At a Georgia campaign event, the crowd booed at mention of Mitt Romney’s name by Barack Obama. Obama quickly responded: “Mr. Romney is a patriotic American.” When the crowd began to laugh at mention of Romney’s success in life, Obama quieted that too.
It is a touch of respectfulness that the campaign needs from both candidates. Americans are fervently divided over the choices for president. It leads to a poisoned political environment that spills into Congressional, state and local races. When the dislike turns to hatred, the civil nature of any democracy becomes at risk.
This is just a small correction by Obama. Hopefully, he continues to counter any attempts to demonize Romney. The same is true for Romney. In particular, Romney needs to counter some of the laughable conspiracies about Obama from the birthers to those who claim he has had drug-fueled gay encounters.
Both Obama and Romney can take a cue from John McCain, who directly confronted some of the rumors that hit his campaign. The most prominent is the woman who claimed that Obama was not an American but an Arab.