Well, that was dumb:
Romney continues his habit of making politically tone-deaf statements. Here, he says he’s not concerned about the “very poor.” This is not surprising to anyone who pays attention to his economic policy proposals, but it’s not really something he should say out loud unless his son made a birthday wish that compelled him to tell the truth for a day.
Romney does state that he’s not concerned about the “very rich.” However, that’s about as true as “People” magazine saying it doesn’t care about celebrity gossip. Besides, as the past 30 years indicate, the country is clearly doing its best for the wealthy.
Romney stresses that his focus is on the middle-income voters who are truly suffering as a result of the Obama years. He seems to miss the fact that the big fear these voters have is sinking into poverty. Once there, Romney has a Scrooge-like regard for their issues. There’s a “very ample” safety net for them. They have “food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers.” Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Much like Scrooge, Romney probably isn’t fully aware of the day-to-day struggles of people caught in this “safety net.”
It takes a great deal of cognitive dissonance to accuse President Obama of “dividing the nation” and engaging in “class warfare,” as Romney has charged, for daring to discuss the country’s growing income inequality while blatantly demonstrating disregard for the poor. Is this the type of unifying rhetoric he expects will cause the lower, middle, and upper classes to join hands and sing songs of brotherhood and love?
I imagine the Romney campaign’s spin would go something like this: Unlike Democrats, who want a permanent underclass that is dependent upon them so that they can retain power, Romney wants the poor to strive for the middle-income status that will arouse a passing interest from him. Only problem is that repealing the Affordable Care Act isn’t going to help the poor, nor are continued tax breaks for the so-called “job creators” who are not actually required to create jobs and are usually rewarded for not doing so.
This is not how you deal with poverty in the U.S. This is how you behave when you’re popular in high school: “Hey, fat girl, lose some weight and I’ll invite you to my parties and sort of be your friend.”
It’s unfortunate. You’d think that after creating so many poor people during his time at Bain Capital, Romney would have a bit more pride of ownership regarding them.