Why Romney's Quote Won't Matter in November (UPDATE)
If you haven't been living under a rock the past 24 hours, you have no doubt read and reread and watched Mitt Romney's secret fundraising video from earlier this year where he admitted to donors who his true base was. The Mother Jones-leaked clip was immediately thrust across the social media landscape within minutes.
"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."
UPDATE: See Romney's rebuttal to the controversy. Luckily he hasn't backed down.
Did you know that James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, helped leak the clip? He is credited as a "research assistant." That's fun.
The Daily Beast's Alex Klein did a good job breaking down the Romney quote and its reaches and leaps in logic. Klein found that at least some of Romney's quote was on the mark, but that the real "gaffe" -- spouting this in front of a millionaire-filled banquet hall -- was the real mistake.
Romney's quote will not matter to his base, the people who have been there since day one, or at least since all of the other vestigial candidates fell off the GOP tree earlier this year.
Because most of his base believed everything in his quote before Romney was even an option on the table, and they will always believe that. It can be argued that if Romney would have said this at a very public fundraiser, with American flags waving and all, that he would have been hailed by the right as finally telling it like it is.
He probably would have made a lot of money that day too.
Of course Nobama.com parroted what Romney said within hours, while still ignoring the fact that Romney's highest donors couldn't care less about them either.
Echoing Klein, his only mistake was saying it front of a bunch of Thurston Howell-types.
The right will say, "Hey, at least be thankful that there is a politician finally saying what he believes and not pandering to the middle," a point that the left will agree with, albeit facetiously while they scramble to make memes.
If anything, the quote heard 'round the Internets will strengthen his base and their "us against them" fantasies. Their allegiance will only swell.
Last night one of the libertarian Twitter feeds I follow remarked in the wake of 47 percent's roasting that that 47 percent of Americans should be deciding between Barack Obama and Gary Johnson with Romney clearly out of the race.
In a perfect world that would be true, and misplaced Republicans who weren't too terribly sold on Romney would be scurrying for Libertarian presidential candidate Johnson in abject disgust of Romney.
Hell, it probably happened last night. Maybe a few independents and closet Libertarians even finally came out and decided to shack up with Johnson.
Now let's get editorial with it:
As a Libertarian, I find that hilarious. Welcome to the party, folks, and by the way, your new candidate Johnson is for marriage equality, ending wars, balancing the budget and marijuana decriminalization. Are you still down?
That should be Romney's worry -- an exodus -- but the positive feedback he is getting for his comments from his side will outweigh any doubt.
Did some apathetic Romney backers just swing over to Obama's side, with the stealth and silence of so many ninjas? Probably. Just watch for the disappearing bumper stickers and yard signs, and more importantly those damned Facebook posts.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.