Desperation causes people to act and do desperate things. A desperate man will do anything. And we’re seeing that in the last days leading up to the election. Desperation is causing Mitt Romney to act, do and say desperate things. And why is Mr. Romney acting so desperate in these final days? Yesterday, Tim Miller, a top official at the RNC pulled Ohio off the map for Romney. And no GOPer has ever won without Ohio. Other Republicans do not consider Ohio to be in play. That leaves the Romney campaign with thinking about other ways to reach the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the election, just days before the election. And they cannot go through Michigan, Minnesota or Pennsylvania which is Obama territory.
Out of desperation, Mitt Romney held a food drive in Dayton, OH by buying $5,000 worth of canned goods, diapers and other assorted items. In a disaster, people need money to buy necessary items not canned goods. Romney’s pal, Donald Trump, offered $5 million to give to President Obama’s favorite charity, if the president turned over his applications for college, his college transcripts and passport. Now if Mitt Romney was thinking clearly, he would have asked his buddy Trump to appear with him and just give the $5 million to a fund benefiting the victims of Hurricane Sandy—no strings attached. If Romney wants to show how the private sector would help with disasters, that would have made a fine example.
Perhaps, Mr. Romney could have used a day off from campaigning and used a day of real service to help others in need. Instead due to his desperation, Romney chose to stage what appears to be a haphazard food drive. And when asked at least 14 times by the pool press about his position on FEMA, he refused to answer the question. During the primary GOP debates, Mr. Romney said he would end FEMA and turn over disaster assistance to the state or even better to the private sector. No disaster victim wants to hear that answer now. And no disaster victim wants canned goods in lieu of money or federal assistance.
Meanwhile, while Mr. Romney was staging his food drive. President Obama was traveling with Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey, surveying the storm damage there. And the President offered all the government help that Governor Christie needed and inquired about to help the citizens of New Jersey. He offered real help and not fake aid to the people in need.
Desperation caused Governor Romney to continue to make misstatements about the auto industry. Romney stated that Jeep was moving out of the country and taking jobs to China. This statement undeniably left the impression that jobs would be lost in the U.S. And Mr. Romney knows a thing or two about jobs leaving the U.S. going to China as CEO of Bain Industries. Unlike Bain, Jeep had no intention of moving jobs from the U.S. to China. But Governor Romney insisted on continuing the sham statement in an obvious attempt to mislead voters. That’s when Chrysler got involved in the ad debacle to correct Romney’s misrepresentations. Mr. Marchionne, Chrysler’s CEO stated:
“I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne wrote. “Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. … It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”
So while Romney surveys the map for ways to make 270 electoral votes, he’s acting like a desperate man. And in times of a crisis, we need a steady, firm hand to guide the country forward to recovery. We need someone to tell the truth and not make misrepresentations. If that 3:00 am calls comes, we need a President who will answer with a firm, calm and steady hand and not one who will panic.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a former prosecutor and founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national, international and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, local NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and Washington Times among others. She also contributes articles to the Huffington Post and the Women’s Media Center.