Brian Beutler discusses the plot twist that occurred yesterday in the Romney campaign narrative — and the absurd contradiction in messaging that Andrea Saul offered in Romney’s defense to a new Priorities USA ad (links and emphasis below are mine):
The background here is a new Priorities USA ad, which tells the story of a man, Joe Soptic, who lost his job — and thus his health insurance — after Bain bought out his plant. Years later his wife died of what may have been a preventable death of cancer.
His particular story doesn’t perfectly illustrate the problems with the country’s safety net. But far from suggesting Romney killed anybody (as his outraged supporters claim) it neatly exposes an enduring source of middle class uncertainty. If you get very sick almost anywhere in America, and then your employer goes out of business, or lays you off, you’re already running out of options. Romneycare fixed this problem in Massachusetts. Obamacare is designed to fix it for the rest of the country.
Enter the Romney campaign, which notes quite correctly that Romney’s mandated, subsidized health care system might have saved Soptic’s wife if she’d lived in Massachusetts. But if that’s such a good thing, then unless President Romney’s going to recommend that all sick and laid off people move to New England, his pledge to repeal Obamacare just falls apart.
Because of Andrea Saul’s response to that Priorities USA ad, Ann Coulter shambled onto the set of The Sean Hannity Cartoon Hour wearing her rage face to screech a little bit about the ad, but mainly to screech at “moron” Andrea Saul and the Romney campaign:
“Anyone who donates to Mitt Romney, and I mean the big donors, ought to say if Andrea Saul isn’t fired and off the campaign tomorrow, they are not giving another dime, because it is not worth fighting for this man if this is the kind of spokesman he has…
There’s no point in you doing your show [Sean Hannity], there’s no point in going to the convention and pushing for this man if he’s employing morons like this. This ad is the turning point and she has nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! She should be off the campaign.”
It will be interesting to see where Romney goes from here. With his business “experience” and personal wealth being examined and attacked and questioned at every turn, now the shrillest exploding heads on Fox are threatening mutiny (on a ship they never wanted to be on) because he needs to score some points on an achievement, which Romneycare was.
But as Benjy Sarlin at TPM notes, “By trying to reclaim Romney’s health care law as part of his political resume, however, Romney is now inviting the issue back into the campaign. If he wants Americans to elect him based on his Massachusetts reforms, it’s only logical to ask him why he doesn’t want them for everyone.”