Mitt Romney’s Tea Party CPAC Speech

Today Romney spoke before a large and applauding audience at the American Conservative Union’s CPAC 2012. Careful attention to his speech’s underlying themes revealed a core focus on upward economic mobility being the crux of the American Dream. While some speakers focused on societal virtue, foreign policy, and Democrats ruining America, Romney strategically re-weaved many of the same rhetorical phrases used by other CPAC speakers to focus specifically on upward economic mobility. I would argue he did so with good reason.

My research of the Tea Party movement and interviews with dozen of Tea Party leaders across the country have revealed Tea Partiers are most concerned over losing what they like best about America: upward economic mobility. Certainly other issues play a role, but concern that government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis would hinder the American Dream is what fundamentally brought libertarian and conservative Tea Partiers together and drove their mobilization. (I’ve written about this here and here). In speaking to concerns over upward economic mobility and the American Dream, Romney reveals he's done his homework for how to resonate with Tea Party voters.

For instance, he began by talking about how his father was born in Mexico, moved to the U.S. when he was five, and—although he never earned a college degree—went on to own a successful car company and eventually become governor of Michigan. Just one generation later, Mitt Romney attended the country’s top business and law schools and then embarked on a very successful private sector career. He spoke about how he turned around failing business, a troubled 2002 Winter Olympics, and a struggling state. He explained that he believes in the American Dream because he’s lived the American Dream and understands what makes it possible: founding principles that secure peoples’ freedom to “achieve success in their own way, propelling themselves forward.” Because of this, Romney said, “one’s birth is not prohibitive for one’s ability to achieve their dreams.”

Theda Skocpol, writing in a recent Washington Post op-ed, agrees with me to an extent that Mitt Romney is angling himself (maybe successfully) to be a Tea Party candidate. Skocpol writes, “Romney has become the stealth tea party candidate, endorsing the essence of the movement while remaining unburdened by its public label.” Where Skocpol and I disagree is that the essence is less about immigration fears and more about the American Dream of upward economic mobility.

Although Romney is surely not the “Tea Party Candidate” he appears to be taking conscious measures to connect with Tea Party voters, but discreetly enough to continue resonating with non-Tea Party voters as well.

 

 Source: CNN Exit Polls

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  • Brian||

    Fuck Romney. Obama is already creaming him in the polls--we need a brokered convention.

  • Almanian||

    What's this "we" stuff, Kemosabe? I'm not voting for either TEAM, so you have fun brokering your convention (is that what the kids are calling it these days?).

    I'm voting for the candidate for Liberty: "Almanian - 2012"

  • Move to France, Sweden, Canada||

    Upward Mobility is lower in the US than in France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Among the major wealthy countries, only Britain has a lower rate of mobility than the US.

    Understanding Mobility in America
    April 26, 2006
    http://www.americanprogress.or.....79981.html

  • Do the math||

    Mobility is a two-way street. Actual mobility can only be measured against the rest of the population, not some arbitrary benchmark. The rate of upward mobility has to match the rate of downward mobility.

    People should be happy they aren't as likely to fall behind in the US like they do in France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

  • Are you smoking math crack?||

    Capitalist US has way more poor than France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

  • MrDamage||

    numbers?

  • Punt||

    Primaries are great when the opponent isn't an incumbent. When the opponent isn't an incumbent, a political party needs to strategize, something that isn't going to be the result of counting millions of votes.

    IOW, it made sense for the GOP to nominate McCain as the result of party popular vote because the opponent was selected the same way - by party faithful. It makes no sense to select a candidate to run against an incumbent that way because the only thing that really matter is the swing (non-party faithful) vote and the incumbent probably won that decisive sector last time. The opponent of an incumbent has to be chose based on his ability to capture the swing voters, something the vote of the party faithful cannot show.

  • kate||

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  • Almanian||

    So Romney's a Tea Bagging Ratfucker? No? Ohhhhh....he's just trying to APPEAL to teabagging ratfuckers? OK, I'll buy that.

    Whatever...how anyone past the age of about 13 cares about what a politician says, as opposed to their track record - or lack thereof (exhibit A: the current President of the US) - is...more interested in politics than I, a TEAM player, a simpleton, or worse.

    Romney's a chameleon - not the first, not the last - but a proven chameleon with no firm principles of governing. Therefore, I don't care what he says, because the chances he'll govern differently are >50%, based on experience. So fuck him and anyone at CPAC who's dumb enough to believe anything he said.

    On another topic, fuck California. (it's been awhile)

  • ChrisO||

    AMC was a successful car company?

  • ||

    I'm still confused about this. Is Romney the turd sandwich or the giant douche?

  • ||

    YES!

  • el Commentariosa||

    Has Kim Jong-un been assassinated?
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2.....ter-weibo/

  • ||

    Mitt Romney is a central planner at heart. A big-government, police-state conservative with absolutely no regard for liberty, economics, or reason.

    He is almost exactly like Obama in every way. Tea party candidate? please.

  • Capitalism = Central Planning||

    Real capitalists hate employee-controlled companies.

  • ||

    You are utterly confused.

  • Capitalism = Central Planning||

    I see you're utterly blind. You're fired.

  • Tim||

    Tea Partier #1: Hey, what's wrong with this picture?
    Tea Partier #2: Nice night for a walk, eh?
    Mitt Romney: Nice night for a walk.
    Tea Partier #1: Wash day, tomorrow. Nothing clean, right?
    Mitt Romney: Nothing clean, right.
    Tea Partier #3: Hey, I think this guy's a couple of cans short of a six-pack!
    Mitt Romney: Your votes. Give them to me. Now!
    Tea Partier #3: Fuck you, Asshole !

  • ||

  • ||

    LOL, just another bought and paid for pompous windbag!

    www.anon-stuff.tk

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