For Immediate Release
Middle Class Populism Triumphed in the 2012 Election
Statement of Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future
WASHINGTON - “The 2012 election is the first election in what is likely to be an era of growing class warfare,” said Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future. “Middle class populism triumphed. The President swept key states in the Midwest because his campaign scoured Romney for his Bain record and produced for workers in the rescue of the auto industry. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Baldwin won by standing clearly with working people against the money interests.”
Statement from Robert Borosage:
“In the final days of the campaign; Romney’s oily shape-shifting, etch-a-sketch prevaricating sales pitch finally exceeded the credulity of the American people and the cravenness of the mainstream media, particularly in Ohio and the Midwest.
“But Romney’s defeat was far more telling. With the lousy economy, voters wanting change and an incumbent president curiously intent on selling progress and continuity, this was an election that Republicans should have won. In our Gilded Age of extreme inequality, with a middle class that increasingly understands the rules are rigged against them, this was the first election in what is likely to be an era of growing class warfare. And Romney’s defeat was a clear repudiation of the revolt of the rich.
“Romney, after all, was of, by and for the 1 percent. With his 14 percent tax rate on 20 million in annual income, elevators for his wife’s Cadillacs, scorn for the 47 percent, a fortune that, in the classic phrase of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, summers in the Swiss Alps and winters in the Cayman Islands, he was the poster candidate of the Gilded class. His company, Bain Capital, epitomizes casino capitalism, profiting from financial finagling and shipping jobs abroad. His platform came down to one claim: `I’m a businessman; I can fix this.’
“Voters knew that he wasn’t on their side and had no clue about the struggles they faced. His remedy for the economy might work for the few, but it wasn’t likely to trickle down to the rest of us.
“And the deformed populism of the right, the foul congeries of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, couldn’t overcome this. Voter suppression seemed to backfire, the insult apparently goading more young and African American voters to the polls. Anti-immigrant bashing only built Democratic margins among Latino voters. The war on women helped Obama back into the White House and gave Democrats at least two upset Senate victories in Missouri and Indiana.
“Middle class populism triumphed. The President swept key states in the Midwest because his campaign scoured Romney for his Bain record and produced for workers in the rescue of the auto industry. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Baldwin won by standing clearly with working people against the money interests. Progressives also made gains in the House, but there clearly a flood of late big money helped Republicans stave off many strong challenges.”
The Campaign for America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be.