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Sep 18, 2012


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Mike Aubrey

The difference between Romney's "47%" and Obama's "you didn't build that" is that Romney's words weren't taken out of context. Blown out of proportion? Probably. But they weren't twisted to say the opposite of what he meant.

As for the national debt...

Maybe you need to move to Canada. Where we actually know how to balance a budget and deal with deficits. Canada in the 1990s was in a far worse place than the US is today. In two years we went from a 30+ billion dollar deficit to a 2.5 billion dollar surplus.


Michael W Kruse

I've always liked the Halifax area. Vancouver is nice too. ;-)

Michael W Kruse

Mike, I also disagree that Romney is not being taken out of context. He is clearly talking about campaign tactics not writing of the concerns of the poor as the left is saying. I think it is very similar to what happened to Obama.

Dan Anderson-Little

Um, Mike, could you explain how this " [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" is taken out of context. To be sure, the first sentence is about campaigning. I get that. But the second sentence drips with contempt for the poor--and everybody who doesn't pay income tax. And if we take his 47% at face value it also includes the elderly, the working poor, those on disability, etc. I think he is talking about the poor as the left and the middle and David Brooks are saying.

Mike Aubrey

I'm at a loss.

Obama's statement involved Republicans intentionally changing the clear reference of an anaphoric pronoun.

Romney's statement was that 47% of Americans view themselves as victims and expect the government to provide for them.

The first involves manipulation. The second involves offensive ignorance. Even in the context of campaign strategy, that's offensive. It isn't offensive because it demonstrates that Romney is "writing off the concerns of the poor." It's offensive because its patently false. I've spent time in an income bracket low enough to receive the EIC while working multiple jobs to get through grad school without debt. I'm still part of that 47%. I'm at a loss as to why I shouldn't be offended. I *used to be* an undecided voter, leaning toward Romney. Now...I'm not so sure.

Michael W. Kruse

Fair enough.

I'm not interested in defending Romney's indefensible remarks. If the writing off the 47% as people who deserve our care is truly indicative of his views, then his comments to religious leaders a few days ago to religious leaders about the importance of a safety net and a having a fair budget are bogus. More likely, since most any politician these days are dependent on floods of cash, he is running around telling people what they want to hear to raise money. Based on his life and his political record (remember this is the guy who got universal health care for Massachusetts) I suspect his comments to religious leaders are more indicative and (as Brooks notes) the 47% comment is a stupidly worded attempt to pass himself off as something he isn't. And yes, Mike, many of the 47% vote Republican while aspiring and working toward a better future for themselves. His remark is factually wrong.

My larger point is that you follow these politicians around long enough and you are going to eventually collect a list of stupid and poorly worded statements. Obama has his share. Trotting out stupid statements fires up partisans because it reinforces their narratives but I'm not convinced they are ultimately that persuasive with many voters. Many take it as a matter of fact that candidates say stupid things. As Caplan notes, most voters will vote out of sense of what they think will be best for "us" and I suspect imperfect candidates is seen as a given by many.

I've really got to stop posting about politics. ;-)

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