Mitt Romney hates the poor? Careful, Newt

So, Mitt Romney hates poor people, eh?

In the Alice in Wonderland world of presidential politics, it pays to be mindful of the exact words you string together, even if they are a part of a larger context. This is the business of winning hearts and minds through sound bites. It is not the art of diamond-cutting. Multifaceted gems have no value here.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. My campaign is focused on middle-income Americans.” He said it. Now he has to sound-bite his way out of it.

But for Newt Gingrich to come down on Romney in fiery righteous indignation is, well, a bit hypocritical. Barely two months have passed since Gingrich said child-labor laws are “truly stupid” and kids in poor neighborhoods aren’t used to working or getting paid for something “unless it’s illegal.” (Read a report on it here.)

Gingrich may have been trying to make a larger point about instituting some sort of urban policy to help such kids, but context doesn’t matter here, remember?

Of course, if voters could so easily forget Gingrich’s anti-poor comments, they also could forget Romney’s. But the rules about such things change once you become a serious candidate.

Categories: Campaign 2012

About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

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