Amazing. One week after Mitt Romney characterized Barack Obama's ideas as "extraordinarily foreign," the former Massachusetts governor is at it again.
On CNBC's The Kudlow Report, Romney returned to that same theme, employing almost the same language:
It's a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience type of philosophy. [...] His whole philosophy is an upside-down philosophy that does not comport with the American experience.
Once could be a mistake. Twice (or more) is a pattern. The Romney campaign has clearly made a strategic decision to characterize Obama as "foreign." Yes, they can say they are talking about his "ideas," but that's a distinction without a difference. The decisions he makes as president flow from his ideas. Romney is saying that Obama's presidency would be "foreign." There can be no question about that.
The fact that Romney called Obama "foreign" last week and did so again yesterday means that he has measured the fallout from last week and decided that, on balance, he gains more than he loses by employing this kind of hateful, dog-whistle rhetoric. The reason that is so is because the response by the mainstream media was weak at best.
What's next? Will Mitt Romney start demanding Obama's extra-super long form birth certificate? The thing is, he doesn't have to. By calling Obama "foreign" he taps right into the same anxiety that drives birtherism, or the belief that Obama is "Muslim," or that he wants to "take your guns," or employ "death panels" to snuff out Granny.
Make no mistake, Mitt Romney knows exactly what he's doing.