What a good little Republican...
Politicians hate the word lie. When caught dissembling, they will concede that they misspoke, or misremembered, or even that they were economical with the truth.
Now Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, has added another entry to the lexicon of political euphemisms for the blatant fib.
When he said that as a boy he "saw" his father march with the civil rights leader Martin Luther King -- a claim debunked yesterday -- Mr Romney now says that he used the word "saw" as a figure of speech. Mr Romney said: "If you look at the literature, if you look at the dictionary, the term 'saw' includes 'being aware of' in the sense I've described. I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great [civil rights] effort."
Mr Romney, who seems to be having several "figure of speech" moments on the campaign trail, said in a key speech this month that he had watched his father George Romney, the late Michigan Governor, march with Martin Luther King. Mr Romney's campaign cited a 1967 book, The Republican Establishment, which said that the senior Romney "has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb [of Detroit]".
But Mr Romney's claim appeared unfounded after a veteran Michigan civil rights activist told a Detroit newspaper that George Romney never marched with Dr King in the city in 1963. When Mr Romney joined a demonstration in Grosse Pointe days later, Dr King was not there.
Confronted with this, Mitt Romney conceded that he had only heard of his father marching. He added that the statement that he "saw" his father march was akin to him stating, "I saw my dad become president of American Motors". He told reporters: "I wasn't there when he became president [of GM]."
Mr Romney, who is attempting to become America's first Mormon president, released another contorted clarification after telling a talk show that he was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby, when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. The group endorsed no candidate. Mr Romney said on Monday: "It was, if you will, a support phone bank, which is not an official endorsement."
Oh, what a tangled campaign he weaves...
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!