Mero Moment: If Romney’s a Fat Cat, What Does That Make FDR, Kennedy and Gore?

Recently, I received an email from, the now-famous progressive grassroots network that helped to get President Obama elected in 2008. Yeah, I’m on their mailing list. Anyway, the email states,

Our efforts to define Mitt Romney as the candidate for the 1% are working. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans think Romney will look out for the rich more than the middle class if he becomes president.
MoveOn goes on to tell me that Romney will use the Republican Convention this week to try to fool America even more in his love for the middle class and not just his rich insider friends, a.k.a. “the 1 percent.”

I got to thinking about rich people running for President of the United States. I remember that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was really wealthy. So was Jack Kennedy. His family was loaded. A more recent example, from the 2000 election, is Al Gore. The carbon footprint of his family mansion in Tennessee is larger than the rest of his home state combined. And then, in 2004, we had John Kerry running for president. He married into the Heinz family fortune – Kerry was worth over a billion dollars when he ran: four times what everyone is saying Mitt is worth.

But one thing that sets apart those fat cats from Mitt Romney is that all those other guys – FDR, Kennedy, Gore and Kerry (all Democrats) – didn’t earn their money. It was inherited. It was all family money. They didn’t work a day in their lives for their zillions. Mitt, on the other hand, earned his wealth. So if Mitt represents the 1 percent, I wonder what percent of Americans those other guys represented? In the depths of the Great Depression, what percent of Americans did FDR represent with his family’s wealth? How many other American households in 1932 owned most of an island called Manhattan?

There’s nothing wrong with inherited wealth, but playing the rich card is a ruse by progressives who have nothing to argue, nothing to stand for, and nothing to defend in the biggest spending president of all time.

They and their liberal media allies have to make up stuff to have anything at all to say. The Internet website Politico ran an article recently about eight campaign lines from Romney that apparently have caused a “firestorm” of criticism. Most recently, while campaigning in his home state of Michigan, Romney said, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know this is the place that we were born and raised,” a perfectly obvious comment in that setting. But, oh no, Mitt dealt a low blow to President Obama (who evidently is still sensitive about where he was born), a mortal sin if ever there was one.

Back in February, during a CNN interview, Romney said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” Well that’s extremely insensitive, isn’t it? Actually, what he said was, “I’m not concerned about the very poor because we have a safety net for them, and if that safety net needs fixing, I’ll fix it.” And last December, in a presidential debate, he challenged Texas Governor Rick Perry on a point and added, “Rick, I’ll tell you what – ten thousand dollars. A ten thousand dollar bet” that I’m right and you’re wrong. Doesn’t Mitt know how offensive that kind of talk is to poor Americans? Heck, us poor guys can only bet each other a million dollars we don’t have when we want to emphasize that we’re right. What’s Mitt thinking betting someone that he’s right when he can actually pay the bet? Who does that? Oh yeah, a RICH guy does that.

I, for one, am happy that Mitt Romney is wealthy. I should say I’m even happier that he’s not homeless. Frankly, I’d struggle voting for a homeless guy – he’d have enough of his own problems to deal with anyway. I’d rather have a guy as president who can help solve that homeless guy’s problems, not add to them.

For Sutherland Institute, I’m Paul Mero. Thanks for listening.