Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday gave an audience of firefighters his view of GOP rival Mitt Romney…. “Part of the problem is,” Biden said. “I don’t think he just gets you, I don’t think he really understands. I mean this sincerely–I don’t think he understands what you’re all about, what makes you tick, what makes you decide to go into this profession that you couldn’t pay enough to 90 percent of the population, including me, to do what you do every day.”
No doubt Mitt Romney has certainly given Obama and Biden plenty of openings to make that claim – from offering Rick Perry that $10,000 bet in a GOP debate, to the car elevator he is building in his new California beach house, to his Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island investments.
But it’s pretty rich to hear Team Obama claiming that Romney “doesn’t get” average Americans. After all, Obama is the guy who declared in 2008 that working-class Americans were “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” Obama is the guy who said a few months ago that the “private sector is doing fine.” Obama is the guy who told small business owners a few weeks ago that when it comes to their businesses, “You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
And Mitt Romney is the one who doesn’t get what Americans are “all about”?
The fact is Obama has spent about $100 million dollars on negative ads attacking Mitt Romney as a vulture capitalist and corporate raider who outsources jobs and destroys the lives of ordinary Americans. What does he have to show for it? A new USA Today poll shows that by a margin of more than 2-1 (63% to 29%) Americans say Romney’s background at Bain Capital would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation’s economic problems.
When a campaign spends $100 million on class warfare attacks and 63% of Americans are not buying it, perhaps they are the ones who doesn’t understand what America is all about.
And there is growing evidence that it is Obama who doesn’t get what America is all about. As Byron York recently pointed out:
[T]here’s no doubt there is a profoundly anti-business streak in the president’s background.
New evidence comes in the just-released biography Barack Obama: The Story, by David Maraniss. Obama spent very little time in business, but he did have a job at a company called Business International for about a year after he graduated from Columbia University in 1983. … “He calls it working for the enemy,” Obama’s mother, Ann, wrote after a phone conversation with her son…. And in his engaging but unreliable memoir Dreams from My Father, Obama described his time at Business International this way: “Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office. …” Obama wrote that he took the job only after his applications to several civil rights organizations were ignored.
Business is the “enemy.” That explains a lot. Only someone who sees business as the “enemy” would propose a tax increase that, according to a new study by Ernst & Young would subject 2.1 million business owners to higher rates; cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in economic output, force employers to trim their workers’ wages by 1.8 percent, and kill 710,000 jobs. When you’re presiding over the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, it’s probably not a good idea to campaign on a tax plan that would kill more than 700,000 jobs.
This may be why the Hill reports that 53% of voters say Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down, while Gallup reports that 59% of business owners disapprove of Obama’s policies.
Perhaps these Americans are finally concluding that Barack Obama just doesn’t get them.