Seriously… This would make any person with a soul weep from shame. Yesterday, Mitt Romney attacked President Obama over providing food stamps to so many Americans in a time of need, as if this were a bad thing, as if people in need should not be helped, as if it were not George W. Bush’s policies that took Clinton’s surplus and turned it into the epic disaster from which we are still recovering.
Yet, Mitt Romney knows need well. Here is video of Mitt Romney’s mother, Lenore LaFount Romney, talking about how his father George was on welfare relief after he was a refugee from Mexico.
Watch Lenore LaFount Romney, the former First Lady of Michigan from 1963 to 1969 and the Republican Party nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1970, talk about George Romney being on welfare relief:
Will this stop Mitt Romney from bashing immigrants or poor people? No, because it’s not as if he didn’t know this. We all knew it about his father George, who never forgot where he came from and was a decent, hard working man.
George Romney watched his family struggle for years to pay off their debts and had his own business destroyed during the Great Depression. He knew hunger. His family lived on welfare relief in El Paso, Texas after fleeing to this country from Mexico. George Romney really did build his wealth, but only after he took some help from the government to get through tough times.
Mitt Romney is attacking President Obama for feeding poor children. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
In 2011, SNAP helped almost 45 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet in a typical month. Nearly 75 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter are in households with seniors or people with disabilities. While SNAP’s fundamental purpose is to help low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities afford an adequate diet and avoid hardship, it promotes other goals as well, such as reducing poverty, supporting and encouraging work, protecting the overall economy from risk, and promoting healthy eating.
SNAP caseloads have risen significantly since late 2007, as the recession and lagging recovery battered the economic circumstances of millions of Americans and dramatically increased the number of low-income households who qualify and apply for help from the program. Yet, despite the rapid caseload growth, SNAP payment accuracy has continued to improve, reaching all-time highs. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that SNAP spending will fall as a share of the economy in coming years as the economy recovers and temporary benefit expansions that Congress enacted in 2009 expire.
Is Mitt Romney saying he would not offer food assistance to children?
In July, Rush Limbaugh said Romney was booed by the NAACP because all back people wanted was more food stamps. In reality, he was booed when he disrespected the Affordable Care Act, something he is so used to doing that it never occurred to Romney that many Americans are fierce supporters of it.
It’s hard to not put Romney’s newest attack in context with the welfare to work lie aimed at generating racial resentment, or ignore how it references Newt Gingrich’s “food stamp president” dog whistle.
Of course, Rush was wrong and Newt was wrong, just as Romney is dead wrong about his welfare to work lie. As Jason Easley explained in July:
The fact is that 70% of all food stamp recipients are white. Many of them probably watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh. 2010 Census data revealed that 49% of food stamp recipients were white. Twenty six percent were black. A 2009 New York Times map revealed that the top ten counties in food stamp usage were all located in red states.
Mitt Romney continues to demonize the poor and immigrants, and claim that he built his wealth himself — but that is not accurate. Mitt Romney was born into a wealthy family, and had all of the perks of a top notch, private prep school education and never a worry about how to pay for university.
The fact that Mitt Romney continues to lie about this basic truth is beyond shameful. There really aren’t words, but Americans should make note of Romney’s utter lack of compassion and appreciation for the gifts he was given through accident of birth. Mitt Romney did not earn his privilege the hard way, as his father did. Mitt Romney was born to it and thus assumes that he is better than others, people just like his father, who might need a little help from time to time.
Mitt Romney’s father was on welfare relief, and then he went on to make a great career for himself. His son is lying about welfare relief, and making ugly nods regarding the racial makeup of welfare recipients. In fact, just last night, the Romney campaign sent me an email doubling down on their welfare to work lie and begging for money.
Shame on you, Mitt Romney. SHAME.
Additional Sources: Tom Mahoney: The Story of George Romney
Update 5:55 PM: Video was removed from original source, replaced by alternate version
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.
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