June 14, 2012

Mitt Romney: “President Obama is out of touch.” Obama’s comeback…

Courtesy of The Human Rights Campaign.

And…here’s the Obama Campaigns insta-on-the-cheap-youtube-comeback:

A few choice comments via Reddit:

It’s a fairly well discussed strategy usually credited to Karl Rove – take your weakness and apply it to your opponent. Romney, who is out of touch, describes Obama as the out of touch one.

It’s the flip side of taking an opponents strength and turning it into a weakness. See: John Kerry’s vietnam service and the swift boat veterans for truth or questioning John McCain’s patriotism.

When you know what to look for, it’s almost painful to see how common it is. Sadly, it’s also painful to see how effective it seems to be.


Next week: Romney accuses Obama of being an awkward white guy.


Argument to moderation is a common fallacy that is (a) very appealing to people and (b) reinforced by the broken news media in America (which has institutionally defined “balanced” coverage as being, literally, an argument to moderation fallacy.)

The theory works like this: Basically, it’s inevitable that your weakness is going to be highlighted by your opponent. (In fact, Obama’s campaign had already started targeting Romney as being “out of touch”.) So it can’t really “backfire” because it’s already going to be a topic of discussion. Instead, what happens is that the media “reports the controversy” with a variety of talking heads arguing about “who’s more out of touch?” and then concluding with a weak summary statement that boils down to “the truth lies somewhere inbetween”. The average person (who doesn’t even follow the news) applies the moderation fallacy they’re inclined to, and a clear distinction between you and your opponent (which was to your disfavor) gets blurred out.


Romney: I bet you $10,000 dollars I can be more in touch. Here, I have that in my coat pocket.


Remember this is the guy who called $374,000 in speaking fees “not much”


The guy with an elevator in [one of his six] house[s] just for his cars says the other guy is out of touch. Hell, there has to be tens of people who can relate to the elevator guy.

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