The oy-gevalt line of the campaign spoken by Mitt Romney:
"I'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it."
Read more here.
So Mitt Romney doesn’t care about poor people? I’m sure that’s not exactly how he feels but that’s not the point. There are three major problems with this line.
First of all, from an evangelical standpoint, has Romney revealed how he really feels about the role of the federal government when it comes to taking care of the poor? It appears that he is saying that the federal government (not local and state governments) have a responsibility to provide a safety net for poor people. Yet the conservative Christian viewpoint tends to be that the poor does need help but that it should be provided by the individual not the government.
Indeed, the Bible commands that we are to take care of the poor but the “we” isn’t the government. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council once told me the following: “When Jesus encountered the rich young ruler he told him to go and sell all that he had and give it to the poor. He didn’t tell him to give it to government and let the government redistribute it. It was his responsibility.”
Thus, it’s a legitimate line of inquiry to find out more about how Romney views the role of the federal government when it comes to its responsibility to poor people.
Secondly, this is yet another example of Romney’s penchant for making glaring mistakes on the campaign trail (Remember, “I like to fire people”). Pretty soon (if not already) a narrative will begin to form about Romney that he actually isn’t as electable as many think because he has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth. Not only that, these types of comments play into the stereotype that Romney is a rich guy who just can’t feel people’s pain.
Finally, Romney is starting to sound like he’s playing the class warfare card a little bit. He doesn’t play it the way Obama does but some of what he’s doing is similar. He talks a lot about helping the middle class, which makes sense because that’s where his political bread is buttered, not to mention a vibrant middle class is needed for a sound economy.
Yet we’ve heard Romney say repeatedly how he’s not worried about the rich and that under Romney’s vision, people making fewer than $200,000 would get a capital gains tax cut. That makes it seem like Romney may be open to some sort of compromise on taxes for people making over $200,000.
And of course now we have this comment about the poor. I’m not sure if that’s going to go over well in conservative circles either.