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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

 
Mitt's "reflection"

by digby

David Corn reports on Mitt Romney's ongoing flirtation with another losing presidential race and notes that Romney continues to flail about trying to explain why he said that 47% of Americans (all 145 million of 'em) are a bunch of moochers and looters. He goes over all the explanations, quasi-apologies, rationalizations and mea culpas he's made over the years. And then reveals a new one courtesy of Mark Liebovich who quotes him saying this:

Romney told me that the statement came out wrong, because it was an attempt to placate a rambling supporter who was saying that Obama voters were essentially deadbeats.

"My mistake was that I was speaking in a way that reflected back to the man," Romney said. "If I had been able to see the camera, I would have remembered that I was talking to the whole world, not just the man." I had never heard Romney say that he was prompted into the "47 percent" line by a ranting supporter.
Liebovich says he can't ever remember Romney saying this before and Corn can find no record of it. Corn concludes:
To recap: Romney has gone from side-stepping the remark, to owning the thrust of this comment (though noting it was not well articulated), to saying he was wrong, to denying he said what he said (and contending his words were distorted), to claiming he was only mirroring the rambling remarks of a big-money backer. This last explanation is certainly not fair to the 1-percenter who merely expressed his very 1-percentish opinion. Does this mean that Romney was thrown off his game by a simple question—or that he was trying to suck up to a donor?

In the two years since Romney was caught on tape, he just cannot come up with a clear explanation of an easy-to-understand short series of sentences that were responsive to the question presented. But there is one possible explanation he hasn't yet put forward: He said what he believed.

Actually, I think he did admit it. He just said that if he had known that what he was saying would be seen by whole world he wouldn't have said what he said. It's possible that Mitt is less honest in private than in public but that would make him a unique person indeed.

I'd guess that the only part of it he doesn't agree with is the number --- I'm sure he believes  it's much higher. He's rich so therefore anyone can become rich so if you aren't rich it's because you just don't apply yourself and work as hard. That's how conservative rich people think.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Corn provides the "rambling" question for you to judge:
"For the last three years, all everybody's been told is, 'Don't worry, we'll take care of you.' How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections, to convince everybody you've got to take care of yourself?"

Nothing rambling about that. There are dozens of ways Mitt could have answered that question even if he were "reflecting back" the man's attitude. There was nothing there about the 47% or the ignorant trope that almost half the country is a bunch of freeloaders who have no stake in the nation because they allegedly pay no taxes. Mitt brought that into it all by himself:

"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

And Mitt has a funny way of "reflecting back" this man's attitude. He was asked how he was going to convince voters that they would have to fend for themselves. Presumably even this man felt that they were part of the body politic and should be convinced. Mitt basically said, "to hell with them --- they're a bunch of losers an there's no point in even talking to them." That was as much a problem as the 47% comment itself --- the fact that he thought they weren't even worth his time to try to convince.

I hope Mitt runs. The 1% should have someone who personally embodies their concerns fighting it out among everyone else. It's clarifying.

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