The Best Moments of That Mitt Romney Video
When was the last time an infinitely credible news outlet actually broke a story, unleashing previously unseen, game-changing footage on an unsuspecting public? As denizens of the instant-gratification nation, the find-a-hot-story school of journalism is, generally speaking, considered a little before our time.
Then Mother Jones comes along with this footage of Mitt Romney speaking at an elite and private fund-raising shindig, and suddenly the dirt-digging news world of secret documents and revealing evidence is once again alive and kicking. And if you ask me, just in freaking time.
Because I, unlike my esteemed fellow blogger Larry Mendte, happen to think this video marks a milestone in an otherwise typically punditized and misinformation-bloated campaign season: For once, we actually get to see a candidate as he really is, behind closed doors, gladhand to gladhand. And in Mitt Romney’s case, such opportunities don’t come often enough.
Romney has been called out time and time again in this presidential race for his elusive personal politics (and tax returns). The question has always been which man would become president: Governor Romney of Massachusets, a self-proclaimed moderate who actually signed into law universal health coverage in his state? Or the Mitt of the campaign stump, a hard-line conservative ready to repeal Obamacare, give the rich their tax cuts, and take as his righthand man a fellow who basically just lies about stuff.
On Monday, with the release of this tape, we came the closest we have yet come in this election cycle to answering that question. And the answer was: “WAKE UP AND SMELL THE $50,000-A-PLATE ENTREE, AMERICA. Your potential future President doesn’t give a care about you. He said so, right here.”
The video is mandatory viewing. But in case you don’t—and with inspiration from Jezebel—I Watched The Mitt Vid So You Don’t Have To.
My top 12 (or so) favorite moments:
1. “I have five sons.”
I know, Mitt. It’s minute five of this thing and you’ve already mentioned this fact about five times. I get now how you can be running on a party platform that would outlaw abortion in cases of rape. Would that Ann had popped out a girl in there somewhere.
2. “Had he [my dad] been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this thing.”
Cue every Latino and Latina at home shaking their heads in sad-eyed wonderment.
3. “Ninety-five percent of life is set up for you when you’re born in this country.”
Just like 95 percent of my golf shots are set up for me by my caddy.
4. “The biggest surprise that I have is that young people will vote Democrat.”
Really? Your biggest surprise is that kids who grew up in the throes of the Bush II disaster would choose to bat for any team but that man’s? Get real, sir.
5. “There won’t be any houses like this if we stay on the road we’re on,”
… referring to the Florida McMansion of noted partier Lader in which the good times were rolling. Cry me a river, Boca Raton, and build me a bridge made of gold. I know you can.
6. Re: The American Military. “Speak softly and carry a very, very, very big stick.”
Ah yes, the requisite penis anxiety rears it’s ugly head. And we’re not even 20 minutes in.
7. Re: Israel/Palestine conflict. “The path to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish. … And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes … you move things along as best you can … but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem.”
Dream big, Mitt. Dream big.
7.5. A champagne cork pops as: “The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up … doesn’t work. We have done that time and time and time again.”
Really? Have we? The $115 billion we’ve given them since World War II, second only to Afghanistan in terms of bilateral assistance, that’s been a real push to give something up?
8. The now-infamous “47 percent” moment.
Check it out, it’s too good to paraphrase or partially quote.
9. “If we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism in this country … without actually doing anything, we’ll get a great boost in the economy of this country.”
And here I was joking that the man doesn’t have dreams.
10. “These guys in the U.S., the Karl Rove equivalents, they do races all over the world.”
That blessed, terrifying moment when a presidential candidate invokes Karl the Hellbringer as a campaign strategy hero.
11. “We spend our days with people who agree with us.”
A recipe for real American democracy right there.
12. “Fifty percent of kids coming out of school can’t get a job.”
Lie. A lie based in some truth, but still a boldfaced lie.
And just to make it an even baker’s dozen …
13. “Saturday Night Live runs the risk of looking slapstick and not presidential … but The View is fine. … Though on the View you run a risk since only one of those five women is conservative. The other four are sharp tongued and not conservative, Whoopi Goldberg in particular. Although last time I was one the show she said ‘You know what, I think I could vote for you.’ And I said ‘I must have done something really wrong.’”
More jokes about those pesky angry black women who nevertheless make an effort to treat you as a human being, Governor Romney! Please! More!
In closing, I’d like to say thank you, Mother Jones, from the bottom of my heart. And thank you, media gods, for finally throwing us a bone with this guy.