Tuesday’s numbers are in and Mitt Romney has officially steamrolled through the Florida primaries, essentially giving Newt Gingrich the same drubbing that Gingrich dished out to him during the South Carolina primaries.
Adding a dash of insult to injury, Gingrich seems to have lost a bit of his edge with Hispanic voters, even though his policy on illegal immigration has been more lenient that Romney’s. Hispanic voters in Florida gave Romney a 54% majority of their votes, which may be an indicator of things to come as far as Gingrich is concerned.
After the numbers came in and a hush settled across the nation, one could swear to hearing echoes of Romney’s battle cry of victory: it sounded a lot like “Take that, Newtster.”
Results from Tuesday’s Florida primary further proved Romney’s continued support among voters with a 4-year college degree, those earning more than $100,000 a year, and self-described liberals and moderates. Apparently though, Romney has a strange way of celebrating. Just following his victory with his educated, middle income-earning supporters, Romney appeared on CNN’s Starting Point, making comments that have sparked social media boards to start a-buzzing.
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it,” he stated.
Hmmmmmm – let’s see. By and large, the middle and upper classes seem to support Romney. It’s not at all surprising that Romney supports their support. But isn’t steamrolling through Florida enough? It feels a bit as if Romney decided to take that steamroller and pave through a few masses of the very poor.
The good news – as it pertains to Romney’s future poll readings -, is that it’s predicted that he’ll do well in coastal states such as New York, New Jersey and California where the GOP electorate tends to be
less very poor-ish more upscale and secular.
The bad news is that Romney spoke again. The very poor’s “safety net” that Romney alludes to includes Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and earned income tax credit. And it’s a safety net that Romney quantified as being “ample”. Without question, this “ample safety net” has a few holes in it, large enough to make this pundit question its actual safety quotient.
The very poor will – with a whole lot of luck – eventually graduate to middle class status. Maybe Romney is betting that the very poor will be too busy struggling to put enough food on their tables and keep hot water running long enough that by the time they start movin’ on up, they would have forgotten about his arguably insensitive earlier comments.
Romney has since attempted to clarify his comments, maintaining that his focus remains on helping the middle income class, the group that he feels has been hit hardest by Obama’s administration. And Romney did say that he’ll fix the net if necessary, giving calming reassurances that it’s now the government’s responsibility to identify any holes in the net where the poor might be falling through the cracks. We’re all for analyzing the net, but we’re starting to wonder when the actual fixing begins.
Feeling generous, we’ll give Romney the benefit of the doubt, and chock up statements made during the interview to an unfortunate choice of words, which is essentially the verbal equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction. Perhaps a simple “thank you” to his loyal supporters will suffice next time.
Born in France and raised in SoCal, Dorian Issock’s reviews, blogs and other literary tidbits appear in Desert Companion Magazine, The New Colonist, Urban Art, and scores of online destinations across the internet.