Scott Spiegel

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Romney’s “Gaffes” vs. Obama’s Graft

February 29, 2012 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Elections: 2012

So far there’s not a whit of evidence that Mitt Romney’s “gaffes” in inadvertently referencing his personal wealth at campaign appearances and debates have cost him a single vote in the 2012 presidential election.

We hear from mainstream pundits and wire service reporters—most of whom wouldn’t dream of voting for a conservative, but are terrified that Romney will be the GOP nominee—how Romney’s horrifying Freudian slips are bound to alienate undecided voters, Reagan Democrats, and moderate Republicans.

Romneys’ unspeakable comments have included: extolling voluntary contracts in the free market (“I like being able to fire people… if someone doesn’t give me the good service that I need”), affirming the social safety net (“I’m not concerned about the very poor—we have a safety net”), challenging candidate Rick Perry on a falsehood (“$10,000 bet?”), and expressing his support for the Detroit auto industry (“Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs”).  These forbidden lines have supposedly frightened off otherwise open-minded voters and driven them straight into the comforting arms of humble everyman Obama.  Good citizens everywhere were supposedly all set to pull the lever for Romney, but are now running screaming at the thought of a president who has achieved phenomenal business success in the private sector and isn’t ashamed of it.

Commentators claim that voters will be dissuaded from choosing Romney because of his “tone-deaf” comments, or the fact that Romney doesn’t “register with ordinary folks.”

I have yet to hear any actual, living-and-breathing voter attest that he will not be voting for Romney because of his remarks on his wealth.

The way I see it, anyone impervious enough to lockstep liberal ideology to be an independent is reasonable enough to cut Romney some slack and comprehend his meaning.  Anyone contemptuous enough of profit, wealth, and capitalism to be offended by his remarks wasn’t going to vote for him anyway.

But Romney’s loose tongue—supposedly the fatal flaw of a candidate so slick he’ll say anything to get elected, except… um, when he doesn’t—is as tight as a spring compared to Obama’s penchant for blowing through other people’s money.

Just for comparison: Which candidate deadpanned “I’m also unemployed” in a coffee shop in Florida with voters, who laughed at his joke; and which candidate glibly proclaimed that his trillion-dollar stimulus package—which was supposed to keep unemployment under 8% but failed to keep it below 10%—was a success because unemployment hadn’t shot up to 15%?

Which candidate affirmed that “corporations are people,” in the sense that “everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people”; and which candidate bashes corporations, even though his presidential election committee raked in millions of dollars in corporate donations?

Which candidate bet a fellow presidential contender $10,000 of his own money, and which candidate has increased the national debt by $4 trillion of ours?

Which candidate said he liked being able to fire people for giving him crummy service and hire more talented workers, in the context of arguing why health insurance should be decoupled from employment and everyday citizens should be free to shop around for different insurers?  Which candidate proclaimed his desire for the productive coal industry and its innocent blue-collar employees to go “bankrupt,” rates for vital electricity service to “skyrocket,” and a permit for the Keystone Pipeline that would have created tens of thousands of jobs for hardworking Americans to be denied?

Which candidate expressed confidence in the coverage offered by the welfare state he disproportionately funds with his earnings; and which candidate lectured a middle-class, self-employed plumber in Ohio to “spread” his “wealth” around to welfare recipients?

Which candidate bought two Cadillacs with his own money, and which candidate flies Air Force One around the country attending fundraisers wasting millions of dollars of ours?

Which candidate modestly suggested, “I get speaker’s fees from time to time, but not very much”—$374,000 in 2011, for making dozens of coveted speaking appearances at companies such as HP, Barclays, and the International Franchise Association, whose leaders were eager to hear his Midas touch business advice and confident that implementing his tips would more than compensate them for his fees?  In contrast, which candidate’s wife received a boost in her salary from $122,910 to $316,962 the year after her newly appointed Senator husband from Illinois awarded $1,000,000 in federal earmarks to the hospital where she worked?

Which candidate noted “I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners” in explaining his connection to the sport, and which candidate has spent three months as president golfing on the taxpayers’ dime?

Romney may have lots of money, but Obama just craves more of ours—for himself, for his family, for his cronies, and for his political ambitions.  I don’t want a president who’s “in touch” with everyday Americans, if being in touch means slapping them on the back while reaching into their pockets and emptying their wallets.

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