You are hereHuffington Post: Romney Blows His Chance at a "No, Ma'am" Moment

Huffington Post: Romney Blows His Chance at a "No, Ma'am" Moment

-By Michael Bard

May 7, 2012- Mitt Romney had a chance Monday to demonstrate to the American people that he was more than an opportunistic mercenary who would say anything to win the White House. And he failed. Miserably.

Put another way, he blew his chance at a "No, ma'am" moment.

On October 10, 2008, less than a month before the presidential election, and with his standing falling in the polls in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, John McCain fielded a question at a town hall meeting in Minnesota from a woman who said, "I can't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's not, he's not uh -- he's an Arab."

McCain didn't hesitate. He politely but firmly took the microphone from the woman and said, shaking his head, "No, ma'am. No, ma'am.  He's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have

disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign's all about."

McCain chose the high road. He wasn't above smearing Barack Obama's character during the campaign.  He was also willing to be dishonest about Obama's record and policy positions. But there was a line of basic decency he wouldn't cross. (I am not saying that to be Arab is to be unAmerican, of course. But that generalization was certainly embedded in the statement of the woman at the town hall.)

In the heat of the battle, McCain showed his basic decency with his "No, ma'am" moment.

Romney had his chance Monday to prove his integrity. At a town hall event in Cleveland, a woman, in a question to Romney, said, "We have a president right now that is operating outside the structure of our Constitution," adding, "I do agree he should be tried for treason." How did Romney respond? Did he take this moment to say, "Wait a minute. I don't agree with the president's policies, but he clearly is not trying to overthrow the U.S. government"?

Did Romney have his "No, ma'am" moment?



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