When then-Senator Obama was caught on tape by an industrious Huffington Post blogger, his remarks contained a bit of disdain, but weren’t terribly false or egregious. In fact, he was quite accurate about something that most top level Democrats don’t often say out loud.
He said that many Americans tend to vote against their own economic best interest because Republicans appeal to their religion, gun rights and fear of outsiders. Fact. Republicans were doing precisely that in 2008, they did it in 2004 and they’re doing it right now. They’ve demagogued guns, God and brown people for decades. It’s the central tactic in the Republican electoral strategy — one they’ve admitted to and even apologized for.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, completely distorted and misrepresented the facts around the the 2009 “47% of Americans don’t pay taxes” claim. If you happen to be elderly or unemployed, you’re not suddenly an Obamabot, nor are you deliberately avoiding employment in order to pick up some free Obama Bucks. He also conflated the 47% with Obama supporters, which is also highly inaccurate according to the map I posted in my column this morning.
Yes, both candidates have been secretly caught on video. Shocker considering that everyone has a video camera in their phones these days. But the veracity of what they said was vastly different.
Jonathan Chait has more on this topic.