ABC Misses Real Difference Between Romney, Obama Tapes

From last night’s ABC World News (9/18/12):

DIANE SAWYER: But we do remember four years ago the president, then candidate, was at a fundraiser, it was during the primary, but he too was caught on tape.

JAKE TAPPER: That’s right, he was talking about the difficulty of reaching small-town Pennsylvanians and how, because of tough economic circumstances, they get bitter, they cling to religion and guns and xenophobia. But here is the key difference between what then-Senator Obama said four years and this Mitt Romney tape. What Obama said then, that was seven months before the election. He had time to change people’s views. This is seven weeks, and Mitt Romney does not have time to squander, Diane.

Actually, that’s not the key difference between Romney and Obama’s comments; Obama, after all, was in the midst of a hard-fought primary campaign, and arguably had less “time to squander” than Romney.

One might see a more plausible distinction in the lessons the two candidates took from their analysis of people who weren’t inclined to vote for them:

OBAMA: Our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s no evidence of that in their daily lives.

ROMNEY: My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.