The Hill reports:
Mitt Romney weighed in for the first time on the Democratic platform initially removing the word "God," saying that was something he would never do.You know what happens now: the guy who claims he doesn't want to talk about anything but the economy is going to campaign on this God business nonstop for the next couple of weeks, until he discovers that, like his lies about welfare and "You didn't build that," it isn't shifting the polls. If it somehow does shift the polls, th entire fall campaign is going to be about that initial omission of "God" from the Democratic platform -- no, really, the entire campaign.
Romney began a campaign appearance in Virginia Beach, Va. on Saturday by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before turning to the platform controversy.
"That pledge says "under God," and I will not take God out of our platform," Romney said to cheers. "I will not take God off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart."
Now, I assumed he'd jump on the God thing. But I wasn't expecting the bit about the coins.
You know what that's a reference to? Something that happened long before Obama was elected.
During the Bush years, dollar coins with images of the presidents began to be minted. As FactCheck.org explained in 2009:
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 states: "The inscription of the year of minting or issuance of the coin and the inscriptions 'E Pluribus Unum' and 'In God We Trust' shall be edge-incused into the coin." The measure was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and with an overwhelming majority in the House, and quietly signed into law by President Bush on Dec. 22, 2005.So, during the Bush years, certain coins had "In God We Trust" etched into the edges, not on the front or back. That upset some folks. And then it turned out that some coins were iadvertently issued with no "In God We Trust" at all, even on the edges. That also upset certain folks (although the "godless dollars" became collectors' items). Then:
The U.S. Mint pointed out the unusual placement of the inscription when it began promoting the first of the coins in a publicity tour in early 2007. A news release issued Jan. 25, 2007, said: "For the first time since the 1930s, coin inscriptions such as 'E Pluribus Unum' and 'In God We Trust' will be prominently inscribed on the edge of the coins."
At the end of 2007, [Congress] inserted language in a huge appropriations bill saying that "In God We Trust" must appear on the obverse or the reverse ("heads" or "tails") of future coins.Remember: all this happened before Barack Obama became president. But as PolitiFact noted in its debunking of this rumor, in response to receiving a chain e-mail,
it appears that the bogus claim has been rekindled since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009.Yeah, I'll bet.
PolitiFact described the e-mail it received:
The e-mail has the standard ingredients of an Internet falsehood -- sloppy punctuation, an abundance of exclamation points, a plausible story ("I received one from the Post Office as change and I asked for a dollar bill instead"), a request to spread the e-mail far and wide ("Please send to all on your mailing list!!!") and screaming capital letters ("'IN GOD WE TRUST' IS GONE!!!").This is where Mitt Romney is now getting his talking points.
This also ties into a conniption fit the right had a while back, one that does involve Obama: In 2010, Obama said -- in Indonesia, no less -- that the motto of the United States is "E Pluribus Unum." This led to right-wing outrage, because the official motto of the U.S. (though only since 1956) is "In God We Trust."
(And here I'd like to interrupt: I bet if you went out into a random street anywhere in America and asked a hundred people what the official motto of the U.S. is, giving them those two choices, half of them would get it wrong, and nearly all of them would be guessing. Anyone willing to test this proposition would have my undying gratitude.)
A year after Obama said this, right-wingers were still trying to milk it: in November 2011, Republicans in the House held a vote on reaffirming that "In God We Trust" is the nation's motto (while the president's jobs bill languished).
And now Romney reminds us again that, for him as for congressional Republicans, it's all wedge politics, all the time.