Another day, another awkward storyline for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Seriously, this guy just can’t catch a break from his surrogates and while the mini firestorm over John Sununu’s comments seems to have faded; this new gaffe might have a bit more staying power.
Throughout his second bid for the Presidency, Mitt Romney has had one constant problem and that’s simply, his aristocratic/pseudo Niles Crane outlook on life. One day he’s friends with some NASCAR owners, the next he’s talking about his wife’s Cadillacs and then to cap it all of, he might bring home some Olympic hardware courtesy of the most aristocratic “sport” ever created, dressage.
Now being in hot water for simply being rich is one thing. The reason why we poke fun at Mitt Romney isn’t because he’s more successful than us or just a guy who is a relatively poor campaigner. No, this is all based on Mitt Romney’s total lack of self-awareness when dealing with everyday Americans. In fact, if you could make a Venn Diagram of Mitt Romney and the public; there would be no overlap outside of breathing oxygen. His attempts at connecting to every non-elite American is almost similar to going to the prom with your mother.
That is if your mother would mock every single girl that you tried to dance with for not being pretty or smart enough.
But today, Mitt Romney did not make a single mistake when it came to campaigning. In fact, it’s been a couple of days since something he said this year (as opposed to 2002, 1999 or 1994) had infuriated anyone.
So instead of Mitt talking down to someone, his wife, Ann, decided to take matters in her own hands.
During an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, Mrs. Romney addressed the ongoing controversy of her husband’s refusal to release his oft-talked about tax returns by stating:
We’ve given all you people need to know.
May I repeat this while using bold, italics & and all-caps for emphasis? “We’ve given all YOU PEOPLE need to know”.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Ann Romney was flaunting herself as an elite and calling the rest of us “little people”. I have a vague idea though of who the “you people” are referring to.
I’m talking about the much-repeated phrase “the liberal media”. That is who Ann Romney was referring to when she said “you people”.
I refuse to believe that the Romney campaign is this amateur to think phrases such as this will not be eviscerated by the public. While Rupert Murdoch may have been correct in his tweeting thesis “Mitt Romney’s campaign staff needs to be overhauled”, I find Romney to be too shrewd to employ a staff of gaffe machines. That’s simply not in his
Before Ann Romney slipped that phrase into the American lexicon of eye-rolling gaffes, she was referring to how the Obama re-election team attacks on Mitt Romney’s stalling was “beneath the dignity of the presidency.”
So when she was talking to Robin Roberts, not only was she providing a pretty sharp critique of the Obama team but also a rebuke of what she probably thinks the media is doing to try and tarnish her husband’s reputation. Hence, before the infamous “you people” line, Ann Romney stated this:
You know, you should really look at where Mitt has led his life, and where he’s been financially, he’s a very generous person. We give 10 percent of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person that is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it. Then, when he was governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take a salary in the four years.
Yes, she bragged about Mitt’s charity. Now, part of the job of a surrogate (and of course when it’s the candidate’s wife seeing how she does love him) is to talk up the candidate as some sort of Adonis figure. Ann Romney, who is far more engaging and relatable than her husband, was almost pulling a Gingrich with her interview.
She wasn’t lambasting the 99% nor was she bragging about their personal wealth. She wasn’t belittling “us” so to speak, nor was she trying to help her husband.
She was simply throwing red meat to the conservative aisle of the Republican Party that refuses to fully embrace Mitt as one of their own.
Now saying “you people” certainly wasn’t a good idea. But by correlating the Obama team with the “liberal media” while stating that Mitt Romney was a victim, Ann might’ve just fired up a few conservative donors who were watching. She might have even gave ammunition to the conservatives on Twitter to defend her husband AND get them to fight the trending hashtag of “#youpeople” on there.
But what she did not do? Make a mistake.
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