Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Loose Lipped Romney Sinks Campaign Ship. For Good.

Folks, I'm officially calling the campaign today. Mark your calendars: on September 18th, the US Presidential election essentially became a formality.[1]

Why? Because Mitt Romney committed the most cardinal of political sins: he told people how he really felt.
During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

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.

Romney went on: "[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."

Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
Here's the video, which somehow makes the comments even worse, when you factor in his general tone of disdain.

There are plenty of problems with Romney's comment. I'll just take a stab at a few of them...
Not Paying Federal Income Taxes Doesn't Make You A Moocher. - Even if you don't pay Federal income taxes, there's a good chance you still work, because unless I missed a memo, the Federal unemployment rate is not a staggering 47%. Demonizing people who bust their asses and don't accept any entitlements as "entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it" is just wrong.

Many Of Those 47% Don't Vote For Obama, Or Even Democrats. - In fact, the largest majority of those who don't pay Federal income taxes reside in... wait for... red states. No, really, they do. So making "the 47%" analogous to "Obama supporters" is also factually incorrect.

Romney Thinks There Are Two Americas, And He Only Cares About One. - How else do you read the statement "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."?!? Clearly, he thinks those 47% are people he "cannot reach", which is an astoundingly ignorant statement. If you can't reach them, and you'll "never convince them", then you're probably not going to give half a sh*t about them should you get into office. Which you won't.

The Disdain For Those Who Don't Pay Taxes Is Disgusting. - Again, I repeat, the 47% are not all moochers. Most of them are employed, most are hard workers, they simply don't make enough each year to warrant additional tax payment to the Feds. So what does it say about a man who wants to lead this country that he sees this people as non-thinking, non-motivated slackers who simply want the government to do everything for them and nothing for themselves? How divorced from reality do you have to be the say such a thing, and why should such people consider you for President. BTW, might I reiterate, those 47% are no exclusively Democrats, nor are they solely in Obama's back pocket. They are Americans of all shades and ages. And they should be pissed at such an ignorant statement from a man who wants to lead this country.

Elitism Personified. - This just adds to the meme that Romney is a guy who was born on 3rd base and is astounded that everyone else is too lazy to score a run, overlooking the fact that many of them were (comparatively) born in the dugout. Romney also asserts that he "was born with a silver spoon", but also that "I have inherited nothing". Does this make sense to anyone? Bueller?

The Mexican Quip. - It's one thing to have a party that makes distrust and marginalization of Hispanics part of their national platform. It's another altogether to have the man running for President to say "Had I been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this", as if to assume that Hispanics aren't smart enough to understand the issues, and would only vote for a guy because he looks like them. That's so demeaning and dismissive that it's comical.
Of course, Romney tried to spin this one in a hastily called presser. Of course, he failed to do so.

Keep on' spinnin', buddy.

If I'm #TeamObama, I just take this motherlode of ignorant statements and loop them over and over on ads. No commentary necessary. Let the man's own words be his undoing.[2]

Question: Can Romney explain this away? Is this how he really feels? What will happen as a result? How should #TeamObama approach this?

[1] I know, that's not a boat. Whatever. I do think it's pretty nice of the Romneys to bring their Hispanic nanny along on family vacations though. See, he does embrace the 47%!!!!

[2] I'm sure someone's gonna try and draw a parallel between this and Obama's cringeworthy "cling to guns or religion" line in 08'. Save yourself the keystrokes. These two aren't even remotely in the same league of offense.

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