COMMENTARY | Just a few months and a little over 50 miles away from where he wrote off nearly 50 percent of Americans as Obama supporters and people he didn’t care about, then falsely equated them with the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes (a group whose membership are at least half Republicans), presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stood before a gathering in Coral Gables, Fla., and told them he would represent “100 percent” of Americans.
“My campaign is about the 100 percent in America,” he said Wednesday evening at a Univision forum, according to the Los Angeles Times, just a few days after the secretly taped video of his speech in front of wealthy donors in Boca Raton, Fla., went public. “And I am concerned about them. I am concerned about the fact that over the past four years, life has become harder for Americans.”
Romney went on: “… this campaign is about helping people who need help, and right now, the people who are poor in this country need help getting out of poverty. The people in the middle class need help because their incomes have gone down every year for the last four years.”
Here’s the disconnect: In May, when talking behind closed doors before wealthy donors, Romney said in a video obtained by Mother Jones magazine that he wouldn’t worry about those who wouldn’t take responsibility for their lives, making the false assumption that just because they didn’t pay income taxes they were Democrats and non-working, non-taxpaying freeloaders. But with less than seven weeks to go before the election, Romney, in a more public setting, wants that same 47 percent to believe he now is concerned about their lives.
But the truth of the matter is this: Of that 47 percent who didn’t pay income taxes in 2009 (the data set that Romney used), a breakdown of those non-income taxpayers by the New York Times reveals that at least half are poor Republicans. If that half is added to the 48 or 49 percent that Romney doesn’t care about because they’ll vote for Obama “no matter what,” the total of people he really doesn’t care about is over 70 percent.
But now, in an apparent flip on his earlier statements in front of a bunch of wealthy donors, he would represent all 100 percent of Americans, including the poor and much of the middle class he wrote off in May as “victims” and “dependent” and people he would never be able to “personal responsibility and care for their lives.” And he is 100 percent correct in saying so — by default. He would represent 100 percent of the American people. That comes with the territory of being elected president.
He just wouldn’t worry or care about most of them. In fact, the number he obviously doesn’t care about is over 70 percent.
Or even higher.
It is particularly revealing that when Romney attempted another flip in a campaign flooded with flips and flops, where he attempted to show himself as inclusive and not exclusive like the guy videotaped in May, he revealed the one true thing he is really worried about: Getting elected.