In college, journalism is part of the Liberal Arts. Coincidentally, most journalists tend to lean liberal in the political definition of that term. Therefore I am rarely amazed at how the Republican nominee seems to always fight an uphill battle as far as the media is concerned.
With every passing presidential campaign there is a reaffirmation that the media is fundamentally biased in favor of the Democrat candidate. From my experience in politics, that has been true from candidate Ronald Reagan all the way through candidate Mitt Romney. The problem is it has gotten so brazen, so unmasked.
Point in fact is what just happened this week with some “secret” tape recording of Governor Romney during a fundraising dinner that took place back in May. The timing of its release couldn’t be more suspect. It comes on the heels of a major disaster in the Middle East where our esteemed ambassador Chris Stevens was killed along with other embassy people in Benghazi, Libya. That entire region was exploding with protests against the United States and threats from alleged Al Qaeda members materialized in the closing of at least three university campuses here at home. How did the media deal with all of this? Well, one the grandsons of President Jimmy Carter came to the rescue and got the very liberal Mother Jones magazine to unveil the “secret” recording of Governor Romney's fundraising event-- Forget the Middle East.
Governor Romney’s comments were misconstrued and distorted. He stated that the president and himself each starts out with 47 percent of the vote, so the focus of his campaign was going to be the remaining 6 percent of the electorate. Candidly, it is also what President Obama’s campaign is doing as well. Every pundit talks about the undecided vote, which is specifically what Governor Romney was referring to -- how he intended to reach that 6 percent.
In addition, Governor Romney talked about the challenges confronting our nation and the choices we have concerning its direction, something he has been saying from the beginning of his campaign. Do we want a society that embraces a free enterprise system, or do we want a government-centered society? He offers the first, Obama the second. Point in fact: when Obama took office, there were 32 million people receiving food stamps, today there are 47 million.
Furthermore, all of Romney’s proposals to cut taxes are not that meaningful to the 47 percent of the people who pay no federal income taxes, and quite frankly cutting federal spending is probably not very tempting to the increasing number of people who rely on the federal government for assistance.
He also made some joking comments about the fact that if he was Latino, he would win. All of a sudden, some Latino politicians got on the bandwagon and found it offensive. Where were they when he made a similar joking comment in an interview with Univision in January, encouraging anchor Jorge Ramos to get the word out that he was Mexican-American?
Having actively participated in five presidential campaigns, I understand the media will never be on the Republican side; that is just a fact. It is not a matter of fairness or justice; it’s just the way the media is. But I have to wonder whether the 6 percent understand what’s really at stake. They are truly the deciding block. But then again, that was Governor Romney's point.
Rosario Marin served as the 41st US Treasurer under President George W. Bush. She is the author of "Leading Between Two Worlds Lessons" from the first Mexican-born Treasurer of the United States.