Be honest: Don’t you wish you were important enough to justify a team of investigators writing a 200-page book just to torpedo your career?
There’s no denying Mitt Romney is that important. The former Massachusetts governor is running for president, which tends to bring out the sharp knives and brickbats from wherever political enemies hide such things.
Four years ago Romney, Sen. John McCain and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were locked in a death-struggle for the right to be trounced by Barack Obama. So in this case it was a lengthy opposition research tome built for McCain, who later became a political ally, that made its way online Tuesday — all 200 pages of it.
We realize that most Americans have better things to do than read something half as long as the Book of Mormon just to discover what they don’t like about a guy. So we’ve saved you the trouble.
Here’s a Cliff’s Notes version of the 200 pages. Just the best and the juiciest bits — the ones we’re assuming will show up in roughly 100 percent of the remaining presidential debates.
It’s important to note that everything in the document — meaning everything below — is according to political hired guns whose job it is to dig in the dirt and search for microscopic weaknesses, and who would probably have been working for Romney instead if the price were right.
But you probably already knew that.
10. “Tape 78” in the McCain campaign’s video archive has Romney saying “I’m wary of anyone who parlays background, money, and hair to political success.” We can’t tell if it was said with a hint of irony, but we’re pretty sure he was talking about Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry.
9. “Tape 97”: Romney takes aim at McCain — and quite possibly alienates an entire U.S. state, by quipping that just like hell, Arizona would be paradise if only it had more water and good people.
8. “Tape 73”: Romney says he has “expressed support for [the] assault weapons bill” and says his position is the “same as [John] Kerry and [Ted] Kennedy on this.”
7. Romney has three homes — in Massachusetts, Utah and New Hampshire — valued at a combined $13.362 million.
6. In January 2006, Romney said he owned a gun – then two days later admitted he did not and the gun belonged to his son.
5. In a 2007 interview with the Associated Press, Romney downplayed the importance of killing or capturing Osama bin Laden. “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” Asked if the world would be safer with bin Laden out of the way, he responded, “Yes, but by a small percentage increase – a very insignificant increase in safety by virtue of replacing bin Laden with someone else.”
4. During his run for governor in 2002, Romney got help in the form of a 30-second ad made by Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, a fellow Mormon whose politics embraced gay marriage, global warming campaigns, and an end to the “war on drugs.” Anderson worked with Romney on the 2002 Winter Olympics. His key line in the ad was “Take it from this liberal Democrat: If you want an amazing leader, vote for Mitt Romney.” Later, Anderson became famous nationally for being the only sitting mayor to demand impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush.
3. Romney voted for Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary.
2. In a March 2007 speech to Cuban-Americans, Romney invoked the Spanish phrase “Patria o muerte! Venceremos!” (“Fatherland or death! We will overcome!”) to urge support for a free Cuba — without realizing that it was Fidel Castro’s favorite speech-ending communist catchphrase. He also didn’t realize that Castro usually rendered it in English, not Spanish. To make matters worse, Romney got then-state House Speaker (and now U.S. Senator) Marco Rubio’s name wrong, calling him “Mario.” And, for good measure, he mispronounced the names of Republican congressmen (and brothers) Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart.
1. Romney, from “Tape 78” in the video library: “I thought becoming rich and famous would make me happy. Boy was I right.”
Read the entire Romney file, if you dare:
David is The Daily Caller’s executive editor. Follow him on Twitter