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  1. The CNN reporter gave Gov. Romney a chance to rephrase his thought. Strange that the candidate didn’t make good use of the opportunity.
    It’s a good point, that middle class Americans need help too. You certainly hear that from the other side. But if Romney really thinks that the poor do not deserve continued attention, if he thinks that the safety net is perfectly adequate and perfectly secure, then maybe he truly is out of touch.

  2. That certainly was an unfortunate response on Romey’s part. He has a point, though. The middle class is the backbone of the economy. They are the ones that do virtually all the hard work, speaking collectively. If you can raise them up, you will raise the poor and the rich respectively.

    I may have a tiny bit of insight as to why Romeny could make such a comment, though. It don’t think he is necessarily “out of touch.” As a Bishop in the Mormon church, he was in charge of distributing what we call “fast offering” funds to the poor and needy in his congregation. As Bishop, this was one of his primary duties—he cannot delegate it to anyone else. We believe he is called of God, while in this office, to be a judge as to how best to distribute these sacred funds willingly donated by members of his congregation. He must personally interview and go over the financial and spiritual situations of every family or individual asking for assistance and decide what to give them. Most of the former Bishops I’ve known, many of them family members, say that this is some of the most heart-wrenching duties they have to perform. There is unbelievable suffering out there, often hidden right within what seems to be affluent communities. There is often not enough funds, and there are many situations where helping out financially will do more harm than good. You also have the donors in your congregation that may stop their giving if they find out you are helping someone out that they feel doesn’t “deserve” it.

    If he is like many Bishop’s I know, Romney found out early on that the truly desperate poor were being adequately helped out by the government through the less-willingly “donated” funds of the taxpayer. It was the ones, often in the middle class, who were going through temporarily rough patches that truly needed the help of the Church. This may be a slight explanation of what he meant when he said he wasn’t very concerned about the very poor. He may not understand all the problems of the very poor (who does, except them?), but I think he may have more experience with it than most would give him credit for.

  3. One more side note: Romey could bring this all up himself, but I admire him for not using his religious experiences for political ends in this way. His callings within the Church are service rendered to God and should remain as such, but you can see why Mormons may identify where he is coming from through their shared experience—even those who may not fully agree with him politically, but still support him. This would be much like why most African Americans identified with Obama on a level the rest of us white folk may not fully comprehend—even those who were seemingly at political odds with him.

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