Olympic heroes can be stripped of their medals for certain reasons. It looks like Santorum today just stripped the title of Olympic hero from Mitt Romney. According to Wikipedia, “Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and helped turn the troubled games into a financial success.”
“On the trail, Romney frequently invokes his experience heading the Olympic effort in stump speeches. Romney became head of the Olympic games in early 1999, after financial scandal threatened to hurt the games’ credibility, and has been widely credited with the event’s turnaround. The reversal of the games’ fortunes fits neatly into his campaign resume as a successful businessman and turnaround artist who, if installed in the White House, will, he argues, reverse what he says is the country’s decline.”
How did Mitt Romney do it? Cut expenses? Fire people? According to Rick Santorum he asked for a government to bail out of the games. Santorum stated yesterday:
“One of the things he talks about the most is how he heroically showed up on the scene and bailed out and resolved the problems of the Salt Lake City Olympic games,” Santorum said, as a few in the tea party audience chuckled. “He heroically bailed out the Salt Lake City Olympic games by heroically going to Congress and asking them for tens of millions of dollars to bail out the Salt Lake Olympic Games – in an earmark. In an earmark for the Salt Lake Olympic Games.”
The Romney campaign has not denied these allegations. But they were quick to respond.
“Sometimes when you shoot from the hip, you end up shooting yourself in the foot,” said spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “There is a pretty wide gulf between seeking money for post-9/11 security at the Olympics and seeking earmarks for polar bear exhibits at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Mitt Romney wants to ban earmarks, Senator Santorum wants more ‘Bridges to Nowhere.’ ”
Romney has claimed that he is against government bail outs. He has been stumping this week in Michigan claiming he was against the Detroit auto bail out. He has attacked Santorum on earmarks. Now the headlines are that Romney was for a bail out of the Olympics. Now Santorum has put the spotlight on the fact that Romney asked for government money. Looks like a knock down. We need to count to 10 (days) to see if it is a knockout. Michigan may be a knockout.