Say Bye, Bye Mr. American Pie, This’ll Be the Day the Romney Campaign Died

By Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, a “secret” video picturing current Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was released by Mother Jones, a well-known online news source (About Mother Jones). In the video, Mitt Romney spoke candidly to a private group of supporters in Boca Raton, Florida about himself, his family, his perspectives of President Obama, and, most notably, his views of President Obama’s supporters.

Romney said some interesting and extremely offensive things about the “47%” of people who are likely to vote for Obama in the November elections sometimes calling them “victims,” “entitled,” and people who do not take “personal responsibility and care for their lives.” So, were you one of those people, like myself, who didn’t even bat an eye upon hearing this news? Were you completely underwhelmed with the mass hysteria which resulted from this breach of secrecy in the Romney Campaign? I have a lot to say about the things he said but I can’t say they shocked me at all.

Mitt Romney was raised about as “American Pie” as it gets. He grew up pretty wealthy in Detroit, Michigan. He was wealthy enough to go to Harvard twice, for an MBA and a JD. He had a father with a long history in the American automobile industry and, later, state politics. His father, George Romney, was an inherently authentic man who was unwavering in his beliefs, whether political or moral.

And, throughout Mitt’s many campaigns, he has attributed his father with much of his fervor and desire to hold political office. But, Mitt Romney is no George Romney. American national elections circa 1960 really hold no candle to the shameless politicking of today. And, Mitt learned from his father’s example that being earnest, forward, and truthful could kill a campaign before it even began (Source). So, here is what we’re left with. A “Rombot” who holds secretive meetings in mansions with people who already like him talking about everyone who may or may not vote for him with vitriol and disdain.

Here is Romney’s spectacle.

Romney Fundraiser Video, Part 1 (36:39)

Commentary on Part 1: Again, not surprising right? A few things are worth noting.

  • Romney’s perspective on immigration – he made a concerted effort to mention immigration issues in his fundraising speech. Apparently Romney thinks that if he were Mexican, he’d “have a better shot at winning this.” This is an interesting comment especially since Hispanic voters have resoundingly rejected Romney (Source). Such a disparaging remark does little to help Romney’s impression among this growing voting bloc.
  • Romney’s perspective on Elizabeth Warren – he mentioned that she is at most “1/32nd” Cherokee which isn’t enough for Romney to count as Cherokee apparently. These unnecessary comments just further illustrate Mitt’s lack of concern for racial sensitivity.
  • Romney’s perspective on family’s that can’t afford to send all the kids to college – he made it seem like a rarity for families to only have enough money to send one kid to college. And, when speaking about how Ann Romney’s family had to work together to send her brother, he quipped that he’d “never do that for [his] brother.” Then, the entire room gave a hearty chuckle. This further elucidates concerns that Romney is out of touch with average Americans.
  • Romney’s perspective on Chinese indentured labor – he noted that he learned that many young women worked in factories when he visited China to potentially buy a factory himself while working for Bain & Co. He said that there were 12 women to a room sleeping on bunk beds. And, “people want to work [there] so badly.” Again, not much to say here except wow maybe.
  • Romney’s perspective on taxes and social programs – he believes that with state tax, income tax, and social welfare programs “you end up having to take 100 percent of people’s income.” This is a blatant over generalization and it is extremely misleading. Taxes are currently the lowest they’ve been for those in the highest tax bracket since 1992 and for everyone else since the 1960s (Source).
  • Romney’s perspective on the conflict in the Middle East – he made sweeping generalizations about the Israel/Palestine conflict when he notes that he sees “Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway.” This is an example of his limited understanding of foreign affairs and the historical vantage points of Israel and Palestinian actors.
  • Romney’s perspective on race politics  – he, again, brought up race in that he noted that if the “Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.” This statement implies that Black support of the Democratic Party is bad for America. And, if Hispanics support Democrats, then the nation is in further danger. Repeatedly, Romney has accused President Obama of race-baiting, but here, we see that he actually has racially driven perspectives that are damaging to Blacks and Hispanics. And, the voting public is split on the use of racial politicking in the presidential race (Source). So, his overt use of race as a line of demarcation between political parties does little to build the coalitions many experts say are needed to promote good policy.
  • The big one, Romney’s perspective of the “47%” – This one needs no explanation. Romney literally said, “all right, there are 47 percent who are with [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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 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.” Wow. Umm, wow.

Romney Fundraiser Video, Part 2 (31:04)

Commentary on Part 2: He got a little more comfortable and a little more honest.

  • Romney on “Karl Rove Equivalents” – he explained that he “didn’t realize these guys in the US, the Karl Rove equivalents, they do races all over the world. In Armenia. In Africa. In Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his races. So they do his races and see which ads work and which processes work best and, uh, we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign. I’d tell them to you, but I’d have to, you know, shoot ya.” Wow, he sounds so familiar here. He sounds like that one guy who was POTUS a few years ago. You know, the one whose name shall never be uttered. Starts with a “DUB” and ends with a “YA.”
  • Romney’s perspective of President Obama’s campaign tactics – he seems to think that President Obama is the only person who thinks he is a “bad guy” for making a profit off of other people’s loss. Mitt said “what he’s going to do by the way is try and vilify me as someone who’s been successful. Or who’s closed business or laid people off—an evil, bad guy. And that may work.” You know why it may work? Because it is true. Take the GST Steel Plant for example. Romney’s company made a large profit while employees lost benefits and pensions (Source). President Obama doesn’t have to “make” Romney look any particular way. Romney has done a great job making himself look like a money hungry vulture all on his own.
  • Romney’s perspective of Whoopi Goldberg – to further reiterate his lack of care for ALL Americans, Romney notes that the show, The View, has several hosts. He said “four are sharp-tongued and not conservative, Whoopi Goldberg in particular. Although last time I was on the show, she said to me, ‘You know what? I think I could vote for you.’ And I said, ‘I must have done something really wrong.'” Right Mitt, when a non-conservative Black woman wants to vote for you, you’ve done something wrong. Probably been honest and straightforward or talked about policy or something. I mean, those things might make someone dissimilar from your normal supporters want to vote for you.
  • Romney’s perspective on being poor  – he really was feeling the crowd so he made the comment, “you know that I’m as poor as a church mouse.” Mitt made a funny. Congrats Mitt.

If you prefer to read the entire transcript, please see it here.

Well, to put it simply, all I could think of while watching this was “duh.” We all know how Romney feels about President Obama’s supporters who are more likely to be minority, lower to middle-class, young, and less well-established than the well-to-do audience Romney was speaking to. Let me explain why I was so thoroughly unsurprised when I heard this news.

First, back in February, Mitt told us he was “not concerned about the very poor” (Source). He then attempted to save face and explain the comment but the damage was already done. What he was saying then, which has only been reiterated in his recently exposed video, was that he believes that certain classes of people in this country are protected by social welfare programs. You know, poor people, students, older people, women, heck, pretty much everybody. Well, those are the people he is the least concerned about. Mitt was showing his seams even back then.

Second, Mitt is a devout Mormon, who once was a Bishop in the Mormon Church, and his faith certainly colors his political leanings (Source). And, although this facet of his character should not be politicized, I will speak of it delicately to emphasize an important point. The Rolling Stone piece above notes that this faith teaches that the “Negro” is “cursed.” So, Mitt was a lay leader of a Church whose doctrine proclaims that Blacks are inherently bad and not worthy of the grace of God.

Similar comparisons may be made with President Obama’s Christian background and its stark teachings against homosexual relationships. But, the one thing that differs between the two men is that President Obama has openly expressed his support of LGBT rights. He has also upheld his promise to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or DADT. Mitt, on the other hand, continues to make comments and gestures that not only undermine his attempt to win over ALL Americans, they also ostracize and alienate those very Americans who are “cursed” under his religious doctrine. Coincidence? Probably not.

Overall, Romney presented himself like the arrogant, fraud that he is and has been for some time now. And, the saddest part to me was the enthusiasm and laughter from his well-off, “higher-than-thou” audience. On several occasions, they chimed in with witty retorts about women and minorities that most would never say in public. But, no one asked Romney how he would fix Medicare or help create jobs or what his plans were to rebound the economy. You know why? Because they didn’t and still don’t care about any of that. They just want to win.

And, if that means that the 47% gets left in the dust, so be it. As we, because I guess I am included in that 47% as well, are all pushed off of the economic, educational, and social maps, we will probably just land gently in the soft spools of cottony fiber wound into our social safety nets. And everything will be fine. Why? Because someone should be taking care of us. We don’t want to work hard. We don’t want to earn our living. We just want to mooch and freeload. Right?

I actually used to like Romney a lot. He did some amazing things in Massachusetts like healthcare expansion and deficit control (Source). This could quite possibly be the end of his campaign though.When he ran against McCain in 2008, he seemed like someone who genuinely cared about ALL of his constituents. But now, Romney is drunk on the D.C. Circuit Kool-Aid. He’s high on the Washington Wind Pipe. And, I don’t think he’s ever coming down y’all…say bye bye. No more Mr. American Pie…this’ll be the day the Romney campaign dies.

What say you Water Cooler Community?

Title adapted from Don McLean’s “American Pie” (1971)
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Jenn M. Jackson

Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief
Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.

7 Responses

  1. Cynthia Padilla says:

    Very well stated….wow!

  2. Magic John says:

    To add to the conversation I want to point you to another blog who goes into more detail about the 47%, albeit in a slightly more humorous manner. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/09/18/hey-i-dont-have-to-pay-income-tax/

  3. Thanks Sir, read it, loved it. Cool take on this recent bit of political gold.

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