Maddow takes a hard look at Romney’s dressage dodge

By David Ferguson
Friday, August 3, 2012 14:39 EDT
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Skeptical Maddow is skeptical
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Thursday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow asked some probing questions about Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)’s relationship with his wife Ann’s Olympic dressage horse, Rafalca. The Republican presidential candidate has played an interesting shell game with his knowledge of the event that the horse is competing in, and even what dressage is.

Though many have attacked the dressage angle as a sign that Romney is out of touch with the average voter, Maddow points out that Romney has taken some hefty tax breaks for the horse, even if he tries to pretend it’s Ann’s business. But, as Maddow reminds us, if Romney is taking a $77,000 tax break in 2010 for Rafalca, it is quite literally his personal business.

In an interview with NBC news, the former governor claimed ignorance of the horse that won him and Ann a $77,000 tax break in 2010, saying, “It’s a big, exciting experience for my wife. I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well.”

In other interviews, he has sought to put as much distance between himself and a sport that many consider snooty and elitist as possible. A Fox News reporter even played up the connection between dressage and the U.S. cavalry in an effort to create some breathing room for Romney, but the candidate, once again, insisted it was his wife’s hobby and that when he rides a horse, it’s in a proper manly way, “It’s western,” he said, “and I’m on the trail.”

“We know this from the one and only complete year of tax returns Mr. Romney has released,” she said, pointing to the aforementioned tax write-off. “Mr. Romney in his tax returns ascribes to his personal business interests the horse’s upkeep as a business loss.”

Maddow then announced that she will be featuring explosive video on Friday night’s program.

“We have found some tape in the archives that may take this fight in a whole new direction as of tomorrow,” she said, “We have got that tape that I think nobody else has seen in at least a decade and we’ve got that story as our lead, tomorrow night.”

Watch the clip, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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