Mitt Romney seems to be indulging in the “I hit him first but it wuz self defence because I could see he was gunna hit me” justification I expect of a six year old.

After reportedly outspending Gingrich five-to-one with ads that were overwhelmingly negative, and explaining his philosophy as “when you’re attacked you’ve got to respond” the Massachusetts Mormon multi-millionaire is already predicting things will get HOT — and characterizing President Obama’s re-election campaign as well-funded (ahem) and negative

Asked about the negativity of the Republican race following a new report that showed that 92 percent of all of the campaign ads that ran in the Sunshine State in the week leading up to the Florida primary were attack spots, Romney said on “Good Morning America” that the fight was preparing him for what’s to come in the general election.
“What you’re seeing from speaker Gingrich is just a precursor of what you’ll see from President Obama, and in some respects, perhaps what we’re getting inoculates us, or at least prepares us, for what will come down the road,” he said. “There’s no question that Barack Obama’s billion-dollar machine will organize the most vitriolic, spiteful campaign in American history, and we’re going to have to be ready for that.”

Politico

Even allowing for Romney’s on-going fund-raising efforts, justifying dodgy tactics on the basis that you anticipate dodgy tactics from your opponents is the kind of paranoia fearful thinking that I was referring to here in Be careful what you believe:

It seems to me from what Cameron [Slater] and I discussed, that Right Wing spin doctors and bloggers/activists/schemers like him (and only a handful of others – in NZ anyway) have convinced themselves that their Left Wing ‘opponents’ are waging a dirty, unprincipled propaganda war and will stoop to virtually any sleazy strategy to gain influence or advantage. So strongly do they, as a group, hold this belief that they (the Right-wing cabal) feel they are therefore completely justified in waging a dirty, unprincipled propaganda war and to stoop to virtually any sleazy strategy to gain influence or advantage. I bet some on ‘the Left’ think exactly the same way. (Trevor Mallard, I’m looking at you. And you Martyn Bradbury.)
It’s very George W Bush ‘Bush doctrine‘ (justifying US first strikes as ‘preventive war’) … attacking ‘the enemy’ to beat them to the punch. ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. Macho bullshit.

Romney is justifying his campaign’s carpet-bombing of Gingrinch by referring to a possible future Obama campaign as “the most vitriolic, spiteful campaign in American history” — before it’s even happened. Trying to paint Romney as the ‘virtuous’ one, despite drowning Florida in attack ads. That’s hyperbole. To put it mildly.

- P