Mitt Romney went into last Saturday night’s debate with a number of things on his mind. Yes, he had to take it to Newt Gingrich. He had to be prepared to answer the flip flops. There was the delicate high wire act on religion. And finally, there was the need to keep shaking that image as an insider, the Brahman Mormon, the banker’s man, the elitist who gets his campaign money from the Boston-New York-Washington corridor.
Actually, Romney had been doing quite well on the elitist front. The issue had been buried so deeply that he had allowed himself a rare public appearance with the Bush family, who had long ago given him their nod.
A few months back, Romney staffers had become alarmed over the imbalance of big donors over small donors. This was a problem that could not be hidden. Financial reports were made public. But since they had plenty of money to solve problems, why not spend some of it to solve the problem of small donors? And so, with a logic that only the federal government can appreciate, they launched a money losing program to raise money from small donors, simply to make their reports look better.
The Romney mailing list was bombarded with offers. Want to win a chance for a free trip with the candidate? Dinner? Anything to lure in those precious $10 donations.
Romney has long been sensitive about his image. It is no secret that the bankers want him to win and that the television executives pass down orders to puff him even though he has been virtually inaccessible to their journalists. The giant holding companies which own most of America, including its television companies, are routinely financed by banks granted massive bailouts from the Federal Reserve.
Of course, Central Banks have been around a long time. And where there is money there has always been corruption. The difference now is the monumental scale of that corruption, the massive shift of wealth to a few. Ron Paul’s House Bill HR 4173, which called on auditing the FED and was fiercely resisted, showed that in 2008 the FED had loaned out $16 trillion dollars in interest free loans to its own board member banks and favored companies.
Romney cannot be unaware that many are gaming the system and that it is becoming increasingly transparent to the public at large. Rick Perry mentioned it on stage, thanking Ron Paul for calling his attention to the issue, saying it was something new he had learned. Four years ago, when Romney had sniggered about Ron Paul and his “audit the Fed bunch”, 74% of the country didn’t even know what the FED was but now that thousands had lost their homes and their retirement, they have caught on with a vengeance. Your nearby auto mechanic can explain it all to you. Today, 78% of the country wants the FED audited.
At one point in the debate Romney applauded Ron Paul for his young followers and wondered aloud how he got such commitment?
Those young followers are paying 8% interest on their student loans. While Romney’s corporate friends are getting interest free money by the billions which they will likely never repay and giving themselves millions of personal dollars as the executives who run those failing companies. You want small donations? It’s easy, start thinking about the needs of small people.
Then came that revealing moment in the debate. It just slipped out.
Texas governor Rick Perry raised the issue of Romney’s healthcare mandates in Massachusetts and an excised statement in a newly printed version of Romney’s book. The fumbling Perry had apparently quoted it wrong and Romney leaped at the opening.
“Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet? It isn’t in there.” Romney spoke kindly, with a growing smile spreading across his face. Gotcha on this one buddy. We saw this one coming a hundred miles away. You should have known better than to give a guy a second chance to refute the same thing.
But it was Romney who had trapped himself. His offer to bet $10,000, a friendly wager in his circles, is already being called “a defining moment.” It exposed Mitt Romney, the elitist. The man whose father was president of American Motors and then governor of Michigan and whose campaign is financed by bankers and corporate executives. Romney is their insurance if Obama has to go.
Inside the GOP they rigged the election for him, moved Nevada and Florida up and made delegates proportional so his Southern losses wouldn’t ruin his chances. The television networks steered the debates to give him exposure and gushed over his performances afterward to help all of us stupid people understand that he had won. For two years they have given him millions of dollars in infomercials that have been passed on to us as “news.”
And all of it might just be for naught, lost in one light hearted moment that revealed a little too much.