Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is Mitt Romney a serious candidate?

Mitt Romney has faced much criticism since the start of his campaign to become US President. Many critics highlighted that they didn't know who the "real" Romney was as his positions seemed to adopt different 'nuances' from one prospective audience to the next. (This led to a YouTube sensation - to the music of Eminem - found here.)

These past - and major - gaffes have been spectacularly surpassed with new video footage of Romney telling supporters that 47% of American voters are moochers that pay no income tax and he won't try to win their votes. Perhaps the only thing even more outrageous than this is that - when he had the opportunity to reject the gaffe - he didn't. While he did think his comments were not elegantly stated and some context missing, he continued to stand by his remarks.

This has correctly received stinging criticism from all sides, including David Brooks (no relation!) in the New York Times here:

"[. . . ] This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.

It says that Romney doesn’t know much about the political culture. Americans haven’t become childlike worshipers of big government. On the contrary, trust in government has declined. The number of people who think government spending promotes social mobility has fallen.

The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. [. . .]."

Brooks concludes: "He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?"

Serious people across the political spectrum must ask themselves: is Mitt Romney a serious candidate? Thus far, the answer is a resounding no. 


Montana said...

In the end it will be Willard Milton Romney's own words that that will bring down his seven year run for the presidency. I thank you Romney for speaking your real mind, sure its ugly but it just confirms my feeling that you act more like a Corporation than a person with compassion who realizes that a majority of my country is suffering. Hey the empty chair was a great hit, thanks for the laughs.

Alan said...

I have to admit that even with the polls showing Obama ahead, I'm nervous. Voter turnout is everything, and if the President pushes ahead that might make many would-be Dem voters complacent and think that their votes are unneeded. Add in the outright voter suppression that Repugs have implemented in many states, and vast amounts of cash that are already pouring in for very negative attack ads (one billionaire has pledged 10 million to back Romney!), and unfortunately I still can imagine a very plausible scenario in which the President loses. I don't actually think that will happen, but if enough Dems get too comfortable then November could yield quite the surprise.