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For Romney, Income Inequality Talk No Longer Just for "Quiet Rooms"

January 18, 2015

Speaking to an RNC audience in San Diego on Friday, potential three-time GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney explained how version 3.0 would differ from the first two voters previously rejected. But when Governor Romney announced that he would put fighting poverty and income inequality at the center of a 2016 run, he wasn't just reversing course; he was making himself into a laughingstock. After all, it was only three years ago that candidate Romney proclaimed "I'm not concerned about the very poor" and insisted income inequality should only be discussed in "quiet rooms."
Nevertheless, Friday's RNC gathering abroad the USS Midway provided the latest example of the Romney Uncertainty Principle in which Mitt's positions change when observed. There, he laid out the "three principles I think should form part of the foundation."

"First we have to make the world safer. Second, we have to make sure and provide opportunity for all Americans regardless of the neighborhood they live in. And finally, we have to lift people out of poverty."

But Mitt felt differently after winning the Florida primary on February 1, 2012:

"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I'll fix it."

At the time, no one doubted Romney's "let them eat cake" attitude. But the "I'll fix it" part immediately got him into trouble. After all, his economic plan didn't just include a massive tax cut for the wealthy, but would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and slashed Medicaid spending by almost 40 percent, costing as many as 40 million Americans their health insurance coverage. And with his huge increases in defense spending, Romney would have to tax an axe to almost everything else. That's why under President Romney, America's record-setting income inequality would have inevitably gotten much worse.
Which is why in 2012, Mr. 47 Percent didn't want to talk about it. When NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer (around the 0:55 mark above) asked whether criticism from President Obama or anyone else about Wall Street and the distribution of wealth was legitimate, Romney insisted all such talk should be left to Americans' betters.

LAUER: Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though?
ROMNEY: You know, I think it's fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like, but the President has made this part of his campaign rally everywhere we go, or where he goes.

Ultimately, Mitt Romney can talk about anything he wants in 2016 and he will still lose. Not because voters don't know the real Romney, but because they do.


About

Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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