2014-10-09 / Columns

Creditability issues or just more political hogwash

By Tim Skubick

Normally the use of the words “hogwash and flat-out lie” would not warrant a dissertation on the impact of each word on a political campaign because those words get tossed around all the time by career politicians.

Ah but when those terms are uttered for the first time by a gentleman who rarely engages in such lingo, you have to ask yourself what the heck got into Gov. Rick Snyder?

You know him as the happy-golucky relentless positive action guy who doesn’t blame anyone for anything but there he was blaming the Democrats for their “hogwash and flatout lie” characterization of his record.

You may have heard those D’s over the last three years decry the “billion dollar cuts to education” imposed by the sitting GOP governor.

He and his GOP pals refuted the claims but the Democrats keep pounding away.

The mild-mannered governor several months ago was asked point blank, “Are the Democrats lying when they make the billion dollar charge?”

The silly reporter asking the question knew this governor would never take the bait. He hasn’t publicly called anyone a liar since he’s been in office.

And sure enough he used the term misinformation instead. And continued with that until recently.

“Why did you change your rhetoric?” he was asked the other day.

“I would say it evolved in large part because they continued with it. And the way I view it, it’s not a big negative, people deserve the truth ... it’s misleading the voters.”

The governor has some media backup as he lays claim to his billion dollar increase not decrease for K-12 during his years in office.

But here’s the harsh media reality: When you go around saying the other side is dealing in “misinformation” the news media yawns. Slip in the words “hogwash and lies” and now you’ve got coverage coming out of your ears..

So back to the original question, why the sudden shift?

First of all, if you know anything about this governor, he doesn’t go off half-cocked about anything. He didn’t just willy-nilly decide to wing a new slogan to defend his record.

With the race very close his critics contend he needed to step-up his game and look liked he really wanted to win with the race so close.

“No. It just was that people lie,” he explains. If so, why didn’t he use the word two months ago?

“Well, enough is enough,” he concludes.

The senate Democratic leader has a different take.

“He’s scared. He’s finally really looking at the polls and realizing that he’s in trouble” and she has observed a “change in his temperament.”

Politically motivated or not, there have to be some GOP lawmakers running for re-election who are saying, “It’s about time.” Many of them depend on the top of the ticket to bring out their supporters and if the governor is not doing so hot, they get worried. One GOP senator confided the other day that was true.

EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn thinks with a six-point lead, the governor may be benefiting from a public which is not sure the Democrats are telling the truth on school funding and that could be hurting Mr. Schauer’s creditability especially with female independent voters who gravitate to the governor by a whopping 48-22 margin.

When Mr. Porn reported a tie in the governor’s race weeks ago the Snyder team called the results “garbage.” Now the Schauer campaign dumps all over the methodology used by Mr. Porn to get those alleged incorrect figures claiming the contest is still a dead-heat.

They can’t both be right.

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