On Morning Joe today, along with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Chris Matthews responded to Republican criticism on the negative campaigning by Obama by tearing into Priebus. Matthews focused on the lies emanating from the Romney Campaign that focus on race baiting (the welfare ads, and Pres. Obama’s birth certificate):
“ I have to call you on this, Mr. Chairman. But they've both been negative. That cheap shot about 'I don't have a problem with my birth certificate' was awful. It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card.
You can play your games and giggle about it but the fact is it’s your side playing that card. When you start talking about work requirements, you know what game you're playing and everybody knows what game you're playing. It's a race card and yeah, if your name's Romney, yeah you were well born, you went to prep school, yeah, brag about it. This guy has an African name and he's got to live with it. Look who's gone further in their life. Who was born on third base? Making fun of the guy's birth certificate issue when it was never a real issue except for the right wing. ”
Watch the video:
Just a couple of weeks ago, the editorial board of the Des Moines Register also called attention to Romney’s race baiting:
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee wants voters to conjure images in their minds of freeloading moms sitting on couches watching big screen televisions. And he wants voters to think the president is helping them do just that ... but the idea of anyone 'sponging off the system' is apparently something Romney believes voters will rally behind him to oppose. He may be right.
Republicans have a long history of using race in their politics, the past detailed in this 2010 piece by Bob Cesca on the “Southern Strategy” [a must read for anyone serious about politics in this time].
In all honesty, Romney’s campaign strategy most concerns me because it’s based entirely on telling lies. That some of the lies employ the tactic of race baiting just makes it that much worse.
That said, we need to beat the crap out of Mitt Romney in November, both to win the brilliant, decent man who is our president another term, but also to prevent the Republicans and their candidate-without-honor from completing the final destruction of the democracy we love.