Bitter Clingers

Following up on the media’s salivation over Mitt Romney’s “bitter clinger” moment, let’s review the two statements, shall we?

Obama, in a closed-door fundraiser, surrounded by what he believed to be like-minded people said:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Romney, at a closed-door fundraiser, surrounded by what he believed to be like-minded people said:

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.

And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49, 4— he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich.

I mean, that’s what they sell ever four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is to convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.

So in essence the first guy said “There’s this large group of people who don’t trust the government to save them, and instead cling to religion and/or guns,” and the second guy said “There’s this large group of people who are dependent on government, and won’t be weened off of it.”

And you know what? Both of ’em are RIGHT.

The question now is “how many in the middle can be swayed?”

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