Mitt Romney found himself in deep water when a videotape of HIS speaking at a private fundraiser surfaced. Romney slammed the 47 percent of the country that rely on the government for services and went as far as calling them victims. In a desperate attempt to save the campaign, Romney claimed his campaign was about the 100 percent. The leaked video was the perfect example of why politicians can’t always be trusted with what they say in public.

Romney really doesn’t believe in the 100 percent. If he truly cared about bringing the United States together, his statements in private would also reflect that. Many who have defended the Republican candidate say it was a private event that wasn’t supposed to be taped and released. It’s clear that he can be honest in private, but his honesty in public is a different story.

This disaster for the campaign has turned the Romney campaign into over drive. From the start, the Romney campaign didn’t offer too much substance, but following the video, it is trying to make its message stronger.

It’s almost a lost cause at this point in the election; even before the video leak, Romney portrayed himself as being out of touch with America by defining the middle class as those who earn between $200,000 and $250,000. According to the U.S Census Bureau, income statistics from 2006 put Romney’s definition of the middle class as 1.5 percent of the country. If the top 1 percent makes more than $350,000, his sense of middle class is nowhere close to what the average American is. Romney may seem like the candidate for the average Republican, but the reality is that the states with poor Republicans literally can’t afford to elect him. They are all a part of the 47 percent he mocks; even a large portion of the 47 percent are low to medium income Republicans that voted for Senator John McCain in 2008. There is nothing wrong with being rich, but when running for President, being so out of touch with the majority of the U.S puts Romney at a great disadvantage.

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The reality about the lower income families is that they aren’t lazy and care about their welfare. Most are hard working Americans who unfortunately just can’t reach the levels that Romney so nicely has defined for them. It’s a slap in the face for Romney supporters who work hard to get by every month, but find themselves “victims” in the eyes of their presidential candidate.

A few days ago, Romney released his tax returns from 2011 after months of pressure to be more transparent about his finances. Based on the tax returns filed by he and his wife, they paid 14.1 percent on an income of $13.7 million. Normally those who earn as much as he does pay taxes at a rate of 23.6 percent.

By discrediting over 146 million Americans, Romney has no way out of the hole he dug for himself. Romney wouldn’t have expected a video from a private fundraiser in a room full of millionaires to leak, but that is exactly the problem: politicians aren’t what they say they are in campaigns. Romney is the man behind the closed doors in a room full of private investors. He belongs to the 1 percent that brought economic disaster in 2007 despite having the nation’s trust. He belongs to the 1 percent that thousands protested against across the country about inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. With the first debate fast approaching, Romney has a lot to defend on Oct. 3.
– The Editorial Board

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