Mitt Romney Has No Idea That 50% of Americans Are Poor Or Low Income

Beyond his latest statement that he doesn’t care about poor people, hides the fact that Mitt Romney has no idea, exactly how many poor and low income people there are in the US.

Here is the video of Mitt Romney explaining why he doesn’t care about the poor from CNN:

Transcript via CNN:

Romney: “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair , I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich…. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

O’Brien: “There are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say, ‘That sounds odd.'”

Romney: “We will hear from the Democrat party, the plight of the poor…. You can focus on the very poor, that’s not my focus…. The middle income Americans, they’re the folks that are really struggling right now and they need someone that can help get this economy going for them.”

Romney tried to claim that poor people aren’t struggling because they have the social safety net, which Romney favors dismantling, and rich people aren’t struggling because they are wealthy, so he is worried about everyone else. The problem is that Romney seems to think that only 5%-10% of Americans are poor. He is so out of touch that he has no idea how many poor and low income people there really are in the United States.

There is some debate over whether the Census data released in December found that the number of Americans who are poor or low income is 50% or 33% depending on the measure that was used. The best case scenario for Mitt Romney is that he underestimated the number of poor and low income Americans by about 30%. The worst case scenario is that Romney had no clue that one in two Americans are struggling right now.

What the Republican frontrunner said today wasn’t just an isolated gaffe. Mitt Romney’s mouth has fueled a self-portrait of a candidate who is out of touch and uncaring about the struggles of average Americans. Romney has so far on the campaign trail claimed to be unemployed too, said that he has feared getting a pink slip in the past, bet another candidate $10,000, characterized over $374,000 in speaking fees as not very much money, and stated that he likes to fire people. Now, we can add to the list that he is not concerned about poor people.

Democrats don’t have to work to paint a negative picture of Mitt Romney. He is doing it for them. Mitt Romney has spent his entire life isolated inside a wealth bubble. Romney has never wanted for, or had to work for anything. His background made him the perfect corporate raider because he had no ability to empathize with the people who he was laying off.

That lack of empathy and understanding of how most Americans are living is alive and well today in presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Yes, Romney’s not caring about the poor statement was cold, uncaring, and damning, but the fact that he doesn’t even know how most of the people in the country he wants to lead live makes him completely unsuited for the presidency.

The absurdity of a man who doesn’t know how many poor and low income Americans there are wanting voters to believe that he is the candidate who can restore economic prosperity is only topped by the fact that the Republican Party is seriously considering nominating this candidate to be their nominee.

Corporations may be people to Mitt Romney, but it seems that poor and low income Americans aren’t.

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22 Replies to “Mitt Romney Has No Idea That 50% of Americans Are Poor Or Low Income”

  1. Willard Romney cannot hide his elitism, no matter how hard he tries. There are wealthy people who are very much in touch with the struggles and problems of those less well-off, but he is not one of them. Everything he has said and done, especially since running for president this year, has highlighted his insensitivity to everyday Americans, especially the poor. He is trying to run on his record as a businessman, but it is a lousy one that shows an avaricious shark who doesn’t mind throwing thousands of Americans under the bus in order to get even more wealthy. Besides, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of all 50 states in job creation while he was governor.

  2. “I’m not concerned about the very rich” = They are going to vote for me no matter what I say.

    “I’m not concerned about the very poor” = they don’t vote anyway.

  3. Romney may be out of touch, but even if he knew the outrageous number of Americans living in poverty, he could not care less. He also doesn’t care about middle class America. His focus is the wealthy elite. Excellent analysis and commentary. Ill-health prevents me from listening or watching him speak, so your article was the perfect alternative.

  4. in fact if republicans have their way.. not only “they dont vote anyway”.. but with votor ID laws the wont be allowed too.. thats what they are counting on!!

  5. No, it’s not an isolated gaffe. It’s a deeply ingrained belief that he shouldn’t be bothered with the poor. For all that Romney looks steady and low-key, his ideas are no less crazy than those of the rest of the Republican field. The party is going to have to be rebuilt from the ground up, and I’ve had hints, no matter how slight, that some of its members on a smaller scale recognize just that. See “Wanted: One Sane Republican Voice” at http://thepoliticali.blogspot.com/2012/01/wanted-one-sane-republican-voice.html.

  6. It’s definitely NOT a gaffe. He flip flops and says whatever he thinks will win him the nomination, but the REAL essence of Willard Romney emerges whenever he says things like corporations being people or he’s not concerned about the poor because they have a safety net.
    It’s the same safety net his party has been trying to abolish for decades. The essence of Willard has also been revealed in his tenure with Bain during which he gutted businesses and fired thousands of employees while getting even richer himself. I have always said that it’s dangerous to assume he’s any less crazy than the other GOP candidates. In fact, that’s what makes him even more creepily dangerous.

  7. Yeah… those middle of the road guys that pay for all those safety nets… WHO NEEDS em??? THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THIS COUNTRY WORK for those people who cant… that is what he is talking about.

    My grandmother could find a better way to spin for people looking for any excuse to diatribe against productive people… and she doesnt even speak english

  8. …”I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

    The “heart” of America?! Mitt Romney is talking about a “heart”??

    Did he mean the “Heartland Palin’topia”, or, the “Heart of Dixie”? He certainly cannot believe that 90-95% of Americans fit the stereotype that he has in his head is what comprises “middle-class”, can he? He’s not that ignorant, is he? He doesn’t believe that 90-95% are going to vote for him because he’s “concerned” for them, does he?

  9. I wish I could get him and sit him down, him and the other Republicans (and the Talking Heads of the Media)… set up a college-level course (oops, that might be too much for them) on the reality of poverty and the “safety net” as it exists today (something that I am actually qualified to talk about).

    It’s a stereotype-reinforcing joke.

    It’s a stereotype-reinforcing joke that punishes anyone who tries to get out of poverty and refuses to become a stereotype.

    It’s also a stereotype-reinforcing joke generally run by fundamentalists and dominionists who love to heap (false) guilt and blame on the people they’re supposedly helping.

    The really scary thing is that without the provisions of Obamacares, it could become a death trap for many people – people who want to earn their own living. There IS a relationship between poverty and health problems… and once you’ve got a “pre-existing condition”…

  10. When Rep’s talk about middle class americans,I wish they would put an amount a dollor amount on that.

    To my way of thinking about this subject,there are at least three different classes. those that make 200,000 per year and more are in the upper tier, then we have those that make 50,000 or more per year,then we have the those that make 30,000-45,000 per year. Then the real poor.
    All of the above are told they are the middle class, but which class?

    My Husband worked for a U.S. comp. for over 15 years. worked 12-16 hours a day, never was ill, never took time off, was given awards for his shift. The most he ever made was around 46,000 and before his 62 birthday after, working for 12 hours, he was called into the office and told, he was too old and he was being let go.

    He collected one soc. check before he died. Oh, and he was never sick was not over weight,had no health issues that were known. This was a non Union shop.Known all over the U.S. how they treat their employes. Come to find out,this Comp had a history of this sort of treatment.

  11. Nancy Reagan, bless her heart. Back in the 1980’s she truly had no idea that there were homeless people in America. She could not believe this fact. She had to be shown, convinced, whatever. It didn’t seem to bring about any positive change in the Republican party’s way of looking at things, but at least they had HEARD about the homeless.
    I will never forget reading about that. Never.
    It really did show me how so many conservative politicians are out of touch with true reality.
    And that was in the 1980’s.

  12. I guess I’m poor or maybe very poor. My salary is in the mid $20,000’s. For working at a large company for almost 7 years. Wonder if Willard could figure out how to live on that ?

  13. Mr. Romney, You are so out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Americans. You should close your mouth, open your eyes, and take a few steps in our shoes.
    Judging from what you’ve said, you have obviously never seen the “safety net” of the poor. I sincerely doubt you will ever have any idea what life is actually like for the majority if Americans. But then again, you don’t have to.

  14. The poverty rate has remained around 14% for almost 40 years thru Democrat and Republican administrations. The Country has spent trillions on the problem without making a dent in it. Why pick in Romney, because he spoke the truth. There is a certain section of our population, because of inadequate education, outsourced jobs, poor family life, that just can’t seem to make the transition to middle class. Many President have tried and failed. Many Congresses have tried and failed. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and correct the problems causing poverty, but its not just a Romney problem, or a Republican problem, or a Democrat problem, its a problem that doesn’t seem to have a solution, even after 40 years of trying.

  15. (SIGH) Punish people because the system let them down? Have you ever heard of tracking (in the schools)? Discrimination (a huge factor)? Greed?

    THOSE are the sorts of things that cause poverty. Indeed, greed of the rich is the root of poverty.

    Most poor people work and work HARD. Most homeless people have jobs… maybe temp jobs (because they’re the only jobs usually available to the homeless), but they work hard. It is the greed of the landlords, and the hate for the poor (and the DAMNED Republicans) that makes people homeless… for instance, did you know that public housing WORKED? What killed it? White collar crime – not the people, plus funds needed for upkeep were siphoned off for “other uses” (another form of white collar crime). It was the comfortable who created all the problems, not the tenants! Oh, and the damned Republicans brought about more and more stifling rules and regulations against tenants that they sometimes couldn’t have a life… gotta force those lazy people to get a job, and if they do, well they can pay regular rates now (even if the job doesn’t pay enough to rent a place).

    I suggest you read the latest “Out of Reach Report” put out by the Low Income Housing Coalition – it quickly explains why so many people are homeless and why the poor are often so miserable. They have to work their entire life just to keep a roof over their head, and if they try to have anything nice in their life, they’re castigated for it! I’ve heard of housing projects where barbecue grills, outside furniture, and even nice things on the inside (computers, decent TVs, radios) were not allowed – much less such luxuries as cable or telephone.

    And while we’re at it, too many Republicans think that starvation in extremely poor areas is natural. Guess what – there is more than enough food resources that nobody on this planet needs to go hungry. NOBODY. People don’t even need to do with a little less in order for others to have enough to eat. The reason why we have starvation boils down to one word – GREED. Greed for profit for the corporations and greed for power with the politicians (in areas where starvation regularly happens). I might also agree that in places where the government is Islamist and the poor are Christian (and possibly the inverse), religious bigotry could also explain some of the starvation.

    Indeed, introducing the “Market Economy” to several African nations caused them to change from being food exporters to needing to import food just to survive!

    You spoke of Trillions being spent on Poverty. First off, that number is way off. Billions, I would agree. The thing is, you need to analyze what the money was spent on and where it went. Right now the dominant form of care for the homeless is called “Continuum of Care” and it’s based on the (FAILED) idea that personal failings cause poverty and homelessness, and people need to be fixed in order to escape homelessness. The success rates as reported (privately) by shelters was on the order of around 5% (sometimes slightly more for non-hard-sell-religious shelters). Yep, they inflate their public numbers, and even the 5% is the people who get through their “program” – it doesn’t take into account people who get through, are on their own, loose a job (or whatever), and end up back on the street.

    There is an alternative to “Continuum of Care” that has documented success rates of up to 95%, and that’s for people who have both mental illness and drug/alcohol addiction. It’s based on the idea that HOUSING is the problem and that personal failings have little to do with it. They don’t force people to give up drugs or alcohol, or demand that they go through “education for life” or anything stupid like that. Funny, but a significant portion of the people in that program that used drugs or alcohol stopped using on their own… could it be that the real issue is lack of affordable housing (do I hear a big “NAH!” from the conservatives)? I might add that the lowest reported LONG TERM success rate for Housing First was over 80%!

    I could go on and on. The fact is, the damned Republicans don’t have a clue, or more likely they’re deliberately lying to people. It’s been said that Reality has a liberal bias… well, that’s clearly the case when you talk about poverty (and I can add race). Research project after research project show that the greed of the rich is the cause of poverty and that the neoliberal/neoconservative/Republican “solutions” only channel more money to the rich while hurting the people they claim they are helping. Now, we have people like Romney who would let people STARVE rather than have the rich pay their fare share, and Ron Paul who would eliminate anything that provides any equality (real assistance) for the poor whatsoever.

  16. Addendum – the reason why those housing projects banned “nice things” was because people who are poor should be paying everything to just survive, and if they’ve got something nice in their home, they’re not budgeting right (so the argument went).

  17. Evidently, you did not catch Rick Tyler’s interview on MSNBC on Tuesday night in which he admitted that there hasn’t been a focus on poverty in this country since LBJ’s Great Society Program. Tyler is a major supporter of Gingrich, so this informs me that republicans know the facts but think it pays politically to lie. Also, since 1972, a 40 year period, there has been a republican in the WH and many republican majorities in Congress, 25 of the 40 years, in fact. This begs the question of how/why anyone can lay blame at the feet of one party over the other. I’ve seen the same thing with the issue of abortion. Republicans never passed a bill to repeal Roe vs. Wade when they were the majority in Congress with a republican in the WH. Never. I think it’s because it’s the hook the party uses to get people to vote for them, and after they win, it’s a non-issue. I heard very little from the right about abortion during the GW Bush Administration, but since there’s a democrat in the WH now, it’s re-emerged as a “major” concern. Although the number of women who chose to have abortions decreased during the GWB Administration, millions of women chose to have abortions during the Bush years, but that has been largely forgotten now, as has been the miserable failure of GWB as POTUS. He has become “he who mustn’t be named” in all of the presidential debates and in the GOP. If the movers and shakers in the party actually thought he were as “successful” a POTUS as they are wont to claim, he’d be included in every GOP debate. In regard to the issue of abortion, logic informs that if a behavior isn’t consistent, it’s most likely Bull Stank, so I’m calling this “concern” for abortion along with the other “concern” for gay marriage exactly what they are: manufactured BullStank. It’s okay to have one’s own opinion, but one should be careful about pushing misinformation based on one’s opinions/beliefs because there are those of us in this country who know the facts.

  18. Exactly how many rich elites are there in this nation of over 300 million people that are going to vote for this clueless jerk? I do hope the poor Republicans get a clue that he could care less about them. I guess as long as they keep their guns, they are happy. They though Obama would take their guns, and he hasn’t yet. Go figure.

  19. The GOP uses wedge issues like Gods, guns, and abortion to win elections because they know the very mention of these issues inflame passions. Since they have no original or positive ideas on how to solve problems or deal with issues, they use these as a substitute. And predictably, the same people vote against their own economic interests because their focus is on the hot-button issues.

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