On any day in politics, someone on your side will say something stupid. You can be sure that the next day the opposition will then seize upon this as proof that your side is evil. This really is neither here nor there: the believers will believe and everyone else will sort of shrug their shoulders.
But occasionally, someone says something so stupid, so revealing that even their supporters are stunned. Case in point, The National Review and Mitt Romney's comment about the poor. In case you haven't heard:
I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair , I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich…. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
How to tell how big a gaffe that was. Lets read the National Review Corner.
A case in point, here he is this morning talking about how he’s “not very concerned about the very poor” (video here). I get the point he’s making. It’s a point that Bill Clinton won the presidency with — but with language that attracted voters. Romney’s language won’t do anything of the sort. And the concern is, after nearly a decade of running for president, if he can’t get this stuff down now he never will
Mark Steyn (what is the right adjective for this guy? Odious? loathsome?) responds:
Jonah, I agree with you on the general tin-ear of Romney. He’s extremely un-nimble on the stump, which means that Republicans will be gambling that he can be sufficiently insulated and managed across the finish line without offering up any campaign-detonating hostage to fortune.
Try this from Redstate:
Take a minute to let that sink in. The presumptive nominee for the Republican presidential nomination, in a class warfare/economy/jobs election, said on national television that he doesn’t care about the very poor in our country, but that the opposition party does. As @Slublog noted on Twitter, “The only thing that could have made that Romney quote worse is if he ended it by laughing manically and lighting a cigar with a $100 bill.”
If this is not enough Schadenfreude for you, read the comments at the National Review which include the following:
"Romney will get destroyed in November."
"What is it with the Stupid Party and their chronic habit of nominating candidates who no can talk good?"
"In the immortal words of Charlie Brown: Good grief!"
How bad is it? Let's take a look at what one his supporters John Sununu said:
"Sununu acknowledges, however, that Romney “knows that he needs to be more careful,” especially after his Florida win.
Let me translate that sentence for you. When Sununu says "he needs to be more careful" what he really means is that this was a stupid fucking statement and if says it again we are going to get destroyed. Sununu also said that the comment was "unhelpful". Now in life about the worst thing you can do is do something unhelpful. Because when someone uses that word, what they really mean is that you have just screwed up on a monumental scale. In fact, the screwup is so bad that you can't even use the word.
Oh, and Jim Demint said Romney needed to "backtrack".
So there you have it: proof that what Romney said this morning was a very big deal.
Fresh off his big win in Florida Tuesday night, Mitt Romney made the most stunningly stupid remark of his campaign.
I really like the phrase "stunningly stupid".