There’s really nothing to say about Pat Robertson‘s latest degrading and over-the-top comments, other than to condemn them as out of touch and obnoxious.
But what should his weekend guest, one Mitt Romney, do in response?
This is another example of how an individual or organization can splatter well-intentioned people and link them to a crisis by association.
Robertson, long known for idiotic, fundamentalist views belched another yesterday. He told an unhappy husband who called his television show to complain about his wife that he should convert to Islam so he could beat her. This is so wrong on so many levels that we might want to dismiss Robertson for irrelevancy he is.
Yet his weekend guest was the Republican presidential nominee. Like Rep. Todd Akin, whose comments about rape and abortion made major headlines two weeks ago, Romney is tainted by those with whom he associates.
What should Romney’s handlers do? Just what they did after Akin’s crisis. Disassociate the candidate from Robertson’s sentiments, in clear, strong and forthright terms.
Robertson’s slurs against Islam and his advocating beating women into obedience are medieval.
The problem Romney faces is that these fringe expressions that should outrage everyone who hears them keep getting associated with him because he is close philosophically with the speakers, and because he’s trying to rally a conservative base that finds his views and credentials too centrist.
We’ll see if Romney gets dragged into this mess, but it can’t be good news for his campaign to have his supporters express such outlandish and dangerous views.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.