You recently had a writer submit their (tongue in cheek) Top Ten List for why the media dislikes Romney. In the interest of balance I am submitting the following list of rebuttals to provide a little perspective for those not yet decided on where they stand.
1. Drop-dead, collar-ad handsome with gracious, statesmanlike aura. Looks like every central casting’s first choice for Commander-in-Chief.
Rebuttal:The Presidential election is not a beauty contest. if it were, we’d have Bradley Cooper or Channing Tatum running for the office.
As far as a “statesmanlike aura”, a true statesman wouldn’t run from questions about his positions like a frightened rabbit or avoid the press like they carried the plague.
The only time Romney looks even vaguely statesmanlike is when everything is scripted to allow him to make vapid talking points and answer softball questions with no real substance to them, while never putting him on the spot by demanding actual, concrete answers.
2. Been married to one woman his entire life, and has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with breast cancer and MS.
Rebuttal: While I could insert something here about Romney’s professed faith or a snarky reference to prenups, I will instead point out that this is hardly relevant. President Obama has been married to only one woman as well and nobody makes a big deal out of it.
That being said, it must be nice to be rich enough that you can deal with the issues of breast cancer and MS without having to worry about your health insurance, eh?
3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)
Rebuttal: That depends; where is he hiding all the computer hard drives he bought when he left the Governor’s office, to keep the public from gaining access to his official correspondence when he ran Massachusetts?
And I know it’s not a “closet” per se, but I’d call all the money he’s hiding in offshore bank accounts to be at least a little bit scandalous.
4. Can’t speak in a fake, southern, “preacher voice” when necessary.
Rebuttal: Practicing talking like a preacher might actually help him, considering his refusal to speak in an honest, “intelligent voice” whenever anyone tries to ask him a question of substance. It might even help curb his propensity for putting his foot in his mouth.
5. Highly intelligent. Graduated cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School And by the way, his academic records are NOT sealed.
Rebuttal: A nonissue to deflect from the fact that Romney refuses to release his tax records. I’m still waiting for an intelligent explanation of how academic records equal tax records, as the Republicans seem to insist.
And by the way, there are a lot of highly intelligent people out there who will never get to go to Harvard because they can’t afford it. Would Romney have a Harvard pedigree if not for his family’s money?
6. Doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol, and has never done drugs, not even in the counter-culture age when he went to college. Too square for today’s America?
Rebuttal: If this is the best he can put forward, Romney’s in even deeper trouble than he thinks, as they would be the only things he will have shown any actual consistency on. He certainly hasn’t shown a propensity for honesty or honorable behavior.
7. Represents an America of “yesterday”, where people believed in God, went to Church, didn’t screw around, worked hard, and became a success!
Rebuttal: This is an America of today, where not everyone believes in God (or at least, not the Christian God) or goes to church. Plenty of people screwed around “yesterday,” and plenty don’t “today”, so that’s a nonissue.
Hard work? Willard started a company by borrowing money from his rich father. He became a success by destroying companies, shipping jobs overseas, ruining peoples’ livelihood, and handing the American taxpayers the bill while pocketing the profits.
Successful I’ll grant you, as far as making himself rich goes. Still, is that the kind of success we really want running the country?
8. Has a family of five great sons, and none of them have police records or are in drug rehab. But of course, they were raised by a stay-at-home mom, and that “choice” deserves America ‘s scorn.
Rebuttal: None of whom have ever served their country, either, unless you count Willard’s arrogant assertion that they’re doing a more important job than military service by traveling the country trying to get daddy elected.
As far as being raised by a stay-at home-mom, it must be nice to be so wealthy that you can stay home with five kids and not worry about the bills. Many working class Americans can’t manage that with one or two.
The scorn comes not from making that choice, but the way the Romney family unconsciously flaunts their wealth as they try to pretend they understand the trials working families have to go through to make a living.
9. Oh yes, he’s a Mormon. We need to be very afraid of that very strange religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic, fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, and honest.
Rebuttal: I’ve yet to see anyone make a big deal over Willard being a Mormon. If it were really an issue, he wouldn’t be on the ballot in the first place. More people, I think, are concerned about him continuing this drive to turn religious dogma into legislation.
Oh, and since when does one need to be Mormon – or follow any religious dogma, really – to be clean-living, patriotic, etc? To clarify, though, this man bought an elevator for his car collection; that’s conservative?
He destroyed businessess and shipped the jobs overseas to China, and said the American auto industry should be allowed to die (and then claimed he personally deserved a lot of the credit for the industry’s recovery); that’s patriotic?
He tithes 10% of the annual income earned from a $200 million-plus fortune to an organisation that uses donations to pay for political influence; this is charity? And please, don’t get me started on honesty. After going through all his flip-flopping, deliberate misquoting, and efforts to revise his history, I’m reasonably certain Romney doesn’t know how to spell “honesty”.
10. And one more point, pundits say because of his wealth, he can’t relate to ordinary Americans. I guess that’s because he made that money himself as opposed to marrying it or inheriting it.
Rebuttal: Yes, he made it himself (or rather, his company made it for him), after his dad gave him the money to start his company with. And further proving he can’t relate is the fact he told graduating college students to “borrow $20,000 from your parents and start a business.”
Now, I’ll admit it would be nice to be able to do such a thing, but how many people in this country really have that option? This is the man who makes $10,000 bets during nationally televised debates, brags how his wife drives “a couple Cadillacs”, and refers to tithing 10% of his annual income (estimated at about $25 million last year) as a “sacrifice”. Pundits say he can’t relate, but Willard continually proves it.
Apparently, he didn’t understand that actually working at a job and earning your own money made you unrelatable to Americans.
Rebuttal: And with a personal fortune of over $200 million, he once sat down next to a sixty-some year old factory worker who’d just been laid off because the factory was shutting down and said “You know, maybe I should tell my story. I’m unemployed too!”
I think it’s reasonable to say that nobody who comes from a life of wealth and privilege will ever truly be able to relate to working class people who actually have to worry about bills and mortgages and losing jobs. The problem is that when Romney tries, he fails at it. Miserably.
My goodness, it’s a strange world, isn’t it?
Rebuttal: It certainly is, but not for the reasons you think.
San Diego, CA