Fat Cat Romney on Preferential Option for the Poor: "Let Them Eat Cake" [UPDATED]
Actually, what he said is MUCH WORSE: "I'm not concerned about the very poor":
In an interview with CNN Wednesday morning that should have been a Florida victory lap, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made a fumble that could give rivals an attack ad sound bite.(emphasis and editorial commentary added)
Asked about his economic plan, Romney said repeatedly that he was not concerned with very poor Americans, [ED.: Just in case you didn't catch it the first time that this Fat Cat doesn't give a rat's ass about "those people", he made sure to emphasize the point by repeating it over and over again.] but was focused instead on helping the middle class.
Romney explained that he was confident that food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid and other assistance would keep the poor afloat [ED.: Are there no prisons? And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation? The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then? ... I was afraid that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course.] — he pledged to fix holes in that safety net “if it needs repair.” He repeated past statements that his main focus is the middle class because those people, in his opinion, have been hardest hit by the recession (President Obama also has focused many of his efforts on the middle class).
But Romney’s awkward phrasing could give fuel to critics who argue that he does not empathize with the poorest Americans. [ED.: Ya think?]
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” [ED.: Good God! Really?] Romney told CNN.
“The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party [about] the plight of the poor,” Romney responded [ED.: Oh, yes, "the poor" - that's a Democrat issue. We Republicans don't talk much about that rapidly expanding group of people. We'll leave it to the Democrats to talk about those people.], after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. “And there’s no question it’s not good being poor [ED.: Let me be very clear that I am against being poor.] and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor [ED.: I'm not worried about helping the very poor overcome their poverty via economic means. That's what government programs - and Democrats - are for.] . . . My focus is on middle income Americans ... we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.” [ED.: Let them eat cake - they can pay for it with their food stamps.]
Just. Wow. Has there ever been a more out of touch and tone deaf politician as this character? And he's the likely GOP nominee?
The bad news for Romney: He could say it wearing a top hat and a monicle, and it couldn't be any more effective as a campaign commercial for Obama than it already is.
The good news for Romney: Showing indifference for the poor is a sure-fire way of getting Ann Coulter's impoverished-bashing juices flowing, motivating her to pen some more pro-Romney love letters and anti-Catholic screeds against his remaining GOP primary opponents.
A couple of additional points regarding Romney's boneheaded remarks.
First, the irony here is that these comments reveal BOTH Romney's penchant for big government liberalism AND his elitist illiberalism. His big-government liberalism is evident in that he believes in expanding federal welfare dependency for the poor; his elitist illiberalism is evident in that he believes that's good enough for them.
Romney's alleged policy principles are that free economies lead to economic growth, and that economic growth leads to more opportunity for the greatest number of people. But Romney has just stated that his economic program excludes the very poor from sharing in that opportunity, and that he is reconiled to their being permanent fixtures on the public dole. But that's "good enough" for them.
The seond point about this is that David Axelrod is no doubt on the horn right now with his ObamaCath allies talking about ways to use Romney's indifference to the "preferential option for the poor" to soften the fallout over the HHS mandate among Catholics who supported Obama in 2008. They'd be fools not to. Every ObamaCath who has infiltrated the chanceries and the USCCB staff must be licking their chops over the prospect of watering down any strong anti-HHS statement coming from the Bishops with a bunch of verbiage regarding the preferential option for the poor, just as concern over allegedly rampant racism was used to water down the anti-abortion provisions of "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" 4 years ago.
Mark Steyn addresses the topic I commented on in the first point of my previous Update regarding Romney's comments revealing both his big-government liberalism and elitist illiberalism:
Romney’s is a benevolent patrician’s view of society: The poor are incorrigible, but let’s add a couple more groats to their food stamps and housing vouchers, and they’ll stay quiet. Aside from the fact that that kind of thinking has led the western world to near terminal insolvency, for a candidate whose platitudinous balderdash of a stump speech purports to believe in the most Americanly American America that any American has ever Americanized over, it’s as dismal a vision of permanent trans-generational poverty as any Marxist community organizer with a cozy sinecure on the Acorn board would come up with.Yep.
After half-a-century of evidence, what sort of “conservative” offers the poor the Even Greater Society?