By Josh Barro
You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
On the tape, Romney explains that his electoral strategy involves writing off nearly half the country as unmoveable Obama voters. As Romney explains, 47 percent of Americans "believe that they are victims." He laments: "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
So what's the upshot? "My job is not to worry about those people," he says. He also notes, describing President Obama's base, "These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax."
This is an utter disaster for Romney.
Romney already has trouble relating to the public and convincing people he cares about them. Now, he's been caught on video saying that nearly half the country consists of hopeless losers.
Romney has been vigorously denying President Obama's claims that his tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class. Now, he's been caught on video suggesting that low- and middle-income Americans are undertaxed.
(That one is especially problematic given the speculation about what's on Mitt's unreleased pre-2010 tax returns.)
Corn tells us there are more embarrassing moments on segments of the video he hasn't released yet. Romney jokes that he'd be more likely to win the election if he were Hispanic. He makes some awkward comments about whether he was born with a "silver spoon" in his mouth.
But those are survivable. The really disastrous thing is the clip about "victims," and the combination of contempt and pity that Romney shows for anyone who isn't going to vote for him.
Romney is the most opaque presidential nominee since Nixon, and people have been reduced to guessing what his true feelings are. This video provides an answer: He feels that you're a loser. It's not an answer that wins elections.
Today's highlights: the editors on Romney's 47 percent fallacy and on how not to be tough in the Middle East; Ezra Klein on Romney and the responsibility of the poor; Margaret Carlson on how Romney isn't necessarily doomed; Clive Crook on why the Fed made the right move; Peter Orszag on how the Ryan budget would make it harder for Medicare patients to find doctors; William Pesek on rising tensions between China and Japan; Matthew Bryza on how Europe can hang tough on Gazprom; Mel and Patricia Ziegler on the creation of Banana Republic.
Read more breaking commentary from Bloomberg View at the Ticker.
-0- Sep/19/2012 13:44 GMT