Romney attacked for not responding to throwaway comment accusing Obama of treason

The left’s latest talking point against Mitt Romney stems from an incident today during a town hall type meeting. A woman asked Romney what he would do to restore the proper constitutional balance between the three branches of government. During her question, in an aside directed at something someone near her uttered, the woman said she agreed that Obama should be tried for treason.

Romney proceeded to answer the question he was asked. He did not comment on the woman’s aside. The left is portraying this as a “failure to stand up to the woman” and as “letting the fringe push him around.”

This criticism stikes me as silly. Romney answered the question he was asked. No one pushed him around. He chose not to dignify the woman’s aside about treason with a response.

Romney could have chosen to deny that Obama has committed, or should be tried for, treason. That might have been the better, more nimble response. But the way he handled the questioner was fine too, and certainly doesn’t amount to a failure to stand up to the woman.

If the MSM is interested in Romney’s view on whether Obama is a traitor, it can ask him, something the woman didn’t do. And the MSM probably will ask. But only after it has tried to get mileage from today’s incident.

UPDATE: Reporters at the event asked Romney if he agreed that Obama should be tried for treason. Romney responded, “No, no, no. Of course not.”

Meanwhile the Obama campaign promptly whined that Romney had not defended its man, citing not just the aside about treason, but also comments made by a speaker at the event criticizing Obama for all the taxpayer money that has been spent on First Family vacations:

Today we saw Mitt Romney’s version of leadership: standing by silently as his chief surrogate attacked the President’s family at the event and another supporter alleged that the President should be tried for treason. Time after time in this campaign, Mitt Romney has had the opportunity to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to hateful and over-the-line rhetoric and time after time, he has failed to do so. If this is the ‘leadership’ he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him as commander-in-chief?

I think we can all agree that Romney’s leadership will not consist of defending his political adversaries from critical comments made by others. Nor should it.

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