Back in February, Mitt Romney stuck his ample silver foot in his mouth when he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” He went on to say, “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.”
Late Monday, Mother Jones released several video clips of a fundraiser where Romney (R-1 percent) tells weatlhy donors exactly what he thinks of those supporting President Obama. In one clip, he contradicts that botched expression of concern for the middle class. In fact, what the Republican presidential nominee said is reprehensible and unbecoming a man who claims to want to be president of all Americans.
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.
And, I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49 [percent], he starts with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years.
And so my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon, in some cases, emotion, whether they like the guy or not . . .
Mother Jones said it did not reveal the date of the fundraiser or its location in order to protect its source. But nothing should protect Romney from the avalanche of criticism already coming his way.
As Greg Sargent notes, “[T]he ranks of the oft-discussed 47 percent, many of whom pay no federal income taxes but do pay state and local taxes, are swelled with working class voters and seniors, and many of them are obviously Romney supporters — and hardly think of themselves as Big Government freeloaders.”
That one-minute-seven-second clip lays waste to Romney’s concern “about the very heart of America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Worse, it reveals it to be a lie. He couldn’t care less about them, it seems. That condescending clip shows a contempt for half the country that demands an explanation from Romney.