Have you ever known that something was going to happen, but still was shocked when it actually happened? Well, to my dismay, I have just had that happen to me. I have been telling my fellow Republicans for months that by October, our party would start playing the race card in an effort to gin up the White vote. Romney's campaign co-chair and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, is the personification of this.
Last Thursday, he appeared on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell. She asked him to give his post-debate analysis on Romney. Sununu immediately digressed into this tirade about the president. Mitchell was visibly stunned when Sununu said, "What people saw last night, I think, was a president who revealed his incompetence – how lazy and detached he is and how he has absolutely no idea how serious the economy problems of the country are and how he has failed to even address them."
Mitchell tried to give Sununu a chance to correct his statement by asking him, "Governor, I want to give you a chance to maybe take it back. Did you really mean to call Barack Obama, the president of the United States, lazy?" Sununu replied, "Yes. He didn't want to prepare for this debate. He's lazy and disengaged." A stunned Mitchell responded, "I think there certainly was a performance issue there and whether or not he was in his best form last night, a lot of people are questioning that," said Andrea. "But I think to call the president lazy and disengaged is another whole question." Sununu's response was, "Whatever, Andrea. Whatever you want."
This is not an isolated incident with Sununu; he has a history of being a blowhard, especially when it comes to Obama. A few months ago on a campaign conference call about small businesses, Sununu stated, "I wish this president would learn how to be an American."
Sununu said on Fox News that Obama. "has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn't be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia."
On another Fox News Channel program, Sununu said, "When you're not that bright you can't get better prepared."
If Sununu was speaking as a private citizen, I would just ignore his ignorance and hatred. However, because he is functioning as one of Romney's national co-chairmen, I hold him to a higher standard and level of scrutiny. And Romney should, too. Therefore, Romney should demand that Sununu to step down from any involvement in his campaign. If Romney has any modicum of decency and principles, this should be non-negotiable.
To his credit, even John McCain took a principled stand in his 2008 presidential campaign when a woman, Gayle Quinnell, crossed the line. During the Q & A session at a McCain rally in Minnesota, Quinnell accused Obama of being an "Arab." McCain quickly snatched the microphone away from her and said, "No ma'am." "[Obama's] a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."
McCain was roundly applauded for taking this principled stand. Will Romney do the same? I strongly doubt it. Romney doesn't have the spine to take such a principled stand. I challenge all Republicans to denounce Sununu and demand his immediate removal from any involvement in not only the Romney campaign, but any other Republican activities.
Sununu's rhetoric is not what the Republican Party should be about and if my party cannot or will not take a principled stand, then I cannot and will not support our nominee for president.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.