In an interview with Fox News this morning, New Hampshire Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid explained that his paper declined to endorse Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination because he “represents the 1 percent.”
McQuaid speculated that Romney’s immense wealth and close ties to the finance industry could be a liability in the 2012 election. “Gingrich is going to have a better time in the general election than Mitt Romney,” McQuaid said. “I think it’s going to be Obama’s 99 percent versus the 1 percent, and Romney sort of represents the 1 percent.”
Video of McQuaid’s comments is below, courtesy of Think Progress:
McQuaid is certainly correct when he says that Romney, who famously made hundreds of millions of dollars at financial titan Bain Capital, is a representative of the 1 percent. It is unclear, however, why he thinks that Newt Gingrich could shake the 1 percent label despite his well documented excesses, such as a million dollar line of credit at Tiffany & Co., lavish Mediterranean vacations, and a multimillion dollar consulting deal with Freddie Mac. It’s hard to imagine the voters who McQuaid dubs “Obama’s 99 percent” warming to the world’s best-paid “historian.”
McQuaid’s use of the “1 percent” term is interesting as well. Although many conservatives — including McQuaid’s own newspaper — have tried to downplay the Occupy movement’s impact, McQuaid is publicly worrying about the movement’s political clout and using the movement’s own terminology to explain the Union Leader’s critical endorsement.