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August 01, 2012 8:05 AM Questions for Romney

By Mark Kleiman

While there’s some disconnect between “This is a holy place” and “Kiss my @ss,” I have to admit some sympathy for Romney’s spokesgeek. His guy has been looking like a fool, and the press has been taking delight in reporting it. Worse, the traveling reporters seem to be incapable of asking a question that might have an intelligent answer:

Gov. Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps on your trip?
Gov. Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?
What about your gaffes?
Governor Romney do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?

I mean, really: have you stopped beating your wife? What’s he supposed to say? “No, I’m not worried about my gaffes”?

So, just on the off-chance that Romney is chastened enough to be willing to take some questions, here are some questions he might be asked to take:

* Gov. Romney, Rep. Michelle Bachmann and four of her colleagues have charged that the Muslim Brotherhood has undue influence over U.S. foreign policy and have demanded an investigation of Huma Abedin’s family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Frank Gaffney, the originator of those charges, has also charged that Grover Norquist is a Muslim Brotherhood agent of influence. Do you think Rep. Bachmann and her colleagues were justified in publicly challenging Ms. Abedin’s loyalty? Do you think Gaffney’s charges should be investigated?

* Gov. Romney, comparing your tax proposals with those of President Obama, how much money would you, personally, save in taxes over the next five years if your proposals became law?

* Gov. Romney, how many years of tax returns are you requiring that candidates for vice-president submit to your vetting operation?

* Gov. Romney, did you ever take advantage of the IRS amnesty on undisclosed foreign bank accounts?

* Gov. Romney, when you claimed to be the Chief Executive Officer of Bain Capital in SEC filings between 1999 and 2002, were those claims true or false?

* Gov. Romney, are labor unions people?

* Gov. Romney, your very first general election campaign spot showed President Obama saying “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” In fact, he was quoting an adviser to John McCain. PoliFact rated that ad “Pants on Fire” and called it “ridiculously misleading.” Do you take responsibility for that attempt to deceive the voters? Do you believe that sort of tactic is appropriate in a Presidential campaign?

Note that Romney can keep ducking: until the debates. Then, for a few precious minutes, we will get to see if there are any journalists left in America. I’m not especially hopeful.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.