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Romney's 'Corporations' Comment Not Incorrect, But Not Smart Politics, Either Romney's 'Corporations' Comment Not Incorrect, But Not Smart Politics,...

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Politics

Romney's 'Corporations' Comment Not Incorrect, But Not Smart Politics, Either

August 11, 2011

Mitt Romney's not expected to compete heavily in Iowa. But that doesn't mean he isn't making news in the Hawkeye State.

"Corporations are people too, my friend," the former Massachusetts governor said in a testy exchange at the Iowa State Fair's soapbox Thursday. He was responding to a question about corporate tax rates. As some in the crowd began to boo and heckle, Romney added, "of course they are! Everything corporations earn ultimately go to people!"

He's not technically wrong -- the legal doctrine of "corporate personhood" grants businesses many of the same rights as people. Corporations are, after all, formed by individuals -- a point Romney went on to make. The doctrine of corporate personhood had a major impact on the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision, which allowed political action committees to raise and spend unlimited funds providing they don't coordinate with a candidate or a campaign.

But that doesn't mean it was a good decision to say it. Romney is in Iowa today for tonight's GOP presidential debate, but isn't participating in Saturday's Ames Straw poll and isn't expected to invest as heavily in Iowa as he did in 2008. He's been maintaining a low profile and Thursday he strayed from that course, and more or less handed Democrats an opposition ad.

Here's another reminder that a statement's truth value doesn't always correlate to how it plays politically. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., learned that in 2008 with his "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," comment.

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