Last night Romney was asked to discuss the “biggest misperception” people have about him. His response:
I care about 100 percent of the American people. I want 100 percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future. I care about our kids. I understand what it takes to make a bright and prosperous future for America again. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I’m a guy who wants to help with the experience I have, the American people.
Maybe that perception has to do with the now-infamous “47 percent” video, in which Romney says this:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Full transcript here.
And at first Romney said his remarks were “not elegantly stated” but he did not refute them. Later, his campaign began to promote the idea that Romney supports the “100 percent.” Romney made this statement:
Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.
So you knew the word was out at Romney headquarters: Act like you care, dammit!
Then I saw this AP photo in the news:
Nice pic, right? Ryan hard at work scrubbing those dirty pots and pans, with his wife in the background toiling away. The captions revealed what a great, kind, caring sort of man he is. “Paul Ryan washes dishes at soup kitchen outside Youngstown, OH.” “Paul Ryan scrubs a pan Saturday at the St. Vincent De Paul Society soup kitchen.” Other pics showed him with his family.
Having washed a dish or two in my day (and I know what a Hobart is, too), I thought Hmmm, that apron seems mighty clean and even has a fold line in it. And the dude is wearing a watch. No rubber gloves. No bleach water. Plus his sleeves aren’t rolled up high enough. And isn’t that pan awfully shiny?
Yep on all counts. Here’s a video capture.
You can watch the video here. See any food stuck to those pots and pans? There’s additional video here and you can see the kitchen is all nice and tidy. Nary a dirty dish to be seen.
Yet there’s still some denial in place: NBC’s headline reads Ryan did wash dirty dishes during soup kitchen visit.
See? Did so! Did so!
I understand the need for a photo opportunity. But if the purpose was to highlight the efforts of the volunteers, as the campaign stated, why weren’t those volunteers featured prominently in the pictures?
And yeah, it’s one photo. I understand that. But look at the mindset behind that photo. Take a look at policies that will “wean” people off government programs. Watch the poor get poorer. And remember, they will care about you. Smile for your photo, now.