Bill Burton Slams ‘Phony’ Mitt Romney Over Southwest/Subway Slumming Tweets


This weekend, former Obama Spokesman and current Senior Strategist for Priorities USA Action Bill Burton attacked Mitt Romney as a “phony” for tweeting about his love of flying commercial, and of eating Subway sandwiches, in what Burton sees as an attempt to change his image with regular folk. In an email to reporters, Burton said the tweets show that Romney “is willing to do or say anything to become President, even if it means changing his positions, his appearance and his sandwich.”

In a Wednesday tweet via Foursquare, Romney praised the crew aboard his Southwest Airlines flight, and the next morning, tweeted about his breakfast:

Thanks @subwayfreshbuzz for breakfast. Better than the usual campaign diet of morning donuts

He even included the accompanying photograph, presumably taken after a staffer suggested he forego the silverware, and explained that “you eat it with your hands.”

Citing a report from The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas, Burton casts Romney’s tweets as an effort to remake his Thurston Howell image:

When Governor Romney decided that he would say or do anything to get elected, you have to imagine he didn’t think it would involve flying in non-private aircraft and eating at Subway.  In fairness, as someone who made a vast fortune laying off American workers his identity is indeed in need of a makeover.  (And quadrupling his beach home in an exclusive San Diego neighborhood isn’t exactly helping that effort.)

But in his attempted makeover, Governor Romney is simultaneously highlighting a key weakness: he is willing to do or say anything to become President, even if it means changing his positions, his appearance and his sandwich.

Massachusetts blog BlueMassGroup points out the real story here, though: Romney’s unforgivable donut dis. Dunkin’ Donuts is headquartered in Massachusetts, and Romney’s former company, Bain Capital, made a boatload of cash from its purchase of the donut giant. Plus, does Romney really think it’s a great idea to recommend healthy eating in a Republican primary?

Burton uses the “phony” Romney tweets as a hook to take swipes at rivals Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman, as well:

Governor Perry tried a different brand of phony this week, declaring himself AMERICA’S JOBS GOVERNOR in his literature.  As anyone who follows such things would know, Perry’s so-called “Texas miracle” was achieved in large part as a result of federal government investments and minimum wage jobs.

And, falling to an asterisk in polls, Jon Huntsman this week tried a phony and unseemly page out of the Romney playbook. While he is claiming to fill the moderate void in the Republican primary, he rolled out an economic plan that was pure right-wing extremism: massive tax cuts for the wealthy, ending Medicare, eliminating regulation on Wall Street and actually raising taxes on the poor and middle class. That Jon Huntsman claims this plan is moderate shows both how desperate his campaign is and how radical the Republican Party has become.

The fact that Romney, despite his fall in the polls against Rick Perry, is still generating oppo memos from Burton is a possible sign that Team Obama still views Romney as the biggest threat to win the nomination, and perhaps expects Texas Governor Rick Perry to flame out after his wildfire entry into the race. A lot can change in a year. It wasn’t all that long ago that the White House was worried about asterisk Jon Huntsman, who now functions more as an artificial sanity horizon for the rest of the Republican field.


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