Robert J. Samuelson: Mitt Romney missed chance for a teachable moment

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  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    Go ahead, mitt. Tell the farmers that the federal farm subsidy is done.


  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    When Romney talks about an "opportunity society," what do you think he's talking about? Jobs and growth, yes...but also rolling back the welfare state. We can't have one without the other.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Sept. 25, 2012 8:28 a.m.


    A huge part of being president is talking to people and creating alliances, so rhetorical skills absolutely do matter. And Romney consistently shows how tone-deaf he is in that regard. The whole point of a campaign is to show people their qualifications for the job. Expecting people to look in Romney's heart so we can see what his true "leadership skills" are isn't going to cut it.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 25, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    What was worse than rediculous is that the the states with the highest "deadbeat" populations are republican states.

    Anyone with 3 kids and $25,000 a year income probably works hard for it but doesn't pay federal income taxes. Yet these same yahoos will complain about welfare queens along with thier farmer friends that get checks in the mail weather they grow corn or not....

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 25, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    Actually Romneys commments makes the situation much much worse. Cost aside, many/most people receiving some form of government support have either contributed to the aid they receive or would much rather be able to not rely on govt. support (not all..but they are outliers). So to brand them as lazy and not worth considering is tantamount to slamming the door on a useful conversation of reform.

    If I receive Medicaid because I'm divorced, have three small children, work 25 hours a week, but still don't have health insurance for my family and you call me lazy..but oh let's have a conversation about how to make Medicaid sustainable..guess what I'm going to tell you to do with your conversation.

    Romneys comments weren't inartful, they were demaining, and arrogant. How can you tell..because they weren't couched in a conversation of help and caring, they were simply red meat to the other arrogant losers in the room.

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    Mr. Samuelson states that Gov. Romney "seems to lack the rhetorical skills to convince people why a rigid defense of the welfare state — effectively, Obama's position — threatens the welfare of today's young and tomorrow's children."

    "Rhetorical skills"? True, a good leader needs to convince people to rally around his goals. Get Mr. Romney into office first and we can see if he can, in a Reagan-like fashion, bring any rhetorical skills to bear on the welfare state.

    However, he is not framing the issue that way for his election. The issue presently being framed for the election is jobs and the economy. The welfare state theme derives from a clandestine video captured in May 2012 at a fundraiser, held until now for political diversion purposes and for taking out of context to shade voters' views of Gov. Romney's character. Thrusting that video on the public should not divert Mr. Romney from his main message or change his campaign strategy.

    And in any event, we've had four years of "rhetorical skills" and look what it's brought us. Such skills, albeit important, are secondary to leadership skills.