Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey competes hard, falls to No. 10 Providence College in overtime -

February 26, 2017

Overtime goal hands UMass hockey its 15th straight loss in regular season finale -

February 26, 2017

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous gives talk at UMass -

February 25, 2017

Anti-racism workshop teaches tactics to fight oppression in community -

February 25, 2017

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

And then there were three

MCT

A lot of people have been giving Mitt Romney a bit of stick ever since the line “I don’t care about the poor” became a phenomenon. He has been lambasted by Democrats and Republicans alike, those who claim to be able to connect with America’s common man while he does not. Now I do not know if people miss this point deliberately but there is something being overlooked in what he said.

In a bid for more accuracy, Romney said something along the lines of “I don’t care about the superrich, they can take care of themselves and I don’t care about the very poor – there’s a safety net there. I care about the middle class.” If I recall correctly, he said something to this effect during a debate as well; I watched it live. Indubitably, this is much different from what is being propagated by liberal media and what is being said by those who seek the perfect anti-Romney. For all his flaws, it is imperative to realize that the popular version of his statement is fundamentally different from his complete statement. I would argue that this is Willard Mitt Romney’s attempt to reach out to the average Joe, an attempt that has been contorted into monstrosity for no fault of his own.

On the other hand, maybe it was only a matter of time before his campaign was hit by somewhat disingenuous attacks. In November 2011, the Romney campaign released an advertisement that contained footage of President Obama saying “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Most people would be wondering why on earth Obama said that. He didn’t. He was quoting John McCain and the current Republican hopeful’s camp conveniently spun the footage to make a disingenuous, suspect piece of advertising. I guess he cannot really have much of a reason to complain about such advertising. Disingenuity is a dish best served cold and out of context.

Moving on from the much-maligned Romney, let’s look at the man who can claim to connect with average conservative Republicans – Rick Santorum. Viewed as crazy by some and hypocritical by others, I see his rapid rise metamorphosing into a rapid fall. I don’t feel special by predicting such a thing but after all, that is what I predicted about Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich and I was correct, as were many other observers. However, there are two things that we can trust Santorum for: staunch social conservatism and blue collar appeal. We all know about his views related to religion and social policy but I think the reason he came close to Romney in Michigan is his ability to connect. He garnered the most votes amongst the voters without college degrees and the voters with low income. Contrast this with the image of Mitt Romney as a rapacious propagator of “exploitive” (sic) capitalism who destroyed jobs at a time when many required them. The people must have taken umbrage at that.

But just pause to think about Rick Santorum. We can thank Ron Paul for some tidbits about our friendly neighborhood Pennsylvanian statesman. Paul describes Santorum as a supporter of ‘big government’ as he has a record that boasts support for the No Child Left Behind Act, the raising of the debt ceiling and other expansionary programs that do not necessarily fall in line with conservative ideology. When his candidacy is rigorously scrutinized, it will coincide with the primaries in more liberal and moderate states, leading to a timely descent into the nothingness of talk show deals in place of the nomination.

Last but not least, Ron Paul is still going strong. His affable and effervescent performance in the debate last Wednesday demonstrated that his message is still being communicated. His incessant and hawk-eyed criticism of his fellow candidates is bound to help Romney but it suffices to say that the Republican nomination is not as dour and predictable as many observers thought it would be. The only disappointment is the absence of Jon Huntsman. Oh well.

Nikhil Rao is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at nrao@student.umass.edu.

 

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