WASHINGTON — In the span of one morning, top Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu referred to President Obama as dumb and stupid, called the Chicago political culture from which he came “corrupt,” brought up Obama’s admitted use of marijuana as a kid in Hawaii, resurfaced the name of Tony Rezko — the jailed financier with ties to Obama — and then questioned the president’s Americanness.
It was a tour-de-force performance for the former New Hampshire governor, whose demonstrated willingness to throw punches has made him the wartime consigliere for the Romney campaign. But moments after Sununu said on a conference call Tuesday morning that he wished Obama “would learn how to be an American,” he tried to clarify and downplay the remark.
“What I thought I said but I guess I didn’t say is that the president has to learn the American formula for creating business,” Sununu said. “The American formula for creating business is not to have the government create business.”
Sununu’s meandering explanation that he instead was referring to Obama’s economic credentials seems a sign that the Romney campaign is still searching for a strategy to direct the political conversation away from Romney’s tax returns and his time at Bain Capital. But the idea that Sununu had misspoken seemed to conflict with an earlier appearance he made on Fox News in which he unleashed similarly personal swipes against the president, including hitting his past admission of smoking marijuana as a teenager in Hawaii.
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