Wow, Mitt Romney really does hate poor people

I’m not normally the type to talk about how Republicans hate poor people. I have personal acquaintances with conservative/libertarian views on economic policy, and while I may disagree with them, I think they sincerely believe the policies they advocate would be best for the country as a whole, the poor included. In at least one case (a guy who happens to have a rich dad), I can suspect there’s some motivated reasoning in there, but I don’t doubt he really believes the things he says. But now…

Holy crap. Mother Jones has released a leaked video from a private fundraiser Romney had that included this clip (I’ve included a transcript for those who prefer one, but I strongly recommend watching the video, for reasons I’ll explain below):

Transcript (grabbed from Ezra Klein):

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, 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. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…

These are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect… my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

From this, I think it’s perfectly clear that Romney hates poor people. There’s been a lot of outrage over this clip, but I haven’t seen anyone else willing to go that far. Well I am willing to go that far. In fact, Romney not only hates poor people, he hates a substantial portion of what is by any sensible definition the middle class (though rich as Romney is, he may not see it that way).

Just think about this logically. The 47 percent are not people who’ve gone out of there way to avoid paying income tax. After all, it’s not like they can hire a fancy accountant to help them minimize their tax burden the way rich people can. Rather, they’re not paying income tax because they aren’t making very much money. Well, that and in many cases deductions, but if you’re making enough money deductions won’t get you out of paying some income tax.

And from the mere fact you aren’t making very much money, Romney not only believes he can deduce your policy views and who you will vote for “no matter what,” not only that you believe you’re a victim, but also that you don’t believe you should take personal responsibility and care for your life.

Fuck you, Mr. Romney. Fuck you to hell and back.

(I didn’t mention the “dependent upon government” line in the paragraph above because it’s true, though not in the sense Romney probably intended. I’m pretty sure we’re all dependent upon government for little things like police and roads if nothing else.)

If that’s not hatred, I don’t know what is. Now a lot of people have suggested that maybe Romney didn’t really believe it, and was just playing to the crowd. That would be significant if true, both in what it tells us about the crowd and how vile Romney is willing to be to pander to crowds. But–in spite of our probable lack of agreement on anything else–I agree with this conservative commentator who said:

Unfettered by the presence of reporters, and speaking to a gathering of friendly, wealthy donors, Romney spoke freely over the din of clinking silverware and the murmur of dinner conversation. His cadence and rhythm were noticeably different from the more strained, sing-songy voice he gives to his scripted stump speeches, and the words came much more quickly, and less haltingly, than when he answers questions in public town hall meetings.

That’s why I’m saying listen to the video. When I first did, I couldn’t believe it was Romney at first. I haven’t seen much of Romney’s campaign stops, but I’ve seen enough of them to have a sense of how fake he normally seems. The guy on the video, on the other hand, actually felt like a real person, one who really hates anyone who doesn’t make enough money.

Further choice commentary from around the web:

On Twitter, Ezra Klein write a mini-blog post worth of tweets that elaborates my point:

At his blog, Ezra also points out that the fact that so many people don’t pay income tax is in large part due to Republican tax cuts.

Paul Krugman makes an important point about who exactly Romney is smearing:

 Actually, if you look at the facts, you learn that the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job — that is, they’re people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque.

Andrew Sullivan and the Daily Kos highlight Romney’s crappy attempts at damage control.

A few more twitter reactions:

And as much as I hope this is the last nail in the coffin of the Romney campaign, I can’t resist finishing with this (explanation here):

  • MNb

    Being a nasty cynical Dutchman I think the video just great. Really, it brought up a hugh smile on my face. The election for presidency is over. The Obama team just has to repeat this video a few times.
    I can’t remember a politician fucking himself so effectively as Romney did. Excellent unintentional joke, especially that 47%.

  • smrnda

    The idea that poor people simply haven’t taken responsibility like the rich have is one of the most offensive notions out there. Mitt Romney makes money because his name is plastered on documents that give him ownership of other people’s work. Poor people are mostly all working very hard for just enough to get by, if that. Yeah, they think after busting their asses they are entitled to things like enough food and health care, how outrageous. Ignorance in this area is just inexcusable. Romney knows what minimum wage is. He can do the math and calculate what that earns a person, and seriously, would he be able to live on that amount?

    I’m much less forgiving of conservatives and libertarians. To me, their belief that their favored economic policies would really be better for everyone is like a belief in faith healing or other sorts of nonsense – the evidence is just not on their side, to the extent that ignorance has to be willful.

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  • C. Duncan

    I grew up around millionaires, and I know that they always put down people who do not have what they have.
    They use people to get what they want and laugh at what they consider the” low class breeding” and “ignorance” of those in the middleclass and working class. They treat underlings like crap and teach their children not to respect those that are not in the same social class. Mitt Romney was raised in this environment. In college rich kids fraternal organizations they are given test answers to tests and special attention in order to get them through the university with high marks. They are raised in a plastic environment and are raised from childhood to believe that they are the superior ones and that anyone without their upbringing and family wealth is inferior. Mitt Romney was raised in this environment. He was also raised to believe that his Mormon religion was superior to any other. He never had to struggle for anything in his life. Of course, he finds poor and middle class people , gays and and blacks, and Hispanic and Jews inferior to themselves. Mitt Romney is a typical American “Christian” who believes that the 10 commandments only apply to those without money and those with the money are favored by God and do not have to abide by these commandments. These evangalistic christians of today are a disgrace to Jesus Christ, and God.

  • Liz

    sht p.

  • john

    Mitt Romney is really a criminal.. He was implicated in securities fraud and medicare fraud. When you steal, or lie for profit that makes you scum of the earth… and when you mock the people you are stealing from… it makes you despicable.

  • bill barr

    His comments merely described where he would place his demographic influence in the campaign. He would ignore the 47% of the voters who would not vote for him in any circumstance. This 47% is poor in large part due to lack of intelligence, drive, luck, genetics and lineage. The truth is the truth. Get high, smoke, drink alcohol, drop out of school, make poor economic decisions, and you will be a life long failure. Folks like Romney were smarter, more diligent, and in some cases luckier. No reason to hate them, you should instead emulate them.

    • Linda Jaffe Oliver

      You have just made sure that you are just as ignorant as he is. You are saying that everyone who is poor has made bad decisions, has drug problems, and is unintelligent. I would have you know, that I don’t smoke, drink, or use drugs. I have a college diploma which has gotten me NOWHERE! I am working at a fast food restaurant for minimum wage to help pay bills. My husband also doesn’t drink, smoke or do drugs. He too has a college diploma which has gotten him NOWHERE either. He works very hard as a mechanic to pay for the life we do have. I guess in your eyes we are failures because we never succeeded at being a pencil pushing bigot like either yourself or like Romney and friends. Please before making such statements, try walking a mile in the shoes of the average person.

      • rs232il

        This is Bill Barr again. I ahm so much more TAHLENTED than you it isn’t funny. I am so SUPERIAH to you because of my rich daddy.You working middle CLAAS offend my precious sensitivities. The Romneys, Bushes, Myself, Roves, Cheneys, are so much better than you!!!!

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