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article imageAnn Romney's 'You People' comment sparks controversy

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jul 19, 2012 in Politics
Ann Romney, wife of the presidential candidate Mitt Romney, defended her husband's decision not to make public his tax returns for several years. Speaking in an interview, she said, "We've given all you people need to know about the family's finances."
According to ABC News, in the interview with Robin Roberts, she said: "You know, you should really look at where Mitt has led his life, and where he’s been financially. He’s a very generous person. We give 10 percent of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person that is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it. Then, when he was governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take a salary in the four years."
When she was pressed further, she said: "Because there are so many things that will be open again for more attack... and that's really, that's just the answer. And we've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life. And so, the election, again, will not be decided on that. It will be decided on who is gonna turn the economy around and how are jobs gonna come back to America."
Politico notes that tithing, the practice of giving 10 percent of one's income to the church, is required by the Mormon Church. According to Politico, tax returns the Romneys have released show that in 2010 and 2011, they gave $1.5 million and $2.6 million to the church respectively. The Romneys gave a total of $7 million to charity in 2010 and 2011 which, according to Politico, is more than the $6.2 million they paid in federal taxes in the same period.
Ann Romney also said she feels Obama's campaign attacks were "beneath the dignity" of his office. She said: “I’m not disappointed. I’m not surprised. I believe it was beneath the dignity of the office of the president to do something as egregious as that.”
She concluded, predicting victory for her husband: “It makes me laugh, it’s like...There’s so many people out of work right now. And there’s this guy right here who has the answers for fixing the economy and all these attacks, they’re gonna try everything. And that is what people are going to have to ask themselves when they go in the voting booth in November: Are you better off now? Do you really think the future is going to be brighter on the path we’re on, or do you think we need a change? Basically, my philosophy is they’re gonna fire the coach (Obama). I already sort of know the answer. At the end of the day, they’re going to fire the coach because things aren’t going well."
The Inquisitr reports many Americans were upset with Ann Romney referring to them as "you people."
Alexandra Petri, writing in The Washington Post, sums up the impression Ann Romney gives with the expression "you people":
" hear the words 'you people,' and you picture someone getting out of a carriage, beckoning to Jeeves and sliding on her gloves with the faintest hint of a sneer. 'Yewww people.' It has that unfortunate ring to it. The great unwashed. The hordes. The rabble. Hoi polloi — that’s Greek for 'the many.' The plebeians. The peasantry. You people. Never mind the tone in which it was actually uttered. You can call people all kinds of things. But not 'you people.' Someone called the commentariat 'you people' once in their childhood, and they never quite got over it."
The Inquistr also says that many are upset by Ann's suggestion that her husband's generosity should exempt him from criticism.
According to The Inquistr, a tweet said: (@Melhi) Hey Ann Romney, you know who else gave a lot of money to charity? Bernie Madoff. Despite that, it turns out he had plenty to hide."
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