Mary Matalin Equates Those Using 'Poverty Programs' to 'Parasites'
The Romney campaign needs to get themselves some better spokespeople if they're going to continue to say things like this: Mary Matalin: Thanks To Romney, We Can Single Out ‘Parasites’:
Conservative commentator Mary Matalin hailed Mitt Romney's "47 percent" line on CNN as good news for Republicans.
"There are makers and takers, there are producers and there are parasites," she said. "Americans can distinguish between those who have produced and paid in through no fault of their own and because of Obama's horrible polices who cannot get a job or are underemployed. That's what the campaign is about."
Matalin really needs to put down the Ayn Rand novels and find somewhere else to get her talking points if she wants to stop alienating everyone in the country other than the extreme right-wing, libertarian leaning Republican base. Most people don't believe poor are causing our problems in the United States, or that they don't pay enough in taxes. Quite the opposite, in fact. But if you listen to Lady McCheney here, it's those lazy, mooching, welfare recipients that refuse to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps that are destroying America.
As Hilary Rosen reminded her, it's not the 1960's any more.
Full transcript below the fold.
(John Amato: This reminds me of the time that Glenn Beck called me a parasite.)
JOHNS: I want to start with you, Mary, if you'll just listen to this tape a little bit more from the fundraiser just released yesterday Mitt Romney talking about Hispanic voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: We are having a much harder time with the Hispanic vote. And if the Hispanic voting block becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting block has in the past, well, we are in trouble as a party and I think as a nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: So we've heard a lot of that. And as you listen to him talking to the people at that fundraiser, the question has always been what are Republicans and Mitt Romney specifically doing about it?
MATALIN: Well, what they're trying to do should he get elected and I believe he will, is grow the economy, create jobs. The government doesn't have money.
When the government redistributes money from the producers and gives it to whatever programs, at best it's inefficient. Let's take education. The state gets back. Taxpayers get back 17 cents on the dollar.
And this is the observation the philosophy imputed to his philosophy, which is it's corrupt. What is it producing? It's destabilized families. It's created more poverty. It's not as -- flatlined our education.
You said in your thing, is this damage control? I don't think it was damaging. I think it's great. Many of us have been waiting for Mitt Romney to say this clearly and loudly and he has been saying eloquently in his speeches.
It's great to have this debate. That's what this campaign was always going to be about. Do you want a big centralized do your life for you make your decisions or do you want decentralized people helping people?
The government helping people in need or in need of temporary assistance or unable to help themselves, that's what this campaign is about. And we cannot sustain the former model, the redistributionist model, that has took the country and the economy where it is today.
JOHNS: I want to pick up on that with Hilary Rosen. When you look at this, there's a lot of research that says 47 percent of voters are going to vote for President Obama almost no matter what. In other words suggests it's a true statement by Mitt Romney. Where is it not true?
ROSEN: Yes, I don't think the issue is whether those people are going to vote for President Obama. I think the issue is how he characterized the 47 percent. And let's just pause for a moment to say that when he in his interview today he didn't even kind of acknowledge the feelings that people have about being characterized as kind of being government moochers.
We're talking about military families. We're talking about senior citizens. We're talking about small business owners. A whole series of people in that 47 percent who pay other kinds of taxes, not just income tax.
And I think that Mitt Romney's problem is, is that this is just enormously divisive that the keynote of his convention speech was we're going to bring people together after the election is over.
I think all he did was drive a deep, deep wedge in the electorate and I think it's extremely disheartening. And as commentators said all day today, really shows a sense of ignorance about the country.
He divides the country into rich and poor. Now, he completely ignores the entire middle class of this country, which have a very different experience and his policies show that.
JOHNS: Mary Matalin, I got to get you in there. A lot of conservatives I've talked to and some I've read say this is actually perhaps a plus for Mitt Romney because it's sort of galvanizing conservative support. Do you think it really happens that way?
MATALIN: It galvanizes American support. Americans are smart enough to distinguish between vets or people who have served their country, who deserve their veterans' benefits or people have paid into medical and Social Security their whole life.
And now because of these horrible policies that have doubled down by Obama aren't going to get Medicaid and the Social Security they pay. That's a different government transfer. That's inefficient one.
The corrupt one are all the poverty programs that have gone up for 50 years and have destabilized, destroyed families, have reduced their educational achievement, there's a difference.
ROSEN: You're talking about the 1960s.
MATALIN: Hilary, there are makers and takers. There are producers and parasites. And people -- Americans can distinguish between those who have produced and paid through no fault of their own cannot get a job or underemployed. That's what the campaign is about.
ROSEN: It is a fact of the matter that a huge portion of the 47 percent of Americans that Mitt Romney attacked through this diatribe and Mary just doubled down on again and so did Bay Buchanan earlier, pay taxes. They just don't pay income taxes because of the kind of income they have. It's not that they're on the government dole. It's that they're hard working people who take similar tax deduction deductions.
And frankly, for Mitt Romney to be attacking people on taxes when he doesn't even show us his own tax returns is just -- as my people would say, the height of -- it's beyond belief we would be in this argument over taxes for the poor and middle class.
Let's talk about the tax fairness that, you know, a significant number of people are not paying, the same number because they're too rich and have too many deductions.
JOHNS: I'm going to ask you both, Romney suggested last night that he might in future days sort of massage this language that we heard on this video last night.
But it seems clear that he can't apologize. Donald Trump has said as much. There's no room to apologize. No room to go back on this. Do you agree with that, Mary Matalin?
MATALIN: Why should he apologize, Joe? This is -- I'm going to say this again. We are in an unsustainable budget situation where most Americans understand while they have been cutting back, the government's been spending more.
When you say to an average American what's the best thing that government can do? They say cutting spending. Some of these programs are necessary. I will say again, Hilary's distorting what I said.
I make a distinction as does Romney between recipients of Social Security, veterans' benefits, Medicare, those taxes that people have paid. You don't listen to his speeches.
If he backs -- I hope he doesn't just double down, quadruples down to the tenth power exponentially makes this case loudly and clearly because it's the essence of the American dream. Progressive measures success of their program by how much money they spend on conservative measure how many people get out of poverty.
We want to lift people out of poverty, pursue their dreams and live off the God-given talents they've been given. Not some government decision like what they're going to support and what they're not because it's corrupt and immoral.
ROSEN: I think what we're hearing is what we've heard from Mitt Romney is that he's sort of trying to wave this kind of welfare Queen Boogyman to the American people. That does not exist anymore.
Those programs are not the same as they used to be in the '60s and '70s. We've had multiple reforms over the years. Here's I think the real challenge for Mitt Romney, which is as Bill Crystal laid it out today, to stop sort of attacking people and talking about the past and talking about what he would do differently, that's something he hasn't done.
That's something President Obama has done and turned this election into a real choice of direction going forward. I think Mitt Romney has to put these conversations in the context of real people. That's just something we haven't heard. And we don't hear it when he tries to explain himself.
JOHNS: Hilary Rosen, Mary Matalin --
MATALIN: Joe, to that point, you put it in context. This is not his campaign speech. He was answering his question. You put the context. He's not dividing anybody. He's making the bigger debate. Thank you for letting me make that point, Hilary.
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