Mother Jones' David Corn published the scoop on Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" video in September, and ever since, he's broken a series of related stories about other remarks the Republican has delivered behind closed doors. Today, Corn moves the ball forward, noting a speech Romney delivered in March in Orange County, California.
There's a few interesting angles -- Romney, for example, believes President Obama believes private enterprise is a "necessary evil," and longs for Chinese business practices -- but there was one element to the story that stood out for me.
In context, Romney had just explained that he decided to run in this cycle at his wife's insistence. The candidate then asked Ann Romney to say a few words.
"You know, the ship's going over the waterfall, it's almost there. And we look what's happening in Greece, and we look what's happening around the world, we look what's happening internationally. This is a frightening world, and we need a grown-up, and we need someone that understands the economy. So I'm glad ... Mitt is grown up to you all."
Now, Ann Romney isn't a candidate for public office, and the fact that she's confused about the Greek crisis and fiscal issues isn't terribly interesting.
But her talk about the nation needing "a grown-up" strikes me as troubling. Indeed, it rankles because of the larger pattern -- Ann Romney just this month compared the president to an obstinate child; Josh Romney said the same thing; and during one of the debates, Mitt Romney also compared Obama to his children.
I try not to be overly sensitive about these things, but something is amiss.
Regardless of your opinions about him, Barack Obama is a 51-year-old man. He's the president of the United States during a time of several crises, including two wars. His status as a "grown-up" is not in doubt.
If the Romneys want to argue that Obama's not good at his job, fine, we can have the debate. If they choose not to respect the president, that's their business. But to question whether Obama is an adult, and to use this as a line of attack more than once, raises very different kinds of questions about the Romneys.