I’m tickled by this notion that Democrats, particularly President Obama, are unjustly assailing Mitt Romney for his wealth. It’s the subject of one column published by a FOX News writer yesterday, though it’s a talking point I’ve heard one too many times in recent weeks. Of course Romney jumped on it, telling a FOX News anchor recently, “I’m certainly not going to apologize for my dad and his success in life. He was born poor. He worked his way to become successful despite that he didn’t have a college degree.”
His father was not born poor, but as most will learn in the weeks and months ahead of the presidential election, Mitt Romney lies an awful lot. Nevertheless, the problem isn’t Romney’s wealth per se. Yes, super wealthy politicians often downplay their fortune in an effort to appeal to the average American, but it’s hardly ever truly about their money as it is questions over their ability to look beyond it.
To which begs the question: how can anyone not already well off have any desire to support Mitt Romney’s candidacy?
Based on several comments Romney has made since the start of his presidential bid, the former Massachusetts governor knows absolutely nothing about anything outside of his bubble.
Take for instance, Romney’s advice to students about funding their college education on a day Congress debated over ways to thwart a hike in student-loan interest rates. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee advised a group of college students: “If you want to get an education or start a business, borrow money from your parents.”
Can you imagine how many teenagers were cursed out as a result of this advice?
Don’t bother wondering if he misunderstood the question either. Earlier this year, Mitt suggested to a group of business people in Michigan that entrepreneurs ask their parents for money instead of using loans from the federal government. Bless his rich daddy having heart, he thinks everyone has a mom and dad with a secret checking account that could send a collegiate and/or entrepreneurial dream soaring if the person in need simply asked.
Meanwhile, Mr. “I’m not very concerned about poor people” has a plan to reduce government deficits that if enacted would offer less money for services that provide health care to the poor and disabled, along with other cuts to food inspection, border security, and education. Meanwhile, the Pentagon would get more money that it doesn’t want and mega rich folks will get to keep even more money they don’t need.
Romney is also reportedly considering getting rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These plans come on the heels of additional proof that austerity doesn’t work (thanks for leading by example, Europe). What is the way to achieve social mobility in Mitt Romney’s world then? I’ll go with a winning Mega Millions lotto ticket. Or: Marrying a Kardashian and playing nice.
Thankfully, Romney remains in a struggle to make inroads with average voters, but according to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that all will soon change and that Romney’s wealth will ultimately show itself to be an asset.
As he explained to CNN’s Candy Crowley, “The American people don’t want to vote for a loser. They don’t want to vote for someone that hasn’t been successful. I think Mitt Romney has an opportunity to show the American people that they, too, can succeed.”
People don’t want to vote for a “loser,” but no one wants cast a vote for someone who can’t even begin to conceive what life is like for them (or at least, pretend convincingly) either. It’s a lesson Romney should’ve learned long ago, but as long as he keeps talking the ways he has been, he’ll surely grasp it soon enough.