While many American jaws dropped over revelations of Mitt Romney’s disdain for half of America, Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade stood by their man. “I would love for that to be a message for any candidate on the stump,” Kilmeade said, to an approving Doocy.
Here’s what Romney said at a fundraiser in May, as reported by Mother Jones yesterday:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Romney was so cognizant of the potential political damage that he hastily scheduled a press conference late last night where he “clarified” his comments by essentially doubling down on them.
Calling half of America mooching slackers? What’s not to like if you’re a Fox & Friends host and the comments were made by a Republican about Democrats? After all, it’s not as if a Democrat (like, say, Barack Obama) said that some people in small towns in Pennsylvania get “bitter” over the loss of economic opportunity and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
THAT was worth nearly non-stop outrage over the insult. But in this segment, a Fox News chyron read: ROMNEY GETS REAL: Political stumble or cold-hard truth? You didn’t need to wait long for the answer.
“I would love for that to be a message for any candidate on the stump,” Kilmeade said. “Because if you talk about making tough decisions from here on in, when you talk about entitlements for every one dollar in tax money we owe three (Doocy said, “right,”), we’re gonna have to make some really tough decisions. And if people in their lives aren’t going to do everything they can to understand that we can’t afford to pay housing, health care, food and everything else for people – and for college! It’s not going to be possible! Why can’t a leader put that forward?”
Doocy chimed in: “Besides, when you look at what Mitt Romney just said - politically, what’s the matter with it? …Politically, he’s right. He can’t count on them. He can’t worry about them showing up to the polls.”
Gretchen Carlson was the lone sort-of-differing opinion. She said, “People are going to pounce on” the last two lines, “to say that he doesn’t connect with the middle class and that he doesn’t really get it.”
But Doocy, pardon the expression, stuck to his guns. “When you look at his comments through the prism of politics. Remember, he’s a politician in front of a group at a fundraiser in Boca a couple of months ago. It all makes sense. They’re going to try to spin it the other way. But it is all explainable from his side.”