Massachusetts Gov. Romney Apologizes for 'Tar Baby' Comment - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Massachusetts Gov. Romney Apologizes for 'Tar Baby' Comment

Massachusetts governor apologizes for 'tar baby' comment

Monday, July 31, 2006; Posted: 9:42 a.m. EDT (13:42 GMT)


Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is considering a presidential bid in 2008.

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Gov. Mitt Romney has apologized for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a "tar baby" during a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans, saying he didn't know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet.

In a speech Saturday, Romney, a Republican considering a run for president in 2008, acknowledged he took a big political risk in taking control of the project after a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse, but said inaction would have been even worse.

"The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can," he told a crowd of about 100 supporters in Ames, Iowa.

Black leaders were outraged at his use of the term, which dates to the 19th century Uncle Remus stories, referring to a doll made of tar that traps Br'er Rabbit. It has come to be known as a way of describing a sticky mess, and has been used as a derogatory term for a black person.

"Tar baby is a totally inappropriate phrase in the 21st century," said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist.

"He thinks he's presidential timber," Jones said. "But all he's shown us is arrogance."

Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the governor was describing "a sticky situation."

"He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he's sorry if anyone's offended," Fehrnstrom said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow sparked similar criticism in May when he used the term in response to a question about government surveillance.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 04:51 PM
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We are all capable of saying stupid, innapropriate things.

But if Romney is apologizing, and really regrets the choice of words, why are all the quotes I'm seeing from his press flak?

and perhaps if Governor Hairdo hadn't BEEN staying "far away from that tar baby" (press releases and photo ops don't count) since his election, maybe it would be just a little less of a mess right now

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin
We are all capable of saying stupid, innapropriate things.

But if Romney is apologizing, and really regrets the choice of words, why are all the quotes I'm seeing from his press flak?

and perhaps if Governor Hairdo hadn't BEEN staying "far away from that tar baby" (press releases and photo ops don't count) since his election, maybe it would be just a little less of a mess right now
I agree that Mitt should say whatever himself about the tar baby gaffe. But re. the Big Boondoggle, when he took office in January '03, it was already a disaster both timewise and financially. Besides, he did try to wrest control of it from the Turnpike Authority chairman who finally resigned after the accident.

But who kept the money flowing thru all these years of cost ovaruns, so that Massachusetts has gotten back $3 in Federal highway money for every dollar its paid into the Highway Trust Fund thru gas taxes? Mostly Democrats like ex-stunt driver Ted Kennedy, and his sidekick John F(ucking) Kerry.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:27 PM
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What caught my eye is that some of these black civil right leaders really seem a bit cocky. It is obvious that the governor made a mistake. I wonder how many 'mistakes' this Larry guy has made in his public speeches.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Oh certainly, there's lots of blame to go around. 3 successive Republican governors before him (Weld, Cellucci, NotSoSwift) and the Democratic legislature. But Mitt didn't try to wrest control of the Big Dig form the TA, he just wanted control of the TA (his problem with Matt Amorello was not that he's a hack, it that Matt wasn't HIS hack), period, and he focused soley on consolidating that control and not on dealing with, or trying to force the TA to deal with the corruption, cost-over runs and shit construction that's plagued the whole mess.

The Inspector General's office did a huge, indpth audit of the Dig Boondoggle, dtailing all of the above and including information on how the bolting system could be a significant safety problem, and handed it to the Romney administration. They ignored it. Possibly because they were too busy claiming the IG's office was redundant and trying to fold THAT office under Mittens' control to bother looking at the work they were doing.

As for the Federal money involved - yeah we got more for the Dig than our GAS taxes paid out. I might feel bad about that if we didn't actually send more tax money out than we got back one the whole.

But thanks for the Zakim bridge

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by griffin
...
The Inspector General's office did a huge, indpth audit of the Dig Boondoggle, dtailing all of the above and including information on how the bolting system could be a significant safety problem, and handed it to the Romney administration. They ignored it. Possibly because they were too busy claiming the IG's office was redundant and trying to fold THAT office under Mittens' control to bother looking at the work they were doing.
So why didn't the IG give it to Attorney General Tom Reilly, whose responsibility it was to Probe Potential Criminal Conduct (and ovacharges) B4 his present race for Governor? (Or to the US Attorney, given the Federal money involved).
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:48 PM
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Hmm...?

Was this an actual mistake?
Do you guys truly believe that this was an honest slip-of-the-tongue'?

...that he didn't reeeeally mean to use this term, and that he wasn't aware of the negative connotations? I mean we're talking about a Governor here folks.

But okay...

I guess Blacks and Whites do live in two totally different worlds.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by *JR*
So why didn't the IG give it to Attorney General Tom Reilly, whose responsibility it was to Probe Potential Criminal Conduct (and ovacharges) B4 his present race for Governor? (Or to the US Attorney, given the Federal money involved).
It's not like I said Reilly ISN'T a horse's ass - although he HAS been going after Bechtel for cost over-runs.

I do think there's a lot of over-reaction to this particular quote: Romney is not the first person I've run across who had no idea that the term "tar baby" had some ugly racial connotations. That said, I'm having a hard time feeling bad for him having his political grandstanding bite him on the backside.

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:21 PM
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I don't think any politician would be stupid enough to use a term like tar baby if he or she knew what it meant. It is tantamount to political suicide. Clearly an error of ignorance on the part of the Gov., not racism.

HOWEVER.

What is truly troubling is that it is probably not the first time he has used it. People don't whip out a brand new word for fund raising speeches. The fact that his peers, family, and colleagues either didn't know, or didn't care, or didn't bother to tell him how heinous tar baby is, is the truly troubling part of it.

Are people so insulated and ignorant in their own worlds? I guess so.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabuki
I don't think any politician would be stupid enough to use a term like tar baby if he or she knew what it meant. It is tantamount to political suicide. Clearly an error of ignorance on the part of the Gov., not racism.

HOWEVER.

What is truly troubling is that it is probably not the first time he has used it. People don't whip out a brand new word for fund raising speeches. The fact that his peers, family, and colleagues either didn't know, or didn't care, or didn't bother to tell him how heinous tar baby is, is the truly troubling part of it.

Are people so insulated and ignorant in their own worlds? I guess so.
The question is how likely is it that all his support staff didn't realize the inappropriateness of the comment. Not bloody likely. It was probably mentioned to him that people would take offense and he probably thought well it'll just be a couple of darkies upset but nothing major.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:42 PM
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Black leaders hate Republicans. To critisize Romney for that statement is stupid and politically motivated. He has been an outstanding governor, something Black leaders can^t or refuse to understand. I am sure Romney meant nothing racial in his remark. Black leaders need to get real and try to motivate some of their people to take advantage of the opportunities available to them today, as most Blacks have.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrust
Black leaders hate Republicans. To critisize Romney for that statement is stupid and politically motivated. He has been an outstanding governor, something Black leaders can^t or refuse to understand. I am sure Romney meant nothing racial in his remark. Black leaders need to get real and try to motivate some of their people to take advantage of the opportunities available to them today, as most Blacks have.

What Black leaders? We don't have leaders, we have individuals that are about themselves and try to use us when it is convienent.

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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrust
Black leaders hate Republicans. To critisize Romney for that statement is stupid and politically motivated. He has been an outstanding governor, something Black leaders can^t or refuse to understand. I am sure Romney meant nothing racial in his remark. Black leaders need to get real and try to motivate some of their people to take advantage of the opportunities available to them today, as most Blacks have.
only way the gov didn't know that term was derogatory was if he has spent his life with his head up his ass and I know you are not saying that.

Also, people should get upset that a public official is using a term that 'epitomizes' the hate and discrimination black people have felt in the history of the United States.

Words have power and if anyone knows that it would be a politician.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:46 PM
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What Black leaders? We don't have leaders, we have individuals that are about themselves and try to use us when it is convienent.
because white leaders lead everybody but black leaders only lead black people.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2006, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabuki
I don't think any politician would be stupid enough to use a term like tar baby if he or she knew what it meant. It is tantamount to political suicide. Clearly an error of ignorance on the part of the Gov., not racism.
I guess the point I was trying to make was that this sort of thing happens quite often. How many times have we heard, over the years, where a political figure, sports figure, radio personality or host, makes a remark like this and then isuue the same 'ol excuse?...:
Quote:
"...he didn't know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet."
We're talking about BOSTON, Massachusetts after all. And I personally experienced this very same mentality when I visited, so I'm not surprised.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabuki
What is truly troubling is that it is probably not the first time he has used it. People don't whip out a brand new word for fund raising speeches. The fact that his peers, family, and colleagues either didn't know, or didn't care, or didn't bother to tell him how heinous tar baby is, is the truly troubling part of it.
Exactly!
However, I'm of the mind that he did know, but that he may have felt 'untouchable' for some reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabuki
Are people so insulated and ignorant in their own worlds? I guess so.
This sort of thing happens all the time. What it demonstrates is out-and-out arrogance on the part of the offender. He/she knows that nothing will be done becomes he/she is surrounded by supporters who will vouch for his/her personal integrity.

Honestly, this sort of thing no longer bothers or disturbs me. I just mark it down as insensitivity or ignorance, and if they are a local representative, not vote for 'em.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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