Democrats Say Romney “Out of Touch” with Middle-class and Minorities - Here’s Why That Line Won’t Work

Photo credit: Austen Hufford/ Daily Michigan

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, the Democrats are seeking to damage Romney by portraying him as someone who is “out of touch” with the concerns and difficulties of the middle-class and minorities. Democrats are making the spurious argument that due to Romney’s wealth, he doesn’t understand the struggles of the “common man/woman.” Allow me to provide a few reasons why Romney is not out of touch with everyday Americans and will easily overcome this line of attack.

1) Romney’s Company was voted “Best Employer” in the Nation this Year – Romney founded a company called Bain Capital which was awarded the honor of “BEST EMPLOYER IN THE NATION” according to employee surveys done by a large and reputable website called Glassdoor. Bain Capital even beat other popular companies such as FaceBook and Google. Romney’s company has been in the top 4 every year Glassdoor has run the survey. If Romney can’t relate to the middle class or the average American, why is the company he founded doing so well with its employees who are mostly middle class? Romney was instrumental in establishing the culture within the company that so many of his employees enjoy. Romney’s company provides a powerful example of how “in touch” he is with the average American.

2) Romney Understands the Discrimination and Bigotry Often Felt by Minorities – As a member of a religious minority, Romney has experienced first hand discrimination and bigotry. Due to Romney’s Mormon faith, Romney understands quite acutely the injustices and pain caused by judgements against him simply because of his religion. While I don’t pretend to know whether Romney’s membership in a religious minority will help or hurt him in the election, it is just plain wrong for Democrats to say that Romney doesn’t understand the bigotry and discrimination of minorities. 

3) Romney’s Health Care Law in Massachusetts – President Obama’s biggest domestic achievement has been the passage of Obamacare. But if Obamacare represents how “in touch” Obama is with average Americans, then how can Obama claim that Romney is “out of touch” when Obama got his inspiration for Obamacare from Gov. Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts? I cannot count how many Obama surrogates, including Obama himself, have tried to damage Romney’s reputation among conservatives by “thanking” him for the model they used to create Obamacare. So, to the extent that Obamacare represents the type of policy that exemplifies Obama’s connection with average Americans, Romney should easily gain the upper hand.

4) Romney’s volunteer work as lay minister for his church in Boston – During his time as a lay minister for his church, which totals over 20 years of service, Romney spent much of his time meeting with and counseling members of the congregation who were struggling in one way or another. Recently, an article from the LA Times reviewed Romney’s church service over the years and said:

“Romney’s friends and family say his instincts are rooted in his Mormon faith and sharpened over his years as a lay leader in the church. For years, Romney’s church work amounted to a half-time job, as he counseled members of his congregation who were dealing with marital problems, substance abuse and financial difficulties related to lost jobs or health issues.

Often Romney would sit down with a pad and help a couple scratch out their budget — urging them to differentiate between wants and needs. In a privileged life, those experiences had a lasting effect.

“It allowed him to see so many different people and so many different problems that people are facing — to really have empathy for people who are struggling, and to recognize that almost everybody in every walk of life has one sort or another of struggle,” his son Josh said in an interview. “There are so many people out there in need of help or support — he learned a lot of that through those experiences.”

Romney listened and counseled with those members of the congregation for over two decades as they dealt with the typical struggles of the average American. That kind of extensive volunteer work sets Romney apart as a man who does indeed understand the average American

5) Romney’s wife with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Nothing is more trying to a person’s life than to have a spouse or loved one diagnosed with a debilitating and incurable disease. Romney’s wife of over 40 years has MS and has been treated for breast cancer. Both Mitt and Anne have said publicly many times that one of the most difficult times in their lives was when Anne was diagnosed with MS. For a time, Mrs. Romney was unable to move about the house or even get out of bed due to her MS. Many Americans and their families who are also struggling with intractable health problems would find a very sympathetic ear from Mitt Romney. 

6) Romney’s handling of victims from Hurricane Katrina – The LA Times discusses a powerful example of Romney’s compassion that occured during Romney’s time as Governor of Massachusetts:

The Rev. Jeffrey Brown, who heads a faith-based gang intervention group in Roxbury, Mass., and spoke frequently to Romney during his governorship, saw two facets of the man — the executive and the spiritual counselor — come together after Hurricane Katrina when the Massachusetts Legislature provided shelter on Cape Cod for evacuees. Romney wanted members of the black clergy to attend to the arrivals — because he said some would rather talk to pastors than mental health professionals — and asked Brown to lead the effort.

Romney arrived a few days later, telling Brown he wanted to hear the stories directly from the victims, many of whom were from New Orleans’ hard-hit Lower 9th Ward.

“He wanted to make sure that their needs were being met,” Brown said. “He brought 50 state agencies down there, and everybody’s needs were attended to. I’m talking about people who left their houses in such a rush that they forgot their teeth. He had dentists down there to get them their dentures.… He was on it.”

But Brown was most surprised watching Romney interact with victims — praying with them, sitting with them on park benches asking about their families, scooping up children and asking for hugs.

“He was pastoral,” Brown said. “He was that person with those people.”

Romney’s connection with average Americans was exemplified by his compassion to the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

In Conclusion, What about JFK? With all the focus Democrats place on Romney’s wealth, what is left out is that JFK, one of the Democrats most beloved presidents, was just as wealthy as Romney, if not more so. In fact, JFK came from one of the richest families in America and then married a woman who was an oil heiress who also had great wealth of her own. Despite JFK’s wealth, JFK was still able to connect with minorities by famously calling federal marshals to allow Blacks to attend the University of Alabama in 1962. Even though JFK was assassinated in 1963, his presidency was instrumental in developing and passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

One very important difference between Romney and JFK, however, is that almost all of JFK’s income and property came from a trust fund created by his rich father and then shared with other family members. Romney, on the other hand, created his wealth for himself through hard work by founding a successful company. Romney did not inherit his fortune from his father.

Romney’s ‘Every Town Counts’ Bus Tour / FOX & Friends: “Obama Out of Touch”

A look at Governor Mitt Romney's campaign bus last week in Iowa.
Romney is kicking off a six state bus tour this Friday. (Photo Jennifer Jacobs/The Register)


Check the oil and gas ‘er up! Road trip!

Governor Mitt Romney will be back in his campaign bus this Friday to begin a six state Believe in America: Every Town Counts five-day bus tour.

The kick-off takes place where it all began for him last June – at beautiful Scamman Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire. It’s where Mitt and wife, Ann, served up crock-pots full of her homemade chili to a large crowd of supporters. It’s also where the Governor, under blue skies and a blustery breeze, stood on a crop harvester bed, surrounded with hay bales, and announced his presidential candidacy.

Besides New Hampshire, Romney’s bus tour will carry him over highways and byways in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan, giving him the opportunity to meet with and listen to families and business owners in small towns.

Romney’s press release hit the unemployment nail on the head:

“For three and a half years, President Obama has paid little attention to the everyday concerns of the American people,” Mitt Romney said. “President Obama has offered no hope for the future, and he has left American families to bear the burden of his failed policies. Too many American families have experienced a lost job, faced foreclosure, or been forced to spend their kids’ college savings just to make ends meet. These are not statistics – these are our fellow Americans. In America’s small towns, you don’t find despair — you find boundless optimism. We know we can make America better, and that is why I am running for president.”

Henry Gomez from Cleveland.com points out how Romney is aggressively making his presence felt on turf where Obama has recently been:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Republican Mitt Romney will sandwich President Barack Obama’s campaign appearance in Cleveland this week with Ohio events of his own, the latest example of cutthroat “bracketing” in this year’s race for the White House.

Romney will attend a private fundraiser Wednesday in Cincinnati, the evening before Obama’s speech at Cuyahoga Community College.

Romney previously bracketed an Obama trip by sending his campaign bus to Lorain County Community College in April, when the president delivered a speech at the Elyria campus. The following day, Romney campaigned miles away at a hollowed-out drywall factory in Lorain. The Republican challenger also came to Euclid last month, two days after Obama officially kicked off his re-election bid in Columbus.

‘Believe In America: Every Town Counts’ bus tour

• Friday, June 15 – New Hampshire

• Saturday, June 16 – Pennsylvania

• Sunday, June 17 – Ohio

• Monday, June 18 – Wisconsin and Iowa

• Tuesday, June 19 – Michigan

Residents in these six states will get to experience how much Governor Romney cares about the plight of ordinary everyday Americans and how much he wants to help.

If you missed it, The Gov was on FOX & Friends this morning to talk with hosts Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade. It was a quick, great interview :



When Carlson asked Romney about Obama’s press tour, which was a ‘clean-up’ response to his “private sector is fine gaffe”, he mentioned Obama’s ignoring the effect Obamacare is having on small businesses, Obama’s outlandish characterization of the state of the private sector, and the fact that 15% of Americans are unemployed, under-employed, or stopped working.

Romney: “The President is really out of touch with what’s happening in America.

Kilmeade: “He says that you’re out of touch. He says that you want to cut firefighters, and teachers – that you don’t understand what’s going on in these communities. What do you say to that, Governor?

Romney: “Well, that’s a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers, and firemen, and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters, or policemen. So, obviously, that’s completely absurd. He’s got a new idea, though, and that is another stimulus – and, to have the federal government send money to bail out cities and states. Didn’t work the first time; it certainly won’t work the second time.”

Look below the fold to see a few photos of that happy day when Governor Romney announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination. ——-> (more…)

Obama the Clueless! Doing Fine?

If you’re sick of a President who is out of touch with the real economy and are ready for a President who understands the private sector, donate to the campaign today.

Having just listened to President Obama’s press conference on economics, I am distressed beyond measure. Whereas I thought he just failed to understand certain basics of economics 101, I now believe he is absolutely clueless and blind to any comprehension of how the economy works. Obama chided and scolded Congress for failing to act on his ‘jobs’ act, placing blame again at someone else’s feet; and then pontificating in long drawn out diatribes, seeking to arrogantly tutor the press about how things work in an economy. Really? He doesn’t get it, and I mean HE DOESN’T GET IT! He believes that the solution rests with government, failing to recognize that government just needs to step aside and let the private and free markets thrive as they have throughout history.

***UPDATED***

A few key points to consider -
1) Obama wants to give small business tax incentives for hiring employees – The reality is that small businesses are not motivated to hire employees with economic uncertainty no matter how big a tax break they get. What would they hire the employees to do if there are little business drivers in an uncertain and flailing economy? Businesses hire people because market and economic drivers demand it, not because the government provides a tax break. Hiring for the sake of hiring is how the government works, not how business works.

2) Obama mentioned that state and local governments have seen over 450,000 leave their workforce – let’s put them back to work. Obama’s answer to economic stimulus rests in government hiring, not private enterprise hiring – just look at the latest job numbers and real unemployment. The current federal workforce has grown by nearly 270,000 people under Obama amid an economic recession of historical magnitude. How is that possible and why? To what end? Obama’s skyrocketing deficits and debt dependency have created a ‘purchased society’ that every day becomes more and more dependent on Washington – such is his agenda.

3) Obama states that the housing market continues to improve – on what planet? How out of touch can he be, or what bubble is he living in? We know that the only place in the United States where housing prices have gone up is in Washington DC. When the federal workforce has increased so dramatically in Washington, people have to live somewhere, and consequentially they drive up prices. Washington DC is not the real world. The middle class and poor have born the burdens of Washington DC’s consumption and have suffered intolerably. Have you tried to purchase a house lately? The irony rests in an abundance of capital amid historically tight credit. Banks are not lending because they are capital constrained, but because of economic and regulatory uncertainty – see further commentary below.

4) Obama lectured reporters this morning as if he had a clue, addressing the economic dynamics of Europe. Really? Has he not looked in his own backyard? He spoke of Greece’s burdening debt that exceeds their GDP, and yet he has added over $5 trillion to our debt. He spoke of Spain’s needed restructuring and their need to build and strengthen government intervention, affirming his philosophical ideology that the solution is in growing greater government dependency.

Economic recoveries are led, not by government, but by private enterprise and free markets. Ronald Reagan proved the point when inspiring a recovery after the abominable Carter years. Government policies can enable or destroy markets. Reagan unleashed the markets whereas Obama has set policies and legislation in place that have not only stifled economic growth, but turned us in a downward spiral. Gary Shapiro adds insight in the American Spectator here with further commentary and reference here.

The only way we will see an economic recovery in the US is if we free the markets and capital from oppressive policies, regulation, taxation and out of control government spending/deficits.

Consider some very critical points –
1) We will not see a sustainable recovery without real job creation. Real job creation comes through the private sector, and most notably, small business. Presently small businesses are liquidity constrained and in decline because of market uncertainties, declines in discretionary spending and the consequential impact of oppressive government intervention.

2) We will not see a sustainable recovery until we free up the credit markets. Bank lending is foundational to any economic recovery, and presently it is absent. Of course, in an Obama administration, the banks are the ‘bad’ guys. Parenthetically, we not only have class warfare being waged among our society, we have seen stark divisions and conflicts develop between free enterprise and government. The government has become the lender of choice, not our banks. Obama and his advocates (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, among others) have effectively ‘nationalized’ our banking system in the first three years of Obama’s Presidency through Dodd-Frank and other legislative acts. What many fail to realize is that our banking regulators not only regulate, but have now been empowered to write policy thus creating a climate of uncertainty. Effectively, bank regulators are no longer simply overseeing our banking enterprises, but de facto, running them. Regulators are resident in our banks dictating to whom the banks can lend, how much and when, and in some cases approving new executive hires and acquisitions. They have set an untenable standard of arbitrary and capricious governance that have led the banks to hunker down and wait things out rather than conduct business in the ordinary course. Our US banks, for the most part, have become relegated to the ‘situational standards’ of their regulators, and consequentially they don’t know how their loans might be interpreted; thus they choose only to make loans at the ‘gold standard’. This constraint of capital is impinging on any recovery that we might have.

For example: have you tried to purchase a house lately? First of all, the home appraisers, who are now regulated set the price of your home. Our son who recently sold his home was stressed not because he didn’t have buyers (he had three at the full asking price), but because he wasn’t sure if the appraisal would come in on target in spite of three full price offers. Secondly, the buyers who were securing a loan for the property had to meet bank lending standards, a FICO score in the mid-to high 700′s, 30% of the purchase price in the bank and an income well in excess of their debt service requirements. Of course then there were the limitations imposed by FNMA as to the amount that could be financed if it were to be a conventional loan. Anything outside of FNMA’s convention would be classified as a ‘jumbo’ loan where lending rates and costs are significantly higher. Bottom line, credit is not only tight in the housing market, but every market. Small business cannot access bank lending easily and unless they defer to the government’s SBA programs are left without.

Consider also our student loan programs. Historically, student loans were available through our banking system, with government lending support. Credit could be obtained, but with conventional underwriting standards applied. Under Obama the programs have ceased through our banks and are now only available through the government. Underwriting standards are anything but conventional and little discipline is applied to a student’s ability to repay the loan. Student loans are, in aggregate, approximating $1 trillion and far outpacing the growth of general consumer debt in the US.

3) We will not see a sustainable recovery until we return to fundamental economic principles and sources. Our banks are flush with liquidity and our large national and multi-national corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars. Are we tapping into these traditional resources to lift our economic woes? NO; instead we are deferring to the government. We need to empower capital not constrain it; we need to open markets to free enterprise not close them; we need a President that gets it, whose agenda is to empower our economy and not seek for government to own it.

We need to hang in just a little bit longer. November is on the horizon and the nation will then choose our course for the future; a President who is clueless, or an experienced leader with proven capacity that clearly understands how economy’s work.

Follow David Parker on Twitter @dparkersrs

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