Mitt’s Watchwords to us: Respect and Rapport

In the five years that Mitt Romney has been running for President, we Bay Staters have come to expect to be the butt of his jokes: “hey, being Governor of Massachusetts was like being a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention!” Yeah, we heard.

So we tend to notice anything complimentary he might have to say about the state because of the rarity of the occasion. But when we do, we inevitably conclude that his flattery is mere political expediency. Take, for example, his comment in last Sunday’s New Hampshire debate. Romney said that during his time as our governor, he had a “relationship of respect and rapport” with Democratic leaders inMassachusetts, which was useful to him in accomplishing his policy goals. Sure — as soon as he wins the nomination, he’ll find us useful in appealing to moderates.

That this reaching-across-the-aisle business is so much hot air is neatly demonstrated in this ad his SuperPAC, Restore Our Future, is running, starring Romney as the great dragonslayer of Massachusetts liberalism:

Now THIS is the old familiar Mitt Romney, the man who vetoed 800 bills, the man who touts his contempt for political compromise as a job qualification.

It must be noted that his claim to have vetoed 800 bills is preposterous. That’s nearly one per working day over four years. I’m pretty sure he was not in the office that much.

He might get to 800 by adding up all the line-item vetoes he made within the bills that were subject to his line-item veto power.  But that would overlook the fact that line item vetoes appear only in bills that are themselves signed into law.  Why is he always drawn to equivocations and half-truths, especially ones involving numbers…he created 100,000 jobs, he vetoed 800 bills. Everything with him is a bottom line that can be fudged.

But OK, Governor, we’ll count your vetoes any way you want if we count the overrides the same way. And according to the Republican leadership in the Massachusetts House, 775 of your vetoes were overridden.

We could go into details, like the time your veto of a minimum wage increase did not attract a single sustaining vote, but we’re working on that "rapport" thing.

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