Election Guide: Romney Rhetoric 

Jason Williams Decodes Romney Rhetoric

click to enlarge Jason Williams and Mitt Romney
  • Jason Williams and Mitt Romney

City Weekly asked Jason Williams, liberal blogger at TheSideTrack.Blogspot.com, to translate the meaning of the Mittster’s words at the Republican National Convention.

Mitt: Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America. I do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me. It is a great honor. It is an even greater responsibility.

Translation: Mr. Chairman, Delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America. I am humbled that you held your noses and took a risk on this “Meh” Mormon, and let’s be honest: Newt? Ricky “Don’t Google Me” Santorum? That 999 pizza guy? Get real. Also, Governor Christie said no. Anyway, here I am, and it’s an honor.

Mitt: Tonight I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud—my friend and America’s next Vice President, Paul Ryan. In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better. But last night America got to see what I saw in Paul Ryan—a strong and caring leader who is down to earth and confident in the challenge this moment demands. I love the way he lights up around his kids and how he's not embarrassed to show the world how much he loves his mom. But Paul, I still like the playlist on my iPod better than yours.

Translation: Tonight I ask you to join me in a walk to a better future. By my side, I’ve chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. A big heart and a tight six pack. And those eyes … (pause) Anyway, in the days ahead you will get to know Paul. A strong caring leader who is down to earth and confident … has strong hands … a hard, defined jawline … and those eyes … (coughs) Anyway, we both have iPods and know how to compose playlists. We are just like you, America!

Mitt: Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than what divides us. When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have—optimistic and positive and confident in the future.

Translation: Four years ago, Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That election ended racism, and brought our country together. We all remember House Republicans shouting “You Lie!” in good fun, and that birth certificate joshing we gave the president, wasn’t that a hoot? Who could forget that time we blocked a larger stimulus and then complained about slow growth. What pranksters! But now isn’t the time to be remembering recent history, or writing things down! No, now it’s time for an election, Americans care about elections. Did you know elections are different than auctions—Ho! What I’d give to have known that going in!

Mitt: When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro’s tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that in America their children would be more blessed than they. But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future. It is not what we were promised.

Translation: When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro’s tyranny, bloodied and bruised after climbing through America’s “freedom fences,” these new Americans surely had many questions, like, “Should I rent or own?” and “What portion will I be liable to pay gains taxes on, should I own but decide to sell?” But none of them doubted that here in America, their mooching anchor babies would be more blessed than they were.

Mitt: Every new college graduate thought they'd have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future. This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits. This was the hope and change America voted for. It’s not just what we wanted. It’s not just what we expected. It’s what Americans deserved. You deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours. Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family depended on you. You did it because you’re an American and you don’t quit. You did it because it was what you had to do. But driving home late from that second job, or standing there watching the gas pump hit 50 dollars and still going, when the realtor told you that to sell your house you’d have to take a big loss, in those moments you knew that this just wasn’t right.

Translation: Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now. This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt. It’s the hope and change we voted for! It’s what we deserved! You’ve worked hard and you’ve earned those tax cuts for tax brackets you’ll never be in! You deserve to see me wealthier! Driving home from that second job after the Realtor told you that you were losing your house, you knew it just wasn’t right. You thought to yourself, I’m concerned most about the deficit and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Mitt: Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!” So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision. To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country. I was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country, a classic baby boomer. It was a time when Americans were returning from war and eager to work. To be an American was to assume that all things were possible. When President Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon, the question wasn’t whether we'd get there, it was only when we'd get there. The soles of Neil Armstrong's boots on the moon made permanent impressions on OUR souls and in our national psyche. Ann and I watched those steps together on her parent's sofa. Like all Americans we went to bed that night knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world.

Translation:Now is the time to stand up and say “I’m an American. I deserve better. Mitt Romney deserves better!” Americans have a choice, and to make that choice you need to know more about where me and my running mate will lead our country and I promise you I will tell you that, after you make that choice! I was born a poor black boy … no, that isn’t right. Oh yes, I was born in the middle of a lot of things, like the century, the country, my father’s pile of cash we called a sofa. I’m saying middle a lot. I hope you’re noticing. Anyway, the moon. Ann and I watched Neil Armstrong’s first steps on her parent’s sofa, which was also just a pile of cash. Only an American could’ve done that, with his own two hands. And a lot of public funding. A. Lot. I’ve seen the receipts.

Mitt: My dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of his family being fed by the US Government as war refugees. My dad never made it through college and apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. And he had big dreams. He convinced my mom, a beautiful young actress, to give up Hollywood to marry him. He moved to Detroit, led a great automobile company and became Governor of the Great State of Michigan. We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to. My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all—the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO. Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family—and God’s love -- this world would be a far more gentle and better place.

Translation: I was born a poor black boy … no, still not right. Oh yes, my father was Governor of Michigan. I love cars. We were Mormons growing up in Michigan. We were the right height. That might seem out of place but I don’t remember it that way because, well, we were insanely wealthy. Mom and Dad cared deeply about who we would be, not who we stepped on or how many lies we told to get there. And that is something Ann and I tried to pass on to our sons. Josh took to it immediately.

Mitt: My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?” I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.

Translation:My mom and dad were true partners. Literally. It’s how the legal documents were drawn up. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?” That’s how Mom talked, because we could afford a round-the-clock speech writer. It was weird.

Mitt: I grew up in Detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy, like my dad. But by the time I was out of school, I realized that I had to go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan in the same business, I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad. I wanted to go someplace new and prove myself. Those weren’t the easiest of days—too many long hours and weekends working, five young sons who seemed to have this need to re-enact a different world war every night. But if you ask Ann and I what we’d give, to break up just one more fight between the boys, or wake up in the morning and discover a pile of kids asleep in our room. Well, every mom and dad knows the answer to that. Those days were toughest on Ann, of course. She was heroic. Five boys, with our families a long way away. I had to travel a lot for my job then and I’d call and try to offer support. But every mom knows that doesn't help get the homework done or the kids out the door to school.

Translation: I grew up in Detroit and I love cars. But I realized that I had to go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad. So with a gigantic pile of Daddy’s money, and the driver he lent me for the afternoon, I went out to make my own way in the world. Dad had to wire me more cash by dinnertime after an unfortunate afternoon foray—later portrayed unfairly in the documentary Trading Places—but all around it was a good day, and I was home in time for Lawrence Welk.

Mitt: The President hasn’t disappointed you because he wanted to. The President has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government. I learned the real lessons about how America works from experience. When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses. So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice. So we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was, while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did.

Translation: The president has disappointed because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. Jobs to him are about the government. I learned how America really works from experience. At the age of 37 I took $37 million of Daddy’s money—a million for each year I put up with his complaining that I get off the couch and go watch the help mow the lawn—and started a small company. It was an American success story, like Staples. You know, that office supply company who’ve been pretending the Internet is a fad for a decade? Yeah, we put them on life support until a far better time to liquidate them entirely. That’s America. Taking your father’s fortune and setting yourself up to exploit the woes of other businesses for cynical personal gain, then advocating as a politician for the policies that were strangling these companies in the first place! MUHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I’m getting the red light glare from Stu offstage, let me get back to the script here, let’s see… oh yes, I was born a poor black boy …

Mitt: This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault. This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right. But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office. America has been patient. Americans have supported this president in good faith. But today, the time has come to turn the page. Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.

Translation: This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right. But he’s not the boss of us, am I right? This president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office because our fingers are in our ears, am I right? America has been patient. Americans have supported this president in good faith. But today, the time has come to turn the page. Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us and get back to making the colossal mistakes of the four years before that again!

Mitt: I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon. And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps. First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences. Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget. And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Translation: Unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. I call it the 999 plan. No? Stu says no. Oh yes, I call it the 5 Point Plan, which is simpler than 999, I think you can all agree. Step one: Energy independence by 2020. Industry experts say this is impossible, but I’m the challenging candidate and I can get away with it. Let’s see, step 2, 3, and 4 just say “something goes here” so I’m going to skip those. Here we go! Step 5. Bring back existing conditions to reduce health care costs somehow! That is my plan, and unlike the president, I wrote it, and now I’m saying it. Today, women are more likely than men to start a business. They need a president who respects and understands that by making sure contraception isn’t covered by your insurance company. So it’s six points.

Mitt: And let me make this very clear—unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class. As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America's first liberty: the freedom of religion. President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family. I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators.

Translation: Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class. Tax policy experts and “mathematicians” say in order to pay for my additional cuts for the wealthy, I’d have to raise taxes on the middle class, but I don’t care what they say; I won’t do that. I won’t further burden America’s middle class! Unless the math folks are right and it’s the only way I can get those additional cuts for the wealthy, then yeah, maybe I’d raise taxes on the middle class. Hey, look over there, the president is bowing to a foreign dictator!

Mitt: You might have asked yourself if these last years are really the America we want, the America won for us by the greatest generation. Does the America we want borrow a trillion dollars from China? No. Does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million people and for half the kids graduating from college? No. Are its schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world? No. And does the America we want succumb to resentment and division? We know the answer.

Translation: Does America borrow from China? No. Well, yes, because we kind of have to. These wars ain’t cheap. Are America’s schools lagging behind the rest of the developed world? Well, yes, but can you believe the president said it right in front of the rest of the developed world? Does America want resentment and division? We know the answer: Hell yes! Until the Supreme Court finds a permanent way to stop Democrats from winning elections, give us our resentment and division, am I right?!

Mitt: The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness. Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.

Translation: The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one. Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America. But at the same time, every man did it totally on his own without any help from anyone, especially not the government, and that the president suggested otherwise is abhorrent. Just stick with me here a few more sentences folks. Almost done.

Mitt: That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother's confidence that their children's future is brighter even than the past.

That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it. That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our Constitution. That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need. That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children. If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.

Translation: That united America can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, and that will restore every father and mother's confidence that millionaires will not be asked to pay their fair share. If I am elected president, every mother and father can be confident that their children will continue to enjoy the longest of American tradition: voting against your own best interests.

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Jason Williams

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