Mitt Romney’s popularity/approval ratings have been in the dumps since the early primaries, and they’ve remained there or worse through the summer as the American people learned more about him.
So a recurring theme among Team Republican hacks has been that the one thing Mitt needs to do to capture the Presidency is to “tell us who he is,” as if the man who has been running for President since forever would become enormously popular if only he, his wife, and his friends would just reveal the “real” Mitt Romney.
That was the advice given on PBS News Hour Friday by the elite GOP hack David Brooks before the always smiling but incurious Judy Woodruff — who with Gwen Ifill will now be the PBS anchors making theirs the least competent national news team to cover the GOP convention. But the “if you only knew him” theme was taken to extremes today on CBS’ Face the Nation when Bob Schieffer retired from journalism and handed over the entire program to Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio and a panel of GOP flacks to sing Mitt’s praises in defiance of everything we’ve learned about the man who may well become President of the United States.
Rubio repeatedly pinged the Mitt is my Daddy meter by telling us that Mitt Romney has always been his hero, that Mitt was America’s defining success story, that everywhere Mitt has gone he’s made it better, from private enterprise at Bain to the Massachusetts governorship. But Rubio’s slobbering was not finished.
When Schieffer asked what Rubio was planning to say in his prime-time speech introducing Mitt Romney to the convention — assuming Mother Nature is more tolerant than the world’s dumbest collection of climate deniers deserve — Rubio restated he intended to define who Romney is. He then added (paraphrasing), Mitt Romney “is a personal role model for men like me . . . the kind of person we’d all be proud for our kids to grow up and be like.”
God save the children! What utter gibberish.
You would think that after spending much of his life either in government or running for the presidency with national media trailing him as he spent tens of millions defining himself, the American people would now have a pretty clear picture of what kind of man Mitt Romney is. If there are still some pieces missing it’s only because Romney has arrogantly refused to release his taxes, refused to provide specifics for most of his non-credible, math defying policy statements, and barely mentioned Massachusetts except to insist he was a resident and eligible to vote there even while living in Utah. At the end of his term as Massachusetts governor, Romney’s approval ratings had crashed from above 50% to about 37%.
But it’s his runs for office that have exposed everything Americans didn’t want to hear about any man presuming to be qualified for President. The fact is, voters have been more thoroughly exposed to Mitt Romney’s character than probably any other candidate in the last half century, and what we’ve learned is deeply disturbing, not only about the man’s character but about the character of any party that would have him as their nominee.
The exposure came first in Mitt’s run for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, where after seeming a likely winner, he was exposed to ads about what Bain actually did to people; he got crushed. It came again against the GOP’s clown show last winter, where various candidates took turns exposing Romney for having taken both sides (and more) of every issue that matters to GOP voters. He was shown to have condemned or abandoned conservative principles he now claims to hold dear and practiced a brand of “predatory capitalism” at Bain that is better defined as stripping, looting and tax evasion, along with total indifference to what it did to the real people who lost their jobs, their pensions, their insurance, and their futures.
In the last several months, the media has further exposed Romney’s business ethics at Bain: they essentially stripped companies of capital, used their borrowing leverage to extract short run profits for Bain and its investors, fired workers, outsourced jobs to avoid pensions and health benefits, and then extracted management fees and other profits, even when the “saved” firms were headed towards bankruptcy.
More recent exposures regarding Bain practices and Romney’s tax evasion, still largely concealed, show that Mitt Romney became rich not through superior management but through aggressive income concealment and tax avoidance schemes, some legal, some likely not. We now know, for example, that Mitt likely managed to keep his tax rates low despite huge multi-million dollar annual incomes by structuring Bain deals so that he could classify almost all his huge income, including management fees, as “carried interest” and thus taxed at only 15%, even though millions in management fees should have been taxed as ordinary income at 35%.
And that’s just one of the numerous tax evasion schemes Romney used (and concealed) to enrich himself, his wife and his family and which he further shielded through offshore accounts in the Caymen Islands and elsewhere. Tell us again, Senator Rubio, why you think a serial tax evader, corporate looter and job destroyer should be the role model for America’s children?
Brooks and others also want Team Romney to tell us about Mr. Romney’s piety, what a decent, generous man he is at a personal and religious level. Excuse me, but I don’t care if Mitt helped out some couple and called it charity. What the American people want to know is how his policies will affect millions of people struggling without jobs, without insurance, without higher education, and without hope. He’s running for President, for christ sake, not Vicar.
So far, what we know about Mitt’s economic and social policy proposals is that they mirror almost exactly how the man made his money and evaded taxes. So no one should be surprised that Mitt’s economic policy is to use Paul Ryan’s scams to strip Medicare and Medicaid benefits from the middle class and the poor and use the trillions to lower tax rates for the rich, while promising that tanking federal spending will somehow boost a demand-deficient economy.
Let us not forget that Mitt’s notions of patriotism consist of avoiding the draft, spending a year in France, and making his sons rich enough so they never even think of joining up in America’s wars. But they’ll all wave the flag on July 4th.
So if Team Romney thinks they can schedule Ann Romney in prime time to tell us what a decent, generous guy her husband is and how he always gives money to his church (so it can fund hate-filled, anti-gay initiatives in California and elsewhere?), just save it.
This election should have been over. The only reason the Republican candidate is not swamping Barack Obama, who has clearly failed to earn reelection, is because their candidate is a first class jerk trying to lie his way into the Oval Office. The American people have figured this out, they have an accurate measure of the man, even though many in our lazy, elite media can’t bring themselves to see or report on the awful dilemma facing the nation.