Friday, March 30, 2012

My Phone Call With Romney

I sat through 20 minutes or so of a live telephone "town hall" call with Mitt Romney on the other end last night. Wisconsin's primary is coming up on Tuesday, and Romney and his SuperPAC are spending heavily in this state. (I haven't seen any ads by the Santorum campaign, although his "Red White and Blue" superPAC has one ad up on TV.)

While I was on the phone call, there was one questioner who thought high gas prices were caused by oil company profiteering. Mitt told her he disagreed and blamed Obama for not drilling, mining and fissioning enough. Mitt saw great potential in natural gas, but avoided any reference to fracking.

The other questioners lobbed easy pitches like what his first executive order would be, whether he'd consider Paul Ryan as his running mate, whether he agreed that Governor Scott Walker is a national hero, and what he thought of President Obama's "I'll have more flexibility after the election" comment to Russian President Medvedev. For the record, Romney listed five first orders, from stopping "Obamacare" to opening up government contracts to non-union shops. Mitt praised Ryan's budget plan while promising that his own budget plan would balance the budget sooner (and said naming a running mate hadn't occurred to him yet). You'll also be astounded to hear that Mitt applauded Darth Snotwalker and disapproved of that flexibility remark.

If I had answered the call on the phone in the computer room, I could have put it on speaker. I could have live-blogged it and at least not have felt it a complete waste of time. But 20 minutes is about as long as I can stand to hold a phone to my ear and listen to someone else's conversation.

Between questions, a staffer urged us to press "1" if we agreed with Romney and would vote for him. I never heard anything about what to press if I wanted to ask a question. At least when I sit through these "town hall" calls from Paul Ryan, listening to all the questions from birthers who want to press the congressman about what he's going to do about exposing the president as a socialist or to compensate the Notch Babies, they regularly tell you how to ask a question. For Romney's call, I have to assume that even the woman who didn't like oil company profiteering first had to tell the Romney campaign that she liked and would vote for him.

Oh, and the staffer pronounced Mequon "McWahn." (It's "MECK-wahn.")

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