Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Who said that? Not me!

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.


Robert McCloskey supposedly said this during a press briefing on the Viet Nam war.

Back then, there was the problem of communication and misinterpretation according to McCloskey. Today, so much is televised/YouTubed/posted on the internet/insert-immediate-media-here that we have records of exactly what was said by whom. So, people have a hard time walking back from inane statements unless they just admit they made a mistake which is something with which Republicans have a hard time. (Dems seem to be able to apoligize and move on. Be sure to comment if you have evidence to the contrary.) 

It seems the repubs need to catch up with the times and realize they can't just deny it happened. It's no longer a case of "your word against mine" or media bias. It's taped/recorded/saved-to-disc. Wakey wakey, GOP. This is not your father's media.

Here I will be keeping track of such statements from today's Republicans and their attempts to make sure what we heard is what they meant.

April 2011: Jon Kyl claims abortions are "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does" to justify defunding it. Reality: it's about 3%.
CNN anchor TJ Holmes: We did call his office trying to ask what he was talking about there. And I just want to give it you verbatim here. It says, ‘his remark was not intended to be a factual statement…"
My interpretation: What I meant was to rile up the Ridiculous Right on the abortion issue by exaggerating because some of them will believe it but we all know it was just hyperbole *wink wink*.

April 2011: Newt Gingrich critiques Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal calling it “right-wing social engineering” and “radical” on his 35th appearance on Meet the Press. When called out on it by other Republicans, he blames the media and dems, saying on Fox News. "I want to make sure every House Republican is protected from some kind of dishonest Democratic ad. So let me say on the record, any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood."
My interpretation: What I meant doesn't matter. I got hammered by my party for not being far enough to the right, so I take it back and you have to act like I never said it.


I'll update as necessary. I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of Republicans being surprised and upset that they are being held accountable for what they say.


UPDATES:
May 2011: Sen. Bill Brady (R-IL) denies ever saying he wants a 10% "across-the-board" cut in state spending, although he said exactly that in a primary debate back in January. When confronted about it, he demanded proof and a video snippet of the debate was promptly posted online. Brady's defense was that he meant "waste, mismanagement, fraud and abuse." According to Brady, "across-the-board" means "waste, mismanagement, fraud and abuse" because it's "a matter of semantics." 
My interpretation: I don't have a plan for the budget. I'll just say whatever it takes to get elected. Later, I'll say something totally different. Also, I do not know what "semantics" means.

May 2011: Scott Brown on Paul Ryan's budget plan: "The leaders will bring forward his budget, and I will vote for it..." Then, about 2 weeks later: “While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started, I cannot support his specific plan and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget."
My interpretation: The dems are having a field day with Ryan's Medicare-killing proposal. I'm backing off this one. Most of the people who get Medicare are too old to remember what I said a couple of weeks ago, anyway.

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