Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Very Poor

I guess Romney's definitive statement that he's not concerned about the very poor was enough to bring Trump on board!

The Romney camp responded to the brouhaha about Romney's comments by saying that his comments need to be taken in context. Here's the more full clip.

It's actually not any better. First Read correctly points out that the problem with the gaffe (and this is when a gaffe is actually dangerous) is that it reinforces an existing narrative about Romney. It only matters because people already think Romney doesn't care about the poor. In Romney's defense, he does come back to say "There's no question. It's not good being poor." I can just imagine Romney's advisors popping antacids and tugging at their shirt collars watching that.

But there's another more subtle but long-term problem here. Look at the reasoning Romney uses. He literally says, "You can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That's not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That's not my focus. My focus is on middle income Americans ..." So, here's what happened ... and I really believe this: Romney was in a meeting with his advisors and they said to him, you've already got the support of the rich and there's no votes to be had in doing something for the poor. We're focusing on the middle class. Remember Mitt, you're focused on the middle class. So he goes out and does an interview and says, "You can choose where to focus."

Keep repeating that line. "You can choose where to focus." It is the essence of Mitt Romney. He is absolutely telling you, "I have no core. But my advisors say there are votes to be had in the middle class. So I'm going to focus there."

Just as a post-script, a new poll is out by PPP in Ohio. Obama 49, Romney 42. Obviously, a full lifetime to go in this race but ... Middle income. Middle America. Not digging Romney today.

1 comment:

nancyd said...

It sure is a different line than what he's been saying. A very nervous speech.