Mitt Romney manages to step on his own momentum coming out of Florida with this comment:
I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling
Asked a follow-up, he said:
we will hear from the Democrat Party the plight of the poor, and – and there's no question, it's not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. But my campaign is focused on middle income Americans. My campaign – you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That's not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That's not my focus. My focus is on middle income Americans, retirees living on Social Security, people who cannot find work, folks who have kids that are getting ready to go to college. That – these are the people who've been most badly hurt during the Obama years. We have a very ample safety net, and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. But we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.
What a turn-off, to divide Americans by income groups. Has it occurred to Mr. Romney that Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers might not be working too well, and that helping to break multiple-generations cycles of poverty with a different set of programs than those of the Great Society might actually be a worthy challenge for someone going into government service to think about? What about a second wave of welfare reform, along the lines suggested by the Republican Study Committee? Or what about a message that a rising economic tide lifts all boats?
I keep trying to get myself to like this Romney guy, I really do. But he sure doesn't make it easy.