20 April 2012

Campaign Rhetoric Heats Up

With Mitt Romney now the almost inevitable Republican nominee for President, the general-election campaign is underway in the U.S., and rhetoric on both sides is heating up. Before a crowd of approximately 4,000 at a whistle stop yesterday in Ann Arbor, Romney unleashed his most direct attack yet on Barack Obama’s competence, declaring, “America can’t afford to reelect a President who splits his infinitives.

“Barack Obama makes us look weak and poorly educated in the eyes of the rest of the world,” Romney continued. “You’d never see the president of Germany splitting an infinitive, that’s for sure.”

Stung by the criticism, the White House fired back almost immediately. “The record is clear,” Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “This Administration does not often split infinitives, and Gov. Romney is simply out of touch with the real issues facing this country today.”

Asked for examples of “real issues,” Carney cited the ongoing debate over the use of the so-called Oxford comma, “one of the most divisive issues this country has faced since the Civil War.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

“At the same time,” Carney continued, “most American authorities see no problem with splitting an infinitive. Time and again, the Republicans are in denial about the science of grammar.”

Later in the day, the Democratic National Committee released video of Romney at a rally in Pennsylvania, just a few weeks ago, in which he is heard splitting the infinitive “to support.”

“Yet another example of flip-flopping by Mitt Romney,” wrote left-leaning blogger Linc Madison. “Maybe splitting infinitives is simply a practice he thinks is okay for wealthy white men, but not for everyone else.”

In other news, economists are now predicting a “spring slowdown” in the economic recovery, and the United States remains at war.

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