Yesterday marked the passing of eleven years since the atrocities of September 11, 2001. The Romney and Obama campaigns pledged to respect a one-day mutual political ceasefire to commemorate the anniversary and to offer a joint gesture of national unity:
It could be the only day before Nov. 6 without explicit partisan rancor. Both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney plan to take down their negative ads in honor of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Neither planned to appear at overtly political events, although Election Day is never far from their agendas.
The Obama campaign chose not to fulfill their end of the agreement. As Katie reported, both the president and David Axelrod fired off overtly political tweets during the day -- and Carol noted Obama's appearance on a Florida radio show with someone called "DJ Laz," also known as "the pimp with a limp." I'll let the Miami Herald take it from here (see update II):
President Obama continues reaching out to non-traditional media to spread the campaign word, appearing this morning on 106.7 FM with DJ Laz AKA “the pimp with the limp,” who tweeted that he was getting “REAL Answers from @BarackObama.” Laz even got false ones. For instance, Obama said that repealing Obamacare, which cut Medicare and helped extend the life of the program by eight years, would cause the program to go “bankrupt by 2016.” That’s not really true. If the cuts were repealed, a main hospital trust fund for Medicare would start to take in less than it pays out. But that’s not bankruptcy. On the whole, Obama stayed on message, dropped a few pop culture references and reached an audience that seldom pays close attention to politics. He also avoided talking about 9/11 on 9/11’s anniversary, but made time to mock the Dolphins bad record.
The president made time to distort the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan (so much for the partisan moratorium), chat about celebrities (one of his favorite topics, it seems), and opine on the NFL, but he couldn't be bothered to discuss the 9/11 anniversary. Here's the audio, if you can stomach it:
In case you were curious, "the pimp with a limp" has a criminal record, including a felony weapons charge. Meanwhile, what was Mitt Romney up to yesterday? His few tweets focused on God and country, scrupulously avoiding any hint of partisanship. He also delivered an apolitical address to the National Guard Association in which he thanked the audience for their service. An excerpt:
On the campaign trail, it has been my privilege to meet with troops and veterans from just about every state. They come from our farms, our great cities, our small towns and quiet neighborhoods. Many have known violence so that their neighbors could know peace. They have done more than protect America; their courage and service defines America. On this eleventh anniversary of September 11th, we remember the victims who perished in the attacks. We also remember the men and women serving in dangerous places around the world. We will not forget why they are fighting or who they are fighting for. They are faithful to us and to our country; we must not break faith with them. I want to personally thank you for keeping us safe. It is inspiring to be in the company of men and women of courage, as I am today. It is an honor to be among those whose sense of duty and love of country lift our hearts and spirits. We are blessed to live in a country where freedom is so highly cherished, so fiercely protected, and so admirably defended by the noble men and women of the National Guard. Thank you. Thank you all for your service. May God bless America and continue to keep her safe.
Romney made no mention of the election, his opponent, or specific policy disputes. The Romney campaign would not comment on Obama's "pimp with a limp" interview, citing their commitment to abide by the no-politics agreement. One of these men is running an honorable campaign. The other values power and winning above all else. Will the media hold the latter candidate accountable for breaking yet another promise in order to gain a slight electoral edge over his opponent, who was perversely disadvantaged by adhering to agreed-upon rules?
UPDATE - Politico reports the Obama campaign released a new attack ad on 9/11, a flagrant violation of the explicit pledge to withhold such spots for 24 hours. Chicago claims the ad was released in some states last week.
UPDATE II - Team Obama now says the "pimp with a limp" interview was taped over the weekend and was allegedly intended to air on Monday. They're blaming the radio station for the screw up. Nothing, you see, is ever Barack Obama's fault.
UPDATE III - Another? Team Obama deployed Bill Clinton to actively campaign in Florida yesterday.