If the old game show “To Tell The Truth” were still on, it would be fun to have the three versions of Mitt Romney play so that after a period of questioning by a panel of celebrities, Gary Moore could then ask the real Mitt Romney to please stand up.
Would it be the Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who was for mandated insurance premiums as part of his universal health care solution and who took moderate positions on taxation, abortion, education, social safety net programs and the environment? Or the 2012 Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney who is against mandated insurance premiums and universal healthcare reform, and who has taken hard-right positions on taxation, abortion, education, social safety net programs and the environment? Or would it be the secretly recorded Mitt Romney who believes nearly half of Americans don’t take due “care and responsibility for their lives,” and that they foolishly believe they are entitled to food, housing and health care?
All politicians running in competitive races have to blow a little with the political winds to get elected, publicly espousing positions on issues they privately don’t agree with. Only candidates running in “safe” districts get to speak the truth about what they really believe, ala Arizona Reps. Trent Franks and Ed Pastor.
But Romney seems to have taken finger-in-the-wind politics to new heights. Because he spins like a weather vane on the issues of the day, it’s hard to know whether Romney really believes the outrageous things he said on that recording published by Mother Jones or whether he simply believed that’s what the swells in the room he was hitting up for money believed about America, Latinos, Palestinians and the economy and he was just pandering to them in exchange for campaign donations.
But whether he believes it or not, the fact that he said it at all is troubling. It’s one thing for some anonymous, Ayn Randian ignoramus to rant and rave about government teat suckers in the comment section of articles published on whackadoodle conservative websites like the Daily Caller, but for a major party candidate for president to say such things to anyone is disturbing.
The dismissiveness and contempt in his voice for the “47 percent” of Americans who avail themselves of government programs and tax breaks created through democratic processes reveal a patrician attitude about America that is ill-served for anyone seeking to be President of the United States.
If he doesn’t really believe what he said, than his ambition to be president is so great that it prompts him to say foul and abhorrent things about his fellow Americans simply to get votes and campaign cash. That’s not someone who would seem to have the character worthy of president.
But if Romney does believe what he said – that nearly half of Americans don’t take due care and responsibility for their lives – then his view of America is so tilted, so aristocratic and so contemptuous that he’s unworthy of the office of president.
What he said was wrong. That he said it all is the real outrage.