Mitt Romney wants you to see him as an average man. After tarnishing that ‘average man’ image in the debate on Saturday, where he offered Rick Perry $10,000.00 on a bet, Romney is now trying to revise the public’s view of him. But is it too late? Can Romney flip-flop one more time to save his campaign?
In the last debate, a viewer asked the candidates if they ever had to give up any of life’s necessities to make ends meet. In today’s tough economic times, the question was and is very valid. The average voter wants a president who they can identify with, someone who can relate to their daily struggles. All the other Republican contenders in Saturday’s debate had a story to tell where they “struggled”, but when it became Mitt Romney’s turn to relate, the multi-millionaire couldn’t come up with any such experience.
“I didn’t grow up poor,” Romney answered. “If somebody is looking for somebody who has that background, I am not that person.” This admission by Romney came on the same night he offered Rick Perry the $10,000.00 bet… like it was nothing… pocket change!
After the debate, Romney saw how inappropriate his responses were. He told reporters that his wife came to him and said she enjoyed the debate, but his bet offer was not his strong point.
And sure enough, that Sunday Mitt Romney had to do what Mitt Romney does best – the flip-flop.
Asked by another voter in Iowa the very same question he previously answered, “I didn’t grow up poor,” to, Romney magically did remembered a poor moment in his life when he was 19 years old and went to France to do missionary work.
Living on no more than $110 a month in France – which Romney said was the equivalent of $500 or $600 in today’s dollars – the former Massachusetts governor said he learned to live simply when he left for France in 1966 at the age of 19, stretching those dollars to cover food, clothing and rent over two and a half years in France. He lived in a series of apartments with little or no plumbing or amenities like refrigeration.
“You’re not living high on the hog at that level,” he said. “A number of the apartments that I lived in when I was there didn’t have toilets – we had instead the little pads on the ground – OK, you know how that works, pull – there was a chain behind you with kind of a bucket, bucket affair. I had not experienced one of those in the United States.”
Romney said he and his fellow missionaries showered once a week at a facility where you could pay a few francs to bathe – “Or if we were got lucky, we actually bought a hose and would hold it there on the sink … and wash ourselves that way.”
Let’s see… a debate on Saturday, where he answered he didn’t grow up poor, so couldn’t share any moments of hardship, then less than 24 hrs later, he was so poor, he was only able to shower once a week and had no toilets. From one extreme to anther in the span of 24 hours?
This has to be a record flip-flop… even for Mitt Romney.