What Mitt Romney Really Said
Lost in the reporting of Mitt Romney’s secretly-taped insult remarks – seemingly aimed at seniors and soldiers and people who work the crummy jobs – is his true target. Romney was trying to demonize Democrats. To him, the Democrats are all lazy, and shiftless and parasitic. Otherwise, they’d be voting for him.
This is a hugely common Republican fairytale meant to explain away why so many conservatives are not rich: Blame the poor! Now Romney is trying to use it to explain away his own weaknesses. Mitt tells it like this:
“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.”
(Romney also said that independents are emotional voters, a silly idea that we leave to other writers to slaughter. Let’s not get distracted.)
The claim lacks factual basis. Of the people who voted in the last presidential election, half of those who make over $50,000, over $75,000 and over $100,000 voted for President Obama. In fact, Romney’s claim is statistically impossible. Only about 15 percent of Americans are poor. That's hardly enough voters to fill up a party even if they all voted “D”, which they don’t. Most don’t even vote.
Confused yet? Well, let me connect the dots for you. Take a man, any man who’s grows up never doubting that any American who works hard enough can be rich. He never doubts that this American Dream will come true for him. So he works really hard. And right around middle age, he finds himself not so much better off than where he started. That day he wakes up gob-smacked by the realization that he worked hard – really, really hard – but he didn’t get rich. Worse yet, he is not even better off than his dad.Continued on the next page