It was, as Ronald Reagan put it in October 1964, “a time for choosing.”
“We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one,” Reagan said then, in his endorsement of Barry Goldwater’s candidacy for president.
The late great communicator’s words open a new Republican National Committee Web video-assault on President Barack Obama as the great redistributor of wealth, the new theme of Mitt Romney’s own words for Obama‘s government-centered society.
Merriam-Webster’s defintion of redistribution: To reallocate.
“Anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return,” Obama is shown saying this year. “Now some people call this class warfare.”
The piece draws on his remarks as an Illinois state Senate candidate on Oct. 19, 1998, at which he spoke against the “propaganda” that government programs don’t work.
“The trick is figuring out how do we structure government sysstems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution,” he is shown saying in 1998.
The clip drops the final line of that comment: “– at least at a certain level, to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”
And it omits the preamble to the comment: There has been “a propaganda campaign” against government programs. “As we try to resuscitate this notion that we’re all in this thing together — leave nobody behind — we do have to be innovative in thinking, what are the delivery systems that are actually effective?”
It closes with Romney at his nominating convention asking: “Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the last depression.”
Romney has made talk of Obama’s redistribution of wealth the theme of his recovery from his own remarks about 47 percent of Americans paying no taxes, “victims” of government dependence and unreachable by his campaign.
On the question of class warfare that the ad attempts to lay on Obama, Jorge Ramos, the Univision anchorman who moderated his network’s candidate forum with Romney last night in Miami, told Romney: “Some people might think that you are dividing the United States, and that you are underestimating 47 percent of the population.”
“First of all,” Romney replied, “this is a campaign about the 100 percent. And over the last several years, you’ve seen greater and greater divisiveness in this country. We had hoped to come back together, but instead politics has driven us apart in some respects. So my campaign is about the 100 percent in America, and I’m concerned about them.”
So both Obama and Romney have said they believe in leaving no one behind, which inevitably will require some reallocation of resources.
Here’s the Republican video, at a minute and a half too long for a TV ad, followed by 100 percent of what Obama had to say about redistribution: