Politics just ain't what it used to be. Here's a headline from a Reuter's article on Thursday's Republican debate in South Carolina: "Romney Attacks McCain at Republican Debate." What'd he do, throw a chair at him? Call him nasty names? No, here's what the article said he said:
I know that there are some people who think, as Sen. McCain did, he said, you know, some jobs are leaving Michigan and they're not coming back. I disagree. I'm going to fight for every single job, Michigan, South Carolina, every state in this country, we're going to fight for jobs and make sure our future is bright.
So did Romney lie about what McCain said? Is that the attack part? Nope, three short paragraphs later the article quotes McCain as saying exactly what was attributed to him: "There are some jobs that aren't coming back to Michigan," McCain said. "There are some jobs that won't come back to South Carolina, but we're going to take care of them."
So Romney's "attack" consists of accurately quoting McCain in a comment and disagreeing with him? What exactly are candidates supposed to do at debates if not state their own views and contrast them with the views, record, and proposals of the other candidates? Isn't that what debates are about? How else are voters supposed to choose between candidates?
"Going negative" used to refer to launching personal attacks on the other candidate. Now, it seems, just mentioning the other candidate is an "attack," at least when Romney does it. Huckabee can't be the bad guy, he's an aw shucks Baptist minister. McCain can't be the bad guy, he's a war hero and he's 71 years old. Rudy ... uh, Rudy who? How ironic that Romney, who graciously finds something nice to say about the winner every time he loses a primary, gets labelled the mean guy. I'll bet when he gets back to his hotel room the first words out his mouth are, "Those reporters can be such idiots."
And Obama probably has more to complain about than Romney, what with the gullible MSM reporting the "Iron my shirts" radio stunt as if it were a real event and thereby generating phony sympathy for Senator Clinton. [Not that she doesn't deserve a little sympathy, but having it come from a misreported event is bizarro.] Gullible -- is there any charge more damning to a journalist?