Mitt Romney made a significant gaffe during last night’s debate, which many people missed or later forgot about: He actually quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to support his views on U.S. government’s debt.
Yes, that’s the same Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is developing nuclear weapons; the same extremist who brutally crushed a popular uprising by his own people, vowed to wipe Israel off the map, and denied the Holocaust.
During a discussion at last night’s debate about the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring, Romney suddenly pivoted to the issue of the American government’s debt and Ahmadinejad’s view of it.
“Promoting the principles of peace has fallen to America. We didn't ask for it. But it's an honor that we have it. But for us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong," Romney said. "And that begins with a strong economy here at home. Unfortunately, the economy is not stronger. When the—when the president of Iraq—excuse me, of Iran, Ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that's a frightening thing.”
Ahmadinejad was quoted last week as predicting the collapse of the “U.S. empire” due to a combination of a massive debt and loss of legitimacy within the international community.
"How long can a government with a $16 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” he asked at a Wednesday press conference in Kuwait. "The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”
He continued, “An empire, or a government, remains in power so long as the people under its power support it, but today the Americans have acted in a way that the world nations do not like them at all, and therefore, their international legitimacy is annihilated."
What makes Ahmadinejad an expert on U.S. debt? Doesn't he know that the U.S. debt as a share of GDP peaked during World War II? And we know how that turned out. And how's that booming Iranian economy doing Mr. Ahmadinejad?
So, this is who Romney turns to for wisdom on the U.S. debt crisis.
Imagine if President Barack Obama, the alleged Kenyan-born Muslim, had used Ahmadinejad’s words against Romney during the debate. What would the far-right have said then?