While “campaigning” in Wisconsin via phone from Texas (ever a man of the people), Mitt Romney endorsed Governor Scott Walker’s “labor policies” and Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan, saying he worked with Ryan on this Medicare proposals that end “entitlement structure” of Medicare and Medicaid (if you don’t know what that means, you better learn fast). But Romney is all for entitlements of corporations via more tax cuts. We all know how well this Kochesque “economic theory” has worked for the country (see George W Bush recession, 2007-).
Yes, Mitt Romney aligned himself yesterday with a governor who faces a very tough recall challenge in addition to growing scrutiny over the ongoing John Doe investigation. He also did it while making yet another dumb comment about jobs.
Romney tried to ingratiate himself with Wisconsinites by joking about his father shutting down a Michigan plant in the 1950’s and moving it to Wisconsin. The Journal Sentinel Online reported that Romney said,
“Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan, and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign,” explained Romney, who described a subsequent campaign parade in which the school band marching with his father knew how to play Wisconsin’s fight song, but not Michigan’s.
“Every time they would start playing ‘On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, laughing.
Yes, losing jobs it’s all so darn funny, especially when it impacts your campaign! Now, you peons who don’t get the humor behind the cynical attempt to both align himself with his father (and remind older voters that he is his father, which he is most decidedly not) and at the same time, laugh at one segment of workers who lost their jobs in order to make “friends” with another segment, are simply avoiding discussing Obama’s “failures” according to the Romney campaign.
What will Romney do to deflect from his gaffes by condemning Obama for his “failures” given the latest jobs report from today? “The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims fell 5,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 359,000 in the week ended March 24, the lowest since April 2008, when the economy was in the depths of the recession... When unemployment benefit applications drop consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. The decline has coincided with the best three months of hiring in two years.”
I”m sure Romney will find a way to spin the good news into a dire warning of impending doom. Meanwhile, it hasn’t yet dawned on the Romney campaign that actually, people being out of work is not a hee-haw kinda joke their candidate should be making in 2012 even with improving jobless numbers.
Romney doesn’t get labor, he doesn’t get unions, and he doesn’t get people.
Unions are there to protect all of their members from people like Mitt Romney, and while his father, George Romney, made some tough decisions when he was trying to save the American Motor Company, he did not simply take jobs away from labor. He didn’t pretend that they had no rights. He would never have aligned himself with Scott Walker, whose legislative disasters created a huge hole in the state deficit this year.
George Romney may have moved some production to another state, but he also cut the CEO’s salaries by 35%, including his own. That’s what “shared sacrifices” really look like.
Scott Walker and Mitt Romney wouldn’t dream of such sacrilege. George Romney believed “big business” was just as evil as “big labor”. He also supported profit sharing and pushed to implement the state Fair Employment Practices Act. But worse yet, George Romney once gave the excess of his salary and bonus back to the company when he felt it was too much. Can you imagine Mitt Romney doing such a thing? Oh, no, Mitt feels entitled to every penny he can squeeze out of a company Bain tears down and he likes to gloat about it, implying that the rest of us are just losers who are jealous of his empty soul and big Cayman’s accounts.
On his face, Mitt Romney seems kind of boring, but he’s actually proving to be almost Palin worthy in the gaffe department, sans the utter lack of understanding of the issue. Does he, too, also see our alleged “geopolitical foe” Russia from any and all of his houses? Romney knows better and he just doesn’t care.
Mitt Romney thinks it’s funny that a factory was shut down and moved to Wisconsin because his father had to get his band to stop playing the Wisconsin song. Everything for Mitt Romney is seen through the prism of its political expediency, rather than the impact it had on real people. This is the same man who filed for a permit to tear down a house in order to rebuild a mansion on ocean front property containing elevators for his cars, knowing that he would be campaigning for President during a bad economy.
If the lobbyists Romney hired to obtain his car elevators for him fail to procure the permit, Romney and family will have to squeeze their cars into the “tight space” of a 12 million dollar, 8,105-square-foot home on less than half an acre. Perhaps then he’ll finally think he feels the pain of thousands out of work, looking for a new job in a town where the largest and often only employment industry just fled town. Because not having an elevator for your 4+ cars in your vacation property is just like having food to put on the table for your kids.
Mitt Romney just aligned himself with a Governor so unpopular that last May, he caused Obama’s approval ratings to soar in Wisconsin. A Marquette University poll released in February shows Obama leading all the candidates in Wisconsin, and leading Mitt Romney 53% to 38%. Meanwhile, the guy Mitt just aligned himself with has slipped even more in his unfavorables, with 72% of those polled aware of the John Doe investigation surrounding Walker’s closest allies and campaign aides.
But that’s okay, because come primary season, old Etch-a-Sketch will simply shake this story up and you’ll believe him when he tells you he’s a moderate who was never behind the very conservative idea of an individual mandate for health insurance but whose only real accomplishment as Governor involved an individual mandate for health insurance. You know, the one his party now says is unconstitutional.
Mitt Romney is chasing the conservatives in his party by doubling down on the calculating crazy, but he can’t erase these gaffes come primary time. One wonders if Romney is not in fact working for the Obama campaign. Mitt Romney just can’t help his radical self-expression, much like the Burning Man events, in which there are no rules for how one must behave. The problem is that in politics, it isn’t usually a good strategy to ignore at least the pretense of caring about the people whose votes you need to win.
Additional Sources: NYT, archive
Image: Politics Plus
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.