U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for the banning of Instagram today, apparently under the misapprehension that the popular photo sharing app is used for measuring quantities of illegal street drugs.
The former Massachusetts governor was speaking at a retirement home in Florida, part of a last-minute campaign swing before Monday’s presidential debate.
He used the opportunity to discuss crime and substance abuse – issues that have not featured prominently in the campaign thus far, but disproportionately worry older voters.
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Romney took a tough no-tolerance stance, claiming Obama has overseen an unsettling relaxation of drug policy:
“This country is seeing an epidemic of drug use and drug related violence. Thousands of kids are dying every week from marijuana overdoses and heroin fueled mass shootings.”
“And its not just in the bad neighborhoods. Kids from good backgrounds are getting caught up too.”
“I’ve just heard about this application – a mobile application for your iPhone And what you do is place a small amount of cocaine, or marijuana, or PCP on top of your phone and the application instantly tells you how many grams you have.”
“Its called Instagram. And do you know what the really scary thing is people? I’m told this instant drug measurement tool is the 9th most downloaded app for the iPhone.”
“I visited the University of Florida recently. And everyone in the halls was talking about their Instagrams and how much they were sharing their ‘dope pics’ with their friends. They don’t even try to hide it anymore. Under Obama dope has become an acceptable part of the culture.”
Romney then tried to link this imaginary drug problem to Obama’s economic policies, and suggested a Romney alternative:
“This is what the youth of Obama’s America look like. Out of work. Up to their eyeballs in debt. And hopeless, they turn to their Instagrams to sell and consume drugs.”
“Well when I am President we’ll get our kids off their iPhones and into good paying jobs. And then we must ban this Instagram to make it harder for our children to fall into the trap of illegal substances.”