There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what....who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it....These are people who pay no income tax.
....And so my job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Say what you want about most of Mitt Romney's human interactions, when he's making a business pitch selling himself among his own type of folks, you could pour him on waffles, if you liked your waffles snobby and superior. This is actually so wrong that I'm quoting a David Brooks column with wonder (because, like, when does that happen?):
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.Well, exactly. The thing is, Romney and his campaign have been depending on just that sort of belief in rugged individual achievement and non-reliance on government with the "We Built That" theme (which, of course, revealed just how many people did build their businesses with lots of government assistance) of late, but the broader theme that he isn't concerned about the people at the bottom has been pretty obvious. He's focused on the middle class (whatever his definition thereof may be) because he wants to pit the 53% against the 47%--basically, civil class war, notwithstanding that this divide is pretty fluid.
Isn't that crass and witless? In a word, yes. But it's the sort of pitch that Romney thought would sell at a $50,000 a plate fundraiser. That's roughly the household median income--per plate.
That's calling nearly half all Americans deadbeats and moochers in front of people who drop $50 large on a steak and a handshake with a guy running for president and call that a pleasant evening.
What's worse is--he's making the assumption that these 47% are Obama's supporters. They aren't, necessarily. A lot of the poor simply don't vote, but that group he's bad-mouthing includes seniors (a lot of whom are conservative, GOP voters), high school-educated whites who've suffered job-losses in this economy, and military families/veterans.
And he doesn't think they take personal responsibility because they don't pay federal income tax, even if they pay payroll tax, sales tax, property tax, state and local taxes, and are working or have worked and earned their entitlements!
What a massive, massive jerk.