Maybe this explains why he used to eat dogs. Eating horses was reserved for rich kids.
If this campaign ends up being as nasty as everyone expects, by September he’ll be referring to Romney as “Moneybags.” For the record:
Romney is sensitive to perceptions that he grew up wealthy, so Obama’s “silver spoon” remark could strike a nerve. On the campaign trail, the former Massachusetts governor sometimes talks about his father, George, growing up poor and driving across the American West looking for work. When Mitt was born, the family was middle class, moving from Detroit to the tony suburb of Bloomfield Hills only after Mitt was a teenager, when his father took over American Motors. Although Mitt’s parents helped fund his college and graduate education, and helped him and his wife, Anne, buy their first home, he did not inherit his parents’ wealth; he amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune on his own, working at Bain Capital.
Says Joel Gehrke at the Examiner, “The president, calling as he was for increased government investment in student aid, seemed to be implying that receiving an education paid for by family is less legitimate than receiving it due to government support.” Eh, I think this is just basic Buffett Rule share-the-wealth rhetoric even though the Buffett Rule won’t pay for much of anything, let alone college educations for the middle class. And of course the silver spoon point is a veiled dig at Romney, part of the kitchen-sink effort to make him as personally unappealing to voters as possible. Romney’s already working on a counter to that:
Mitt Romney appeared today to acknowledge a recent poll that found President Obama more likeable by warning a crowd in North Carolina that “even if we like” the president, Americans “can’t afford” his policies.
Romney’s nod to the issue of likeability came during a speech billed as a “prebuttal” to Obama’s speech that will be delivered at the Democratic National Convention later this fall.
“Even if you like Barack Obama, we can’t afford Barack Obama,” said Romney. “It’s time to get someone that will get this economy going and put the American people back to work with good jobs and rising income.”
Righties won’t like the idea of him conceding O’s likability, but my hunch is that realistically there’s not much you can do to an incumbent on this point. Romney will attack, of course — a guy who won the nomination via negative ads isn’t about to abandon them now — but he’s apt to stick to policy critiques rather than character assaults a la the left’s dumb obsession with Seamus the dog. What could he say at this point about Obama as a person to dramatically shift the public’s perception of a president they’ve lived with every day for more than three years? Unless Mitt’s oppo team digs something up, O’s favorables are more or less priced in and will shift only if major policy developments, like a tanking economy, give them a push. See Nate Silver’s latest piece for more on that. Favorability is a good indicator of the likelihood of winning an election — but more so later in the race than earlier. Mitt’s got time before the public makes a more or less final judgment on him but Democrats will be pushing against him all the way.