This has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week for Mitt Romney. Last week, around this time, he jumped the gun on the embassy attacks in the Middle East, releasing a statement attacking President Obama for supposedly apologizing – even as the US consulate in Benghazi was under attack. So far, he appears to have scored exactly nothing from that in the polls. Considering that four Americans were killed, that seems very appropriate – unlike Romney’s statement.
Still, that situation is tragic for obvious reasons. Fortunately for us – and unfortunately for Mitt – we now have his secretly taped comments about how lazy half of the country is. This incident – which I think we should all call “lazy-gate” – came out of a private fundraiser from last May, which someone secretly taped. Mother Jones put out the video earlier this week. For everyone who has been crying into their Molson over the NHL lockout – hey, I’m right there with you – and hasn’t been keeping up with the news, here’s the quote that has people really upset:
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.
Mother Jones has now released the full video. Get over there and check it out.
Now, I could spend a lot of time going point-by-point and debunking all of this stuff – like the fact that most of that 47 percent pay other kinds of taxes, like payroll, state, etc. Or that many of them are students, who may or may not be lazy. Or that many others are retirees, who are incredibly lazy, but they’ve earned it.
But I’m not going to do that. It’s been done to death. I’ll stick with this instead:
YOU DON’T DISS HALF THE COUNTRY WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.
This should be political rule number 1. Even if you believe it – in which case, you probably shouldn’t be running anyway – and even if you think you’re not being taped, you just don’t say that. What if one of your donors goes out, gets really wasted, and blabs about it to someone? It’s called strategic thinking, Mitt. It’s how Presidents are made or unmade.
Is this going to do any long-term damage to Romney? Probably not. This will be a big story for a while longer but other things will shunt it aside. But it gives the Obama campaign more opportunity to paint Romney as out of touch, and it keeps Romney on the defensive and away from the economy a little while longer. Like I said, not a good week for Mitt Romney.
But enough from me. Get back to work.