The Republican primaries are under way, and as is normal with any American election cycle, the craziness has once again begun. The latest craziness surrounds Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner. In the video above, Romney says of his father: “He had good advice to me. He said, ‘Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay a mortgage. If you find yourself in a position when you can serve, why you ought to have a responsibility to do so if you think you can make a difference, you oughta have a responsibility to do so.’” See a ThinkProgress blog post here.
In other Romney news, he says, “I like being able to fire people.” See it here:
Romney’s opponents have been spinning this as proof that Romney is an elitist who is out of touch with the American people. In the first case, they are saying that Romney believes that only the wealthy should run for office. In the second, they’re spinning the story as proof that he identifies with rich business owners who fire people rather than the near 10% of the working population that is unemployed.
Neither of these attacks is a correct portrayal of what Romney said. In the first case, Romney is right–if you’re dependent on winning an election in order to pay your bills, you shouldn’t be running. It’s the same issue that we face with Asian American artists–if you have to play a demeaning Long Duk Dongish character or write some degrading “literature” to pay your bills, you need a second career. Politics should pay money, but people who run should not be in desperation mode.
In the second, he was talking about healthcare. Healthcare should not only be tied to employment because as he says, it creates disincentives for a healthcare company to keep you healthy. I don’t know what Romney would do with healthcare if elected, but I like Romneycare in Massachusetts, which is similar to Obamacare. Again, I agree with what Romney said–although I have no idea what he’d actually implement as President.
It’s just unfortunate that this part of the election is going to come down to who can better misrepresent their opponents’ viewpoints in front of the media. We need these guys to be talking about real ideas, rather than using sneaky media tactics.