Mitt Romney — July 12, 2012 at 6:48 am

Romney characterizes supporters of the Affordable Care Act as just “wanting more free stuff” from the government (UPDATED)


Seriously, Mitt, can’t you go just a couple hours without being a total dick?

After writing not one but TWO pieces about the utter dickishness of Mitt Romney toward African Americans yesterday, I took a few hours off to go to a summer birthday party [Happy 30th, Jesse! Nice party, Jaimie!] “It’s not like he’s going to be more of a dick today after all of that, right?” I thought to myself.

I could not have been more wrong.

Last night, a pool report came out quoting Mitt Romney talking about being booed by the NAACP crowd in Houston and describing supporters of the Affordable Care Act as just “wanting more free stuff” from the government.

I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don’t give different speeches to different audiences, alright?

When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s ok, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free. it has to paid for by people in the private sector creating goods and services, and if people want jobs more than they want free stuff from government, then they are going to have to get government to be smaller. And if they don’t want to repeal Obamacare they are going to have to give me some other stuff they are thinking about cutting, but my list takes Obamacare off first and I have a lot of other things I am thinking of cutting.

Let’s just take a quick moment to review the Affordable Care Act:

  • It will provide health insurance to millions of Americans who don’t have it now because they cannot afford it.
  • It will prevent insurance companies from denying you health insurance simply because you have a preexisting condition and is doing so now for children.
  • It allows millions of young Americans to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26, giving them time to get on their feet and obtain their own.
  • It will help stop the precipitous rise in health insurance rates by forcing companies to compete in health insurance pools for those who can’t afford health insurance.
  • It forces health insurance companies to spend more of their money on providing health care and less on overhead.
  • It helps to close the “donut hole”, saving seniors millions of dollars on their prescriptions.
  • It ends caps on lifetime insurance benefits.
  • It will lower the federal deficit.

Here’s a helpful graphic:

These things aren’t “free stuff”. These are sensible things that will help Americans and save lives. In fact, over time, it will help ALL Americans by helping to keep health insurance costs under control and lowering the federal deficit.

This is not “free stuff”, you asshole. This is people’s lives.

GOTV for Obama, people. G. O. T. V.

UPDATE: Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog, as usual, has some very useful insight into this “free stuff” line that Romney has, apparently, used before:

As someone who’s read the transcript of nearly every Romney speech for a year, I should note in fairness that he’s used the “free stuff” line before. But in this case, this realization isn’t especially helpful to his defense.

A few months ago, for example, the GOP presidential hopeful responded to questions about contraception access by saying, “If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for, vote for the other guy.” Soon after, Romney complained that Obama is trying to buy students’ political support by offering them “free stuff.”

There is a pattern to this. If you’re a woman who wants access to preventive care you might not otherwise be able to afford, Romney sees you as wanting “free stuff.” If you’re a young student who can’t afford higher-ed tuition, Romney assumes you expect “free stuff.”

And if you’re an African American supporter of the NAACP who wants your family to have access to affordable health care, Romney suspects you’re just looking for “free stuff.”

You see, Mr. Car Elevator already has vast wealth, thanks to his rich family and vulture-capital firm that reaped benefits by laying off American workers. And now that he has riches, Romney seems annoyed by the little people who keep asking public institutions to provide basic government benefits as part of a sound safety net and/or access to economic opportunities.

It seems insane to me that a presidential candidate would adopt such an elitist attitude during difficult economic times, but Mitt Romney is a special kind of candidate.

[Romney image credit: Anne C. Savage]