Awwww, how utterly populist of Mitt Romney. During a Florida event he "felt the pain" of the unemployed by sharing his shameful secret: he's also unemployed. Of course, with $200 million in the bank and a few houses around the country, maybe he's not quite as desperate as some of them, but nevertheless, he's their guy because he shares their pain.
TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.
“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”
He chuckled. The eight people gathered around him, who had just finished talking about strategies of finding employment in a slow-to-recover economy, joined him in laughter.
“Are you on LinkedIn?” one of the men asked.
“I’m networking,” Mr. Romney replied. “I have my sight on a particular job.”
Steve Benen reminds everyone of how Romney made his millions:
But when an extremely wealthy person jokes to people who are actually struggling about being “unemployed,” it rankles. Indeed, Mitt Romney became extremely wealthy in a way that seems relevant to this discussion.
“You see, Romney made a Mittload of cash using what’s known as a leveraged buyout. He’d buy a company with ‘money borrowed against their assets, groomed them to be sold off and in the interim collect huge management fees.’ Once Mitt had control of the company, he’d cut frivolous spending like jobs, workers, employees, and jobs. […]
“Because Mitt Romney knows just how to trim the fat. He rescued businesses like Dade Behring, Stage Stories, American Pad and Paper, and GS Industries, then his company sold them for a profit of $578 million after which all of those firms declared bankruptcy. Which sounds bad, but don’t worry, almost no one worked there anymore.
“Besides, a businessman can’t be weighed down with a bleeding heart. As one former Bain employee put it, ‘It was very clinical…. Like a doctor. When the patient is dead, you just move on to the next patient.’”
Really, joking about being unemployed sort of grates a bit given how many jobs Romney has killed over the years. As Ezra Klein points out, it's not his jokes so much as his economic analysis and values that are the problem. And
Romney just showed just how out of touch his values are with the rest of America.