Does Mitt Romney Get It?

Sometimes, and this is one of those times, I don’t think that Romney gets it.

As Mitt Romney sets out this week to promote his new book, “No Apology,’’ he is also auditioning for a rapidly disappearing role in American politics: a politician who is speaking out against the “temptations of populism.’’

“The populism I’m referring to is, if you will, demonizing certain members of society: going after businesspeople, going after Wall Street, going after people who are highly educated, people who are CEOs,’’ Romney said in an interview. “That kind of ‘All of our problems are due to that group’ is something that is unproductive.’’

If this is Romney’s way of moving to the center, perhaps he could do so with a bit more grace and a bit more knowledge of the political movement usurping tradition in this country. To say that the tea party, which is how this is to be taken, is an anti-business populist movement, is, well, wrong. Tea partiers believe in the American dream and they believe that you don’t penalize someone for achieving it. They also don’t believe that people who can’t run a business deemed “too big to fail” should be rewarded because it goes both against the survival of the fittest and the idea that if such CEOs ran a small business the same as their big one, the small business would fail without respite from the government. The entire issue boils down to government involvement, not prejudice against business, and if Romney is going to play footsie with 2012 he needs to better understand the political forces shaping the upcoming elections.

And this line:

“Populism sometimes takes the form of being anti-immigrant, and appearing anti-immigrant, and that likewise is destructive to a nation which has built its economy through the innovation and hard work and creativity of people who have come here from foreign shores,’’ Romney said.

Please tell me that Romney realizes that the immigrants of which he speaks entered our country legally. Anti-illegal immigration is a term he better get used to saying or he’s going to lose the centrists for whom he’s Glamour Shot posturing.