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Readers' forum: Mitt Romney's abilities

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  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    March 10, 2012 6:41 a.m.

    Romney was born into a family of wealth, and privilege, his father was the head of American Motors Corporation, and Governor of Michigan! People don't necessarily mind Romney's great wealth, but his numerous comments about money demonstrate a real inability to relate to the common man. Romney may be a great businessman, but he is deeply flawed as a political candidate, and this is shown by his failure to seal the deal against an extremely weak Republican presidential field.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 10, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    Romney is too far off centre for me, and not nearly far enough out for the republican party.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 10, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    Absolutely no one has said his wealth is a liability. The way he earned his money (notice I did say earned), has been questioned as any kind of an asset in running a national economy. Ask Kathleen Parker why Mitt can't relate..he's a dork. He's lived in an elitist bubble his entire life. He has no idea that it's poor taste to joke about someones unemploymnet, make fun of their cheap raincoat, call the south the other team. It's just a fact he has no idea how the ordinary person lives..so like Kathleen said give it up Mitt just be yourself and try and sell that because nobody is buying the common man Mitt.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    When the tax rate Mitt pays on his income is the same as the tax rate a teacher, nurse or firefighter pays on their salaries, then Mitt's wealth will cease to be an issue.

    Until then, it's an issue.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    March 10, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Romney can not relate to the average person because he is anti middle class and anti union. He is for trade policies that hurt the middle class at the expense of his connected friends.

    The republicans are against any regulations that actually help the middle class. Like regulating credit default swaps, derivatives and MERS.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 10, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    It seems to me that this letter really misses the point of the criticism of Romney. It isnÂt his wealth. Americans in both parties like successful people. It is that he cannot in any way relate to the struggles of the average American and he shows it time after time. He is aloof and not a people person. See the article today in the NYT about RomneyÂs tenure as Governor of Massachusetts. It speaks volumes. He has a lot going for him, but the political world is not his cup of tea. He is not well suited for this. Add to this his blatant, clearly uncomfortable pandering and flip-flopping on the issues, and it is clear he is not connecting with the voters. I have no personal animus towards him. I just think he should not try to be something he is not and should not be, President of the United States.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 10, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    To make every one equal, would be denying us the freedom to succeed. Some people are filled with envy.

    I enjoy American freedom, and if I become wealthier then someone else--, Sorry!

    Don't like it? Move to Kenya. They're equally poor.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 10, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    How about when Mitt says, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" Or when his wife, at the height of the Great Recession, takes a vacation to Spain with a bunch of her friends? Or when Mitt and his wife travel in separate planes to the same destination only hours apart? Or when they go to Vail and Aspen and Martha's Vineyard for their family vacations, while a tenth of the country is out of work.

    Clearly this man is out of touch and should not be president.

    Oh, wait. That wasn't Mitt.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 10, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    Ann Romney: "I don't even consider myself wealthy."

    It isn't Romney's wealth (though it can be a political liability during economic stress) as much as it is they've tried to minimize and portray themselves as something that they're not. I've never heard any public statements from the Romney's acknowledging the great advantages they had growing up--attending private prep schools, paying college tuition and living expenses by selling stock. Yes, Mitt used those advantages afforded him to better himself. Good for him. But don't pretend otherwise.

    Ann was trying to make a larger point. But what she should've said is something along the line of, "Mitt and I have had great advantages. We've been lucky enough not to worry about how we were going to pay the bills etc. but mostly I cherish our many good friends and neighbors etc."

    (As for the Kennedy's. They fought for policies that would help the middle class and poor. They also started the Peace Corps and Special Olympics).

    Most of Romney's campaign donations have come from large wealthy donors, very few small donations.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 10, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    I'm sure Mitt will be fine with the criticism. He can go to either his house in California or Massachusetts and drive around in the Escalade parked in each garage.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    Worf,

    You're missing the point. No one is arguing that we should all be "equal."

    What we are saying is that we should all be treated fairly by our tax code. We don't have that now. Mitt and his peers have no problem lobbying congress for preferential treatment and they stash money in the Cayman Islands for the purpose of avoiding taxes.

    Mitt's tax rate is barely 13%.

    Mine is 30%, even after my accountant does all he can for me.

    The playing field is far from level, and it's tilting more and more in favor of the wealthy. That's got to stop.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 10, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    Blue,

    We are treated fairly by our tax code. You have chosen to omit the fact that Mitt Romney paid the same tax rate that you pay and the same tax rate that I pay WHEN he earned the "nestegg" that he now uses for investments. He paid taxes on his wages and now he is paying taxes on the profits from his investments. If you invested your money, you would pay the same tax on profits from those investments. You would have paid taxes when you earned the money to invest and then you would pay taxes again when those investments made a profit.

    There is no double standard. It's time to stop misleading people into thinking that Mitt pays a "favored" tax rate.

    ----

    President Obama's "class warfare" is working. People ignore the fact that President Obama lives the life of Royalty, at our expense; that he vacations all over the world, at our expense; that his "office" is on the golf course; that he tells us that the "rich" need to pay more. How about if he just paid us back for those "luxuries"?

    Mitt pays his own way. Why doesn't Barack Obama?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 10, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    Mr. Thompson, your comments about Obama's "vacations" and "golfing" are far off the mark. Were you saying the same things when GWB(whose vacations were longer and more frequent) was golfing and trimming brush for photographers at his "ranch" in Texas?

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    Ok, here it is from a Democrat (me):

    Exhibit #1: Michael Bloomberg has at least five times the wealth as Mitt and it never comes up.

    Exhibit #2: Totally ignore their words and just watch them on the stump. Ok, now ask yourself who is the natural politician: Rick or Mitt?

    Exhibit #3: In 2008 Mitt wore only suit and tie or sport coat and tie. This time his consultant has him in jeans and white shirt with sleeves rolled up ALWAYS. Am I the only one that remembers John Kerry - Pheasant Hunter aka LL Bean fashion plate. Sick.

  • Locke Rexburg, ID
    March 10, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    Romney is just the right man at the right time. He is a truly awesome candidate running an awesome campaign.

    Social conservatives are creating a problem for Romney and for themselves by supporting irrelevant issues. As has been said, this election is about economics, federal spending & debt, and foreign policy, where Romney has amazing experience and very solid policies.

    If "relating to the common man" were such an important qualification for presidents, many of the great presidents of the past would not have been elected (FDR, Kennedy, Reagan, Jefferson, etc.). It's just an irrelevant concept made up by people as an excuse not to support someone. Get over it. We need a DOER with real executive experience and a proven track record, not a feel-good therapist. We've already seen what that gets us with Carter and Obama. Yuck.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    JThompson: "We are treated fairly by our tax code. You have chosen to omit the fact that Mitt Romney paid the same tax rate that you pay and the same tax rate that I pay WHEN he earned the "nestegg" that he now uses for investments."

    Wow - that's quite a rationalization.

    Romney was born wealthy, and his investments and Bain Capital's lobbying of congress for ever-greater tax breaks have made him even wealthier. His "salary" income has never amounted to more than lunch money.

    Income is income, and all income should be treated the same.

    Stop trying to defend a tax system that has been stacked so blatantly in favor of the hyper-wealthy.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    March 10, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    Blue -

    You need a new accountant. I paid less than 10% income tax on over 150K income. There are no capital gains included.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 10, 2012 3:52 p.m.

    Some people have the experience to DO THINGS. Mitt Romney is one of those people. He KNEW how to be on the ballot in every State; Santorum and Gingrich did not. From that simple fact alone, which of the three understands that there are rules that must be obeyed before you can sit behind the desk in the Oval Office?

    It takes 1,144 delegates to get the Republican nomination. Romney has over 440. Santorum has less than 50% of Romney. Gringrich has less than 25% of Romney.

    If we concentrated on the facts, the facts that the media so conveniently covers up in their effort to make the public think that this is a close race, we could start comparing Romney vs Obama. That is what the Democrats are trying to keep us from doing. They know that the President, who has never held a job, much less one who has never created a private sector job, will not have a chance when people THINK about the economy and the $5 TRILLION additional deficit Mr. Obama "gave" us.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    @Blue: "When the tax rate Mitt pays on his income is the same as the tax rate a teacher, nurse or firefighter pays on their salaries, then Mitt's wealth will cease to be an issue."

    Why are you placing the blame for Mitt's tax rate on him? He had nothing to do with it. You sound like a guy who's digging for something to whine about.

    "Until then, it's an issue."

    Take the issue up with the Congress. There's where the Mitt's tax rate was created. And it happened years before Mitt came on the scene as a presidential candidate.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 10, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    If you look at how people have lived through history, we all would be considered wealthy. More so than the King and Queen of England. This is Romney envy.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 10, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Blue,

    You wrote: "Income is income, and all income should be treated the same.

    Stop trying to defend a tax system that has been stacked so blatantly in favor of the hyper-wealthy."

    Okay, you win. Tax EVERYBODY at 38%, after all, income is income. Why should you get a break when others pay more than you do? In fact, why should you only pay 6.8% sales tax when other States charge 9% or more? Why should you pay 0.5% property tax when people in other States pay 3% or more? Why should you only have 6% Social Security withheld from your paycheck when I have to pay twice as much?

    Yes, indeed, let's all agree that you are right and let EVERYONE pay the same rate on all taxes. After all, don't we all believe in equality?

    Let us know when you plan to visit the Tax Commission to volunteer to pay more taxes. We'll all be there to shake your hand.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 4:15 p.m.

    Your point about the Kennedys is well taken. There was no complaints over the wealth of John as he ran for president or his brother, Teddy. And neither of these guys earned the wealth with their own labors. They inherited it from their dad... who made it bootlegging among other things.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 10, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    re:Wrz
    "Take the issue up with the Congress. There's where the Mitt's tax rate was created"

    Right
    Democrats in Congress have been trying to change the tax rate.
    But private equity firms, Bain included, have heavily lobbied to keep the "carried interest" rule in place which enabled Romney and others to amass great fortunes.

    Republicans in Congress, and those running for president, continue to adopt and promote policies which primarily benefit the wealthy while advocating for cuts to programs for those at the bottom.
    For example, Republicans decreased the amount of help going to the poor to pay heating bills during the winter. Their plans to change Social Security disproportionately benefits the wealthy, (as Galveston TX found out) Mitt's plan calls for getting rid of the estate tax among other things.

    On the other hand, wealthy Democrats (like the Kennedys) argue in favor of policies which don't benefit themselves.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 8:37 p.m.

    @Truthseeker:

    "Democrats in Congress have been trying to change the tax rate."

    They didn't try very hard. Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and White House for the first two years of the Obama Administration. They coulda changed the tax rates in a heart beat which flies in the face of your contention.

    "But private equity firms, Bain included, have heavily lobbied to keep the 'carried interest"' rule in place which enabled Romney and others to amass great fortunes."

    I guess what you're saying is that the Democrats approved of and agreed to the 'carried interest' rule that you say made Mitt so wealthy in the years 2009 and 2010, right?

    "For example, Republicans decreased the amount of help going to the poor to pay heating bills during the winter."

    Republicans couldn't do that without the help and support of Democrats in Congress.

    "On the other hand, wealthy Democrats (like the Kennedys) argue in favor of policies which don't benefit themselves."

    It's true that Teddy gave us the Earned Income Credit, which does not belong in the tax code.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 10, 2012 9:31 p.m.

    Re:Wrzleaders

    FYI
    We all know the filibuster record of the Republicans.
    Democrats only had a filibuster-proof majority 4 mons after Obama took office. Every year's budget proposal Obama has recommended changing the "carried interest" rule.

    Heating subsidies?
    I guess when Republicans play hardball they get what they want, because nothing can pass without their okay.
    Congressional leaders last night agreed to a $1 trillion bill to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. As part of the deal, Republicans cut funding for subsidies that help the poor stay warm during the winter by nearly 25 percent.
    (Dec 2011)

    The EITC is a Republican creation. It was enacted in 1975 under President Ford (a Republican), and expanded numerous times over the last 35 years by Republicans. President Reagan (Republican) expanded it in 1984 and 1986. President Bush (Republican) expanded it against in 1990 and added supplemental credit for families with more than one child. President Clinton expanded it for childless claimants in 1993. President Bush (Republican) expanded it again in 2001.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 10, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    Sorry people:

    I don't really care if he (or any other president for that matter) can relate to the average Joe. I just want the economy turned around. I don't care if he's a geek or a grown up 1980's James Spader from the Pretty in Pink movie, I just a president that will help our economy get on track!

    And is Romney any more privileged than JFK or FDR (think about it)?

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    March 10, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    Don't good businessmen hire people only when they HAVE to in order to get the products or services completed? If that's the case, why would we look to a businessman, and that is how Mitt wants us to see him, as any kind of person to ADD jobs? Come to think of it, have we really had a successful businessperson as a successful president? Maybe Washington, a slave owner, and Bush I, who found oil. But if Mitt is being honest, he would say that Bain Capital never intended to hire many people. Its goal was making money, then putting it out of reach of the tax man in ways the average person could only dream of.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 10, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    @mike richards
    ""the facts that the media so conveniently covers up in their effort to make the public think that this is a close race..."

    I am Not really sure what media outlets you are watching and/or reading but the ones I read pretty much all talk about the delegate count. maybe you need to find higher quality sources and stop acting like a victim.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 10, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    I don't know too many Presidents that weren't rich or good with money. I believe Truman had some successes and failures in business. Jimmy Carter was a successful peanut farmer in Georgia. Maybe JFK went into politics but his father had plenty of business acumen to say the least. Many came from wealthy families (FDR, JFK) etc. who knew how to handle money allowing their sons to explore law, politics etc. Many of our presidents were of course generals. But as one of the previous posts said, Washington was pretty wealthy and his landownings probably rivaled the richest Americans today whether they be T. Boone Pickens or even Bill Gates.

    But even beyond that Romney's EXECUTIVE experience speaks well of him. In fact, I'm more impressed with how he ran the Olympics and improved Mass. credit rating as governor than his work at Bain Capital. All three were in bad shape before his rival but the two are more reflective of government in the sense he had to work with others, build alliances and relationships with people and sometimes rivals, and delegate responsibilities to others.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 10, 2012 11:13 p.m.

    Let's compare college transcripts with Obama than give an identical IQ tests to be examined. Mitt's abilities will show up.

  • The Politics of Listening A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    March 11, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    The rich just don't understand the middleclass and poor. Mitt Romney has cast himself as an outsider to Washington's political gridlock, and his Koch Brother's rivals as insiders who have been part of the problem in the nation's capital. But when it comes to financing his campaign, Romney has courted a key symbol of Washington's establishment, its lobbyists, the quietly powerful forces who are hired to try to influence government decisions. And like financial titans on New York's Wall Street, the political insiders on Washington's K Street are investing heavily in a potential match-up between President Barack Obama and Romney. The $10 million contest was meant to ease the transition away from inefficient incandescent light bulbs to more efficient fluorescent and LED bulbs. President George W. Bush signed legislation in 2007 to phase out the old bulbs. Obama administration has awarded a $10 million prize for a "green" but affordable light bulb that's available to the public. The bad news: The bulb costs $50. We were not born with a silver-spoon in our mouth. That's Mitt Romney's only abilities, to spend our money.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 12, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    True.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    March 15, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    To worf
    Mcallen, TX
    Let's compare college transcripts with Obama than give an identical IQ tests to be examined. Mitt's abilities will show up.

    -----------------

    Transscripts aren't necessary -- just look at the degrees they received. You can start with the fact that President Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard (a very highly ranked law school), was appointed to Law Review (that appointment is dependent on the GPA of the appointees) and served as President of Law Review, while former Governor Romney achieved the lesser cum laude degree from a lesser-ranked law school.