A stirring video found by BuzzFeed shows Mitt Romney’s mother discussing his father George in the run-up to the elder Romney’s first campaign to become governor of Michigan. Much like Ann Romney in this campaign, Lenore Romney was faced with the challenge of making her wealthy husband relatable.
The elder Mrs. Romney succeeds spectacularly by explaining that George was a refugee who was “on relief… welfare relief for the first years of his life.”
This suggests Mitt Romney’s father was a part of the 47 percent that his son derided as “victims” who cannot be convinced to take responsibility for their lives — though much of the membership of this group is made up of Red States and elderly Republicans.
Mrs. Romney also says that she and her husband had only owned their home for the past four years — a claim reminiscent of the Obamas reminding voters that they only recently finished paying off their student loans.
The impact of the leaked video of Romney speaking candidly at a fundraiser is being felt throughout the country. So-called “Reagan Democrats” are reporting they’re having a hard time supporting the Republican nominee after hearing the comments. The Democratic National Committee has summarized the press reaction in a devastating new ad:
As a candidate for Senate in 1970, Lenore Romney surprised many by running as a pro-choice candidate. Back in 1994 and 2002, when he was presenting himself as a pro-abortion rights candidate, Mitt Romney often pointed this fact out.
It was a powerful anecdote that Mitt could no longer draw on when he declared he was pro-life as governor of Massachusetts in 2005.
Mitt Romney’s disconnection from the well-regarded Romney legacy in Michigan may help explain why he trails the president in his birth state by as much as 10 percent.