Wondering what to expect from Mitt Romney at Tuesday’s town hall debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York? Based on his interactions with voters at various events including a previous town hall, Romney’s going to have to work hard to reign in his rudeness and condescension. It’s one thing for him to do this to voters in small venues, on the rope line, or even to do it to the President as he did in the first debate, but he can’t afford to lose his cool with voters Tuesday.
Like this: Romney, sounding like a cross between an executive telling off an employee and a belligerent, power hungry parent to a child, took down a voter at New Hampshire Town Hall in August of 2011.
Romney, “You had your turn! You had your turn madam! Let me have mine. Hold- let me have mine! Yeah listen, I’ll give you the microphone in a moment but let me complete. I’m sorry, it’s my turn! You had yours, now it’s my turn. Would you please hold on a moment and let me finish. Okay, good. This is the answer!”
The woman is inaudible the entire time Romney is telling her that it’s his turn and she doesn’t have a microphone.
Romney proceeds to start in on his answer and then berates the woman some more, raising his arm up in a STOP signal repeatedly, “Ah look, let me speak, then you get to speak okay. Just hold on a moment. Just just hold on. I’m happy to have your question but let’s comp – oh, madam – hold on a sec. Hold on a second. Let me, let me tell ya’.”
Wow. Then Romney went into his “we balanced the budget every year” spiel without getting into how (15 percent cut in aid to cities and towns and 4 percent cut to education that ultimately resulted in a 24% jump in property taxes). He also gave the “I don’t want to borrow from China” sound bite, which is at best embarrassing given the recent revelations of his Chinese investments.
Here’s Romney on the rope line answering a question from a voter at a campaign event at the Nashua chamber of commerce on January 9:
The voter is pleading with Romney about healthcare, asking him not to repeal ObamaCare. He asks, “How’ve you been doing since then?”
She answers, “I don’t have healthcare and I’m scared.”
Romney smirks and starts to move down the line, telling her, “That tells you something doesn’t it, doesn’t it.” Smiling slickly, he moves away and begins talking to the next person.
But our voter isn’t done with him. She says, “But it hasn’t gone into effect yet sir. Your market doesn’t work for me, sir. I don’t have healthcare and I’m very frightened.”
Romney turns to her and says, “Alright, you want to listen or do you want to go on?”
She is saying, “I’m very frightened—”
And he interrupts her, smirking, “You want to go on or you want to listen?” as if she is an errant child.
She says, “Go ahead sir.”
Romney, “How does Massachusetts work?”
The woman explains that her colleagues have hope that they have access in Massachusetts. Romney says, “And who was the governor who put that into place?”
She says, “Why are you running away from it, sir, why are you running away—”
Moving away from her, Romney says, “No. No. I’m not. I’m very proud of it. Well, you don’t want to listen, okay.”
Yes, you may only listen to the Great Mitt, you may not ask questions or speak your mind. If you agree, you will be treated kindly but if you disagree or question, you are persona non grata.
Clearly Mitt doesn’t get it and it he should listen because he seems to believe that all Americans have access to healthcare through emergency rooms – that is his answer to getting rid of ObamaCare. Pre-existing conditions? Too bad. You’re covered under COBRA for a mere $650/month right? Gosh, that’s not even a day’s worth of gas for the jet. Man up, people.
Romney’s campaign said he was working on his temper but with Candy Crowley going rogue anything can happen.