Double Standards on Osama-Obama Gaffes: Romney vs. Kennedy

Mitt Romney mixed up Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden, and the Times has fun. But what happened when Ted Kennedy did the same thing?

GOP candidate Mitt Romney made a gaffe in Greenwood, S.C., when he mixed up Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden in a speech. The Times' Michael Luo had some fun with it:

"Senator Barack Obama rallying a global terror movement? Mitt Romney might have still been a bit bleary-eyed on Tuesday morning when he twice confused Mr. Obama with Osama bin Laden when referring to the latter's new recorded message for jihadists to fight in Iraq."

What Romney said:

"I think that is a position which is not consistent with the fact. Actually, just look at what Osam, uh, Barack Obama, said just yesterday, Barack Obama, calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. 'That is the battlefield. That is the central place. Come join us under one banner.'"

A harmless gaffe, but Luo squeezed a full story out of it, milking it for all the conflict he could.

"Kevin Madden, a campaign spokesman, said, 'Governor Romney simply misspoke,' calling the comment a 'brief mix-up.'

"Mr. Obama's campaign was not amused. 'Apparently, Mitt Romney can switch names just as casually as he switches positions,' said Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama."

By contrast, a Nexis search indicates the Times never mentioned the same gaffe made by another Massachusetts politician,liberal Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy (Obama's colleague) on January 12, 2005 in response to a question about lessons to be learned from Obama's victory.

"Why don't we just ask Osama bin - Osama Obama - Obama what - since he won by such a big amount." (H/t Ace for the reminder.)