The presidential election is still four and a half weeks away, but the video that tells all about Republican Mitt Romney's inner beliefs on Palestine and U.S. tax payers, may have already doomed his candidacy.
Mother Jones, a non-profit progressive publication, obtained the video of Candidate Romney speaking at a $50,000 per guest fund raiser on May 7, in Boca Raton, Florida. It is difficult to see how the Republican ticket can survive the fall-out from what it reveals about Romney.
Romney had started his current spectacular slide when he chose Clint Eastwood to speak before Romney's nomination acceptance speech in Tampa. The off-color humor that Eastwood used was inappropriate and tasteless. It also upstaged Romney's dull content-less speech.
Of course, Romney's slide to a possibly doomed candidacy was already greased by Romney's refusal to come clean on his personal finances, some of which have been stashed away in tax-free havens overseas.
Three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate await the candidates. The Republican ticket of Romney and Paul Ryan could start a major comeback with those debates, but nothing in their campaign rhetoric thus far indicates they are ready to speak to any but their right-wing admirers.
Take a look at the three-minute video clip above, lifted from the longer 70-minute video. The views he expresses indicate a low level of awareness of the issue that is at the heart of the unrest throughout the Middle East.
Because Romney is a devout Mormon, we assume he does not drink alcohol. So we should be on safe ground to say that the man we see waxing eloquently to his financial supporters is a sober adult male, revealing that he is as knowledgeable about world affairs as that tired business executive you were stuck with as a seat mate on your last long airline flight.
You know the man I mean, the one who saw you reading a book on the Middle East by Rashid Khalidi.
His first comment would be, "things are a mess over there, right?" Then he would proceed to talk like a tired business executive who knew as much about the Middle East as anyone whose information was limited to the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. You doubt that he has even heard of Rashid Khalidi.
The host for the fund raiser was Marc Leder, a private equity manager, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida. The entire video runs for 70 minutes. The evening's tab was $50,000 per diner, but as Candidate Romney knew, the guests were capable of giving, and raising, a great deal more money for him. Romney is, after all, one of them.
Most of Romney's comments caught on the video focused on the economy. The most revealing and damaging comment came when he explained that he would not even try to gain the votes of 47% of the voting public because they are the ones who are dependent on the government to support them. These are people, he said, "who don't even pay federal income taxes."
What Romney said in his off-the-cuff, far-ranging remarks to his financial backers, was so outrageous that even members of his own party have been thrown into disarray. Here is a clip from, perhaps, the critical moment of the tape:
Writers who know and like Romney are pained to criticize him, even as they do so. He is, after all, as John McCain once said of Barack Obama, "a good family man."
Which he no doubt is, but in the clip above, this "good family man" answered a question from a $50,000 donor guest about the "Palestinian problem," with the wild assertion that the Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."
How will that play if a President Romney sits down to talk with a Palestinian president?
Romney's potential leadership on this crucial significant foreign policy issue revealed that what he knows about the topic comes from a narrow group of neoconservative Republican hardliners who fully intend to do with this candidate that which they so successfully did with President George W. Bush. This crowd molds candidates to suit their pro-Zionist, pro-military industrial foreign policy.
With Vice-President Dick Cheney leading the way, this is the same crowd that led President Bush to invade Iraq. With Romney in the White House, they would be poised to join with Israel in an attack on Iran.
In speaking to his Boca Raton audience, as waiters moved about, Romney knew this was a group which shared his fondness for Israel. This led him to address the "Palestinian question" with a candor he would never use when speaking to a wider audience. As Juan Cole explained: