Yesterday, Mitt Romney decided that instead of touting his most important achievement as governor, the enactment of a law that disproportionately benefited minorities in Massachusetts and set the stage for a national law that would provide coverage to 7 million uninsured African Americans, he'd rather stick to telling the NAACP about his plan to repeal Obamacare. He was booed. Unless some confused attendees were saying, "Boo-urns."
At a fundraiser in Montana last night, Romney reflected on the crowd response…
By the way, I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don't give different speeches to different audiences alright. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren't happy, I didn't get the same response. That's ok, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don't stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that's just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy-more free stuff. But don't forget nothing is really free.
Liberals immediately speculated that the antagonistic Obamacare line and the subsequent put-down of people who want "free stuff," with all its problematic racial undertones, was an attempt at firing up the far right of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney, not a racist — just #1 with racists.
But Romney has a history of attacking "free stuff" in speeches, whether it's government-backed health insurance or birth control or student loan write-offs. He's always come off as less of a race-baiter than as a doofus who is unable to recognize his own good fortune and the times "free stuff" has been especially beneficial to his career…
In a long-forgotten tape from the 2002 Massachusetts governor's race obtained by ABC News, Mitt Romney is seen touting his Washington connections and his ability to get millions of taxpayer dollars from the federal government.
"I am big believer in getting money where the money is," Romney says on the video, "The money is in Washington."
In other words, people who want free stuff should get it the old fashioned way. First, they should be born rich. Then they should work in a private equity firm that loads up businesses with debt, raking in management fees while the government rescues the ruined businesses' pension plans with taxpayer bailouts. Then lobby they should federal government for aid to the Olympics games and the state they're running, bolstering the ol' resume.
Someone should write a folk song about this up-by-the-bootstraps story.
Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Mitt Romney, NAACP, Racism