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Why Ann Romney’s ‘Meet The Press’ Interview Severely Damaged Mitt’s Campaign

by David Badash on September 9, 2012

in News,Politics

Post image for Why Ann Romney’s ‘Meet The Press’ Interview Severely Damaged Mitt’s Campaign

Ann Romney, in a Meet The Press interview – rare for a candidate and their spouse to appear together — took that opportunity and severely damaged her husband’s campaign. Ann Romney suffers from Marie Antoinette syndrome, apparently, and the Romney campaign is ludicrously unaware that when the 63-year old dressage equestrian speaks to the press, she often reveals just how much of a moneyed, out-of-touch one percenter she, and Mitt, truly are.

“And in particular, for Mitt — who really has been demonized in many ways as being heartless and for people to stand up and say, ‘Excuse me. He was there when my son was dying of leukemia. He came to my son’s bedside. He did all of these things for my son.’ And then another woman saying how Mitt was there for her. So there’s hundreds of those stories that haven’t been told,” she told NBC’s David Gregory, according to a report in The Hill.

Mitt Romney has been “demonized”? Really? Ann Romney has no understanding of the word — exposing her lack of empathy all the more.

Barack Obama has been called a socialist, a communist, a Marxist, a Kenyan, a foreigner, a Muslim, a nigger, the magic negro, a dictator, a Manchurian Candidate, a racist, a homosexual, married to a man, anti-capitalism, Hitler, Stalin, tied to Murderous Communist Terrorists, treasonous, a backer of global currency, a dope dealer, an Islamic terrorist, the most anti-religious president in history, “a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S.,” and much, much more. (Note: while all of these accusations are untrue, not all of them are bad, although their sources believe they are.)

Then there’s this:

Obama is surrounded by marxists, communists, progressives, socialists, radicals, anti-capitalists, terrorist bombers, corrupt unions, communist organizations, criminal organizations, murderers, cop-killers, and people that associate with Communist Cuba and Cuban spy rings. This is significant since Russia has been a long-time funder and partner of Cuba, and both have been long-time enemies of America.

By comparison, Mitt Romney has been accused of being robotic, storing money in foreign countries, liking to fire people, race-baiting, making a birther joke, violating music copyright laws at campaign events, wanting to end Medicare, not acknowledging the troops or that we’re at war in his RNC address, and not paying taxes. (Most if not all of those accusations are true, by the way.)

Ann says Mitt “has been demonized in many ways as being heartless,” and uses the example of him visiting a dying leukemia patient.

Ann neglects to connect the dots that Mitt may have visited a dying leukemia patient, but President Obama has worked to ensure that dying leukemia patients, people with pre-existing conditions, and practically all Americans can get the healthcare they need by making it more accessible and affordable, eliminating lifetime caps and pre-existing condition denials.

Mrs. Romney also told David Gregory on Meet The Press:

Well, I think the thing that I want to communicate to people, and that it’s so important that people understand, is that Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives. But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.

One of the things that I, again, like to remind people is that multiple sclerosis has been my teacher,” she added. “It has been at times a cruel teacher, but it has also been a great gift to my life because what it has done, it has taught me to be more compassionate in caring for others that are suffering. And I know people are suffering right now. And for people to think that we don’t have empathy just because we’re not suffering like they’re suffering is ridiculous.

While Ann Romney has had to struggle with breast cancer and MS — two devastating diseases that are no one should have to face in the 21st century — she had the benefit of access to the best healthcare, drugs and treatments — traditional and alternative — and doctors money can buy, something her husband would deny Americans who can’t afford it. Indeed, Ann Romney’s MS treatment regime is just plain inaccessible to the vast majority of those who might need it. While diseases place unimaginable stresses and struggles on anyone who is fighting them, and their family, Ann Romney never had to worry about how to pay for her treatments.

When Americans are literally cutting their prescriptions in half to make them last longer, Ann Romney has never used a pill cutter to save money, or worry about what to buy: medication or food, as far too many Americans do every day. The very Americans who her husband would like to deprive of access to those medications, and government programs that literally help keep them alive.

David Edwards at The Raw Story adds, “in her convention speech, Ann Romney had talked about the tough times after the young couple had gotten married and moved into a ‘basement apartment’.”

“We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, ate a lot of pasta and Tuna fish,” she recalled. “Our just was a door propped up on saw horses, our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. But those were the best days.”

A fact check by The Atlantic‘s Elspeth Reeve determined that Ann Romney’s convention story did not match up with her previous claims.

“Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time,” she had told The Boston Globe when her husband was running for Senate in 2004.

In short, Ann Romney and her husband Mitt no doubt have faced some of the same struggles as many Americans. Illness, a prime example. But their financial ability to shield themselves from the ravages of those diseases has apparently inoculated them from understanding how not being able to afford life saving treatment, drugs, and care impact the rest of America. If it hadn’t, they would be championing Obamacare, food stamps, and TANF.

Just like when Mitt Romney suggested those who want to attend college or start a business should merely ask their parents for money, Ann’s claims of unfair demonization peel back the very real layer of isolation and the alternate universe she and her husband are living in.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated the Romneys’ appearance was the first MTP interview in which spouses appeared together. While it is rare, it is not historic.

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{ 14 comments }

radsenior September 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Ann Romney is not as smart as she thinks she is!

ottomarcos September 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

With all due respect to the writer of this great article, I do happen to believe that Willard IS a demon…

StevyDi September 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

While the Romneys may indeed have suffered with Ann's illnesses, even with Obama-care, most citizens still won't be able to afford the highest level of healthcare that their money paid for. That will always be a benefit of their wealth. Yet not acknowledging it or the help and relief supplied by paid assistants while recuperating, also a benefit of that wealth, is further proof of their remoteness from and the ability to comprehend the condition of the common man.

MittBorg September 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm

It's terrible that anyone should have to suffer through these illnesses. Unfortunately, Ann neglected to mention that the best available treatment for MS is a drug regimen that costs approximately $3,000 per month. The average American family of four has an income around $40,000 pa. Without some form of medical assistance, no one other than Ann Romney and her rich friends can afford the medication they will need to save their lives. The very fact that she is incapable of realizing it indicates just how tragically out of touch this woman and her dreadful husband are.

calistair1 September 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I have MS and just one of the drugs that I am on costs almost $5000.00 per month. Without good insurance coverage I wouldn't be able to take ANY of the MS drugs. Ann has no clue what the real world goes through…never has, never will.

InvokeRights September 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Way to go Mitt! Allow her to continue to make your campaign go down the drain!

In fact, how about Mittens & Ann both have EVERYTHING stripped from them for three months and see how well they do with the health care that us normal people have to deal with!

justthinkinbout September 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Yeah…Ann I am really feeling for you and Mitt. You have had it tough.Having to sell off stock….wow…how did you ever survive?

dale.shafer September 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm

For the record, and to add an opposition voice here, I am very middle class and work for everything I have – and I do not "champion" your social programs such as Obamacare and food stamps. Neither program are in the full best interest of all Americans – in fact, I would argue that they keep people trapped in lower income situations because the program creates a massive gap between what they can get for free vs what they can earn on their own. And if you think I'm wrong, then tell me why the number of people enrolled in SNAP continues to increase. Jobs? Economy? We have no leadership in the White House or the Legislative branches. NO LEADERSHIP – just a bunch of promise makers.

It's a analogy: "here, have some ice cream… don't worry about paying for it. Come back tomorrow, you can get more." Some people will keep voting for that because being handed the ice cream makes it more difficult to get into the process of making and paying for the ice cream yourself.

Bottom line – how can you not be sick of paying for more and more debt with more and more people not working and more and more people on welfare. Blame the rich all you want, but someone has to pay for it. Yeah, that would be the evil rich.

RavenArgyle September 10, 2012 at 12:33 am

That's the saddest, least creative and shite analogy I've ever heard. Double down and tell me you are quoting someone else. And please tell me who they are.

InvokeRights September 10, 2012 at 3:20 am

You sir (dale), are an idiot.

You basically stated that because I'm disabled (unable to work) and have expensive medication (that I cannot get a generic form of) that I should not have the simple thing of food or healthcare.

I think people should be allowed those rights. I have a soul, do you? You don't? Pity. Get one.

mk372 September 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm

What's that now Dale? Let's look at the facts.

From 1996 to 2007 the overall federal tax rate for the richest 1 percent fell by more than 6 percentage points. The top marginal income tax rate dropped from 70 percent in 1980 to 35 percent today. And that’s just for starters

One in four millionaires pays a lower overall tax rate than millions of middle-class families.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, in 2007 a household in the middle class paid about 9.5 percent of their income in payroll taxes while someone in the top 1 percent paid just 1.6 percent of their income in payroll taxes.

State and local taxes are also regressive. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy reported that the average state and local effective tax rate for the top 1 percent is only 5.2 percent, while the average tax rate on the middle 20 percent is 9.4 percent.

So, how come conservatives get to parade around the "the rich pay plenty" lines? Because they distort the numbers. Shock! They cite federal income tax, mostly. Cato Institute, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, they all site this "the top 1% pay 40% of all taxes" line. What they mean is, they top 1% pay 40% of FEDERAL INCOME TAX, which accounts for only about 42% of all taxation. It's just silly.

First of all, federal income taxes are only one part of the overall tax system. By focusing only on the one piece of the tax code that is very progressive, conservatives are artificially inflating the share of taxes paid by the 1 percent.

Second, the rich pay most of the taxes because they make most of the income. Think about it: Of course the richest 1 percent of people pay way more than 1 percent of all the taxes—they have way more than 1 percent of all the income. That’s why they are in the top 1 percent.

Third, the share of taxes paid is a really silly way to think about tax burden. What matters isn’t the amount of taxes someone pays as a share of total revenues. What matters is the amount of taxes someone pays as a share of his or her own income.

And as for your ice cream analogy – yes, having to rely on society's assistance for food and housing for you and your family is JUST like getting free ice cream. Amazing no-one thought to put it that way before.

mk372 September 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Oh, and one more thing. That thing about being sick of paying more and more debt. Perhaps if some of the richest 'individuals' (thank you Citizens United) paid, I don't know, ANY tax, we might be a LOT less in debt.

Verizon made $12 billion in profits last year, but has paid $0 in taxes for two years now. However, they did spend $34 million on lobbying.

When FedEx made $1.9 billion in profits, they managed to pay less than .0005% of it in taxes by using 21 tax havens. FedEx also spent 42 times (4200%) more on lobbying Congress than they did in taxes.

Since 2006, General Electric has made $26 billion in profits and paid not one penny of federal corporate income taxes. In fact, we taxpayers gave GE over $4 billion in subsidies and tax breaks during these last 5 years.

The ex-Chief Economist from McKinsey has estimated that there is currently about, at a conservative [sic] estimate, $21 trillion – yes, TRILLION with a T – untaxed money in tax havens. "Owned" by the richest 0.02%. The tax revenue on that little private nest egg, in one year, it taxed at the corporate tax rate, could have paid for the Iraq war and the bail out of the EU combined. And still had a few hundred billion left over.

So this nonsense about the rich paying their fair share is insulting. Every time a government program is cut because of Republicans refusing to talk about closing tax loopholes, or sticking doggedly to 'no more taxes', it is an insult to both our intelligence and our democracy.

I know we live in an era where facts are mere inconveniences in the battle of ideology, but it really has got to the point of absurdity and mass delusion when we accept this "how much should we cut from welfare", or "which of the deserving is MORE deserving" as the field of debate. We should be furious at the audacity of the giant corporations who are robbing us blind and laughing as we bicker over crumbs.

queerbec September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Why doesn't Mitt appear on these Sunday shows without his wife? Is he afraid to take a full half hour of questions aimed at him?

DualSitZin September 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Here here mk372!

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