In a campaign year that seems more like a production of Comedy Central than a battle between two serious challengers, Campaign 2012 will go down in history as one which made us laugh, cringe, and cry…simultaneously. And you thought Campaign 2008, with Sarah Palin winking and gamboling about, was bizarre…
Ah, Mitt Romney. Is there some sort of disconnect going on between your brain and your mouth? Romney’s gaffes often go way beyond the maladroit of President George W. Bush. It almost seems as if Mitt Romney is always thinking aloud, sans filter and self-editing. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: George W. Bush is not and never was an idiot; he was extremely adroit at presenting himself as simple, a regular guy, in order to connect with middle class voters. Dubya was born with a platinum spoon in his mouth yet he had the ability to make you believe the spoon was actually made of tin. Okay, so he mispronounced ‘nuclear’ and said things like “Too many OB/GYN’s aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country” and “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Okay, that last one, I contend, was GWB’s attempt at humor. Admit it, it gave you a chuckle. Sure, George W. Bush sucked at being president, but he always appeared to be a rather affable dude. I’m pretty sure that Mitt Romney would suck as bad as POTUS, except that he just isn’t…well…likeable. At all. The nervous, soft chuckles after Romney has said something conciliatory gives me the creeps. But I digress…
To be fair, President Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, has entertained us with a few unintended zingers. Most memorable among them, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened’” (during the 2008 campaign) and more recently, “They’re (Republicans) going to put y’all back in chains.” As with many of Bush’s gaffes, Biden’s gaffes are just, well, friggin’ amusing. Unlike Mitt Romney, thinking aloud during one of the many marathon GOP primary debates, when accused by Governor Rick Perry of having undocumented workers in his employ, Romney blurted, “We went to the company and we said, ‘Look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals!” No need to read between the lines with that quote, ’cause basically, for Mitt, it would be just peachy if the lawn company he’d hired had undocumented workers on the payroll so long as he wasn’t running for office. Well, duh.
So, as if it weren’t bad enough that saber-rattling chicken-hawk Mitt Romney failed to praise U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, telling Fox News in an interview afterward, that he preferred to focus on issues that are ‘important’ (translation: U.S. troops are not important. Huh???), along comes this secret video, courtesy of Mother Jones Magazine, of a private fundraiser for Romney at the home of private equity mogul Mark Leder. The most damning quote:
“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…These are people who pay no income tax...[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
I reckon Governor Romney never gave any thought that perhaps the people serving food and refreshments to his noblesse oblige donor/supporters at the event might be members of the 47 percent that he considers to be worthless government-dependent bottom-feeders. And they have camera phones and YouTube accounts…and they’re pissed at being likened to freeloaders whilst working their arses off. After the resulting media shitstorm, in a (lame) attempt at damage control, the Romney campaign hurriedly put together a press conference — which, in Mitt’s case, could easily become a from-frying-pan-into-fire situation. In that, Mitt didn’t disappoint. Romney gave the ubiquitous “aw shucks”-toned excuses: He was only speaking “off the cuff” and the winner, that his remarks at the fundraiser were “not elegantly stated.” Oh, MAJOR understatement, Mitt. Just keep bein’ yourself, now. Then the kicker: Romney added that the comments in question were “snippets” taken out of context and that he hoped “the person who has the video would put out the full material.” The succession of loud thuds backstage were no doubt the sound of Romney campaign advisers pounding their foreheads against a wall, moaning, “Nooooooo….”
So, Mittens, Mother Jones is happy to oblige: here is the video in its entirety. Be careful of what you wish for.