Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 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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