There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Which contrasts nicely with this moment:
GOP front-runner Mitt Romney quickly sought today to clarify comments he made this morning about whether his campaign is focused on poor people.
In an interview on CNN this morning, Romney he’s not concerned about the plight of the country’s very poor because there are social safety nets that take care of them.
“I’m in this race because I care about Americans,” Romney told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien this morning after his resounding victory in Florida on Tuesday. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.”
“I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.”
By my maths, that means up to 142% of Americans are American.
By now, you’ve heard the outrage over Romney’s comments at a fundraiser which he assumed was private. Silly, when you think about it, in a day and age when James O’Keefe can entrap innocent people into making inocuous comments that are then carefully edited to mean something completely different, or when the President’s own realistic statement about infrastructure and business, “You didn’t build that!”, becomes a centerpiece lie of your campaign.
I suppose there’s a case to be made that the person who recorded the moment was a “trusted” entity, that he or she was there by invitation and expected to pony up significant money. Romney would be protected by a sort of “Fight Club” mentality that you don’t talk about what he said except to people who already know.
This moment reflects badly on Romney, to be sure, but it also reflects badly on the group he was speaking to that they were comfortable…well, most of them…hearing this and not tossing him out on his ear.
Think about that: there is a significant number of people with money and influence in this nation who believe that 155,000,000 Americans do not buy into the American Dream of hard work and frugality. And those people carry enough stroke to influence a Presidential election enough that either a candidate let his hair down and spoke from the heart or pandered mightily to them.
I’d like to think it was the latter, but even that’s the lesser of two evils: it still means that those folks hold sway over him and they actually believe nearly half this nation is sucking the government dry. And these are successful people. We can presume they know how to read (unlike our Teabagger bretrhen, many of whom– if not most– are among that 47%) and can do a little arithmetic.
Among these people are a hedge fund manager with a predilection for porn parties, and any number of hedge fund and venture capital managers, many of whom– like Romney– offshored and outsourced jobs that forced people onto the dole, in effect creating the very thing that they rail against.
“Victims,” indeed. Many, if not most, of the 47% have been victimized and can legitimately lay claim to that mantle, unlike Romney who will assuredly throw the victim card shortly. Through Ann, he’s laid claim to being poor enough to eat off an ironing board– subsisting on dividends and bond coupons, naturally.
The follow up tape, about the unacceptability of a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis, is more revealing of Romney’s character. A Presidential candidate would at the very least make the prediction that he will get fully engaged in the dilemma and try to work for a solution. If he was pandering in Boca, as Romney clearly was, he’d foreshadow that the solution would only be in Israel’s best interests.
The last thing a serious Presidential contender would claim is that he’d “kick that can down the road,” which is Romney’s precise metaphor.
Unless, of course, that’s what his audience of pussilanimous pudwhustles of pandering wanted to hear. It’s possible they did. It’s possible that they stand to make much more money off a stalemate that sees both sides arm while never really firing a shot in anger. It’s possible that Israel as a nation stands to benefit from the charity and goodwill of nations around the globe only if they remain perilously under threat from a “barbaric horde”…of their own creation.
There’s serious discussion in the Tweetosphere that Romney is not a serious candidate. I wonder. It would make sense that he’s using the Republican party as a springboard to a bigger hedge fund Rolodex.
(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind)