Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Secret "Victims" Video Blows Up

In our recent radio show we raised the issue of why, with voters faced with massive income declines and stubbornly high unemployment, Mitt Romney has so far been unable to surpass President Obama's poll numbers. Not only is Romney staying ever so slightly behind President Obama but recent swing state polling data would seem to indicate that Romney might even be headed for an electoral college beatdown were the election to be held today.

Of course the election is not going to be held today but in November after the presidential and vice presidential debates and one more jobs report. So although Mitt Romney hasn't made tingles run up the legs of likely American voters the night isn't over and Mitt still might get lucky. This is despite the fact that some conservatives and Republicans are essentially edging away from him BEFORE the election while some normally Republican voters who hate President Obama are nonetheless resigned to voting for the President instead of Mitt Romney.

Sheryl Harris, a voluble 52-year-old with a Virginia drawl, voted twice for George W. Bush. Raised Baptist, she is convinced -- despite all evidence to the contrary -- that President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is Muslim.
So in this year's presidential election, will she support Mitt Romney? Not a chance.
"Romney's going to help the upper class," said Harris, who earns $28,000 a year as activities director of a Lynchburg senior center. "He doesn't know everyday people, except maybe the person who cleans his house."
Neither the President nor Romney is extroverted. Both men keep a close circle of friends and advisers, beyond which they don't venture willingly or for long periods of time. Doing so can be enervating. This is classic introverted behavior. I know because I am an introvert. But introversion doesn't mean you don't have a lot to say to and a lot to share with certain people. And recently Mitt Romney shared his strategy for winning with a small group of supporters. Thanks to Grand Central for bringing this to our attention. Mother Jones magazine infiltrated a recent Romney fundraiser (they won't confirm the location or timing) and took these videos of Romney. Romney said that President Obama started out with an advantage of poor voters who believed they were victims. Although Romney's statements were somewhat insulting and factually untrue, that's really almost besides the point. What I was fascinated by was the passion that animated his statements, though I vehemently disagreed with them.

Romney shows a heretofore unseen self-awareness and vigor. We see the calculation of the 1% businessman who knows that he must carefully market a message to suburban white independents and hopefully peel off a few Hispanics while holding on to his own lunatic fringe. The reason the lunatic fringe is both lunatic and well...a fringe is that they actually believe that their candidate should yell their slogans from the rooftop every chance he gets. Ironically if Romney loses this election it may well be because he veered too far to the right and never could connect to those middle swing voters. These videos do show that however unsure some conservatives might feel about Romney's bona fides on immigration, affirmative action, abortion or contraception when it comes to economic issues he is Mr. 1%. If Romney could put this energy in his campaign President Obama might have something to worry about. I'm happy the videos came out. Romney lays out what appears to be a cool contempt for poor voters, those that he thinks of as lazy. I am sure there will be some damage control around this but it's good to get things out on the table, I always say.

There are numerous problems with Romney's statements but honestly I currently lack the time to point all of them out. I will just say that most people who don't pay federal income taxes don't pay because they are either retired and living on Social Security payments or they are so doggone poor that they don't even earn enough to qualify to pay federal income taxes. That would be somewhere around $20,000/yr. Does Mitt Romney really think that people earning $20,000/yr need to pay more taxes?  Do you know anyone who is earning that kind of money who is happy because although they're poor they're not paying federal income taxes? Would you rather earn $20 million/yr and pay 13% in income taxes or earn $20,000/yr and pay nothing? If you have to think about your answer to that question you might be named Mitt Romney.

The other factoid which Romney left out is that in 2011 there were a fair number of Fortune 500 corporations which paid extremely low income tax rates, no income taxes at all, or in a few cases wound up owed money by the Federal government. There is also the unpleasant fact that the Federal government spends more money on corporate welfare than it does on social welfare.  Are those "people" victims? Should we ensure they pay higher taxes? Anyway there are numerous other issues that are raised by this that maybe we can discuss today.

1) Is insulting half the nation a winning election strategy?
2) Does Romney have it right that he essentially has no chance with poor or lower middle class voters?
3) Why isn't Romney running a better campaign?
4) If you were Romney's campaign manager how would you turn this thing around? Is it too late?
5) Should Romney apologize, clarify more or distance himself from these comments?
6) Is this much ado about nothing, since each candidate essentially ignores the other side's base?

blog comments powered by Disqus