Michele Bachmann says Romney is best presidential candidate because Obama is too wealthy [VIDEO]
Was Michele caught off guard or might she possibly believe this stuff?
-- The Onion's "Bachmann Thankful No Americans Died In Sikh Shooting" story dupes dozens
-- Michele Bachmann waves bag of gay-unfriendly Chick-fil-A [VIDEO]
-- Michele Bachmann is making shit up in her latest fundraising e-mail
During an RNC interview with USA Today, Michele Bachmann offered up a whopper of a preposterous statement.
Asked by a reporter how wealthy politicians can relate to the plight of everyday Americans, Michele somehow thought it would make sense to suggest that President Obama's wealth makes it hard for him to understand "the common man." Of course, she forgot to mention that the presidential candidate her own party endorsed, Mitt Romney, is "by a long shot one of the wealthiest self-made men to ever run for president" in the words of New York Magazine.
Here's a transcript of Bachmann's USA Today interview, followed by the raw footage:
Reporter: You've outlined all the problems in the US, in the economy, and then there are those who say, 'How can someone with that kind of vast wealth really connect with the American public, really understand what the plight of the American public is?'
Bachmann: Well, President Obama is extremely wealthy. He and his wife have been wealthy for a number of years, and so I think that's really the issue. President Obama is wealthy, what do, or -- what does he understand about the common man right now?
And I think what people care about is not hating someone for what their assets are -- the American people don't hate President Obama because he's a very wealthy individual. What they care about is how their lives are, would their lives be better? And I think it's very clear under the Romney-Ryan ticket the average Americans' lives [sic] will be much better, they'll have a lot more money to spend in the way that they want, and they'll also have a much more secure future for their children. That's what the American people want, and that's what we'll offer with this new Romney-Ryan ticket.
For those of you who haven't been living under rocks, it goes without saying that the point Michele is trying to make reflects a lot worse upon Mittens than upon Obama. New York Magazine provides this breakdown of their respective personal wealth:
Obama: An Author's Wages
Compared to the average American, Obama is very wealthy. Compared to the other presidential candidates in 2008, though, he was practically an indigent. His senator's salary was $165,200 (he'd earned just $60,000 as a state senator). His wife, Michelle, was the one bringing home the bacon -- before she resigned in May 2007, she earned $317,000 a year as the vice-president for community affairs at the University of Chicago hospitals. Obama's wealth derives from his books, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. For Dreams, which didn't become hugely popular until Obama did, he collected a $370,000 advance; in 2006, he pulled down $147,490 in royalties. In 2005 Obama signed a three-book deal with Random House, taking a $1.9 million advance. The first book was Audacity, the second was the children's book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, and he still owes another nonfiction title. During the campaign, Obama had a relatively hobolike net worth of $1.3 million.
As president, Obama's salary increased to $374,460 in 2009 and $395,188 in 2010, while his book royalties netted him just over $5 million the first year and a little under $1.4 million the second. Since taking office, the Obamas have also given pretty generously to charity: $329,100 in 2009 and $245,075 in 2010. And that's not counting Obama's $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize, which he divvied up between ten organizations, including the Clinton Foundation. Going into campaign season 2012, Obama's net worth is now estimated at $7.3 million.
Romney: Daddy Warbucks
Mitt Romney is by a long shot one of the wealthiest self-made men to ever run for president -- John Kerry and John McCain's wealth were largely derived from their wives. Most estimates place his fortune anywhere between $190 million and $250 million, though former Massachusetts State Democrat Party chairman Phil Johnston told MSNBC it was likely closer to $500 million, and Romney's close friend Hugh Hewitt guessed it could be as much as $1 billion. Don't forget that, as a Mormon, Romney would've paid a 10 percent tithe to the Church of Latter-Day Saints -- so all that dough is after taxes and tithing.
And lest anybody have any misconceptions about how Mitt "relates" to working people, please check out Matt Taibbi's devastating new Rolling Stone piece about Romney's professional life, "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." Of course, the people who vote for Michele don't take liberal-leaning rags like Rolling Stone seriously, which may be why she's been able to get away with these absurdities for so long.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.