Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some New Math for Romney


CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Forget the 47 percent: Mitt Romney is now tossing in the remaining 53.

On Wednesday night, during a candidate forum in Miami, Mr. Romney repeatedly said that his campaign “is about the 100 percent in America.”

The new language, which Mr. Romney has never before used on the campaign trail, is an attempt to take the sting out of secretly recorded remarks that he made a fund-raiser in May, about how 47 percent of Americans see themselves as “victims” dependent on government help. “My campaign is about the 100 percent in America,” Mr. Romney said.

It represents a change in tone from earlier in the week, when Mr. Romney unapologetically stood by what he had sai d during the fund-raiser, arguing that is was not much different from what he has said in public about the need to create a economy reliant on the free markets, not the government. Now, Mr. Romney is talking about the need to lift Americans out of poverty.

During the candidate forum in Miami, Mr. Romney said “This is a campaign about helping people who need help. And right now the people who are poor in this country need help getting out of poverty.”

The 100 percent word (or, more accurately, number) choice is striking because it evokes the numerical identity politics that took root during the Occupy Wall Street movement this year. Protestors adopted the phrase The 99 percent, suggesting that they wanted to take back the country from the wealthiest 1 percent, of which Mr. Romney is a member.

Even as Mr. Romney aims to be a president for 100 percent of the country, he conceded that he is not likely to win all their hearts.< /p>

“I know that I am not going to get 100 percent of the vote,” he said on Wednesday night.