Newsflash! Ann Romney announces from one of the couple’s vacation home in New Hampshire that they are running to help those American families who are struggling to make ends meet. You People had her all wrong. Ann gets you, because she shops at Costco and she makes buttermilk pancakes!
Watch the Fox attempt to reintroduce the Romneys to America:
Watch the latest video at video.insider.foxnews.com
Transcript of the “middle class” Romneys discussing Costco from Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: I also hear from my sources that you have an unhealthy attraction to Costco.
A. ROMNEY: Oh, we both like Costco.
A. ROMNEY: I love Costco.
A. ROMNEY: It’s great. Are you kidding? Have you ever been to it?
WALLACE: Yeah, I’ve been to a Costco.
A. ROMNEY: I love Costco.
WALLACE: I’m in touch. What are you talking about?
M. ROMNEY: It’s got great produce.
A. ROMNEY: I know how to shop Costco. You go in the door. Don’t — don’t — I don’t want everyone to learn this trick.
(LAUGHTER) You go in the door, you take a sharp right, and you go way down to the back of the store and just go — just shop the outside of aisles, boom, boom, boom.
M. ROMNEY: She also got me one of these three-packs of shirts the other day from Costco. And they’re…
A. ROMNEY: Yeah.
M. ROMNEY: They’re very nice shirts.
A. ROMNEY: The Kirkland shirts. He’s — he’s wearing them all the time now. I’m like, hey, that’s — that looks — that shirt looks pretty good. I got them — I got them at Costco.
You People need to stop focusing on silly things like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s actual policies that would steal from the middle class and poor so that the very, very rich like Mitt would no longer have to pay any taxes on that pesky capital gains “income” (if, indeed, he pays taxes on it now, which is a matter of some debate, as is the conversion of salary payments into capital gains in order to avoid the higher tax rate).
See, Ann tells us that Mitt and Paul are off to Washington to balance the budget! (Never mind that Ryan never crunched the numbers on his budget because it does not balance the budget until the 2030’s). It’s the all-American Mr. Smith Goes to DC story! Focus on the BUDGET, not the women’s lives stuff, okay, Costco shoppers?
Via Fox, “Well, I think it’s important that the distinction is made that it’s federal funding, it doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be a Planned Parenthood. He and Paul are going to get to Washington and they are going to balance this budget.”
And when you are thinking about that budget, please remember not to crunch the numbers, because budgets are not for You People to understand. Let the grown ups handle these complicated matters.
After all, Mitt Romney is super good at this stuff because of his jobs record at Bain (which you are not allowed to ask questions about), his experience at the Olympics (which you are not allowed to ask questions about and the material has been destroyed), his record as governor (for all practical purposes Romney left after two years mid term when his party lost the election, but you are not allowed to ask questions about this record either and yes, those records were destroyed when the Romney camp left office and took the hard drives with them), and his record at the Mormon church (you should know by now that this is a matter in which Romney prefers to set the narrative, so please don’t ask questions about it, but it is why he won’t show you his tax returns).
But the pancakes!
You People love pancakes, right? Almost as much as you love shopping at Costco!
The Romneys seem to have a wonderful family and a beautiful vacation home in New Hampshire.
It’s heart-warming that they designed their granite kitchen island with a hole in the center so that the grandkids can participate in the kitchen happenings. The thing is, given the immense privilege they both grew up with, they never manage to convey that they understand that this story isn’t exactly relatable to most Americans.
When Mitt Romney was running for Senate, Ann Romney made the mistake of telling an interviewer about the hard times they suffered in college, when they had to live off of Mitt’s father’s stocks:
“We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time.
The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.”
Life can be so cruel. The amount of money they had translates in 2012 dollars to $388,499.06. Of course, I have a hard time believing their families weren’t paying for university, as I attended the same prep school they attended and no one except the scholarship kids needed to worry about college tuition. And while I’m sure having limits on spending was a new thing for Ann Romney, for most Americans having “only” $388,499.06 for rent and food over a four year period wouldn’t exactly be a hardship.
Mrs. Romney was roundly attacked for this 1994 interview, portrayed as a “Daughter of Privilege Knows Little of Real World” by The Herald (as noted in the Wall Street Journal), but growing up in one of the richest counties in the country can make one immune to the real problems facing average Americans. Other choice quotes from that 1994 interview:
“I wasn’t interested in academics till college. I was more interested in riding my horses, and I was extremely athletic. I played field hockey, lacrosse, basketball. I swam, skied, played tennis and even now, I exercise three times a week, aerobics, muscle toning, and I play tennis at Belmont Hill Club.”
“Another son came along 18 months later, although we waited four years to have the third, because Mitt was still in school and we had no income except the stock we were chipping away at. We were living on the edge, not entertaining. No, I did not work. Mitt thought it was important for me to stay home with the children, and I was delighted.”
Living on the edge, I tell you! Only almost $400,000 to sustain them! You People have no idea of the economic hardship Ann has seen.
Most Americans don’t own multiple homes, and while they would love to have a vacation home (or two or three) with car elevators like the Romney’s California home, and stock to sell off when things got tight, right now most Americans are worried about paying an upside down mortgage.
Through the safety of a Fox News interview, we get to see the non-defensive Romneys, promised as they are that no one will ask any questions they don’t want asked. So, really, if You People would stop asking for things like Romney’s record, his taxes and his policies, you might really like King and Queen Romney. Hey, they’ve lived on the edge, babies! Selling stock off like a homeless person cashing in bottles for food!
The repackaging of Mitt Romney is underway. This Fox interview is just a preview of the “warm and engaging version of Mitt Romney” you are going to meet via his family this week during the Republican National Convention. Even the stage is being carefully designed to lend “warmth” to the Republican candidate’s image, because it’s all about the image.
The trouble for Mitt and Ann is that they can’t handle dissent or questions. Sure, they can play family pancakes for Fox, and use their family to humanize Mitt Romney within the contained structure of the convention, but outside of that bubble, they both have trouble with the press and with questions.
But hey, Ann Romney shops at Costco, so do You People like her now? She’s just like you, only she has never known what living paycheck to paycheck means, she doesn’t understand that some of you don’t have the luxury of the best healthcare to fight family illness as she has had, and she doesn’t understand what gives you the right to dare to ask for their tax returns. Sure, you might not have an Olympic dressage horse that offers you $77,000 in tax write-offs, but don’t hate her because she’s rich and doesn’t care let alone know about your struggles!
You People. Always thinking about yourselves instead of the vacation home pancakes!
Additional Source: Boston Globe archive, “Ann Romney’s sweetheart deal She decided her love of 30 years should be senator”, 1994 by Jack Thomas, Globe Staff.
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.