This weekend Mitt Romney spoke at a closed door fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida where he was overheard saying he wouldn't give specifics on what departments in Washington he would cut, beyond saying he would "cut a lot of them." Those he did mention were eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and cutting the Department of Education, saying:
"The Department of Education: I will either consolidate with another agency, or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller. I'm not going to get rid of it entirely," Romney said, explaining that part of his reasoning behind preserving the agency was to maintain a federal role in pushing back against teachers' unions. Romney added that he learned in his 1994 campaign for Senate that proposing to eliminate the agency was politically volatile.
At that time, Sen. Ted Kennedy ran ads against Romney — then a political neophyte — accusing him of being uncaring for saying he wished to eliminate the agency.
Undoubtedly Romney gained more than a few "teachable moments" from 1994, which would explain his attempted secrecy at Sunday's fundraiser. Romney is a notable flip-flopper who apparently thinks just keeping his mouth shut on specifics (except to those willing to pay for them) will get him through the general election.
Good luck with that.
We've already discovered that he really sees a stay at home mother's value as based on her wealth, rather than the work of motherhood itself. Contrary to what he says now, back in January he said that he wanted a "work requirement" for welfare recipients, and thought mothers with children as young as two needed to get back to work so they could "have the dignity of work." With this statement, he turned the phony "war on moms" ginned up by his wife Ann on its head. At that same private fundraiser, Ann Romney joked to donors that the comment made by Hilary Rosen that Romney "had never worked a day in her life" outside the home was a gift, illustrating that she is more than willing to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Back in 1994, not only did Romney seek to force a work requirement for welfare recipients with young children to raise, but he also wanted to force them to take drug tests, a policy of new-found popularity among Republicans like Florida's own Gov. Rick Scott, a law now held up in court. (That's just one similarity Romney shares with Scott, and for a look into a potential future under President Romney, one need only look at Florida for an ugly preview.)
It's no wonder that Romney would prefer to keep his real plans on "taking America back" quiet in favor of spending his campaign time just making things up about President Obama that have no basis in fact in the hopes that gullible voters will believe in the fictional Commander and Chief Romney pretends to run against. After all, there's plenty in Romney's past to keep quiet about.
In a New York Times article from 1994, Romney spoke of his time as a missionary in France and his thoughts on "the poor:"
Mr. Romney was asked about his two and a half years as a Mormon missionary in France. "I was 19," he said. "I had lived a privileged life. I learned how different life was for those who are poor. I learned being poor, you can have joy and fun and have a wonderful life."
Why yes, what could be more "joyful" than working one, maybe two jobs trying to make ends meet while also worrying about child care and whether or not you could afford an education for your child since the Department of Education has been gutted by President Romney? ("Psst. Don't forget to pee in the cup on your way out the door, mom!")
Also from that 1994 article, Romney explained why he was running for office in the first place.
Mr. Romney, who easily won his party's nomination in a primary election against a businessman, John Lakian, is making his first foray into electoral politics, he said, because after all his successes and privileges, he wants to give something back.
"At the end of life, I don't want to look back and say, 'I made millions, I have a lovely house, and haven't I been happy?' " he said, talking in the library of his three-story, 12-room, $1.25 million colonial house in the Boston suburb of Belmont. "I would much rather be able to say to St. Peter, or whoever the equivalent is according to your religion: 'I was very lucky in earthly things and I tried to give back. I got in the ring, and I gave everything I had. I made a contribution.' "
Where to begin....? Some have speculated that Mitt is so rich that running for President is the only thing left that he hasn't done yet, so why not go for it? Sure, there's merit in that argument. He certainly can't fall back on 1994 Mitt's reasoning. To give something back?
Like what? His tax cuts? He wants to increase those.
The taxes he never paid thanks to those offshore bank accounts? I dont think so.
To charity? Does he give to charity? Oh that's right, he won't release his tax returns, so it's anyone's guess.
Give back......something to the American people? We won't know what that is until after he's elected. It's all very hush-hush right now, you know, barring what the reporters beyond the fence might overhear.
The one thing that Romney will swear he cares about, and knows the most about is of course, jobs, jobs, jobs. That's partially true. He knows how to kill them for profit. After all, that's how he made his billions when he worked at Bain Capital.
One of the most revealing quotes from 1994 Mitt who ran unsuccessfully against Ted Kennedy had to do with what he would do if he lost that election, and which he in fact did do, on both counts:
If he loses, he said, he'll go back to venture capitalism, "one of the most fun things you can do in the private sector."
As a guy who sees being poor as "joyful" and buying, gutting, and profiting from companies that you kill while sending it's employees to have a barrel full of laughs in the unemployment line (until you cut off those checks early, that is) as the most fun you can have in the private sector, one can only speculate what kind of merriment a Romney Presidency would ensue.
Pardon my use of a Romney induced equestrian adage, but like the old joke of an optimistic child's view of a stall filled with nothing but manure: "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!" does anyone feel that way about a furture under President Romney? Is anyone willing to wait and find out?
If so, allow me to hand you a shovel.