It’s been nearly two years since former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his infamous “47 percent” comments but he’s still trying to explain them away.
During an interview with The New York Times, Romney essentially said that he was pandering.
“I was talking to one of my political advisers,” Romney continued, “and I said: ‘If I had to do this again, I’d insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times” — essentially employing his own tracker, as opposition researchers call them. “I want to be reminded that this is not off the cuff.” This, as he saw it, was what got him in trouble at that Boca Raton fund-raiser, when Romney told the crowd he was writing off the 47 percent of the electorate that supported Obama (a.k.a. “those people”; “victims” who take no “personal responsibility”). Romney told me that the statement came out wrong, because it was an attempt to placate a rambling supporter who was saying that Obama voters were essentially deadbeats.
Romney went on to say that he would have said something else at the time if he knew he was “talking to the whole world” and “not just the man.”
In other words, Romney admits that some things should only be discussed behind closed doors without the presence of activists with video cameras.
In other words, he meant every word he said but he wouldn’t have said it if he knew that everyone else in the world would see it.
Disdain for the “47 percent” is clearly best left tucked inside policy proposals rather than spoken out loud, and it was evident in all of his proposals. He even chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, for Pete’s sake.
I don’t actually believe Romney will run for office again but I would be delighted if he did. It’s easy to forget just how much of a disaster he was and I’m grateful that he periodically reminds us.