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Keller @ Large: Patrick’s Jaw-Dropping Bad Line

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Deval Patrick at the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Deval Patrick at the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-keller2 Jon Keller
Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS) – If you missed it last night, Gov. Patrick was a featured speaker at the Democratic Convention here in Charlotte. And he did his usual fine job, delivering his pro-Obama stump speech with characteristic verve.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:


He told a nice anecdote about the turnaround at the Orchard Gardens Elementary School in Boston, where he visited a class of first-graders who recited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech, then expertly answered questions about the meaning of it.

And if he played a little loose with the facts about Mitt Romney’s time in office here, most of his criticisms were fair, and after all, the Republicans haven’t let facts get the way of their anti-Obama critique too often, either.

But there was one passage in the governor’s remarks that crossed the line between rhetoric and fantasy.

“All that today’s Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions, and wait, all will be well,” he said. “Never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with!”

Now, I suppose you could make the case that tax cuts are irresponsible. If so, I wonder why so many of the president’s supporters are touting the tax cuts on his watch?

But the notion that shrinking government “got us into recession” is a non-sequitor. In fact, I hear most reasonable people deploring the economic impact of runaway spending and debt.

As for the crushing of unions, what does he even mean by that?

Is that a reference to Wisconsin, where union power and benefits have been curbed by elected officials with the approval of the public – a tougher version of what happened right here on Gov. Patrick’s watch with the municipal health care reforms?

It seems to me there’s plenty of blame to go around for the policies that contributed to our economic problems. To claim otherwise is baby talk.

And it was jarring to hear it coming from an adult like the governor.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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