Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
First, some background.
In October of 2011, red-meat conservative blogger Erick Erickson published a post at Red State declaring, "I am the 53 percent." The point of his post was to divide Americans between those who have enough taxable income after deductions and credits to owe federal income taxes, and the "47%" who do not. (They actually pay the tax, the government has the use of their money until they get a tax refund).
This quickly devolved into "makers" (the so-called "job creators") and "takers" (those receiving "government entitlements"). Conservatives called it the "politics of envy," and the "entitlement society." But in reality it is their old playbook of the "politics of resentment" towards the poor. A "We are the 53% Movement" sprung up as a response to the Occupy Movement's "We are the 99%."
It is the purest form of class warfare by the haves against the have-nots. As Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett famously described, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
When conservatives malign the "47%," this of course does not include the two-thirds of corporations that pay no federal income taxes, Most Companies Pay No Federal Income Tax - CBS News, nor the millionaires and billionaires of the investor class (aka The Predator Class) who pay no federal income taxes, IRS: Nearly 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009 - latimes.com, which very well may include Willard "Mittens" Romney who steadfastly refuses to release his tax returns to the American public. Some of these tax avoiders may even have been present at this Romney fundraiser.
With this background, let's turn to David Corn's explosive reporting at Mother Jones that has the Romney campaign reeling. SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters | Mother Jones:
During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
This is a reformulation of Karl Rove's cynical "50 percent plus one" campaign strategy -- one only needs to be concerned about his winning coalition. That's whom he represents. Those who do not vote for him are of no concern. (Romney made this clear in response to a question from reporters in a hastily called press conference on Monday night: I "focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be able to be pulled into my camp and help me win the 51 or 50.1% that I need to become the next President.")
Mother Jones this morning has updated its reporting with a new version of the secret video.
UPDATE: We can now report that this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17 and we've removed the blurring from the video. See the original blurred videos here.
At the dinner, Romney often stuck to familiar talking points. But there were moments when he went beyond the familiar campaign lines. Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this." Contending that he is a self-made millionaire who earned his own fortune, Romney insisted, "I have inherited nothing." He remarked, "There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America."
This report includes a number of other videos on other topics. The full report is a must-read.
Here was Romney raw and unplugged—sort of unscripted. With this crowd of fellow millionaires, he apparently felt free to utter what he really believes and would never dare say out in the open. He displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don't contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative.
David Corn has published a second part to his reporting on Tuesday, SECRET VIDEO: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution | Mother Jones:
During the freewheeling conversation, a donor asked Romney how the "Palestinian problem" can be solved. Romney immediately launched into a detailed reply, asserting that the Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."
Romney spoke of "the Palestinians" as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: "I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way."
Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: "[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem…and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it."
[Romney] informed his donors that a former secretary of state—he would not say who—had told him there was "a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis." Romney recalled that he had replied, "Really?" Then he added that he had not asked this ex-secretary of state for further explanation.
Here's Romney's full response; he starts out saying he has "two perspectives," but as he answers the question, it turns out that's not really the case:
In public, Romney has not declared the peace process pointless or dismissed the two-state solution. In July, when the Israeli newspaper Haaretz asked Romney if he supports a two-state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state, he replied, "I believe in a two-state solution which suggests there will be two states, including a Jewish state." Yet Romney’s remarks to these funders—this was one of his longest answers at the fundraiser—suggest he might be hiding his true beliefs regarding Israel and the peace process and that on this subject he is out of sync with the predominant view in foreign policy circles that has existed for decades.
Corn's report today goes on to describe Romney's Neocon views towards Iran, and his criticism of President Obama's foreign policy as appeasement and being an apologist.
Mother Jones also names names today. Who Was at Romney's "47 Percent" Fundraiser? | Mother Jones.
Mother Jones also has a backgrounder on the Romney "47 Percent" Fundraiser Host: Hedge Fund Manager Who Likes Sex Parties | Mother Jones.
The Romney camp called a hastily arranged press conference on Monday night at which Romney gave a brief statement essentially standing by his comments, and taking only three questions from the media before saying "thank you" and walking off the stage as reporters posed questions. It was surreal. Romney Reacts to 47 Percent Video, Stands By Remarks | Mother Jones. The Romney campaign is in total dissaray.
I have told you several times that Willard "Mittens" Romney is the "Worst. Candidate. Ever." The past few weeks have confirmed it. Only a fool would vote for this man.
UPDATE: Mother Jones has posted the full Mitt Romney fundraiser video (2 parts).