You’ll have to ask ABC News. I actually listened to the tape.
Either way, Romney continues to intentionally deceive.
But wait. No doubt you can provide a lengthy discourse on the newly-revised meaning of the English words “endorse” and “support” according to the Romney Dictionary of the English Language (Abridged).
1. approval or sanctionThose are the closet definition meanings to the usage of the term in political speech.
3. formal and explicit approval; "a Democrat usually gets the union's endorsement" [syn: sanction]
7a.To aid the cause, policy, or interests of: supported her in her election campaign. 7b.To argue in favor of; advocate: supported lower taxes.That's the best definition related to politics.
So as you can see, "endorsement" is a formal term for an expression of generally exclusive approval of a candidate, implying that people of like mind should vote for the candidate.
Support is an action taken to advance the cause of a candidate, without an explicit request to vote for the candidate.
This is not a meaningless distinction. There are organizations who cannot "endorse" a candidate, but who can provide support.
For example, We all know that Rush Limbaugh has NOT endorsed any candidate. But Mitt Romney would be correct to note that Rush has supported his candidacy, as would Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani.
Rush supports all the candidates who agree with his idea of conservatism, and endorses none of them.
The ABC quote is wrong, but by tomorrow I'll be correcting people who will say "But this time Romney said "endorse"", when he actually didn't.
A candidate would never use the term "support" if he got an actual endorsement, because "endorsement" is the term for a formal statement of acceptance. So while it is true that "endorsement" is a form of support, there are other forms of support which fall short of an endorsement.
In libel law, one of the criteria for determining if something is a lie is to determine the probability that people would have misunderstood. Since in this case the endorsement would be common public knowledge, and the campaign specifically said they did not mean "endorsement", it is clear that "support" was not meant as "endorse".
It is also clear that Romney now is quite interested in claiming the NRA's approval, when he previously did not. That would have been a rational argument to make, but this "he claimed an endorsement" is just silly.