I know Dave already posted some of this portion from the NBC-Facebook Republican primary debate this Sunday, but I thought this portion of the exchange deserved to be highlighted.
Mitt Romney recounted some advice from his father, former presidential candidate George Romney, in Sunday’s NBC/Facebook debate about running for office: make sure you’re set for cash already. [...]
Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told TPM that Romney’s fatherly advice was limited to the candidate himself.
“This was personal advice from a father to son,” he said. “People may make their own choices.”
Spokesmen for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich appeared to take him at his word, declining to comment on Romney’s quote. But others were less generous: Rick Perry advisor Nelson Warfield slammed the anecdote as a symptom of Romney’s wealthy upbringing.
“Mitt Romney had another $10,000 bet moment,” he told TPM. “Suggesting only the wealthy can ran for office is something out of a Green Acres scenario of running for president.”
Rodell Mollineau, president of Democratic Super PAC American Bridge, also condemned the comments.
“I’d say that Romney has forgotten what it’s be part of the working class or middle class, but he never was,” Mollineau said, adding his quote showed he “has no idea what average Americans are going through on a daily basis.”
Romney comes across as so stiff and out of touch in these debates, it's just astounding that he's the best that the GOP has to offer this year. Bragging about how you forced someone to mortgage their home to run for office doesn't exactly make him some endearing figure to the working class out there, even if it was Ted Kennedy he was talking about. He still basically said that anyone who is a member of the working class shouldn't be running for public office, regardless of his campaign's claim that the advice supposedly only applied to him.
Full transcript below the fold.
GREGORY: Governor, please.
ROMNEY: Mr. Speaker, citizenship has always been on my mind. And, and I happened to see my dad run for governor when he was 54 years old. He had good advice to me. He said, "Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win election to pay a mortgage. If you find yourself in a position when you can serve, well, you have responsibility to do so if you think you can make a difference."
He said also don't get involved in politics if your kids are still young because it may turn their heads. I never thought I'd get involved in politics. When I saw Ted Kennedy running virtually unopposed in 1994, a man who I thought, by virtue of the policies of the liberal welfare state had created a permanent underclass in America, I said someone's got to run against him. And I happened to have been wise enough to realize I didn't have a ghost of a chance of beating him. This guy from--a Republican from Massachusetts was not going to beat Ted Kennedy, and I told my partners at my firm, "I'll be back in six months, don't take my chair," and I went in and gave it a real battle and went after it.
It was--I was happy that he had to take a mortgage out on his house to ultimately defeat me. And I'm, I'm very proud of the fact that I have stood up as a citizen to battle where I felt it was best for the nation.
ROMNEY: And we're talking about running for president. I'm in this race because I care about the country, I believe my background and experience will help me be an effective president.