I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.
Part XVI: Be Proud of Yourself!:
Romney on social insurance and the distribution of wealth: "Sen. Rubio says that when he grew up here, poor, that they looked at people that had a lot of wealth, and his parents never once said, "We need some of what they have, they should give us some." Instead they said that you work hard and go to school, someday we might be able to have enough..."
Note how luck--good fortune--plays no role here in Romney's mind: The only way to make sense of this is to believe that Romney thinks that he is rich because God made him rich, and God has mad him rich because he is worthy, and that is true for all rich people, and so it is impious to ask for more in the way of public support, redistribution, or social insurance than a bare minimum.
And, of course, there are people who don't think that Romney's wealth came about through fair play. There are the questions of whether tax fraud--undervaluing assets--played a role in Romney's outsized IRA. People who worked at Bain Capital have claimed to me that Romney held up the organization for nine figures, during this extremely strange period from 1999-2002 during which Romney was "President and CEO" but had "no responsibilities whatsoever" that ended when in 2002 he was finally satisfied with the financial arrangements and so resigned from Bain effective February 1999.
Audience Member: I would disagree with that. I think a lot of young children coming out of college feel they're let down by the president. And they feel there's not a job out there for them, and [unintelligible] making $60,000 and now they're making $30,000. Very similar to the U6.
Romney: Yeah, yeah.
Audience Member: My question to you is, Why don't you stick up for yourself? To me, you should be so proud of your wealth. That's what we all aspire to be—we kill ourselves, we don't work a nine to five. We're away from our families five days a week. I'm away from my four girls five days a week and my wife. Why not stick up for yourself and say, "Why is it bad to be, to aspire to be wealthy and successful? You know, why is it bad to kill yourself? And why is it bad to cut 30 jobs that protect 300?" And, when people talk about you cutting jobs, you save companies that were failing...[unintelligible]. So my question is, when does that stand up…[unintelligible].
(Different) Audience Member: …neighborhood…and worked his way up from nothing to be an incredibly successful entrepreneur, so, it, it…
Romney: You heard in my speech tonight, I talked it [crosstalk]...again, but if it…oh, you weren't here.
Audience Member: He came here, so he missed the…
Romney: In every stump speech I give, I speak about the fact that people who dream and achieve enormous success do not make us poorer—they make us better off. And the Republican audience that I typically speak to applauds. I said that tonight, and the media's there, and they write about it, they say that Romney defends success in America and dreamers and so forth. So they write about it. But in terms of what gets through to the American consciousness, that's—I have very little influence on that in this stage, as to what they write about.
And that will happen—and we'll have three debates, we'll have a chance to talk about that in the debates. There will be ads which attack me; I will fire back in a way that describes in the best way we can the fact that if, the theme in my speech is that—I wind up in, you know, the ambassadors [unintelligible] me today, several times—I wind up talking about how the thing which I find most disappointing in this president is his attack of one American against another American, the division of America based on going after those who have been successful.
And then I quote Marco Rubio, I tell in my speeches, I say, Marco Rubio—I think what I said would be [unintelligible]…
I also think I said that at a fundraising event earlier today, but I did when I was in Empire…[unintelligible] [Audience laughs.]…
I just said Sen. Rubio says that when he grew up here, poor, that they looked at people that had a lot of wealth, and his parents never once said, "We need some of what they have, they should give us some." Instead they said that you work hard and go to school, someday we might be able to have enough. That's… [Applause.]
I will continue to do that, how much of that gets picked up, there are so many things that don't get picked up in a campaign because people aren't watching them. By the way, most people don't watch during the summer. I said we're going to go into a season here starting with the beginning of June with almost no attention paid, then after Labor Day, in September and October, that's when it'll get fun...