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The Wrong Campaign Gaffe Comparison

Mitt Romney cares more about the poor than Barack Obama cares about the private sector.

by
Rand Simberg

Bio

June 12, 2012 - 12:00 am
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As he often does, Barack Obama made a Freudian slip on Friday that once again revealed his Marxist approach to political economy. This is unsurprising, now that we have confirmation that he ran as the candidate of a socialist party in the nineties, despite denials by his campaign four years ago. In saying that “the private sector is doing just fine,” many, even some of his allies, have accused him of simply being out of touch with economic reality — a charge for which there is an abundance of other evidence. Some, including the Romney campaign, have implied that it was Obama’s own McCain moment, recalling when the Republican nominee said that the “fundamentals of the economy were sound” amidst the imploding credit markets in the fall of 2008.

But that’s not the real nature of the gaffe. A better analogy would be to compare it to a Romney gaffe from earlier this year, when the phrase “I don’t care about the poor” was taken out of context to indicate his supposed heartlessness. Of course, when one reads the entire paragraph from which it was gleefully extracted, it is clear that he is saying that the poor are being taken care of by existing government programs, whereas the objects of his concern are being punished by government policies (let’s leave aside for now the issue of how “compassionate” it is to cruelly keep the poor dependent on government programs).

But while Mitt Romney is not actually indifferent to the plight of the poor, in almost all of his actions (if not always his words) Barack Obama has made it abundantly clear that he does not care about the private sector, or worse, is hostile to it, even though its vitality is essential to provide the “other people’s money” that the president needs to fund his continuing socialist schemes. From his willingness to increase taxes on small business owners through higher rates on the wealthy to cramming new carbon restrictions on the economy with no statutory basis in the guise of saving the environment, he has indicated his preference for government jobs and workers over private jobs and private property.

This weekend, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, admitted former communist Van Jones said that the president was a lifeguard throwing a life preserver to the drowning swimmers. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appropriately retorted that when it came to private swimmers he was tossing concrete blocks. As a result of all this, America reportedly has 129,000 fewer millionaires than it did a year ago (it lost over a quarter of them), and that probably suits Barack Obama “just fine” as long as the remaining ones continue to fill his campaign coffers.

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