Editorial

The ’47 percent’ may cost Romney election

If Mitt Romney loses, this will be the week we will look back on and say that’s when it all started to go downhill.
It seems a lot of Romney’s “off the cuff” remarks are getting him into trouble.
First, Romney found himself on the defensive after saying President Obama’s handling of the attacks in Libya, which left four U.S. diplomats dead, was “disgraceful” and accused the Obama Administration of “sympathizing” with the attackers.
Many, including republicans, said he was attempting to politicize a tragedy.  Political analysts began saying those comments could cost him the election.
If that does not cost him the election, alienating about half the population will.
A hidden camera video was leaked, which shows Romney at a fundraiser in May saying that “47 percent” of people “believe they are victims” and “believe that government has the responsibility to care for them.”  He said they also “believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”
None of what you read is taken out of context.  If you are still in doubt, allow me to add in some further context:
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he said. “What I have to do is convince the 5 percent to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful.”
The 47 percent he is referring to is the number of people who do not pay any federal income taxes.  
That 47 percent also has 100 percent of their income taken into consideration for the payroll tax.  Wages eligible for the payroll tax are capped at about $100,000.  So those in lower incomes are hit harder by the payroll tax. Not to mention they are also hit harder by sales taxes and state income tax. And when those are taken into consideration, along with the payroll tax, nearly everyone pays taxes.
The suggestion that those in the 47 percent need to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” is another outrageous statement made by Romney.
I would like him to look at the single mother who works at Taco Bell, making as much an hour as the cost of a number six combo, and can’t accept a promotion because she can’t put in the extra hours between taking care of her kids that she needs to take a bit more personal responsibility for her life.
Finally, the suggestion that those in the 47 percent are not “thoughtful” is a claim not even worth discussion.
Romney’s assumption that those in that 47 percent are not going to vote for him is also not true.  Historically, republicans have built a base made up of people who consistently vote against their own economic interests.  They have done this, particularly in the South, by painting the democrats as weak.  This is evident by all the “Don’t be a girly man, vote republican” bumper stickers I see on a daily basis.
This image is beginning to wane, though.  Romney finds himself in a position where the old republican tactic of making the democrats look weak is no longer working.
Romney is like an overly persistent boyfriend who calls too many times a day just to let them know he is thinking about them. It is as though he is still trying to appeal to the far right base that wins primaries.  Someone should tell Romney he already won the primary and is now running for president.
It is at the point in the campaign in which Romney should be trying to appeal to the independents, which he is failing to do.  
His comments keep driving a wedge between himself and independent voters.  This is what will cost him the election.