Mitt Romney probably just fatally wounded his already lackluster presidential campaign. Here's what he had to say in an op-ed he wrote for New Hampshire’s largest newspaper:
Barack Obama is facing a financial emergency on a grander scale. Yet his approach has been to engage in one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history.There's just one itsy-bitsy problem with Romney's analysis: the United States hasn't been in "peacetime" for nearly ten years. Of those ten years of disastrously expensive warfare, seven of them have been under Republican rulership.
One of Romney's staff later tried to walk back the gaffe, but the fact that Romney forgot that the United States is involved in three conflicts (assuming you count Libya as a conflict we are involved in) will not be allowed to pass without comment. Romney's Republican competitors for the GOP nomination will use this mistake to scalp Romney in the Republican primary debates. We're not talking about an accidental verbal slip of the tongue: this was a carefully crafted op-ed written and presumably reviewed by the candidate, his speechwriter, and possibly other staffers--or it should have been.
The McCain/Palin campaign should be a warning to the GOP of how quickly gaffes can strangle a campaign. For this mistake to slip out suggests that Romney and his team may not be up to the challenge of running for president.