Shortly after the former Massachusetts governor’s announcement that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) would be his running mate, the Romney campaign released a document that aggregates all the bad things they think President Barack Obama might say about Ryan, in order to offer a series of talking points in response.
Half-way down the page, a single sentence stands out: “The ticket is no different that [sic] Obama and Biden.”
That passage, taken out of context, could be seen as yet another high profile gaffe by Romney’s communications team, which has been dogged lately by conservative critics for making crucial messaging missteps.
Of course, the statement (and misspelling of “than”) is not intended to be all-encompassing: that’s the Romney campaign’s response to the president’s theoretical, hasn’t-quite-happened-yet attack on Ryan’s lack of military service, which they just wanted to remind the media of for some reason.
It was included in a list of talking points sent to reporters shortly after Romney’s VP announcement event. In full context, it appears like this:
4) Paul Ryan doesn’t have military experience. Does that hurt?
The ticket is no different that Obama and Biden. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan both respect members of our military who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms.
They share the view that America’s leadership position in the world is based on a robust national defense, strengthened relationships with our allies and a philosophy of peace through strength.
Granted, the sentence is not as bad of a mistake as Romney introducing Ryan as “the next president of the United States” at his announcement event Saturday morning — a moment all but certain to be revisited by liberal ad-makers. But in an age where soundbites and 140-character Tweets sometimes dominate the American media’s political awareness, this talking point seems bound to come back and bite them too.