3)
    by me only on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:52:45 PM EST
    an extremist agenda that believes the government should compel you to purchase a product that you have no need for.

    Luckily for you, both men believe this extremist agenda.

    You mean Medicare? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:55:51 PM EST
    Romney does not want you to have Medicare.

    You have a choice.


    So... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Addison on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:21:57 PM EST
    Are you also against Social Security, by any chance? Because the government is, in that case, forcing people to purchase a financial instrument related to retirement/disability.

    (Errr...financial product) (none / 0) (#8)
    by Addison on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:23:00 PM EST
    Framing messages (none / 0) (#10)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:50:49 PM EST
    I wish Obama would learn to be more succinct, less "thoughtful" in his attacks.

    Like this:
    "Governor Romney has signed onto the same extremist positions as the House Republicans. Even if he doesn't actally believe in them, he would  carry them out just to gain favor with the extremist base of his party."

    Every extra word and quailifier he uses makes him sound long-winded.

    So, maybe Obama should just go with, (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:39:17 PM EST
    "Are you f-ing kidding me?"

    Since we're never going to hear that come out of his mouth, I'd settle for, "it doesn't matter why Romney's signed on to these extremist views, what matters is that he has: he's catering to the extremists in Congress, he's put an extremist Republican one heartbeat from the presidency, and anyone who thinks Romney will abandon those views once he's elected is delusional."

    But, I really, really like "are you f-ing kidding me?"


    yeah, but (none / 0) (#30)
    by womanwarrior on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:20:13 PM EST
    you would not get your diploma.

    I think Greve (none / 0) (#38)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:28:32 AM EST
    underestimates his party.  I absolutely do think they would throw "widows and orphans" onto the streets, although a minority of those would be saved by the work of private charities with religious ties.  David Koch doesn't need his own Congressman when he can throw money at everybody in the party, including Paul Ryan.  And of course "legitimate rape" has showed the country exactly how confident and empowered they feel to throw some women out on their backsides.

    Anyway, I think Obama's response is pretty good.  I would not be surprised to see them pursue this at the Convention.  Some months ago I recall a TV conversation with Rove of all people discussing how the Obama campaign had made Romney seem unacceptable.  Going forward I assume that will be the dominant theme, with flickers of Fighting Democrat where necessary.  A more Fighting Dem-styled campaign would be great but this is what the opponent offers, and it is indeed legitimately scary.