For millions of Americans unemployment has become a fact of life. It is grueling, disheartening and for many too far prolonged. But few would describe being out of a job as a joking matter. Few, that is, besides Mitt Romney.
While in Florida on a visit with out-of-work residents, the former Massachusetts governor and presidential hopeful decided to show the crowd how relatable he was, joking:
“I’m also unemployed.”
The off the cuff comment has done less to make the millionaire seem like an ‘everyday Joe’ and more to make him seem insensitive towards the plight of those struggling to find jobs.
For Democrats, Romney’s flub has become further support for their case that the GOP hopeful is out of touch. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Congresswoman and chair of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement that Romney’s remarks were “inappropriate and insensitive to the millions of Americans looking for work.”
“This comment shows that Mitt Romney – a man who wants for nothing and whose only occupation for more than four years has been to run for president – is incredibly out of touch with what’s going on in our country and around the dinner tables of those who are out of work. Being unemployed, Mr. Romney, is not a joke.”
Romney’s spokesperson, Eric Fehrnstrom said the comment Romney made in Florida was taken too seriously.
“The person who doesn’t take the employment crisis seriously is President Obama, who has discontinued his daily economic briefing. If elected, Mitt Romney will reinstate the daily economic briefing and make job creation his number one priority.”
At an appearance in Georgia on Thursday afternoon, Romney struck back at critics saying it is not him but President Obama who is out of touch:
“I will always make light of myself. Self-deprecating humor is a part of who I am. But the reality is we have a president who doesn’t understand the plight of the unemployed.”