Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu on Tuesday took New York Times columnist David Brooks to task for his Romney-bashing piece "Thurston Howell Romney."
In the middle of a heated debate with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell about the Republican presidential nominee's comments regarding the 47 percent of Americans that don't pay taxes, Sununu asserted, "David Brooks ought to be ashamed of himself for recategorizing what Mitt Romney said" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ANDREA MITCHELL, HOST: Let me ask you about what David Brooks wrote today, who has been a down the middle columnist trending towards conservative some would say.
JOHN SUNUNU, FORMER NEW HAMPSHIRE GOVERNOR: Who, David? David is the Republican-leaning. Go ahead.
MITCHELL: Without getting into a journalistic critique.
SUNUNU: But don't categorize him. You started to categorize him and I don't accept the categorization.
MITCHELL: Governor, let me read to you from his column. He writes, “It suggests that he [Mitt Romney] doesn't really know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? The Iraq war veteran that goes to the VA? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare? It suggests that Romney doesn't know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest working nations on earth…The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees.” The Tax Policy Center, Governor, which is nonpartisan backs this up, showing that the people who are getting these benefits are largely white people, including the majority of people on food stamps…
SUNUNU: Nobody said they weren't, Andrea.
MITCHELL: Well, the suggestion's certainly in what Governor Romney said…
SUNUNU: No, it wasn't there, and that word “freeloader” is David Brooks's word, and the fact is that's not what the Governor put out on the table, and David Brooks ought to be ashamed of himself for recategorizing what Mitt Romney said that way.
Let's put this in context. You have an Obama administration that flaunts a website, applauding cradle to grave dependency with Julia. You have an Obama website that encourages people to understand that what he is for is an expansion of government so government can take care of them. Mitt Romney puts numbers on that and says we have a campaign in which those that support big government are on one side and those that support a private sector approach are on the other side. That's the big issue we ought to be debating. And you fall for this idea that by quantifying it as a 47/47 divide to start with, now you got to start parsing all these things. The polls are 47/47. That's where the starting point is. And they're battling over the 6 percent in the middle.
The reality is that though potentially inartful, what Romney said does accurately reflect the current state of America and its politics.
Yet the Obama-loving media once again smell blood in the water, and are portraying the Republican presidential nominee's words as an attack on half the nation.
This is by no means the case, and it's fortunate that there are people like Sununu out there willing to call the press on their obvious advocacy.