Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney did cause a media stir after comments on CNN about “not concerned about the very poor” for they have a “safety net”. After Tuesday’s big win in Florida, Romney’s comments are red flags for the candidate’s understanding of the condition of the US economy and unemployment. President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline was a red flag that common sense and politics do not make nice bedfellows, and Romney’s comments play along the same line. The high unemployment numbers are creating a new underclass, and this underclass is part of the new very poor. As Felix Salmon stated in an opinion piece in Reuters, “The problem is that persistent unemployment at or around 10% is unacceptable in the especially with the social safety net being much weaker here than it is in Europe.” The biggest problem with Mitt Romney’s comments is this recessionary period is much different from the recessions of recent past. The middle class is suffering a gaping hole from the effects of long-term unemployment on the economy. One must ask. Does Mitt Romney get it?
The problem with Mitt Romney’s comments can be attributed to these additional comments during the CNN Interview…
“I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling. You can focus on the very poor, that’s not my focus.”
The issue of unemployment is so complex in the overall issue as the plight of the unemployed in Florida, California, and Nevada differs from a Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, or New York. The unemployment issue differs within a state such as New York, but one commonality does exists in that some of the very poor in 2012 were a result of The Great Recession and dealing with the issue of long-term unemployment. The number of people living in poverty in the United States did exceed 46.2 million in 2010, and this surge in poverty did not occur due to the upper 1 % becoming impoverished. This surge was due to the recession’s impact on the middle class. Mitt Romney’s stance may have good intentions on focusing on the 95%, but his words speaks volumes on the understanding of the unemployment situation. Mitt Romney does not get it.
- Wolf Blitzer Grills Trump On Romney Endorsement, Asks: Is This Going To Help Or Hurt Romney? (mediaite.com)
- Is Mitt Romney ‘concerned’ with the 40% of Americans who are less than three months from poverty? (dailykos.com)
- Mitt Romney Does Care About the Poor (trommetter.com)
- Donald Trump Endorses Mitt Romney, Will It Help Or Hurt His Campaign? (clutchmagonline.com)
- If Mitt Romney Doesn’t Care about the Poor, He Doesn’t Care about America’s Children (theindustrycosign.wordpress.com)
- “Empathy Gap”: Mitt Romney Rejects Concern For The “Very Poor” (mykeystrokes.com)
- Mitt Romney “Not Concerned” About Poor People (thehollywoodgossip.com)