Article By: Danielle Salanitri
Over the last few of weeks, the Romney/Ryan campaign has made enough gaffes to turn this incredibly tight presidential race into one that is looking increasingly optimistic for President Obama, and this week doesn’t seem to be any different. Videos of Governor Romney at a fundraiser were leaked to Mother Jones magazine, where he discusses his campaign strategy, intended solely for the ears of his super wealthy donors. The republican candidate is captured, not only writing off 47% of voters as Obama supporters because they have used some form of government assistance, but that he would have a much easier time winning the election if he were Latino.
He is seen calling the 47% of people who do not pay income tax, often because they do not make enough of an income, as reliant on government programs. These are people “who believe they are victims, who believe that the government has a responsibility to care for them” and that he does not “worry about these people” because he will never “convince them they should take personal responsibility.” Which is an interesting point for a multimillionaire, who pays a lower income tax rate than the middle-class and hides much of his money in offshore bank accounts, to make.
Not only does Governor Romney seem to forget who his supporters are, he implies that almost half of the nation, or any person that has ever taken out a Stafford Loan or used Social Security, lacks work ethic and is lazy. This seems like a remarkably large number of people for a nation built on the ideal that hard work and determination lead to success. He also groups two sets of people together, those that do not pay income tax and those that have received some sort of government benefit, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Due to the slightly progressive tax system in the United States, the people that often do not pay an income tax are lower income families and the elderly, which describes much of the republican base.
The Governor also implies that his chances of winning in November would be increased had his father been born to Mexican parents, rather than just in Mexico. His implication that being Latino would help him win the election, completely disregards the struggle that many have faced as minorities and the historic privileges that he has received as a white male. Although, if he were Latino, there would be a greater chance that he too would have needed some sort government assistance in the past, and therefore, be better able to understand the needs of the American people.
But at least we can all be comforted knowing that in his press conference to address these leaked videos, he admitted his statements were not “elegantly” made.
*The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.