Chris Graham: 47-Percent-Gate
Mitt Romney’s clumsy comments writing off 47 percent of the American public as being self-victimized, tax-dodging sucklings reminded me of a town-hall meeting that I covered in Staunton a few years back.
The local Tea Party was out in full force to roast Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, who was Br’er Rabbit in the ol’ briar patch. One by one, the Tea Party set took turns lambasting Warner for raising taxes, for runaway federal spending, for taking part in the socialist takeover of America, the usual Tea Party shtick.
Warner calmly cross-examined a few of the critics. One was concerned about his Social Security, which Warner pointed out was a government program. Another wanted the senator to do more to beef up the Veterans Administration, another government program.
The link between the two being this: plenty of Republican voters are among that 47 percent written off by Romney. Seniors, for one, who are breaking for Romney by double-digit margins, benefit the most from federal spending, with Social Security and Medicare at the top of their minds. Young moms and dads in the job market with high-school degrees who spend their income-tax refunds at Wal-Mart are voting for Romney, or at the least are voting against Obama.
Or, rather, were voting against Obama. Now, I doubt seriously that the Wal-Mart set is going to suddenly embrace hope and change, but are they energized about voting for the ultimate country-club Republican now that they know what he thinks about them?
There’s plenty of time between now and Election Day for Romney, Crossroads and Fox News to remind those voters that Obama is a gay Kenyan socialist, but that means there’s also plenty of time for Obama and the Democrats to hit Romney early and often with the classic rejoinder in the form of Romney’s own words.
The good news for Romney: 47-Percent-Gate has sewn up the billionaire vote for the Romney side. The bad news: It could very well come at the expense of the votes of the rank-and-file young factory workers and seniors that he will need to pull off the upset win.