Mitt Romney’s Gaffe-seekers and Their Success

–Richard E. Vatz
     The paradox of writing critically about the consistent “Gotcha” strategy of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is that to write about it is to accede to the effort to create distractions from his destructive economic policies (and to a lesser extent his disastrous superintending of the “lead from behind” foreign policy that has eviscerated American influence).
     The far-left Mother Jones magazine released a video of Gov. Romney at a fundraiser for large donors in which he said, as quoted by The Baltimore Sun, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what.  All right, there are 47 percent who are with him who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims…they will vote for this president no matter what…these are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is not to worry about these people…I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
     Some points of refutation of the Democrat’ spin that these quotes mean  that Gov. Romney has “disdainfully” voiced his contempt for half the population.

1.     Any candidate among donors tends to inflate his rhetoric, but it is a legitimate point that America through increasing entitlements has become a more dependent nation and this influences voting habits to reduce individual initiative.  It does not literally mean that Gov. Romney believes that 47% of the nation is looking for handouts.
2.     This is yet another attempt of Democratic sympathizers to control the campaign agenda to substitute Gov. Romney’s tin ear, unpublished taxes, riding his dog atop a van and allegedly premature criticism of the president’s Middle East and North Africa policies to replace discussions of the aforementioned economy and lack of any semblance of an effective foreign policy.
3.     That 47% of the public pays no federal income tax would be a telling surprise to the public; if polled, according to my Towson students, the general public would have guessed it to be around 10%.  There is little beyond the horserace and Romney gaffes and general rhetorical clumsiness which is covered by NBC, ABC and MSNBC.


     I naïvely told some students that no national rhetorician could control the national agenda for four or more months leading up to a presidential election.
     I may have been incorrect.


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Professor Vat z teaches Persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion(Kendall Hunt, 2012, 2013)

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