Election 2012

Romney Caught on Tape: Moochers, Sweatshops and Freeloaders

My Tuesday column dissects the hidden camera Romney video and, specifically, his claim that the 47% of Americans who didn't pay taxes in 2009 are freeloaders.

The clandestine video footage of Mitt Romney telling wealthy donors that nearly half the nation is composed of freeloaders, layabouts and welfare queens isn't actually part of the recent hard right turn by the Romney campaign. This is how Romney really thinks. He really believes that reaching out to half the country is a waste of time because they -- we -- would rather collect our Obama Bucks while regular working stiffs like Mitt Romney pay all the bills.

How do we know this? The video was recorded at right-wing financier Marc Leder back on May 17, 2012, long before Limbaugh, Ingraham and others demanded that Romney, shall we say, service the base. And that he did. Romney turned hard right last week and careened into a gigantic dump truck filled with crapola, Biff Tannen style. But the hidden-camera video shows that Romney had embraced "severely conservative" talking points five months ago, and with frank language that went far beyond any of his public statements during the primary campaign.

Regardless, this is when things will get really crazy.

It's conceivable that Romney will continue his desperate move to right by actually embracing his 47% speech at Marc Leder's house. In a brief Q&A session with the press Monday evening, Romney said his video remarks weren't "elegantly" worded but that it's the "the same message" he delivers in public. No sign of backing away from the substance of what he said, just the way he said it. Continue reading...