After video leaked of Mitt Romney writing off the 47 percent of the country "who believe that they are victims," he tried sticking by his statements about the entitlement president and defending things he didn't actually say. That hasn't really worked. And so today, the Romney campaign is debuting a new, sensitive Mitt — a man with endless empathy for the poor. "I've been across the country. My heart aches for the people I've seen," he told a crowd today in Ohio. "There are so many people in our country that are hurting right now. I want to help them."
In a coordinated ad out today, his first speak-sincerely-to-the-camera spot of the campaign, Romney explains further: "President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The difference is my policies will make things better for them." He goes on to say, "We shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. We should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good-paying job."
In Ohio, Romney even attempted to distance himself from tax cuts for the rich. "By the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes, because I'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions," he said, math be damned.
"He pays lip service to working Americans, but doesn't name a single policy to strengthen the middle class," said a spokesperson for the Obama campaign, which put out yet another 47-percent-themed ad of its own yesterday. Will the new, heartfelt approach work? Will voters forget the man who sneered, "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives"?
Romney has a lot of roundabout apologizing to do and not long to do it.