But what the presumptive GOP nominee did not know is that reporters hanging around could hear every word being said
in this Palm Beach backyard gathering of Mitt-o-philes. And in addition to hearing Ann Romney thank CNN analyst Hilary Rosen for an "early birthday present,"
they heard der Mittster getting a bit more specific than he really wanted to for public consumption.
Romney went into a level of detail not usually seen by the public in the speech, which was overheard by reporters on a sidewalk below. One possibility floated by Romney included the elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Cabinet-level agency once led by Romney's father, George.
"I'm going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I'm probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go," Romney said. "Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I'm not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we've got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states."
Ah! So. We're going to shift the burden of paying for these needed programs from the federal government, which can print its own money, to the states, which already can't afford the programs they have! Brilliant! Just brilliant!
What else ya got, Willard?
"The Department of Education: I will either consolidate with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller. I'm not going to get rid of it entirely," Romney said, explaining that part of his reasoning behind preserving the agency was to maintain a federal role in pushing back against teachers' unions. Romney added that he learned in his 1994 campaign for Senate that proposing to eliminate the agency was politically volatile.
At that time, Sen. Ted Kennedy ran ads against Romney — then a political neophyte — accusing him of being uncaring for saying he wished to eliminate the agency.
You crafty devil! ANOTHER stroke of genius! Cut it, but not enough to kill it. And keep it alive for the sole reason of having leverage against those evil neer-do-wells in the teacher's unions! Why didn't you mention this earlier?
Romney told the audience here tonight (along with the Weekly Standard in an interview in early April) that that experience remains fresh in his mind. It's contributed to his caution in publicly naming federal agencies and programs he would eliminate or dramatically curtail.
Ah. That makes sense. If you tell people what you're going to do before you do it, they can criticize you. Again, sheer brilliance. Of course, it helps when you're sharing your message with a friendly audience, as Mitt told the Florida gathering Sunday night.
He said his campaign had been well-covered by Fox News, but that Fox was watched by "the true believers," and that he knew he would have to reach out to a broader audience in order to win over independents and women voters that will decide the election in November. He painted a picture of a media landscape in which liberal voices won out on television, but conservatives were strongest online.
Right. Right. We don't want the truth out there. This new cult of Republican Latter Day Liars would wither under the direct light of scrutiny if people actually looked at their plans and considered their actual impact.
Good job, Mitt. Keep lying, and as long as we don't have more of these pesky "hot mike" moments with reporters hanging around outside hearing every word you say, we in the right wing media will cover that butt for ya!
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