Steve Benen: For a guy whose awkward sense of humor keeps raising eyebrows, this incident in Florida this morning probably won’t help Mitt Romney’s reputation:
Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop … listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.
“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”
……comments like these may very well be a deliberate self-deprecating strategy because Romney strutted around New Hampshire on Tuesday as if he’d already won the presidency, and no one likes an overconfident jerk.
But when an extremely wealthy person jokes to people who are actually struggling about being “unemployed,” it rankles. Indeed, Mitt Romney became extremely wealthy in a way that seems relevant to this discussion. (See here)
To be fair, there’s at least a kernel of truth to it. Mitt Romney hasn’t worked a day in over five years …. but if memory serves, Romney had a job. During his brief tenure, he struggled with his duties, received poor performance evaluations, and his employers were ultimately relieved to see him quit.
Maybe Romney should mention this at his next diner stop.
Full post here
Ezra Klein disagrees with Benen about the ‘joke’ (“It’s pretty clear from the context that he was making a joke”) but picks up on something else Romney said today:
I’d focus instead on Romney’s comment that “We have seen the most anti-investment, antigrowth, antijob strategy in America since Jimmy Carter. The result has been it’s harder and harder for people to find work.” By any measure, this is absurd. Taxes are at a 50-year low. The Dow has staged a roaring recovery. Business profits are near record levels. And the economy has gone from losing 780,000 jobs a month to gaining about 160,000 jobs a month. That is to say, it’s getting easier and easier for people to find work, even if it’s not nearly easy enough.
I don’t mind bad jokes. What I mind is bad economic analysis.