It’s been hard not to miss the Tumblr community wildly misquoting Romney’s comments on “Not caring about the poor.” This is especially galling because I’m sure most of you have actually read the full statement, which more or less says that he finds the current safety net adequate.
Romney is focusing his concern on the middle class. Not the rich, who have no need for government services. Not the poor, who he feels receive enough from their government.
It’s the middle class parents who are considered too wealthy for student aid yet cannot even begin to pay for their kids’ college that Romney is talking about.
It’s the tax burden on people who need every dollar they can get to scrape by on paycheck to paycheck that Romney refers to.
I don’t agree with the idea that the government owes anyone anything besides a respect for their legal rights, but that isn’t the discussion here.
If you want to talk about who Romney cares about, my friends on the left, at least have the honesty to print the entire quote.
If you want to talk about the adequacy of a “safety net” for the poor then you’re in luck because I was fortunate enough to
mooch live in a consistent state of poverty until I left for college. Let me tell you, it was heaven on Earth.
I remember driving around in a Cadillac by the age of 15, eating meals at the expense of what Romney differentiates as “Americans”, attending “free” school with “free” lunches, and I mean it’s not as if I felt a tremendous internal pain or guilt or stress at a young age because we, my family, had no paycheck and the alternative in this society would have been to let a 16 year old mother and her newborn child, me, rot on the streets.
By the way Squashed posted the entirety of the quote, it’s full context, and let me warn you, TW, it’s still reprehensible. Here’s Squashed,
I’m pulling this quote out because I think it demonstrates two things. First, Romney neither understands nor cares about poverty. To him, a “safety net” is enough. He’s not concerned about why people might need a safety net or about taking any effort to reduce the systemic causes of poverty. Second, Romney seems to draw a distinction between “Americans” and “the very poor.” Clearly, if pressed, he would concede that “the very poor” are also Americans. But to Romney, when he thinks about Americans, it doesn’t occur to him to think about the most vulnerable.
Gingrich, despite his ridiculous and backwards statements on the issue, at least considers poverty something worth being concerned about. For Romney, the very poor aren’t worth considering until something is so broken he’s forced to address it.
If you want to talk about who Romney cares about, my friend, at least have the honesty to admit that it’s not the poor and that the quote is still insulting.