If there was one defining moment from the 2012 presidential campaign, it was the release of the now-famous Romney 47% video.
In September 2008, the Lehman Brothers collapse caught the McCain campaign off guard and Obama was able to capitalize on that moment to take over the momentum in the final six weeks of the campaign, but the 47% video was perhaps more powerful.
In Romney’s own words, American voters were able to see the real Romney. Romney conveniently ignored the handouts of the 1% – the real “takers” – and instead bashed those most in need.
In reality, Romney’s 47% remarks were mostly an assault on retired American who receive Social Security — though in Romney’s mind, he surely was using the moment to attack poor minorities, who he thinks take from the system and give nothing back. Of course, Big Oil taking billions each year doesn’t count nor do Federal Reserve handouts for Wall Street to the tune of $83 billion per year. No, you’re only a “taker” when you’re “the help.”
What’s interesting to watch in the interview with Scott Prouty is how he came to record the meeting, then release part of it, then all of it. Prouty felt that Romney was dismissive towards millions of struggling Americans, starting with the wait staff working Romney’s event that evening.
After the initial release of the video, Romney provided his hallmark multiple-answers-to-one-question. That too helped define Romney in the campaign. Instead of “Romney, the business executive” it become “Romney, the man who will tell whoever is in front of him exactly what they want to hear.”
Worth noting as well is how Prouty had previously worked a fundraising event where Bill Clinton spoke. Unlike the aloof Romney, Clinton was much more personable with everyone including the staff, who he took the time to personally go meet. For those familiar with the best-selling book The No Asshole Rule, you probably already know where Romney fits in. People who kiss up, and kick down, tend to be less than pleasant pleasant in their heart of hearts. Voters had the chance to see the real Romney, who was described during the campaign as “the guy who just fired you,” and had little, if any, empathy for the man
Prouty makes some great points in the interview when he points out that Romney needs to take personal responsibility for his own words. While Romney and the Republicans often like to attack the least fortunate, and say that they need to take responsibility, it’s clear that even today Romney refuses to accept responsibility for his own actions.
The interview is just under 10 minutes, you really want to watch all of it.