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No one’s buying it: Valerie Jarrett gets an earful for sudden praise of Mitt Romney and his protest march

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President Barack Obama’s former top aide Valerie Jarrett was pilloried by critics for praising Sen. Mitt Romney’s participation in a protest March over the weekend to draw more attention to the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police.

“Welcome to the right side of history, @SenatorRomney. I hope your leadership inspires your Republican colleagues to do the same,” Jarrett wrote on Twitter Sunday.

Asked by a reporter why he felt it was “important” to join the march, Romney responded, “We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality. We need to stand up and say that black lives matter.”

Like their Democrat counterparts, Republicans who have spoken about the Floyd incident have also condemned the police officers who were involved in his arrest and death. The difference is, however, most of them have not universally condemned police and do not accept the premise that “systemic racism” is inherent in America’s police forces.

In any event, the praise by Jarrett was ripped by conservatives and politicos online for its rank hypocrisy, considering the way in which the Obama administration ravaged Romney when he was nominated by Republicans in 2012 to run against the 44th president.

In the lead-up to the 2012 election, Obama’s campaign made horrific — and unfounded — accusations against Romney:

He was accused of killing a cancer patient. An ad produced by an Obama-aligned SuperPAC, Priorities USA, featured the story of Joe Soptic, a middle-class blue-collar worker who lost his job at a steel plant in Kansas City, MO., as well as his health benefits, and whose wife died of cancer.

The ad “not so subtly placed the blame on the shoulders of Mitt Romney, who once headed Bain Capital, the private equity group that closed the bankrupt plant in 2001,” The Telegraph reported. But the closure occurred two years after Romney left the daily management of Bain Capital to take over the rescue of the Olympic Games to be hosted in Salt Lake City. Also, the closure occurred a full five years before Soptic’s wife passed away.

The Obama team never denounced the ad.

Romney the tax cheat. During the campaign, Romney was accused by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), of being grossly delinquent in his taxes. Reid’s accusations were completely baseless, but when questioned about it by reporters, Reid’s response was, essentially, ‘Go ask Romney why he hasn’t paid his taxes.’

Obama blasted Romney for pointing out the Russian threat. In March 2012 at a summit in South Korea, Obama was caught by a “hot mic” telling then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” on “missile defense” after his election, and he asked Medvedev to relay that to then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Republicans blasted Obama for his conciliatory position towards Russia, and Romney seized on it as a campaign issue. “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed,” he told CNN a few days later.

Obama mocked Romney for his claim in a debate later that year.

As we now know, the Obama team claimed ‘Russia’ was trying to steal the 2016 election in collusion with the Trump campaign, a lie that has been debunked many times now. But the fact that the Obama administration picked Russia and not another peer competitor was telling.

“Obama, who first sprang to national attention with an appeal to civility, has made these kind of attacks central to his strategy. The argument, by implication from Obama and directly from his surrogates, is not merely that Romney is the wrong choice for president but that there is something fundamentally wrong with him,” said a September 2012 Politico analysis noting that the Obama campaign leveled many more personal attacks against Romney than vice-versa.

“To make the case, Obama and his aides have used an arsenal of techniques — personal ridicule, suggestions of ethical misdeeds and aspersions against Romney’s patriotism — that many voters and commentators claim to abhor, even as the tactics have regularly proved effective,” Politico noted.

Jon Dougherty

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