I don’t know how closely any of you follow the news, be it political or not, but GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been having an awful campaign. Like, seriously. Since its inception, no one really wanted him as the nominee, and he had gaffe after ridiculous gaffe, but his gaffes were outshone by the gaffes of others and his money blasted through all the other candidates like they were wet tissue paper.
Then, once he pretty much became the de facto nominee, he proceeded to continue slipping up all over the place. He got caught lying. He got the United Kingdom pissed off at him. It’s been a painful cycle. But, money and time does wonders, and people have let his screw ups slip into the back of their minds.
But the closer it gets to election day, the harder it is for Americans to simply forget these screw-ups. People will likely remember Clint Eastwood’s odd Republican National Convention speech for years. Romney’s failure to actually give any details on his policy at the convention was glaring, and people are starting to notice that he refuses to give details in any venue. Maybe he’s saving them for the debates, but he’s losing the interest of independents by the minute.
Last week, he made a crass, stupid and unnecessary comment about the tragedy in Libya that upset many people and broke his own promise to not make any personal attacks on President Barack Obama on Sept. 11. That outlined his complete naivete when it comes to foreign policy and his inability to properly handle a crisis.
But then, today, news broke out of something else he said that ruins his financial image, the one thing he’s been hanging his hat on since day one.
It started with a damaging video this weekend about how, while at Bain Capital, Romney went to China to help with the potential purchase of a factory there. The video, taken secretly at a high-dollar private fundraiser, puts a blemish on Romney’s tales of not sending jobs to China and also makes him look like a hypocritical fool, thinking of business before human rights. Sure, he’s trying to say “Americans have it easy,” I suppose, but it certainly doesn’t come off sounding that way, especially since he seems to buy the stories about the towers keeping people out. Which doesn’t seem highly likely.
But then, moving to today, another secret fundraiser video was taken. This video has a LOT to say.
Of course, there are many in the GOP that are actually okay with the things Romney said here. Considering it’s about slamming Obama inaccurately, but it’s all stuff that they’d already generally agree with, that’s understandable. But there’s a reason Romney was saying this stuff in a private fundraiser and not on the campaign trail: Because it sounds terrible to everybody else.
The video, broken up into a series of videos, has two main points to pull away, I think. First, it’s that Romney has absolutely no idea what’s going on when it comes the finances and the market.
“They’ll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I’m going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president’s going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you’re talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a ‘Taxageddon,’ as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can’t work together, it’s—it really is frightening.”
Allow me to pull out the good parts.
“[…] but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, […] we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected.”
He touts how the market would react to his getting elected. Then, in the immediately following train of thought, he admits that he “can never predict what the markets will do.”
Well! Sign me up! That sounds like a guy that knows what he’s doing.
The second major takeaway, the one that most people are getting from this video, is Romney’s complete disdain for about 50 percent of the country. In the video, Romney talks in length about the people that will vote for Obama… he initiates a class warfare similar to the one Republicans have tried to say Obama’s been perpetuating. Obama is separating classes by demanding more from the rich. Romney is separating classes by writing off 47 percent of Americans, the lower class, as a lost cause to be ignored.
There are already many who are pointing out how massively false and misleading Romney’s statements are, but this is the campaign that said they weren’t going to be letting fact checkers dictate how they run this thing. Who needs facts, anyway? Others have pointed out that Romney’s suggestions that people wanting food and shelter are (implied lazy and) looking for entitlement is extremely unpalatable. It’s like a “let them eat cake” moment. Or a moment where Romney basically says, “Let the starving starve.”
The thing is, from his point of view, it’s all about math. He just needs that 270th electoral college vote. That’s it. So he’s gerrymandering his campaign. He’s abysmally low in popularity among blacks, Hispanics and every other racial minority, and he isn’t doing great with women or the poor. But he’s got a cold, hard game of calculations that leads him to think all he needs to do is appease a very specific demographic, and damn all the rest.
The problem is, the president, once president, is president of the entire United States. Sure, you may not get many votes from the poor, minorities or women… but that doesn’t mean you write them off in your campaign promises.
I suppose, technically, Romney’s last asset is that he’s not Obama. But with everything that he’s been saying, and all the other assets he’s been burning behind him, even that’s starting to look more like a problem than a benefit.