Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University, explained Tuesday that recent video of Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser was likely to damage his image.
“It just sounded completely insensitive and that is the part that is likely going to turn off voters,” she told the Associated Press. “And so I would expect in the next couple of weeks that there will be a number of ads that will suddenly emerge that try to present Mitt Romney as uncaring and overly elitist, and that has been a problem he has had over this whole election cycle. So he really did dig himself deeper by making those comments and having them aired publicly.”
At a fundraising event earlier this year, Romney claimed nearly half of Americans were “dependent upon government” and therefore going to vote for President Barack Obama. The Republican presidential candidate described the 47 percent of Americans who didn’t owe federal income taxes in 2011 as freeloaders who didn’t take responsibility for their lives. Video of his comments were recently leaked to the press.
Obama’s campaign wasted no time taking advantage of the leaked video. On Tuesday, they released an online ad highlighting “reactions” to the video.
“It certainly fuels the fire between the haves and the have-nots,” Gillespie continued. “Mitt Romney is clearly in the haves. You can be rich so long as you exhibit a sense of empathy and Mitt Romney’s comments didn’t convey any sense of empathy at all, which is what the problem is with those comments and also with his overall persona. If an elected official doesn’t appear to care or be able to care about the problems that regular people face, then voters won’t trust him to be able to create policies that in fact help them. Unfortunately, those comments made Mitt Romney look like a cross between Ebenezer Scrooge and Marie Antoinette.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by the Associated Press, below: