Rachel Maddow went after Mitt Romney for his photo op with Rudy Giuliani the other day where he gladly used New York firefighters for props. As Maddow pointed out in the segment above and Laura Clawson over at Daily KOS wrote about earlier this week, Romney has been railing on about those "overpaid" government workers in speech after speech, but then he cynically turns around and pretends like he's concerned about some of them having to work two jobs to get by.
Boy, if you listen to him some of the time, Mitt Romney just wants everyone to live really well. At a northern Virginia fundraiser, showing that he feels for the middle class, Romney cited a firefighter struggling to make ends meet:
"I spoke with a fireman yesterday, and he has a one-bedroom apartment, and his wife is pregnant, and he can't afford a second bedroom," he said, referring to a visit to New York City. "I asked the firefighters I was meeting with, about 15 or them, how many had had to take another job to make ends meet, and almost every one of them had."
You'd think, to read that, that Romney was suggesting he thinks that's a less than ideal situation, firefighters having to work two jobs or unable to afford a two-bedroom apartment. But while that may have been his implication in that moment, Jonathan Chait flags a quote from Romney's stump speech that reflects his policy positions on how many bedrooms firemen should be able to afford: that "we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve." The unfairness he's talking about, of course, isn't the unfairness of a quarter of workers earning less than two-thirds of the median income, or low-wage workers becoming an older and more educated group.
Rachel also shared a few charts from The New York Times in the opening of her segment, debunking that whole "Republicans are the party of small government" myth which you can read about here: Off the Charts: Shrinking Government and here: Government Getting Smaller in the U.S..