warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Mitt Romney Hates The Very Poor

Matt Pressberg |
September 18, 2012 | 12:21 a.m. PDT

Staff Columnist

Mitt Romney disregards half the country as unproductive. (DonkeyHotey/Flickr)
Mitt Romney disregards half the country as unproductive. (DonkeyHotey/Flickr)
Mitt Romney can no longer claim “I don’t care about the very poor” was taken out of context. Thanks to Mother Jones’ exclusive video from a Romney fundraising event, we have all the context we need.

The clips are all must-views, but to summarize: Mitt Romney thinks 47 percent of Americans are parasites who reject the concept of personal responsibility and are too broke to even benefit from his economic plans to help people that actually matter. Therefore, they won’t vote for him, so they can kick rocks.

Scrooge McRomney doesn’t just dismiss lower-income Americans, he actively hates them. And what he hates most is that they depend on taxpayers like him to help out with such ostentatious luxuries as “food” and “housing.” If only they would put on a god damn tie and get a job and make millions, like he did, all by himself, with no help from dad or anyone in government ever, they wouldn’t be such a burden.

The striking thing about the videos is the ease and comfort with which he riffed on these topics, with the same fluency we all do when talking about subjects we have strong opinions on and have clearly spent a lot of time thinking about. The image of people who don’t pay federal income tax (most of whom pay some form of tax, and those who pay no tax can’t afford to breathe Mitt’s air) as “victims” who can never be convinced to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” is not something someone as socially awkward as Mitt would come up with on the spot.

It’s clearly an argument he’s very familiar making and he sounds more convincing delivering it than almost anything I’ve heard him drone on about on the stump. It really comes across as one of his more authentic moments. Finally, something he’s truly passionate about—waving his fat wallet in people’s faces and calling them worthless bums who need to stop feeling sorry for themselves. It’s hard to believe a man like this seems to have few personal friends.

It is profoundly depressing that a man who (theoretically) could be the next president of the United States finally spoke from the heart, and his core principles turned out to be “Son, can you pull the black Mercedes out front? Oh, you’re not the valet? What team do you play for?”

These videos can’t be chalked up to “playing to his audience” either. Mitt was speaking at the Boca Raton mansion of another private equity fund manager; in other words, he was talking to a room of Mitt Romneys. If the real Mitt Romney were to emerge anywhere, it would be a place like that. Putting down poor people in order to feel better about yourself is central to who he is and the people he represents.

It is a horribly shallow way of looking at the world. Mitt Romney is a winner at life, and his defining trait is being rich. Therefore, in his mind, the absence of money is the primary marker of being a loser. In other words, Mitt uses the same criteria to judge people as dancers at the Spearmint Rhino.

The private equity bubble, where people are line items, corporations are people and the points don’t matter doesn’t exactly foster the type of environment that cares about individual employees. When evaluating a business from an investor perspective, personnel is often viewed as a opportunity for cost savings. Mitt Romney, who grew up in this business and has little in the way of a spine, has internalized this way of thinking to the point where he really sees half of all Americans as leeches draining the country’s balance sheet. Mitt describes working-class Americans with the same type of disdain Hezbollah uses for Jews. It would be quite uncomfortable to live in a country in which the leader basically thinks half of the people are deadbeats and cancers on society.

Only the most gullible people believe that the U.S. government does not mostly prioritize the interests of a privileged few over those of average Americans. Most people just ask that the president, whether they voted for him or not, does not actively hold them in contempt. Mitt Romney has accused Barack Obama of throwing allies like Israel under the bus, but he actually threw the people on the bus under the bus.

The Romney campaign has not changed its tune but it has to change its slogan, which is now outdated. It should be Romney: Believe in 53 percent of America.


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of Mitt Romney here.

Reach Staff Columnist Matt Pressberg here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.