The out-of-touch candidate

Learning more about Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been living in the rarified air of the super-rich so long—all his life, actually—that he doesn’t know how to relate to the other 99 percent.

How else to explain his many gaffes—the $10,000 bet, his characterizing $374,000 in income as “not very much,” the notion that “corporations are people,” his “I like being able to fire people” remark, and his statement that he’s “not concerned about the very poor.”

Granted, some of these have been taken out of context, but even in context they reveal a man who is severely out of touch. When he said he liked being able to fire people, he was referring to health-insurance companies, not his gardener. But imagine you need life-saving surgery and your insurance company refuses to pay for it. Will you find another company to take on your expensive health problem? Fat chance.

Or take the “not concerned about the very poor” remark. What he meant was that the very poor have a safety net beneath them and really aren’t hurting, and besides if there are tears in that net, “I’ll fix ’em,” he said. This from a man who strongly supports the House budget plan, which would rip that safety net to shreds.

Romney is also out of touch when it comes to Latinos. What else could account for his selecting former Gov. Pete Wilson as an honorary campaign co-chairman in California? Latinos well remember the political damage Wilson caused when he made the anti-immigrant Proposition 187 the cornerstone of his campaign in 1994, effectively turning Latino voters against the GOP brand.

Latinos have a saying, “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres”: Tell me who you’re with and I’ll tell you who you are. We learning who Mitt Romney is, and he’s not one of us.