Romney:<br />
"No More Free Stuff" (Unless It's For Him)

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney at the NAACP annual convention.

“I am everything I pretend to be.”

The quote comes from the brilliance of Living Single’s Regine Hunter, and if one caught even a fraction of Mitt Romney’s speech at the NAACP convention in Houston yesterday, you know it would behoove Mittens to make that his manifesto moving forward.

Yes, say it with feeling, Romney, if you’re really trying to convince somebody out here.

The former Massachusetts governor sure didn’t do any convincing yesterday at the NAACP convention in Houston. Well, if you’re not including the 200 people he reportedly bussed in to use their hands to drown out the dominating ambivalence in the room. As far as the others go, he appeared to have failed miserably in his attempt to convince Black voters that it is he and not President Obama who has our best interests at heart.

Then again, who actually believes that Mitt Romney sincerely cares about Black voters?

Hours after his speech, Romney lent credence to my cynicism by telling a crowd at a fundraiser:

“By the way, I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don't give different speeches to different audiences alright. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren't happy, I didn't get the same response. That's ok, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don't stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that's just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy-more free stuff. But don't forget: nothing is really free.”

Ah. Hello, racial rhetoric. You’re right on schedule, and as always, as funny as you are tragically flawed.

Forcing the uninsured to buy health insurance is not “free stuff.” What is “free stuff” is the six-figure salary Mitt Romney reportedly earned at Bain Capital during a period in which he says he wasn’t actively working there. Bain Capital has issued a statement denying such claims, but much like Mitt’s words at the NAACP convention and the coded language he used later to smite them later that night, the real truth will ultimately present itself.

Regardless of that outcome, this quip about “free stuff” will remain hypocritical.

Liars’ gon’ lie.

So often we hear of Republicans implying that people – mostly darker skinned ones – want “free stuff” from the government. It’s always offensive, but it is especially so when those of Romney’s ilk allow such nonsense fly off their tongues.

Who is the ​White son of a millionaire and nationally recognized politician to try and shame other people about yearnings for “free stuff?”

Mitt loves to boast about how he didn’t take a dime from his dad to earn his success, famously declaring, "I went off on my own. What I have I earned. I worked hard, the American way."

Never mind his White male privilege. The privilege of his last name. The privileges that come from being born into wealth no matter how much of it you take into adulthood. Forget the car and the house his parents bought he and his wife along the way while he built his fortune.

You know, all that “free stuff.”

I suppose if Mitt had his way, we’d ignore the ways in which Romney netted his fortune, too.

As Paul Krugman explained: “Mr. Romney didn’t get rich by producing things people wanted to buy; he made his fortune through financial engineering that seems in many cases to have left workers worse off, and in some cases driven companies into bankruptcy.”

Romney then takes this wealth and apparently invests millions of it in Chinese firms that profit on US outsourcing. But, but: Romney is the one calling President Obama the outsourcer in chief. Liars’ gon’ lie. A handsome sum of those other millions rest in the shadowy world of offshore bank accounts.

Maybe not “free stuff” per se, but it sure is rich to hear the rich try to pass off their own corporate-friendly health care plan as some government handout based on these fun facts, right? A health-care plan that by definition would imply Romney gave away “free stuff” himself when he was governor of Massachusetts.

It’s people like Mitt Romney who create the very conditions that cause those suffering to turn to the government for help. For the record, time and time again has it been proven that the most of those people aren’t Black. Even if they were, the “free stuff” they get in the way of food stamps and housing assistance doesn’t come close to all that “free stuff” and “almost-good-as-free stuff” Mitt has gotten throughout his entire pampered life.

Michael Arceneaux