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Old 02-01-2012, 12:36 AM   #761
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Again: Newt knows exactly what he is doing.
My family was on food stamps for some time when I was a kid. I know if some presidential candidate at that time had called the current president "the best food stamp president in American history," that would've told me right away that person wasn't in my corner. Presidents don't "put" people on food stamps; you apply for them because you need them, not because the government made you do it. Not having the money to afford enough to eat can be humiliating; the fact that government assistance exists to get you through it isn't. It amazes me anyone would think this is a good way to make a pitch to poor people that your economic plan will provide a living wage for more people than the incumbent's. I'm guessing most people defending Gingrich on this have never been on food stamps, and aren't involved with anyone who is. People on food stamps aren't sitting around fuming about how their SNAP card is a disingenuous and insulting I.O.U. from the government for taking their job away.
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"This is the best food stamp president in history. So more Americans now get food stamps therefore and we now give it away as cash. You don’t get food stamps. You get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything. We’ve had people take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii. And you know, they give food stamps now to millionaires. Because after all, don’t you want to be compassionate? You know the Obama model, isn’t there somebody you’d like to give money to this week?"

--Gingrich at a campaign stop in Iowa, Nov. 30 2011 (source: PolitiFact, which rated it "Pants on Fire")
Yeah. I can just hear the heartfelt priority placed on the difficulties of the poor coming through there...oh, wait! He was only talking about food stamp fraud! So really, he was just expressing solidarity with all the people truly in need who Obama's f*ing over by giving all his millionaire friends SNAP cards!

That's all setting aside the case for racial undertones in Gingrich's fondness for this phrasing. Most historians would agree that one reason why debates over the welfare state are especially polarized in the US is because of our troubled racial history, which among other things predisposes many Americans, in particular many older Southern white people, to reflexively picture a black person first when the notion of 'the undeserving poor' is explictly or implicitly invoked. Obviously, this doesn't mean all proposed welfare reforms are racist, or that a given proposed reform mightn't genuinely be in poor African-Americans' longterm best interests. It also doesn't mean that just because certain white voters heard a nudge-nudge-wink-wink towards some of their cruder populist impulses in some turn of phrase, that all other white voters who found the comment sensible liked it for the same reason. To my ear, yes, "best food stamp president in history," as repeatedly leveled at our first black president who is very popular with black voters, sounds like it's intentionally including those "certain white voters" in its support target sights. I grew up in Gingrich's corner of the country, I know that a certain segment of the white population there (and elsewhere, but in smaller numbers) are uncommonly delighted by slogans like that, I know why they are and I think he's plenty savvy enough to know too.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:00 AM   #762
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My family was on food stamps for some time when I was a kid. I know if some presidential candidate at that time had called the current president "the best food stamp president in American history," that would've told me right away that person wasn't in my corner. Presidents don't "put" people on food stamps; you apply for them because you need them, not because the government made you do it. Not having the money to afford enough to eat can be humiliating; the fact that government assistance exists to get you through it isn't. It amazes me anyone would think this is a good way to make a pitch to poor people that your economic plan will provide a living wage for more people than the incumbent's. I'm guessing most people defending Gingrich on this have never been on food stamps, and aren't involved with anyone who is.
Fuck, yes, THIS. 110% this. Highlighted the best part, but this whole thing is spot on. I really wish to god somebody would say that out loud on a national stage.

The rest of your post was wonderful, too .

On an unrelated note, just random thoughts: so basically our GOP choices are coming down to people named Newt and Mitt. And people were making fun of Barack's name????
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:47 AM   #763
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Diamond's Mitt sensuality is really keeping this thread entertaining through the doldrums.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:22 AM   #764
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Mitt just can’t stop sounding like a heartless rich guy. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said on CNN Wednesday Morning. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Host Soledad O’Brien pointed out the obvious—that if it’s bad for the middle class, it’s probably even worse for the very poor. But Romney’s clarification didn’t help him much. “We will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” he added. “My focus is on middle-income Americans.”
Nice.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:15 PM   #765
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Mitt just can’t stop sounding like a heartless rich guy. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said on CNN Wednesday Morning. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Host Soledad O’Brien pointed out the obvious—that if it’s bad for the middle class, it’s probably even worse for the very poor. But Romney’s clarification didn’t help him much. “We will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” he added. “My focus is on middle-income Americans.”
This is about as inept a comment as I've ever heard. What I hear him trying to say is that he's more concerned with the shrinking middle class -- the vast majority of Americans who are fighting a losing battle with inflation, the cost of living, rising costs of health care, etc -- than he is with people at the fringes. To a certain extent, I understand the point that (I think) he's trying to make, which is that every President has to set priorities, and there are far more members of the middle class than there are the very rich or very poor, and if government can't help everybody, then it should help the widest number of people possible. The problem is that, if he's not going to focus on the very poor, someone has to, and if his administration is not going to empower the social agencies whose job it is to take care of the poorest amongst us, then we're screwed. Especially if lower-middle-class citizens start sliding into extreme poverty. Because that safety net is only going to get bigger.

But at this point, I readily admit that I'm projecting.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:18 PM   #766
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Mitt just can’t stop sounding like a heartless rich guy. “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said on CNN Wednesday Morning. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” Host Soledad O’Brien pointed out the obvious—that if it’s bad for the middle class, it’s probably even worse for the very poor. But Romney’s clarification didn’t help him much. “We will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” he added. “My focus is on middle-income Americans.”

Nice.
Wow. What a stupid thing to say. Not only is it insulting, but it's supporting the very "big" government the GOP is against. Still, the callousness of a multi-millionaire saying that is breathtaking.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:57 PM   #767
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I think what's really great about that statement is not only does he say that he isn't concerned about a certain segment of the population but he then tells them that the opposition party IS concerned about them. Hello, this is like bad Politics 101.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:10 PM   #768
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2008 turnout: 1.9m
2012 turnout: 1.6m
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:13 PM   #769
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Also, in the age of the Super PAC, you shouldn't give anything that could be taken out of context. Because it will be.

I can see it now, Gingrich's next anti-Romney ad:
"I'm not concerned about the very poor(cut to fearmongering)"

And frankly pro-Obama groups could use it in the same way.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #770
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2008 turnout: 1.9m
2012 turnout: 1.6m
Wow. Disappointing turnout.

And I heard that unemployment is now even worse in Florida.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #771
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Wow. What a stupid thing to say. Not only is it insulting, but it's supporting the very "big" government the GOP is against. Still, the callousness of a multi-millionaire saying that is breathtaking.
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I think what's really great about that statement is not only does he say that he isn't concerned about a certain segment of the population but he then tells them that the opposition party IS concerned about them. Hello, this is like bad Politics 101.
Im curious, Did he say anything that is not true?

The wealthy are surviving as expected.

The truly poor do have a safety net that he is not proposing to change.

The real challenge is getting the middle class back on their feet.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:59 PM   #772
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Some of you are really going to give him a pass because he said "they have a safety net"?

Have you not been paying attention? The GOP is demonizing that safety net!
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:32 PM   #773
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Im curious, Did he say anything that is not true?
Do you think that's how you'd hear his comments if you were poor enough to be receiving government assistance? Isn't it a bit remarkable for a presidential candidate to acknowledge that a particular subset of the electorate is hurting, but then bluntly say "I’m not concerned about" them?
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:46 PM   #774
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It's not ever whether what Mitt says is true or not-and that's a matter for debate. It's the perceived cluelessness, insensitivity, arrogance. Open mouth, insert foot. There's plenty more to come.

Yes they are demonizing that very safety net. Food stamps, for starters.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:22 PM   #775
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So I guess women in FL are different enough in that way from women in SC? I don't know, confusing. You'd think women in SC might be even more traditional and conservative about marriage and fidelity. Maybe they were just more afraid of liberal Mitt from crazy MA. Of course there are so many transplants and snowbirds in FL, even more than there are in SC.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Women abandoned Newt Gingrich in droves Tuesday and helped fuel former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's triumph in Florida's Republican presidential primary, according to data from an exit poll of voters.

Romney also drew strength from Florida's legion of older voters, Hispanics and two staples among GOP voters in presidential contests so far — those looking for someone to defeat President Barack Obama and people focused on the still flagging economy.

While Romney bested the former House speaker narrowly among men, he strongly outdistanced him among women, winning 52 percent to 28 percent. In the three states in which Republicans had already voted for their presidential nominee — Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — there was relatively little difference in how the sexes divided their votes between the two rivals.

Romney's Florida triumph came after a campaign in which he and his supporters outspent Gingrich on television commercials by nearly 5-1, with many of the ads attacking the former speaker's character. None mentioned Gingrich's three marriages or the charges by his second wife, Marianne, that he asked permission for an open marriage before they were divorced, an allegation Gingrich has denied.

Romney prevailed over Gingrich among women across every category of education and income, underscoring the sweep with which they preferred Romney.

Some of the data from Tuesday's exit poll suggested that many women's votes were influenced more by a personal distaste for Gingrich than by liking Romney. Asked their views of Gingrich as a person, men said they generally viewed him favorably by 62 percent to 34 percent, but women were about evenly divided. In contrast, women expressed stronger positive feelings about Romney as a person than men did, but the difference between them was minor.

Among all voters on Tuesday, 55 percent expressed favorable views of Gingrich personally, compared to 77 percent who said the same about Romney.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:42 PM   #776
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It's not ever whether what Mitt says is true or not-and that's a matter for debate. It's the perceived cluelessness, insensitivity, arrogance. Open mouth, insert foot. There's plenty more to come.

Yes they are demonizing that very safety net. Food stamps, for starters.
Exactly.

Romney, Gingrich, people of that ilk, they can all fuck off. I'm sick to death of them demonizing/dismissing the struggling people. They don't have the first clue what the hell it's like, and it's because of comments like that that people "hate the rich and successful", as they so moronically put it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:43 PM   #777
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the hardest working people i know are those waiting for buses at 6:30am because they can't afford cars.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #778
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Im curious, Did he say anything that is not true?

The wealthy are surviving as expected.

The truly poor do have a safety net that he is not proposing to change.

The real challenge is getting the middle class back on their feet.
actually, something is going to change or could change.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney said on CNN Wednesday Morning. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.
I’m not concerned about the very rich."

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Do you think that's how you'd hear his comments if you were poor enough to be receiving government assistance? Isn't it a bit remarkable for a presidential candidate to acknowledge that a particular subset of the electorate is hurting, but then bluntly say "I’m not concerned about" them?
he is not concerned about the very rich, the other GOP candidates would all like to see them paying less or no taxes

again in the same breath, he did say “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it." and he was talking about the safety net for the very poor.


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It's not ever whether what Mitt says is true or not-and that's a matter for debate. It's the perceived cluelessness, insensitivity, arrogance. Open mouth, insert foot. There's plenty more to come.

Yes they are demonizing that very safety net. Food stamps, for starters.
at least you say they, and not he, I don't see him demonizing quite like
Gingrich is dog whistling.
yes his remarks could have been better said,
I recall Obama say he wanted to redistribute income? and then backing away from that.

And Romney has been talking about having dividends and interest for people under $200,000 being tax free, a concept that might get middle income people saving instead of buying boats and other things.

If this country got middle America back into saving we would be much better off.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:51 PM   #779
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I don't know any middle income people who are buying boats. They're struggling to buy gas and groceries and to pay bills.

Middle income people are saving more than they ever have, and have less credit card debt.

Unless you were being facetious there. I also don't consider any six figure income to be middle income.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:57 PM   #780
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I was just going to say - these days middle income people do not have the sort of extra cash lying around to buy dividend-bearing stocks, at least not in amounts where the tax savings would be an incentive.

Somebody making $180K/year may be middle class in Manhattan, but they sure aren't so in 99% of the country.
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