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Groundhog Day For The GOP

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You know, when Flip-flop Frontrunner climbs out of a primary hole, sees the shadow of momentum breaking his way, and promptly sticks his foot in his mouth.

First it was “I like to fire people,” then “It’s not worth getting angry about,” now “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”

After winning the Florida primary, GOP presidential nominee hopeful Mitt Romney explains to CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien that he is focused on a particular portion of the American population in his campaign.

Romney says, “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.”

O’Brien asked him to clarify his remarks saying, “There are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say, ‘That sounds odd.’”

Romney continues, “We will hear from the Democrat party, the plight of the poor…. You can focus on the very poor, that’s not my focus…. The middle income Americans, they’re the folks that are really struggling right now and they need someone that can help get this economy going for them.”

GOP Groundhog forecast: an extended winter of discontent, with a high probability of lingering disappointment. What else to expect when the party’s on-again/off-again ostensible presumptive nominee possesses a disturbing propensity for royally ripe gaffes and political blunders?

I guess some solace can be had that he didn’t bet Soledad $10K that he’s more unconcerned about the very poor than Obama. Although he might as well have; the mainstream media riff is already flowing down the pike – rich white Republicans don’t care about the poor; compassionate fair-minded Democrats do.

It’s bad enough that Romney flunks Politics 101 after campaigning for president for eight years (you don’t lead with a negative – “I’m not concerned with the very poor”; you pitch the positive – “I’m concerned about insert talking point of the day).

But what really concerns is that once the gaffe’s out of the gate, Romney instinctively veers left trying to correct it with a mimic of the progressives’ favored class warfare ploy, pitting the rich and the poor against the middle class. What happened to the notion of a conservative agenda that benefits everyone, without favoring one particular segment of society over another? That the free market and individual liberty, not government programs of welfare, yield prosperity for all?

Anyone? Romney? Anyone?

“I’m sure there are places where people fall between the cracks,” Romney said. “And finding those places is one of the things that is the responsibility of government. We do have a very ample safety net in America, with Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps, earned income tax credit. We have a number of ways of helping the poor. And yet my focus and the area that I think is the greatest challenge that the country faces right now is not, is not to focus our effort on how we help the poor as much as to focus our effort on how to help the middle class in America, and get more people in the middle class and get people out of being poor and becoming middle income.”

So multi-millionaire Mitt isn’t concerned about helping the poor because there’s a plethora of government programs keeping them comfortably poor while bankrupting the country; but if (if? seriously?government’s safety net for the poor that need help is broken government will fix it. It’s a win-win, says the GOP’s champion of limited government standard-bearer in waiting.

Groundhog Day bonus: hey, let’s have an auto-increase for the minimum wage that’ll cripple struggling small businesses and lead to higher unemployment.

Wonderful.

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