Jewish World Review Jan 13, 2012/ 18 Teves, 5772
Romney makes life difficult with many flubs
By Ann McFeatters
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For a wealthy man with a beautiful, happy wife and successful, handsome children, Mitt Romney seems to go out of his way to make his life more difficult.
Forget the video assaults of Newt "I'm-tired-of-playing-nice" Gingrich and the Mitt-as-worst-governor-in-America pabulum spewed by Rick Santorum.
When 66 percent of Americans perceive conflict between the rich and the poor in America, according to the Pew Research Center, why would Romney say he enjoys firing people who provide him with service?
Why after two years as a French-speaking Mormon missionary in France, would Romney cast aspersions on President Barack Obama as a European socialist?
When the Occupy Wall Street protest movement was in full flower, with millions blaming corporate greed for their financial woes, why would Romney defend corporations as "people"?
Why would a multimillionaire who owns multimillion dollar mansions joke about being unemployed when millions seek work to eat?
Why would a man whose landscaping was tended by illegal immigrants be so virulently anti-immigrant?
As governor, Romney proudly provided health insurance to his fellow citizens in Massachusetts. Why does he constantly assail Obama for providing the same benefits to all Americans?
The attacks on Romney for helping found Bain Capital, which made investors wealthy by sorting through stable and unstable companies, are unfair. Venture capitalism is legal. The problem is that Romney said this experience made him a "job creator." No, it made him experienced in creating wealth for investors.
Romney's role in saving the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City is admirable. The man knows how to raise money. The training ski slopes he helped create in Park City, Utah, are still functioning because of an endowment he helped create.
But the lurching way he runs from his moderate record as governor and his insistence he is neither a moderate nor a career politician (after running for president for years) are disconcerting. People don't know where he stands because he keeps trying to change his history.
As a campaigner, Romney is often awkward and sloppy. Instead of laying out what he would do as president, he just keeps attacking Obama. Romney's ad hominem diatribes against Obama are annoying and usually non-factual: Obama is anti-business. (No evidence for that one.) Obama doesn't have America's best interests at heart. (What?) Obama destroys jobs. (Job creation is improving.)
Romney wants less regulation. But after eight years of reduced regulation during the Bush years, we got a financial crisis born in part by unregulated anti-consumer business practices.
Romney wants lower taxes on the wealthy. But after eight years of hundreds of billions of dollars in Bush tax cuts for the rich, we nearly had another Great Depression. More jobs were created during the higher-tax years of the Clinton administration. Economists prove repeatedly that lower taxes on the rich do not equate with job creation.
If Romney wins the GOP nomination, he will have a 50-50 chance of becoming president. Desperate Americans upset by lost jobs, low wages, foreclosed houses and lack of opportunities for their children may vote Romney into office out of sheer frustration. The economy is improving but perhaps not fast enough to help Obama, no matter how personally popular he is.
Also, the primaries toughen up candidates for the general election. Romney will be a better candidate in September than he is now, especially if he listens to his advisers and stops speaking off the cuff. On the other hand, isn't it sad that the possible next president has to be careful not to speak off the cuff to avoid sticking his foot in his mouth?
And isn't it sad that we're going to have another election where mud is flung instead of one where serious questions about the size and role of government and taxes are debated seriously?
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