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Romney Compares Obama to Marie Antoinette, for Pete's Sake

December 30, 2011

In 2008, the campaign of John McCain - a hundred-millionaire who literally lost count of how many homes he owned - tried to portray Barack Obama as an out-of-touch, arugula-eating elitist who vacationed in exotic Hawaii. Now Mitt Romney, the latest entrant in the Republican irony Olympics, has branded President Obama a modern day Marie Antoinette whose message to financially struggling Americans is "let them eat cake."
As The Huffington Post reported yesterday, during an Iowa campaign stop the French-speaking Romney who spent much of his 1960's Mormon mission in a tony Paris neighborhood compared President Obama to the famously out-of-touch French aristocrat:

"When the president's characterization of our economy was, 'It could be worse,' it reminded me of Marie Antoinette: 'Let them eat cake.'"

Mitt Romney might have wanted to look into the mirror first before throwing down that gauntlet.
After all, this is the same Mitt Romney who is worth an estimated $250 million but refuses to release his tax returns because they almost certainly show he pays a much lower share of his income to Uncle Sam than most middle class families.

That would also be the same Mitt Romney who nevertheless declared himself part of the "80 to 90 percent us" who are middle class.
This is the same Mitt Romney who despite his retirement from Bain Capital 13 years ago continues to make millions annually from his old employer, a firm which the Los Angeles Times rightly concluded, "often maximized profits in part by firing workers."
That didn't prevent Romney from joking with jobless Americans that "I'm also unemployed."
The son of auto magnate George Romney was raised in upscale Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, claims he's just "a guy from Detroit" and then authored an op-ed piece titled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
That same Mitt Romney proudly declared that "corporations are people my friend," but insisted "I don't think we hurt the poor" by cutting programs like Medicaid.
Marie Antoinette Mitt suggested the equivalent of "let them have cardboard boxes" when his advice to struggling American homeowners is "don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up."

That same Mitt Romney sold two of his four multimillion dollars mansions because he and his wife are, according to an aide, "downsizing and simplifying." (It's no surprise the same Mitt Romney apparently forgot which state he lives in, votes in and pays taxes in - twice.) And only last week, he preposterously claimed that he never intended to run for office again after 2008, saying "I went back and bought a home which was far too expensive and grandiose for the purposes of another campaign."
And speaking of bad appearances, during his last campaign Mitt Romney called for a crackdown on illegal immigration, only to reply "aw geez" when informed undocumented workers had been landscaping his home. Four years later, Romney's defense was "I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals."
But Mitt Romney does have five sons, whom he claimed serve their nation by "helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." Those sons are once again helping get their dad elected, this time by suggesting his father might release his tax returns "as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate."

That same Mitt Romney recently told voters what he gave his five sons for Christmas. "We sent them checks. Cash is always good."
The same Mitt Romney whose wife Ann joked that "Mitt doesn't even know the answer to that" when asked how many dressage horses she owns also denounced Democrats as "the party of monarchists."
That would also be the same Mitt who showed his affinity for the commoners by uncomfortably chanting "who let the dogs out" during what looked like his only interaction with African Americans on the campaign trail. (He still chanted "who let the dogs out" after the world learned he strapped the family dog to the roof of his car.)
Speaking of those common voters, that very Mitt Romney protested "I'm not concerned about the voters" after Tim Russert asked him four years ago "why not tell the voters of Florida and across the country how much of your own wealth you're spending?"
As it turned out, in 2008 that same Mitt Romney decided he would not seek donations to repay $45 million in personal loans he made to his failed presidential bid -- "the biggest ever made by a candidate in a primary campaign."
And just today, the AP reported, "Romney tries to come across as a man of the people."
But despite Mitt Romney's laughable comparison of Barack Obama to Marie Antoinette, you can be sure the "out-of-touch, elitist President" sound bite will become a Republican fixture.
And if you doubt him on that point, man of the people Mitt Romney will bet you $10,000 you're wrong.


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

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