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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guess What Mitt Romney's Funny Wisconsin Story Is About? (You Win If You Guessed "Firing People.")

Posted by on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Here, via Daily Kos, is the story Mitt Romney tells when he tries to bond with Wisconsin voters:

Romney said he has some connections to Wisconsin.

“One of most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors … They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” said Romney. “And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign.”

Romney said he recalled a parade in which the school band marching with his father’s campaign only knew the Wisconsin fight song, not the Michigan song.

“So every time they would start playing ‘On Wisconsin, on Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, laughing.

Does the man have any anecdote or analogy that doesn't involve firing people? It's like a nervous tic: When the pressure is on Mitt Romney, he's sure to blurt out a reference to laying off mass quantities of workers.


Comments (34) RSS

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He also has anecdotes about dogs on roofs and the proper heights of trees.
Posted by rjg on March 28, 2012 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 2
I hear he fires trees if they object to how he treats dogs.

And then ships the lumber overseas to be finished, because you can't have American jobs when they can be outsourced ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on March 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
You people have no sense of humor, it is riotously funny when you can crush peoples lives, hopes and dreams casually under your boot and later convince them to elect you Governor.

You know what is even funnier? You and your buddies getting together gaming the financial system making billions of dollars, causing the economy to collapse, financially crushing millions of civilians while at the same time walking away with billions more when the government is forced to bail you out.

Wouldn't it be absolutely hysterical if you get those same citizens whose lives you and your friends impoverished to elect you President?

Now that would be funny. Hey give me a $100 bill I need to light a cigar.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on March 28, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this
"We used to ride my fathers valet, Hobson, like a polo poney. A strapping Afro-american was Hobson. We'd charge him around and hit moms Faberge eggs into the swimming pool with our sterling polo mallets. Some times, late at night, from his room under the back stairs I'd hear Hobson quietly weep while he bandaged the spur wounds. So much was his love for us. What a time. What a time."

—Mitt Romney on employing black people in America.*

* not really
Posted by tkc on March 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
sirkowski 6
You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors

lol what a smug shit.
Posted by sirkowski on March 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this
Yer man really knows how to push the nostalgia button. Next he'll recall how Dad was brainwashed into supporting the Vietnam war.
Posted by Toe Tag on March 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this

Is it really bragging to say your dad ran the company that built the Pacer and the Javelin?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 28, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 9
I wish Mitt were more like his father. He seems to have been a great man.
Posted by Free Lunch on March 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 10
The stories always kill when he tells them at board meetings and he simply doesn't realize that there is another America.
Posted by thatsnotright on March 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 11
That was an awesome story. Also, Remember the AMC Reliant!
Posted by wilbur@work on March 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 12
hey now, he ran AMC back in the days of the Rambler, not the Eagle or the Gremlin.

wait, that's not better...
Posted by Max Solomon on March 28, 2012 at 7:43 PM · Report this
MrBaker 13
@10, your nutshell is right on the mark. He has now surrounded himself with campaign "yes" men who laughed at the "funny" he made and didn't have the wherewithal to stop him.

It's pretty stunning just how giant piles of money can prop up a guy that dances around in desparation (turn down the sound and watch his body language during his stump speech), trying too hard, with nothing useful to offer except campaign material to his opposition.
Posted by MrBaker on March 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 14
Do ya think Rombot would strangle himself if he ever achieved self-awareness or basic hue-mahn decency?

And I guess this is the problem that I have with AmeriKKKa’s kleptocrat class in general: They’re horrid, and they have no taste.
Posted by Original Andrew on March 28, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
While you're all laughing at Romney, remember that George Bush was a dumb drunk until he was 40, and after that he was a dumb Christian fundamentalist. He had no more sensitivity for others than Romney did and could barely speak a coherent sentence. He was President for 8 years.
Posted by sarah70 on March 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM · Report this
That's a great story. He should send it in to Reader's Digest.
Posted by natalie on March 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM · Report this
@ 15 Bush won in 2000 because he had the nation convinced that he was a compassion conservative, that he cared for others. And he was not as dumb as you make him out to be. Not a fan of 90% of what he did but dumb? not so much, both sides have to stop with the personal attacks its juvenile.
Posted by Seattle14 on March 28, 2012 at 11:13 PM · Report this
@15 Who did Dubya run against? Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and John Kerry and John Edwards - not the sharpest competition, particularly in the VP spot. And even with all that, he required extra help from influential friends to "win" his campaigns.

We have Biden running with Obama plus an actual ongoing record we can point to. Romney's VP choice will make a big difference (the word out is that it will be Rubio), but the Democrat ticket will be a lot stronger than what Dubya faced. (And similarly, Obama/Biden won't have it as easy as their last time. There won't be a bumbling McCain and inept Palin. This year's GOP ticket will be legit.)
Posted by floater on March 29, 2012 at 12:56 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 19

Romney is already bumbling and is a far worse candidate than McCain (McCain has a great bio, Romney's is terrible). Romney is the worse candidate since Dukakis and might even be worse.

Who he picks for VP does not matter. I do not believe there has ever been a candidate who was going to lose but then ended up winning because of who he chose as VP. If you know of a case and have polling data to back it up please let me know.

The only time a VP pick has mattered is when it blew up in the candidate's face such as Thomas Eagleton in 1972, Dan Quayle in 1988 and Sarah Palin in 2008. And Bush Sr still won and some would say that Palin, with all her negatives, was still a net positive since she kept the evangelical base happy.

The most important thing about a VP pick is that they are not inept.
Posted by passionate_jus on March 29, 2012 at 4:47 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 20
@17: as long as i don't say he's dumb, would you consider it a juvenile attack if i opined that bush the junior was callous, incurious, lazy, and anti-intellectual? that his privilege, self-regard and distaste for considered thinking contributed to launching 2 unnecessary wars that have resulted in the deaths of 100's of 1,000's of innocents?
Posted by Max Solomon on March 29, 2012 at 7:05 AM · Report this
Bush won in 2000 (if you call the questionable result "winning", still he was president for eight years) because he was a likeable piece of crap. It didn't matter that he was aw shucks, and a bit of a doofus, he was LIKEABLE vs. Gore's tendency to be a bit wooden. Throw in I-was-saved! and I'm-from-Texas! and there were enough idiot voters to get the race close enough for all his billionaire friends to fix it.
Posted by Bugnroolet on March 29, 2012 at 7:11 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 22
@ 15, you should also keep in mind that the 2000 election followed the Lewinsky scandal, and that Gore ran a poor campaign based on that, and that he still would have won if it weren't for Nader and the meddling of the Supreme Court. Bush lost the popular vote.

Further, the 2004 election occurred after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. I'm not sure the best Democrat, whoever that was, could have won, but the Dems nominated their Romney that year.

Romney's problem isn't that he's dumb - no one thinks he is, at least not in the sense most of us believe Bush was. But he is someone who has no way to relate to ordinary Americans. Kerry had that problem - he would say things like was "thrice wounded," which just sounds too highfalutin for most people. But in Romney's case, he's more like the frat boy with the "Poverty Sucks" poster in the 80s, the new beemer dad bought him, and the ability to skate through his classes because dad also paid for the university's new field house. Ordinary Americans can't relate to that, either.

None of this is to say that Obama's a lock for re-election, but Romney is doing his damnedest to make it so.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 29, 2012 at 7:17 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 23
@ 21, just to repeat, Gore won the popular vote, and he likely got the most votes in Florida, too. But Nader definitely siphoned off votes from Gore that would have been enough to put him safely over the top.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 29, 2012 at 7:20 AM · Report this
OuterCow 24
@22 I just don't buy the argument that Gore would've gotten Nader's votes had it not been for Nader because I don't agree with the assumption that if it hadn't had been for the incredibly charismatic Ralph Nader, the people who voted 3rd party, wouldn't have voted 3rd party. People who vote 3rd party know they aren't going to elect the president and they still don't care, they've given us proof they don't buy into the lesser-of-two-evils paradigm, so what good reason do you have to think that if Ralph Nader hadn't run, the vast majority of people who voted for him wouldn't have just voted for other 3rd party candidates? You won't be able to count on that group of voters to vote Dem or Repub until make voting compulsory and limit the offering of candidates to the nominees of the two establishment parties (Fnarf's wet dream if I remember right).
Posted by OuterCow on March 29, 2012 at 7:34 AM · Report this
AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! It's funny because people lost their homes
Posted by Root on March 29, 2012 at 7:45 AM · Report this
@23 This is a tired trope that has been put to rest. Polling data doesn't support your supposition, and even the DNC and Gore stated as much. Nader largely got people out to vote who either wouldn't have anyway or as @24 says would have voted for other 3rd party candidates. In fact, Gore's pre-election polling numbers *improved* when he started acting more like a progressive by co-opting Green Party/Nader positions.

As awful as the odious tactics of the Bush team were, Gore and his team fucked up by not asking for a state-wide recount as required by FL law because they were trying to game the system. As the privately funded (by newspapers IIRC) post-election recount showed, if Gore had gotten his way and only selected counties were recounted he would have lost. If Bush got his way and the whole state was recounted, he would have lost.

This is not to mention that the Bush team had the same recount shenanigans ready to go in several other states, it just happened to come down to FL.
Posted by St. Murse on March 29, 2012 at 7:57 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 27
@ 24, I'm sure a lot of Nader's votes were from people who would have stayed home that election if he weren't on the ballot, or voted for whoever the Green candidate was.

BUT... I also very much remember that there were big debates over who to vote for. There was a website dedicated to "vote exchanging" - if you lived in a state where the vote was close, but you really wanted to send a message about the Democrats' centrism by voting for Gore, you could swear to vote for Gore anyway and a Gore supporter in a safely Democratic state would vote for Nader for you. There were TONS of progressives on the fence over this, and we are right to say that those who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore if Nader wasn't an option. I was one of those people. (I ended up voting for Gore, but I really wanted to vote for Nader. In fact, I had voted for him before, when he was the Green's nominee in 1996.)

You can make fun of Nader's charisma all you want. Up to 2000, he was considered to be a leading progressive voice, and was widely admired among the left, including committed Democrats.

Now, in Florida, Nader got something like 90,000 votes (I'm going from memory here). While we can't know which of these were your kind of perennial third party voters and which were the kinds of voters like me. But as I said, there was a lot of debate at the time, so I know for a fact that enough of these votes would have gone for Gore, and he would have carried Florida.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 29, 2012 at 8:42 AM · Report this
Telling jokes about firing people is such a lovable quality about Mittens.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on March 29, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 29
@17 Bush won in 2000 because his brother's government in Florida illegally disenfranchised vastly more likely Gore voters than the margin of supposed victory, then the Supreme Court installed by his dad and other Rs stopped the recount.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on March 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
OuterCow 30
@27 Matt, you 100% absolutely don't know that for a fact, so please stop saying you do. You're just guessing and making assumptions here.
Posted by OuterCow on March 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 31
@ 30, no, I'm drawing reasonable conclusions from known facts. It's far more certain that enough Nader voters would have voted for Gore to allow him to safely take Florida than it is to say that he isn't.

Again, Nader got around 90,000 votes there in 2000. The final official count gave Bush 500+ votes over Gore. Even if the vast majority of those 90,000 votes were from people who would NEVER have pulled the lever for Gore, it's completely ignorant to assert that there weren't enough Nader voters who WOULD have voted for Gore to make up the difference. If only 10% would have voted Gore instead, that's 9,000 votes, and Bush v. Gore would never have happened.

As I said, the issue of voting for Gore or Nader was a big one in progressive circles. It wouldn't have existed if there wasn't significant crossover. You may have been too committed to the far left to perceive this, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
OuterCow 32
@31 You just can't rerun history like that though. We don't know how different the election would've been had Nader not been running, like maybe Gore moving to the left on some things as a response to Nader ended up gaining him votes in FL, and in other states. Maybe he would've lost some other state he won, had the butterfly that is Nader not landed on the branch. The argument you make is reasonable, but it is not a fucking fact, Matt. It's a guess.
Posted by OuterCow on March 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 33
@ 32, give me a break. Gore would have run it differently without Nader? He completely ignored Nader. He never treated Nader like a serious threat. Nader didn't take part in the debates. All he did was give progressives an alternative. If you want your "butterfly" thing to hold water, you better show that Nader had more impact then that.

Some things are fairly simple to suss out. One is that Nader took votes away from Gore. When third parties are a factor in elections it's because they are taking votes from one of the major parties. That groundswell of support doesn't come from people who don't vote.

And it was a groundswell. In 1996, Nader got less than 700,000 votes nationwide; in 2000 it was more than 2.8 million, a more than fourfold increase. In 2004 it was back down to under 500,000 for Nader and about 100,000 for the Green candidate - in other words, Nader and the Greens were back to their core support.

Who were those 2.1 million voters? We can't say that they were all normally reliable Democratic voters, but Occam's Razor tells us that's who most of them were.

And it's not "rerunning history," it's reviewing it. I was there. I remember the debates, here in The Stranger's pages. I remember the vote exchange websites, and how they were warned that that was against the law. All the emails flying around. It happened because Gore was a centrist, and the progressive wing felt like they had another option.

It's not the whole story as to why Bush eventually won, but it's the most pivotal piece. 97,000 Florida Nader voters (I looked up the numbers) - if 3/4 of them were part of the groundswell, that would be 70,000 Gore votes that would have prevent recounts from happening in the first place. But again, even 9,000 would have been enough to do that.

If you think you can keep challenging this, then you have to answer what I'm saying. You have to show me why these conclusions are flawed, and propose a different theory.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 29, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
OuterCow 34
I need to show Nader made more of an impact? You were the one just championing how much of an impact he had on progressives earlier in in this thread, the sites set up for vote swaps, the Dems that wanted to send a message to the Party. YOU already made that argument. You're trying to have it both ways.

That does seem like some decent analysis there, but I just don't trust the error bars on your occam's razor with the certainty you do. So he had an up-swell that year, how you go from that to ~75% of them were usually faithful D votes I don't see how you can be so sure of.

But after dragging you into the weeds on this one, I do think you're probably right. Not absolutely 100% for certain right, but probably.

Though you'll still piss me off whenever you say Nader "took" votes from Gore. I realize its common terminology but it still really pisses me off. People get to decide who they want to vote for, no one was obligated to vote for Gore, they weren't Gore's votes before Nader "stole" them. And to spend a sec on the crux of this whole thing, the lesson we liberals are supposed to take away from Nader and 2000, it's clear plenty of people like you believe we progressives need to learn to suck it up else we might wind up with another Bush. I see it as lesson I wished the Democratic Party could've learned that if you give us a centrist we'll take our votes elsewhere. It doesn't have to be just blockheaded lefties like me that refuse to learn the lesson of 2000.
Posted by OuterCow on March 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 35
Let's see if I can clarify.

Nader had no effect on the way Gore conducted his campaign. That was the "no impact" to which I referred, and the one which dismisses your idea that "we have no idea what would have happened" if he didn't run.

But, he DID have a decisive impact on Gore. He... are you ready... took votes away.

But I never used the word "stole." Nader earned those votes. He said the things we wanted to hear, and Gore didn't. Progressives were disaffected with Clinton's pro-corporate policies (rightly so), and yes, they wanted to send a message to the party.

I'd say that the message wasn't received, though.

Nader isn't the sole factor in the disaster of the 2000 election. But he's the one we can remove from it and say, Things would have turned out differently if he wasn't there. We wouldn't have had Bush. Would we have avoided 9/11, Iraq, and the economic collapse? I'd say maybe, yes, and probably not but it might not have been so bad. But there I'll freely admit to guessing.

I'll acknowledge that Gore's poor campaigning is equally as important. He could have not rejected Clinton, or at least handled his distancing more delicately and not been perceived as rejecting the whole Clinton presidency. That's kind of Monday morning quarterbacking, though - Lewinsky was still fresh and Clinton's image was quite damaged, so maybe it wouldn't have mattered. But remember Al and Tippers kiss at the convention? That was almost as bad as Dukakis in the tank... I'm digressing.

Now, "sucking up and taking it" isn't what I suggest progressives do. I suggest doing what teabaggers did with the GOP - JOIN. Go to the local meetings. Try to elect progressive delegates. Organize within the party - they'll be glad to have people back, and they'll listen when the progressive wing becomes significant. Keeping out of the party just means have no influence. The Democrats were left mostly to the centrists, so it's little wonder that centrists are the leading figures and the ones winning nominations.

That said, the tea party didn't happen overnight, and swinging the party left won't, either. I guess there might be some sucking up and putting up with centrists for major nominations, but centrists are at least closer to you than right wingers, aren't they?
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 29, 2012 at 7:47 PM · Report this

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