“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. 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 America, the 90-95% of Americans that are struggling.”
Mitt is being taken apart for this comment, both by the Democrats and by his Republican opposition.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial staff commented in What Mitt Really Meant:
There’s a half-century of creative conservative thinking on antipoverty transfer programs, and it’s too bad Mr. Romney didn’t mention some of it. One note to strike is about growing dependency on government and its corrosive effect on human dignity. Refundable tax credits, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, food stamps and the like are almost 50% more generous than they were in 2007. That increase is for individual recipients, not the rise in overall spending (which tripled) due to more people caught in the recession.
As these means-tested subsidies phase out, they often lead to very high or even infinite marginal tax rates—i.e., the less well off can lose more than a dollar from the government if they earn an extra dollar. Thus can poverty become a trap. Mr. Romney might have said that his goal is to reduce these dependency rolls over time by removing the disincentives to work as the economy improves.
Mr. Romney’s failures to communicate are common among businessmen and other normal people who have the right instincts but haven’t spent their lives thinking about politics.
This furor over Mitt’s ‘insensitivity’ is plain BS. It is just noise. Do any of these moral supremacists really believe that Mitt does not care about the poor? Do they really believes he enjoys firing people, another supported gaffe (totally taken out of context) that had the hyper sensitive media frothing like fish to chum? These media pundits jump for joy at comments that when taken out of context and repeated seem to support their distorted view of reality. But they are so irrelevant to the greater issues that I doubt many viewers share their delight.
Mitt may have been ripe for attack, but the worker with a family of four who makes fifty or sixty thousand dollars, pays his taxes, but still has to shop frugally for his family while he watches grocery carts laden with items he can not afford paid for with Food Stamp debit cards- they understand Mitt just perfectly.
Neil Cavuto interviewed a woman on his show on 2/2/12 about how humor can be used effectively in campaigns as a retort to criticisms. Reagan was good at it. Perhaps Mitt should hire a few comedians.
Mitt may not be your first choice. It doesn’t matter. Similar attacks will follow whoever the GOP nominates. And we can lament Mitt’s lack of political sophistication that blinded him to how his every word and phrase can be blown into a political firestorm by an opposition that is far more clueless on how the world really works. It is far easier to attack the trivial and irrelevant that to face the failures of the current administration.