Ruh-roh, Republicans. Get ready for the next pot hole that may wreak havoc on the GOP presidential election machine.
And it may crush Romney in the polls moving forward, at least in the short-term.
Mitt Romney apparently said the 47% of people who are for sure voting for President Obama are doing so because they want a government handout, as seen in a video of a private fundraising event posted by Mother Jones' David Corn.
“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% 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."
Hear it for yourself:
To a degree, Romney kind of has a point: 47% of Americans will likely vote for Obama … and they generally, more than likely (speaking in broad terms, here), believe in a bigger kind of government than the small, hands-off government which Romney is advocating.
Jim Messina, the Obama for America campaign manager, made the typical Democratic response: “It's shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”
In Romney’s defense, he is rationalizing that these people will not vote for him. Remember, also, that this is Candidate Romney speaking, not necessarily President Romney. The difference is that Romney is focusing on the battles that he can win today — in this case, the other 53% of Americans he is not describing.
But this quote reeks of elitism and narrow-mindedness, a point which is sure to hurt Romney, especially in key swing states. Expects Democrats to badger the heck out of Romney for this … even if it’s kind of a non-issue in the grand scheme of things.
And just like that, Obama will likely get another boost in the polls.
The comments come as insiders in the Romney camp claim the GOP campaign is in shambles (which may or may not be true … to Romney’s credit, he has run a smooth-ish campaign extending all the way back to the start of the GOP primaries).
Further, Obama seems to be gaining momentum. With just 50 days remaining until the November 6 election, Romney and Obama still remain close in the polls and the blitz of negative advertising continues. During the two convention weeks, Obama outspent Romney on the air by 7-to-1. Obama spent $20 million on 37,000 ads, while Romney spent $3.3 million on 4,500 ads, mostly in Hispanic media. Romney's campaign manager Stuart Stevens said the campaign went dark because "the dominant story was going to be the convention. ... We would rather have that $20 million to spend now that it's not competing with the conventions. You have to be disciplined about these things."
Still, Romney is losing in critical swing states, like his home state of Michigan, where he’s behind by 10 percentage points. According to a poll conducted by the EPIC-MRA of Lansing for the Detroit Free Press, Obama now shows a 10 point lead over Mitt Romney, 47% to 37%. EPIC-MRA polled 600 potential November votes with a margin of error plus or minus 4 percentage points. In a state that was considered a swing state only a few weeks ago, it seems as if Michigan has decided to lead with Obama.
This in itself is concerning for Romney: Michigan is the neighbor to another (even more) critical swing state: Ohio.
In Michigan, voters are turning to Obama for his economic record. As reported by PolicyMic pundit Michelle Adams, Michigan was hardest hit by the restructuring and bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler, where the state lost 800,000 jobs from of 2008-2010. An economy that thrives on the automobile industry, Obama put himself in favorable light with the $80 billion bailout to GM and Chrysler. Chrysler has record profits since their bankruptcy back in 2009 and is slated to add 200,000 jobs in the next few years. While that won’t make a huge difference in the overall amount of jobs lost, it still is a positive addition.
Under Obama, Michigan’s economy was hardest hit in general, with unemployment rates soaring in 2009 to 14.4%. Over the past year, it has declined to 8.3% in par with the national average. That decline is a result 59,300 new jobs created, around 50% being in the manufacturing sector. The successful addition of manufacturing jobs demonstrates the benefits of the bailout for the automobile industry. Michiganders see that the bailout has finally proved to produce positive results, they may be more likely to vote for Obama. It shows because, “Obama led in all three metro Detroit counties including Macomb (52%-43%), Oakland (53%-33%) and Wayne (56%-30%),” according to Detroit Free Press.
In Ohio, an equally blue collar state, we may see some Michigan bleed-over. If voters in Michigan see Obama as the jobs savior over Romney, what’s to stop Ohioans from thinking the same?
More so, a quote like the one reported by Mother Jones may sit unfavorably with working-class Ohio voters.
Of course, only time will tell.