Mitt Romney's election night victory speech in Florida was another example of the sort of glaring contradiction he's in the habit of — like falsely accusing President Obama of cutting $500 billion from Medicare while simultaneously accusing Mr. Obama of trying to turn American into a European-style social welfare state. Tonight's whopper was this line: "Like his colleagues in the faculty lounge who think they know better, President Obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy."
Whoa. Isn't Governor Romney, with that very line, demonizing and denigrating the higher education sector of the economy? I bow to almost no one when it comes to being critical of the leftist tilt on college campuses (see, for recent examples, here or here). But that line is a cheap shot at the entire higher education sector. Which professors, exactly, is Mr. Romney talking about? The ones on his own foreign policy and national security advisory team, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman of Johns Hopkins and Meghan O'Sullivan of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Aaron Friedberg of Princeton, and William Martel of Tufts? Or the ones on his economic policy team, Glenn Hubbard of Columbia and N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard? Or maybe he was talking about the Tea Party-friendly blogger Glenn Harlan Reynolds of the University of Tennessee? Or the libertarian law professor Richard Epstein of New York University and the University of Chicago? If Mr. Romney is so down on the professors, why'd he spend his time getting not one but two Harvard degrees? Speaking of "know better," Mr. Romney should know better than to use such a self-contradictory line. It makes him look small.
Not that the other candidates covered themselves in glory with their speeches tonight, either. Senator Santorum, speaking from Nevada, said, "Here in Nevada they've suffered while the folks on Wall Street have prospered." Speaker Gingrich, at Orlando, promised to run "not a Wall Street-funded campaign, a people's campaign." As if the people on Wall Street are somehow not people. Please, folks, remember, if voters are looking for an anti-Wall Street candidate who is going to divide Americans by pitting them against the financial industry, there already is such a candidate. His name is Barack Obama. It's not constructive. It's verging on dispiriting.