‘We Germans Have a Hard Time Understanding Why Americans would Vote for Romney’ (Financial Times Deutschland, Germany)
Would it be possible for a candidate for public office to be any more self-destructive than Mitt Romney has been? This Financial Times Deutschland editorial examines the now infamous video in which Romney dismisses half the electorate, and, indicating a preference for Obama, says that the way his campaign appears to have collapsed is ‘more or less what we had hoped for.’
The Financial Times Deutschland editorial starts off this way:
Of all the blunders Mitt Romney has made during the current election campaign, this is the most serious. If the Republican presidential candidate criticizes Olympic Games host Great Britain for being incompetent or attacks presidential incumbent Obama, it’s no big deal. But for him write off half the U.S. population, that’s something special: The candidate said that it isn’t his job to concern himself with 47 percent of the electorate – the 47 percent who allegedly rely on government assistance and are therefore allegedly betting on Obama. That a politician would voluntarily brand himself as a cold-hearted capitalist is astonishing.
We Germans have a hard time understanding why so many Americans still want to cast their ballots for Romney. Seeing him stumble along this way is more or less what we had hoped for: welfare, health insurance, reconciliation with the rest of the world – that is politics as we understand it. And because that is also politics as Obama understands it, he is Europe’s preferred candidate. But the political culture in parts of America is different: more conservative, more religious, more suspicious of the state and more focused on the rights of the individual. So some statements that would be a scandal in Germany, in the U.S. barely result in a short-term dip in popularity: None of his by now many – very many – verbal gaffes have had any noticeable impact on Romney’s poll numbers.
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