Tonawanda News

Opinion

September 19, 2012

DUVALL: Romney's cynicism is appalling

Tonawanda News — I’m starting to think Mitt Romney is secretly a Democrat. It is quickly becoming the last remaining sensible explanation for how much he’s done to help Barack Obama win a second term.

And thank goodness for that. Because an actual President Romney, a phrase destined for the scrap heap of American history if candidate Romney has anything to say about it, would be an unmitigated disaster.

A week after sticking his foot in his mouth as an American ambassador lay dead in Libya, out comes what could be the final nail in the coffin.

By now you’ve probably heard, or seen amateur video of Romney’s comments at a May fundraising event, closed to the press and away from the prying eyes of voters he courts daily in his public appearances.

What did Romney say to his well-heeled supporters about those unwashed masses too poor to afford a ticket?

Here’s how the New York Times reported it:

“During a private reception with wealthy donors this year, Mitt Romney described almost half of Americans as ‘people who pay no income tax’ and are ‘dependent upon government.’ Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are ‘victims’ who are ‘entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.’ ”

Set aside the inhumanity so profanely on display, that in Mitt Romney’s America poor people deserve to be left starving in the street. He’s already said in public he doesn’t care about them.

But Romney is correct in one respect: 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income tax. Yet his attempt to conjure up the GOP’s retro boogeyman from the 90s — a class of Americans unwilling to work and thrilled to live on government handouts from real Americans — doesn’t come close to the facts.

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