What Happened to Pasta and Canned Tuna?

As you're probably aware if you paid any attention to the Republican convention, the Romneys were once burdened with the hardship of eating pasta and canned tuna on a dinner table that was supposedly an ironing board. Even if you did believe that (if you really did you're terribly gullible), Ann Romney walked-back the implication yesterday on Meet The Press.

“Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives,” Ann Romney said in an interview with Mitt Romney that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.”

Difficulties in different things in life?

Sure, everyone has difficulty with some aspect of their life, but financial struggle exacerbates all else.

People dealing with financial struggle have to worry about having enough money to go to the grocery without buying Ramen. Having the money to afford healthcare. Having the money to fix your car or afford new clothes. Having the money to afford education for your children. Having the money to avoid the life-shortening stress that comes with worrying about money nearly every day.

The Romneys have no clue what any of that means. Ann Romney has never had to worry about providing for her children. They have trust funds. And to them, eating canned tuna and pasta is a novelty. To millions of other Americans it's an essential staple.

Everyone has difficulty in their personal relationships and within their family structures, but not everyone has their difficulties compounded by financial struggle.

  • mnpollio

    Every time Ann Romney opens her mouth something condescending or patronizing falls out. She has worked her patootie off trying to cajole and flatter average citizens into voting for her husband and when the consensus shows that she comes off unconvincing and unsympathetic, she resorts to whining, insults and then – the latest – the indication that maybe her original stories/descriptions were a bit exaggerated (i.e., she lied). She made it obvious with her slip on “you people”. The poor and middle class are a different species to her, and she (and her husband and his pip-squeak VP pick) are galled to even have to lower themselves to appeal or win approval from such dregs of society. No doubt her efforts in having to do this will appear in a later Ann Romney story about the “ultimate sacrifice”.

  • Sean Richardson

    There’s a saying, something about how having worries that aren’t financial is a fast-disappearing luxury in this country and, at any rate, certainly the purview of the wealthy.

  • Bubble Genius

    To be honest, for some, eating canned tuna and pasta is a luxury.

  • i_am_allwrite

    Really good post Ashby. I have nothing to add beyond “Right!”

  • moelarryandjesus

    The Romneys once wanted to buy Luxembourg but had to settle for Liechtenstein.

    That’s what she means by struggle.

  • Robinswing

    I suspect the real reason for non disclosure of his taxes might be they prove he is better off today than four years ago. And…rich people have all the same problems poor folk have minus one. Money. Which can often mitigate some of those problems. My youngest brother has been struggling with MS for about 20 years. Not being rich, it took a while to be diagnosed. Not being rich meant he needed the disability check it took about three years to get. No dressage horses for rehab…unless you have money. They really do need to quit.

  • Nefercat

    This weekend, Ann was fretting about how ridiculous We the People are for not understanding how empathetic she and the Mittster are about people with Less. Of course they have empathy, she whined.

    What she and Mitt don’t grasp is that it is not their wealth that makes us see them as less than understanding or empathetic about we, the Great Unwashed. No one has trouble seeing Bill and Melinda Gates ( as noted by Margietalks above) as charitable, empathetic, caring, conscientious people. Or Warren Buffett, or Jimmy Carter, or Bill Clinton, or any number of other wealthy philanthropists, of all and any political perspectives. We see their actions day in and day out. We hear them talk about their responsibility to give back. We hear and see their humility as they acknowledge their good fortune in living when and where they do, and in what circumstances. We see them acknowledge where they came from and the people that helped them on their way.

    We don’t see any of that in Mitt and Ann. Nothing.

    What I personally see is Ann’s increasingly difficult to contain anger at being expected to even address this issue. We have been called stupid (we need to start looking at the issues), ridiculous (at not understanding the Romneys having suffered also), and that we do not know what the important issues are. She can’t seem to grasp how condescending she is, and if called on it, I’m sure her reaction would be that, well you *are* beneath me.

  • margietalks

    I think the conversation has become so warped. I can imagine that a newly married (rich couple) might have eaten tuna fish and pasta off an ironing board. A sweet little picnic. I don’t care that they are rich. Yet, somehow that $55,000 car elevator keeps floating through my brain. Where are these cars going and why? And for them to have the audacity to ask for a tax break on their show horse is beyond belief. I think this kind of stuff contributes to their difficulty of being taken seriously by the general public. One has to wonder what other weird deductions are in those older returns. A lot of people are rich but they do good works which gives them a semblance of nobility…for instance Bill and Linda Gates and their endeavors to immunize poor children in third world countries. When the Romney’s talk of their great charity, they mention their contributions to their church. And I can’t help but think that this is the crux of their refusal to show additional tax returns. The way I see it, if the problem was with Mitt’s business returns, his wife could take a pass. My husband has a couple of businesses and I have no idea about those companies. But Ann Romney is hot about this issue. It is personal for her, which means it’s their personal taxes. And perhaps they are not reporting to the Mormon Church their total income. And I believe Mormons are expected to tithe 10 percent of their income.
    And what is with Romney and laundry? In the interview with Fox, where Mitt was making pancakes with his family and Chris Wallace, there were 3 washing machines or dryers in the background – why did they leave the laundry room door open for that interview? Then one of the “personal friends” who spoke at the RNC told of how Mitt helped fold her laundry. And then there’s the ironing board/dining table story. I’m noticing a theme here.

    • gescove

      Gotta keep those magic underpants squeaky clean.

      But I guarantee you, the Rmoneys NEVER ate pasta and tuna fish off a goddamned ironing board. We know, for example, that Mitt stayed at a French chateau complete with cook and maid while he was doing his Mormon mission work and avoiding military service. One might expect to encounter some privation on such missions, not have your pillow fluffed by the staff every night. Not Mitt! These are people born in privilege, who live every day in privilege, control more wealth than Croesus, and have the game rigged in their favor and for their benefit. They have NO EFFING CLUE about how the vast majority of Americans live. Ann Romney has all the intelligence, empathy, and insight of Marie Antoinette.

      • Brutlyhonest

        The Rmoneys are everything they labelled the Kerrys during the 2004 campaign.