Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday pleaded with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to “stop digging” by insulting Hispanic voters because the party was already in a “death spiral.”
In a conference call with donors last week, Romney suggested that he lost his bid for the White House because president Barack Obama bribed Hispanics, African-Americans, women and youth voters with “gifts” like “free health care” and “amnesty for children of illegals.”
“We’re in a big hole [and] we’re not getting out of it by comments like that,” Graham told NBC’s David Gregory on Sunday. “When you’re in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging.”
“Self deportation being pushed by Mitt Romney hurt our chances,” Graham went on. “We’re in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of rhetoric around immigration and candidate Romney in the primary dug the hole deeper.”
All of this is suddenly very mainstream GOP, by the way, and Graham’s actually been at roughly this position for some time. But in addressing Romney’s rehashing of his 47% comments, Graham seems to suddenly have been struck sane.
“Most people who are on public assistance don’t have a character flaw,” he said, “they just have a tough life.”
That is most definitely not the GOP mainstream. Republicans have been arguing for some time now that people embrace poverty because it’s such a sweet deal; you don’t pay income taxes, you get “handouts,” etc — all because Democrats are bribing you to vote for them. If you need to brush up on all this, read up on the two Santa Clauses theory. This all goes way back to 1974, so Mitt wasn’t saying anything new, he just explained things way too explicitly for most Republicans’ liking.
What Lindsey Graham is pushing here is reality; most poor people are impoverished by no fault of their own. I doubt many on the right will appreciate that, because reality has a well-established liberal bias.