“If the Reports Are True”

Mitt Romney couldn’t stand up to Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association over his hiring of Ric Grenell, who happens to be gay.  Now Mitt is faulting President Obama for not standing up to the Chinese over the dissident Chen Guangcheng.

With conflicting reports swirling and a lot of confusion as to Chen’s exact situation and wishes, Mitt irresponsibly blasted the President today for a “day of shame” and a “dark day for freedom.”  But he had to preface his condemnation with qualifiers like “if the reports are true” and “if they’re accurate.”  When you have to use language like that, you have no business attacking anyone, you simply don’t have enough information yet.

So aside from the hypocrisy, we have Mitt going off half-cocked while President Obama is in the middle of a tough and messy foreign policy crisis.

Republicans in Congress also held an emergency hearing on Chen in which they criticized the President.

If it had just been about putting Mr. Chen on a plane when he was in our custody, that would be simple.  But he has a family as well, who did not escape with him, a wife, two children, a mother, and brothers, all of whom are at risk.  So the GOP effort to paint this as a situation where President Obama threw Chen under the bus to save his broader negotiations with the Chinese this week with Secretaries Clinton and Geithner conveniently ignores the complicating factor of the safety of Chen’s family.

The brighter the public spotlight that is shone on Chen, the harder it is for the Chinese government to back down.

What’s the real GOP goal here — helping Chen or making Obama  look bad?  If the GOP wants to hurt Obama, they will keep running their mouths.  If they want to help Chen, they will push for him privately and pipe down publicly.

A day of shame?  Definitely —  for Mitt Romney.