THE BLOG

The Misconception Debate

02/23/2012 04:20 pm ET | Updated Apr 24, 2012

The most telling moment of last night's Republican debate was virtually ignored by most pundits. When John King asked Mitt Romney to name the biggest misconception about himself, he chose to ignore the question and robotically repeated his stump pitch for why he should be President.

When pressed by King to answer the misconception question, Romney repeated a line he has used in previous debates, "You get to ask the question you want and I get to give the answer I want."

At the core of the ambivalence towards his candidacy is the fact that Americans really don't know who Romney is. From his "I'm a moderate, a progressive" days in Massachusetts to his to the right of Attila The Hun positions today, he comes off as desperately inauthentic in every way. Romney needs to look in the mirror and channel the words of the late Admiral James Stockdale, Ross Perot's running mate, who famously said in a debate, "Who am I, and why am I here?"

Answering the question of what is the biggest misconception about himself, would have been a golden opportunity to give voters at least a glimpse into who Mitt Romney really is. Yet Romney ignored the question, because he apparently has no ability to be introspective at all.

And if he thinks it's acceptable to refuse to answer simple questions about who he is, how will he respond to the far more pressing questions that will arise if he was President? If an instant decision had to be made to protect the country, would Romney simply refuse to make that decision and sing "America The Beautiful" instead?

Romney's arrogant demand to "give the answer I want", is a troubling character trait that is totally unacceptable for a candidate for President of the United States.