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Why Do the 2012 GOP Presidential Candidates Suffer From Foot-In-Mouth Disease?

It has been Rick Santorum, talking in Iowa about African-Americans in entitlement reform. It's has been Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) wanting such a “hands off” government that he'd legalize marijuana and privatize air traffic control. It has been Newt Gingrich saying child labor restrictions have done more to create income inequality than anything else in the United States. It has even been former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney saying that he is not concerned about the very poor.

All of these GOP candidates suffer from the same thing: foot-in-mouth disease. All four have said things which just speak of desperation to capture delegates and votes.

How about what the rising Santorum said about President Obama just this past weekend. In a charge against the president in being elitist, Santorum said, "President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college .... What a snob." I get what he's trying to do: Santorum doesn't have a big money machine behind him. President Obama, on the other hand, does. If you’re going to make a claim about his elitism, then challenge him on a fundraising dinner he had last March in Harlem for $30,800 a plate!

Here are some other inane comments: 

Gingrich promises that gas prices will be $2 during his administration. Really? It was under $2 during Obama's administration. Yet, he seemingly can't stop oil from trickling into the country.  It was over $4 under George W. Bush’s watch. So – this issue transcends party lines.  A president has limited, if any, effect on the prices of gas. 

Romney’s saying that his wife drives a couple of Cadillacs. Well, good for Anne, but how about those of us who could barely afford one car? Worse yet, how about those who can afford zero? Out of all the GOP candidates, Romney suffers the worst from this disease. There are times I look at Romney and think, "He has potential." Then, there are other times where it's akin to seeing a boy trying to lean toward the girl to kiss her on their first date: Awkward!

Paul claim of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as “Hate Whitey Day.” You know, the more I study him, the more I tend to feel repulsion toward him. So – he denies these remarks saying that he didn’t know what was written in a newsletter which bears his name. Here’s what I find troubling, and it looks bad for him, either way: If he wrote that disgusting thought, then he is a racist. If he did not write it, but hired someone on his newsletter staff that supports such cancerous thinking, then he’s an irresponsible manager/leader/CEO/president. The thought of him vetting individuals who could be in his Cabinet would lead me to vote for his opposition — if he’s that unaware with those representing his name.

What makes me shake my head about this whole dynamic is that our politicians are supposed to be our best and brightest. Yet, these four men, in one way or another, are proving one thing as to why these gaffes happen: None of them relate well to the American people as a whole. Say what you will about Obama, but he can relate to the people. President Obama jovially sings Al Green's, "Let's Stay Together," to thunderous applause. Governor Romney painfully leads a half-hearted rendition of, "America, The Beautiful." 

That, right there, should speak volumes in terms of getting people to believe in what you can do. It's simple: If the people can't relate to who you are, you don't stand a chance in advancing to where you're going.

Memo to the GOP candidates for the 2012 presidential campaign: Relate to all the American people — not just a select few of them.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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