Ann Romney: “Mitt Has Stopped Disdaining The Poor”

UPDATE: Buzzfeed relays an interesting development regarding this interview:

The saddest rapid response… The Romney campaign just uploaded a video with the title “Ann Romney to FOX31: Mitt Doesn’t Disdain the Poor.” UPDATE: Apparently the campaign has removed the video from its official account…


FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:

Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, spoke exclusively Tuesday with FOX31 Denver about her husband’s controversial comments in a video that surfaced Monday characterizing nearly half of the country as Obama supporters who don’t pay taxes and live off the government.

“I’ve been on, obviously, on the trail a long time with Mitt and if you listen to the whole context of what Mitt talks about, he is talking about what’s happening right now in America and how more and more people are falling into poverty,” Ann Romney told FOX31 Denver.

“He wants to make sure to bring better opportunities for everyone. I know the guy, I know him really well, I know he cares. That’s why he’s running. It’s unfortunate when something gets misinterpreted like this, when it gets taken out of context…”

We’ve said before that we really do view Ann Romney as Mitt Romney’s campaign’s best asset–especially when the time comes, as it has repeatedly this election season, to humanize a candidate who consistently underperforms in the area of likability.

The problem, of course, is that Ann Romney’s defense contradicts what Mitt Romney actually said in the now-infamous “47%” videos. There’s no context to soften the meaning of the words “my job is is not to worry about those people.” You can’t make “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives” sound compassionate. You can’t change Romney flatly stating that 47% of Americans “believe that they are victims, believe the government has a responsibility to care for them” into a less contemptuous statement.

Bottom line: of course Ann Romney comes out for damage control. Much like the excellent quality lifeboats on the Titanic, she’s the best defense the campaign has left.  

49 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    SALT LAKE CITY-Seeking to limit the fallout from a videotaped speech in which he asserts 47 percent of Americans “pay no taxes” and do not take “personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Mitt Romney hastily called a press conference today to apologize personally to the “150 million starving, filthy beggars [he] might have offended.”

    “I know just how hard it must be to get through a miserable, destitute life that is rife with crying babies whose shrieks consistently disrupt the affluent members of society who actually contribute something to this world,” said the GOP candidate, adding that he wanted to make amends for his recent statements and reach out to what he called the country’s “snaggle-toothed street people” and “hell-spawned savages.” “I know it can be challenging to wake each morning, covered in your own feces and refuse, and get back out there on the streets to beg for spare change and food scraps, always one step from dying right there in an alley.”

  2. parsingreality says:

    The camera/phone appears to be just sitting on a coffee table.  The person who walks by and sometimes blocks the view of Rmoney is OBVIOUSLY one of the 47%.  I’m going to guess that he/she was in on the taping, if not the taper.

    The 53%’ers are so obviously out of touch with ordinary Americans they don’t notice what should have been a huge red flag, the camera.

    Of course, “those people” serving them were invisible, too.  

  3. droll says:

    I watched all 7+ minutes of that drivel and didn’t hear it, then I stuck the phrase into Google and only found this diary. No one said “stopped” in that context at all. And “disdain” was even Eli’s word.

    Have you guys really jumped over the incomplete, half-assed line to just msu?

  4. AristotleAristotle says:

    The full video makes it clear that Mitt’s comments about 47% of Americans were not out of context in the least.

  5. BlueCat says:

    we know that context isn’t a problem because the full video has been released. We’ve heard all the stats but for anyone who may have missed them:

    For what it’s worth, this division of “makers” and “takers” isn’t true. Among the Americans who paid no federal income taxes in 2011, 61 percent paid payroll taxes – which means they have jobs and, when you account for both sides of the payroll tax, they paid 15.3 percent of their income in taxes, which is higher than the 13.9 percent that Romney paid. Another 22 percent were elderly.

    So 83 percent of those not paying federal income taxes are either working and paying payroll taxes or they’re elderly and Romney is promising to protect their benefits because they’ve earned them. The remainder, by and large, aren’t paying federal income or payroll taxes because they’re unemployed. But that’s a small fraction of the country.

    Behind this argument, however, is a very clever policy two-step that’s less about who pays taxes now and more about who is going to pay to reduce the deficit in the coming years. Here’s how it works.

    Part of the reason so many Americans don’t pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts that wiped out the income-tax liability for many Americans. That’s why, when you look at graphs of the percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, you see huge jumps after Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform and George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. So whenever you hear that half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, remember: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush helped build that. (You also see a jump after the financial crisis begins in 2008, but we can expect that to be mostly temporary.)


    Not everyone who pays no federal income tax is in the lower income brackets. A separate report released last spring by the Internal Revenue Service found more than 35,000 people who made more than $200,000 in 2009 also managed to zero out their tax bills. That report noted that it generally takes a number of different credits and deductions for wealthy people to not pay any federal income taxes.

    But to me what’s most shocking isn’t the let them eat cake mindset but the sheer lack of common sense. If Romney assumes that this 47% (non-income tax payers) is exactly the 47% that supports Obama in any poll that shows Obama with, say, 47% support that would have to mean all non-income tax payers support Obama and no one, or next to no one, who pays income taxes would vote for him. Seriously?  

    So what happened to all the latte liberal elite Dems the right is always yammering about?  And what about all those white blue collar males who pay no federal income taxes after all their deductions and credits but who are always the toughest demo for Obama to get?  And what about seniors, vets and serving military in that 47%. Don’t a lot of them vote Republican? How about the wealthy who pay no federal income taxes?  Do they all vote Dem?

    The assumption that the two groups, the 47% who pay no federal taxes and the 47% that support Obama, are identical is absurd on its face.  Once again we have evidence of Romney believing things that are obviously and demonstrably untrue and which a few seconds worth of thinking things through on his part would reveal to make no sense, none at all. Like Russia being our number one geopolitical enemy or that all students who want to attend college have parents with piles of extra money lying around to lend.  

    God help us all if we actually elect someone so ignorant, muddled and confused and so prone to jumping to ridiculous conclusions and then voicing those conclusions without stopping to think for a second as President of the United States and leader of the free world. Honestly, having Palin for President couldn’t be any worse. But then, what other type of person can make it through a GOP primary anymore?

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      is that Mitt is supposed to be the more moderate, “sensible” choice. We saw a whole slew of ignorant dingleberries who took turns as the Not-Romney during the GOP run-up because Romney was extreme enough for the base. Romney was Republican governor of Massachusetts, with a nice moderate record.

      Now, it’s possible that his remarks are simply one more piece of evidence that Romney will tell his audience whatever it is they want to hear. He was addressing some very wealthy conservative clients who likely believe that most non-wealthy people are little more than leeches on their wealth; a room of John Galt wannabes who tell themselves that their fortunes are all proof of their superiority over the rest of us.

      Basically, what I get out of all this is that the man wants to be president but has no rock-solid belief system at his core. Perhaps he believes in unfettered capitalism, but the job of president requires a belief in what our place on the world stage ought to be, and how best to educate our youth, and how to pay for it all. Topics which are extremely complicated. One’s belief system acts as a compass when navigating them, and Mitt hasn’t shown that he possesses much of one at all.

      Frankly, we’re looking at yet another GOP nominee who was probably recruited and pushed through the process because of his ignorance. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proved to be pliable presidents who were easily persuaded by the industry and think-tank advisers in the White House to follow bad policies that benefited only a few. Mitt Romney would be the third such president if elected.

      • BlueCat says:

        except for the part about it being shocking. That goes for my comments too. We all should be way beyond the shocked stage by now.  

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          I followed your suggestion for apples and honey. Loved it

          • BlueCat says:

            for this new year 5773.

            Another High Holiday practice that shouldn’t conflict with other religious beliefs is that between now and the Day of Atonement (starting at sundown the 25th) it feels very good to make things right with those with whom we’ve had a falling out or just to reach out to someone you know you should have called long ago but never got around to it and say… sorry it’s been so long.  How are you doing?  

            Forgiving and asking forgiveness to start out with a clean slate is the object and the belief is that we can ask God to forgive us for sins against God but we also have to ask the actual people we’ve hurt for their forgiveness and to forgive those who have hurt us.  It’s hard to make the move but feels really good. A weight lifts.

            I’m only casually and selectively observant but I do love and appreciate the Jewish High Holiday traditions including the fast on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I like the rituals surrounding a fresh start every year.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        ” We saw a whole slew of ignorant dingleberries who took turns as the Not-Romney during the GOP run-up because Romney was not extreme enough for the base.”

      • RavenDawg says:

        with your assessment that Romney would say anything to anyone to get elected (and is very poorly informed to boot).  

        His refusing to back off his comments (Ann Romney’s damage control notwithstanding) suggests that he is finally showing his core values–and they ain’t pretty.

        • How can you back off the entirety of that video?  He can’t claim to have been misquoted. “Out of context” is a weak and highly specious argument.  Nope, he’s got no choice here but to double down; “I’ll bet you [another] $10,000.

          The only thing Team Willard is consistent at is never saying, “I’m sorry.”

          Trust me, Willard would love to walk this back and get back to spieling his spiel to the next group of suckers — the circumstances here just won’t allow it.  

    • droll says:

      in a situation where the other candidate basically said he’s a victim who will be voting for Obama no matter how convincing he (Romney) is.

      Mitt’s unemployed and has been, in the conventional sense, in the federal income tax sense, for years. Like a lot of years.

  6. ParkHill says:

    When it comes to politics, this is what they believe and how they talk.

    1%ers really believe they are yeoman business owners who have struggled all their lives, being victimized by the government and “those people” who are jealous of their succcess. The Ayn Rand simplistic philosophy corresponds to their emotional self-interest.

    Self-interest means they are intensely focused on lowering their own taxes and removing the estate tax so they can pass on their money without paying taxes.

    They project their greed onto the 99%ers.

    I think the Occupay Wall Street movement has been quite effective at scaring the 1%, probably more so than in consolidating the 99%.

  7. too sanctimonious . . .

    Our Revolting Elites

    For rich Republicans, the stereotype is all about the money: They have it, other Americans don’t, and those resentful, entitled others might just have enough votes to wage class warfare and redistribute the donors’ hard-earned millions to the indolent and irresponsible.

    For rich Democrats, the stereotype is all about the culture wars: They think they’ve built an enlightened society, liberated from archaic beliefs and antique hang-ups, and yet these Jesus freaks in flyover country are mobilizing to restore the patriarchy.

    Both groups of donors seem to be haunted by dystopian scenarios in which the masses rise up and tear down everything the upper class has built. For Republicans, the dystopia is (inevitably) “Atlas Shrugged.” For liberals, it’s one part “Turner Diaries,” one part “Handmaid’s Tale.”

    . . .

    What does it say that our politicians, in settings where they’re at least pretending to open up and reveal their true perspective, feel comfortable embracing the most self-serving elite stereotypes about ordinary citizens who vote for the other party?

  8. nancycronknancycronk says:

    There is nothing friendly or charming about her in this video. She does seem more “real” though than she has in the past. Real angry.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.