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Friday, December 1, 2023

Romney’s clueless remarks about the poor is a major gaffe

Mitt Romney: Poor? What poor? (AFP/Stephen Maturen)

GOP Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, fresh off victory in the Florida primary, planted his Gucci-clad shoe firmly into his mouth Wednesday with a gaffe that got worse the more he tried to spin.

Romney, trying to explain how his campaign is focused on the plight of the American middle class, said he is “not concerned about the very poor” because they’re OK with a  “safety net.”  He didn’t just say it once, but three times.

In American politics, one does not say he or she is not concerned about the poor and if you’re a Republican trying to corral all those pesky conservative votes you don’t claim a “safety net” of welfare and food stamp programs is the way to go.

“My first thought is that he must be terminally stupid,” GOP strategist Arnold Block told Capitol Hill Blue.  “Then it dawned on me that he really has no clue about what it means to be poor.”

While the gaffe may not stop Romney’s march to the nomination against the weakest field in political history, it won’t help him in what is becoming an increasingly long-shot effort to unseat President Barack Obama.

“That remark will be one of the centerpieces of the Democrats’ campaign against Romney and anybody on the GOP side of the ticket,” said Democratic strategist Carolyn Maxwell. “It’s a gift from heaven.”

The more Romney tried to explain the remark away the worse it got.

The mufti-millionaire said he isn’t concerned about the rich because “they’re doing OK ” and he doesn’t have to worry about the poor because the “safety net” takes care of them.

Apparently, that’s what he actually believes.

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10 thoughts on “Romney’s clueless remarks about the poor is a major gaffe”

  1. Jon,

    I haven’t used it by know others who have. I would add that not only is the paperwork byzantine, but the entire system is as well.

    Reminds me of this which I share because everyone knows portions of it, but in its entirety it is even better. As you see, it’s long, but it is a fun read:

    A classic by Abbott and Costello: A Word-for-Word Transcript

    Abbott: Well Costello, I’m going to New York with you. You know Bucky Harris, the Yankee’s manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you’re on the team.

    Costello: Look Abbott, if you’re the coach, you must know all the players.

    Abbott: I certainly do.

    Costello: Well you know I’ve never met the guys. So you’ll have to tell me their names, and then I’ll know who’s playing on the team.

    Abbott: Oh, I’ll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

    Costello: You mean funny names?

    Abbott: Strange names, pet names…like Dizzy Dean…

    Costello: His brother Daffy.

    Abbott: Daffy Dean…

    Costello: And their French cousin.

    Abbott: French?

    Costello: Goofè.

    Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let’s see, we have on the bags, Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third…

    Costello: That’s what I want to find out.

    Abbott: I say Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third.

    Costello: Are you the manager?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: And you don’t know the fellows’ names?

    Abbott: Well I should.

    Costello: Well then who’s on first?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: I mean the fellow’s name.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy on first.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The first baseman.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy playing…

    Abbott: Who is on first!

    Costello: I’m asking YOU who’s on first.

    Abbott: That’s the man’s name.

    Costello: That’s who’s name?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

    Abbott: That’s it.

    Costello: That’s who?

    Abbott: Yes.


    Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?

    Abbott: Certainly.

    Costello: Who’s playing first?

    Abbott: That’s right.

    Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

    Abbott: Every dollar of it.

    Costello: All I’m trying to find out is the fellow’s name on first base.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy that gets…

    Abbott: That’s it.

    Costello: Who gets the money…

    Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

    Costello: Whose wife?

    Abbott: Yes.


    Abbott: What’s wrong with that?

    Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: How does he sign…

    Abbott: That’s how he signs it.

    Costello: Who?

    Abbott: Yes.


    Costello: All I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base.

    Abbott: No. What is on second base.

    Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

    Abbott: Who’s on first.

    Costello: One base at a time!

    Abbott: Well, don’t change the players around.

    Costello: I’m not changing nobody!

    Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.

    Costello: I’m only asking you, who’s the guy on first base?

    Abbott: That’s right.

    Costello: Ok.

    Abbott: All right.


    Costello: What’s the guy’s name on first base?

    Abbott: No. What is on second.

    Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

    Abbott: Who’s on first.

    Costello: I don’t know.

    Abbott: He’s on third, we’re not talking about him.

    Costello: Now how did I get on third base?

    Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.

    Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing third?

    Abbott: No. Who’s playing first.

    Costello: What’s on first?

    Abbott: What’s on second.

    Costello: I don’t know.

    Abbott: He’s on third.

    Costello: There I go, back on third again!


    Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don’t go off it.

    Abbott: All right, what do you want to know?

    Costello: Now who’s playing third base?

    Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?

    Costello: What am I putting on third.

    Abbott: No. What is on second.

    Costello: You don’t want who on second?

    Abbott: Who is on first.

    Costello: I don’t know.

    Abbott & Costello Together:Third base!


    Costello: Look, you gotta outfield?

    Abbott: Sure.

    Costello: The left fielder’s name?

    Abbott: Why.

    Costello: I just thought I’d ask you.

    Abbott: Well, I just thought I’d tell ya.

    Costello: Then tell me who’s playing left field.

    Abbott: Who’s playing first.

    Costello: I’m not… stay out of the infield! I want to know what’s the guy’s name in left field?

    Abbott: No, What is on second.

    Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

    Abbott: Who’s on first!

    Costello: I don’t know.

    Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!


    Costello: The left fielder’s name?

    Abbott: Why.

    Costello: Because!

    Abbott: Oh, he’s centerfield.


    Costello: Look, You gotta pitcher on this team?

    Abbott: Sure.

    Costello: The pitcher’s name?

    Abbott: Tomorrow.

    Costello: You don’t want to tell me today?

    Abbott: I’m telling you now.

    Costello: Then go ahead.

    Abbott: Tomorrow!

    Costello: What time?

    Abbott: What time what?

    Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who’s pitching?

    Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching.

    Costello: I’ll break your arm, you say who’s on first! I want to know what’s the pitcher’s name?

    Abbott: What’s on second.

    Costello: I don’t know.

    Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!


    Costello: Gotta a catcher?

    Abbott: Certainly.

    Costello: The catcher’s name?

    Abbott: Today.

    Costello: Today, and tomorrow’s pitching.

    Abbott: Now you’ve got it.

    Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team.


    Costello: You know I’m a catcher too.

    Abbott: So they tell me.

    Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow’s pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I’m gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

    Abbott: Now that’s the first thing you’ve said right.

    Costello: I don’t even know what I’m talking about!


    Abbott: That’s all you have to do.

    Costello: Is to throw the ball to first base.

    Abbott: Yes!

    Costello: Now who’s got it?

    Abbott: Naturally.


    Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody’s gotta get it. Now who has it?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Who?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Naturally?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

    Abbott: No you don’t, you throw the ball to Who.

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That’s different.

    Costello: That’s what I said.

    Abbott: You’re not saying it…

    Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

    Abbott: You throw it to Who.

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That’s it.

    Costello: That’s what I said!

    Abbott: You ask me.

    Costello: I throw the ball to who?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Now you ask me.

    Abbott: You throw the ball to Who?

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That’s it.

    Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don’t Know. I Don’t Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don’t know! He’s on third and I don’t give a darn!

    Abbott: What?

    Costello: I said I don’t give a darn!

    Abbott: Oh, that’s our shortstop.

  2. I am occasionally inclined to wonder just how many people who deride the ‘safety net’ have ever tried to use it.

    FYI – The paperwork is byzantine.


  3. I wish I could distance myself from the ramifications of our elections. I am an American and I live here. I see first and second hand the results of gaping holes in the safety net. For example, first hand, I see how the fact the group homes for the severely and in some instance potentially dangerous mentally ill have a four year waiting list. The is here where one of the states three mental hospitals is closing and has to transfer about 150 of their patients to the other facilities.

    So the least worst of the worst, those who need 24/7 intensive supervision and treatment will need to go to group homes. The group homes will than have to push their least worst into supervised living in the community. Hopefully there will be finding for that lest others be pushed out of supervised living onto the streets.

    On another note, the Republicans are singing songs even Edward Lear wouldn’t believe:

    The Broom and the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs,
    They all took a drive in the Park,
    And they each sang a song, Ding-a-dong, Ding-a-dong,
    Before they went back in the dark.
    Mr. Poker he sate quite upright in the coach,
    Mr. Tongs made a clatter and clash,
    Miss Shovel was all dressed in black (with a brooch),
    Mrs. Broom was in blue (with a sash).
    Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
    And they all sang a song!

    In response to the safety need for the very poor Newt said he didn’t believe in it, but added what no doubt he hopes will be a compelling alternative. He said he wants to make a “trampoline” for the poor so, apparently, they can bounce and backflip their way out of poverty.

    I expect he’ll be asked how he intends to do this without taxpayer dollars and will have a canned answer about how the private sector will do this. Of course that evades the truth of breaking the three generational cycle of poverty which economists generally agree can only be broken through improving our education system.

    I would ask each candidate about this, especially about their positions on funding Head Start and even earlier childhood programs.

    Gingrich may soon regret using the word “trampoline”. I hope so.

    • About a week ago you posted a link concerning Romney’s chronic flip flopping which I’m going to repost in conjunction with his recent comment about the poor etc. I advise readers to take the time view Romney’s stunning display of chronic f-flopping.

      After watching this guy for some time and studying his publicly displayed ‘political habits’, I’ve come to the conclusion he’s got some serious issues either simply of an organic nature or possibly chemically induced. I’m not suggesting illicit drugs, but possbily he’s on meds that have dampened his ability to see how he presents himself to the public. He needs some coaching in order to clean up his act concerning his habitual ‘shape-shifting’ on issues. It’s so glaring that it should be scary to anyone thinking of voting for the guy in the primary election capacity much less that of the general election in November.

      To put it simply, Mitt has some glaring head issues. He can’t even dig himself out of a hole in an effective manner, but seems to affirm the fact that he’s not presidential material, but simply a wealthy ‘applause junkie’ that uses public office for his amusement. Being wealthy and connected can get quite boring over time. Seemingly he has little kinship with the working class of this nation, seemingly so the poor too. He’s demonstrating that he’s an elitist and possibly a dangerous one to boot if making it to the White House. All I can say is caveat emptor to the electorate.

      Mitt’s persona is extremely synthetic. His countenance after losing or winning is quite bizarre at least by my standards. I can almost see the tenuous strings hanging down from the puppet paddles wielded by his corporate patrons that are everso eager to get this guy launched on the national political scene. His facial expressions seem almost as if they were cast in wax with no genuine life force of an expressive soul beneath his public face.

      Regardless of him or Gingrich getting the Republican nomination to oppose Obama, neither will prevail in the general election. It might be close, but President Obama is assured of a second term in the White House. The American people are not going to take a chance on either of these guys. Obama ain’t much to hoot n’ holler about, but these guys are even less so. / : |


      Who is the real Mitt Romney and what or whom does he represent…?


      Carl Nemo **==

  4. One might think that “conservatives” would shrink away after hearing the “safety net” comment, but mainstream conservatives aren’t really conservative, and this election is about beating Obama, not about electing a true conservative or actually making any real change in the policies that have turned this country from a prosperous beacon of liberty defined into an indebted gaggle of whimpering, dependent beggars.

  5. The Republican Party has come down to two candidates to run against President Obama. The attitude shows that both Speaker Gingrich and Gov. Romney’s followers hate Obama far more than they respect our American values. To replace an agenda of developing Capitalism, giving everyone a chance to invest in our corporations and build a retirement plan, the GOP handed the party over to the Religious Right. The problem is that the social conservatives want to destroy all the safety nets while they watch our corporations’ head overseas hiring their own people who work for less wages.

    Their excuse is that American schools are not focused on academics and our kids are not prepared for manufacturing jobs. Starting in 2000 when President Bush handed out federal grants to the churches, the GOP changed into a Party of praying for our kids instead of keeping their lazy asses in school training for the jobs that would make America strong.

    That was 12 years ago which is the average time it takes a child to go into and finish up their basic education. An entire generation of kids being raised without math skills, vocabulary based on slang and the entire subject of right over wrong ignored and now we reap the results of millions of kids who have trouble recognizing a hamburger from a cheeseburger on a menu.

    The new GOP blames the lack of bible training in the schools and blames it on Secular values. Trying to change our federal government into a mass of Christian groups will only develop a modern day Inquisition. A new book came out this week called “God’s Jury” by Cullen Murphy that relates our growing government under God, another step into an American Inquisition.

    This is what Speaker Gingrich is hoping for and every classroom will have a Christian interpretation of what is to be taught and what is to be avoided. Their hatred for President Obama is so strong that they will change the interpretation of all American laws to grow only with Christian values. They believe that a black American is still not equal to a white American. They believe that women must never be able to make the choices for their family. I don’t know very many families who do not have a gay member and the idea that they are classified as undesirable is a slap in the face to all of us.

    Poor Romney seems incapable of debate on this so he fumbles with silly comments that seem to get applause almost in embarrassment for his demeanor. He has escaped from decision making when he flies to Salt Lake City for his instructions.

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