A recent opinion article titled “The Real Romney” was featured in the DePaulia written by a Mitt Romney supporter that claimed the candidate’s image was distorted. This writer described the presidential hopeful in such a positive manner that it was surprising not to find a Romney campaign sticker at the bottom of the article. Romney can parade his past achievements all he wants, but it’s the impression he has made in recent months that will go on to hurt him the most.
Romney’s policies on women’s health care are prehistoric to say the least, and this has been reinforced by his decision to pick Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee. Ryan has stated he opposes abortion in all situations. Ryan was also a co-sponsor with Missouri Rep. Todd Akin on a bill that would have redefined rape to exclude women who are unconscious, have been drugged, have been threatened or are minors who have been victims of statutory rape.
Akin recently became well-known after stating in an interview that a woman’s body had the ability to shut down an unwanted pregnancy. Romney himself has also gone on record saying he wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, an organization millions of women rely on for basic health care services, including cancer screenings. Out of all the services the organization offers, abortion makes up only three percent.
Romney lacks the social and political finesse of his opponent on the international stage, a critical factor when it comes to foreign policy. His recent trip abroad was mired in setbacks that highlighted his ineptitude. It seemed that every country in which he spoke, his press secretary would scramble to provide damage control.
During the London Olympic Games, Romney made comments in an interview about whether the country would be ready for the games. The British press attacked Romney over the comments. Even British Prime Minister David Cameron poked fun at Romney’s involvement in organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active bustling cities in the world – of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” said Cameron.
During his visit to Israel, Romney spent his time organizing a fundraiser with J. Philip Rosen, a man who has a reputation for writing about his racist views on Palestinians and Arabs. Rosen has called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a “holy war” and has written that the Palestine Liberation Organization and its members have a “pathological” problem. Speaking of both the Israeli and Palestinian economies, and the large gap between them, Romney attributed Israel’s economic success and superiority to “culture,” ignoring the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It was later found that the data Romney used when talking about the countries’ economies was inaccurate as well.
During a trip to Poland, Romney and his team planned to meet with members of the country’s famous Solidarity party – a party that helped the country rise in a post-communist era. However, the party declined to meet with Romney. In a statement, Solidarity expressed disappointment over Romney’s record of attacking trade unions and employee rights.
During the same visit, Romney’s publicist finally reached his breaking point. While visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, journalists attempted to ask Romney questions, frustrated that he had only taken three. First, Romney’s publicist told the reporters to “show some respect,” but things escalated. “Why don’t you shove it,” said Romney’s publicist. “Kiss my ass.” All in all, the trip was a disaster and many wondered why Romney put the time and money into a trip to show off his foreign policy credentials when it was one of the things Americans were least concerned with.
Like all politicians on the campaign trail, Romney has played up his image, projecting himself to be a moral, religious, hard-working, patriotic and family-orientated man. However, over the summer a story in the Washington Post, written by Jason Horowitz, chronicled Romney’s college days and focused on an incident in which Romney and a group of friends bullied a classmate.
Romney’s classmate, John Lauber, was a bit of a loner on campus. His appearance made him stand out of the crowd at Cranbrook School, a prestigious school known for its strict and conservative environment. One day, annoyed by Lauber’s nonconformity and long hair, Romney and his friends pinned Lauber to the ground and cut off his hair. Since the article was published, all the men involved have come out and apologized, except Romney. When asked about the story, Romney responded that he didn’t remember the incident at all.
With that statement, Romney comes across as an extremely insensitive and out-of-touch individual. Supporters have stated that it happened long ago. He was young and it is unfair to use it against him. Fair enough, we all make mistakes, but let’s make this clear: he outright denies the incident ever happened. A simple apology is beyond him; the man lives in his own reality. This may not be an important factor in choosing someone to run a country in the end, but I know that I would never give my vote to a bully.
As if Romney has not shot himself in the foot enough times already, a video of him committing political suicide has recently surfaced online. While attending a private fundraiser with some of his millionaire donors, Romney showed his true colors and it was all caught on camera. Answering a question from one supporter, Romney stated what he thought of the projected 47 percent that would be voting for Obama:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. [My] job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Romney’s publicist must be running for the hills.