Mitt’s Mississippi Disconnect

  • submit to reddit

The Mississippi and Alabama primaries are on Tuesday. The pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future has spent nearly $3 million in the two states on ads attacking Rick Santorum. But while Romney was in Mississippi campaigning on Thursday, he turned on the charm. He mentioned that his aide Garrett Jackson was a recent Ole Miss grad and said, according to, “He’s now turning me into an, I don’t know, an unofficial Southerner. I’m learning to say ‘y’all.’ I like grits. Things, strange things, are happening to me.”

To which CNN’s Peter Hamby tweeted, “Going to the south and proclaiming love for grits is like going to CPAC and calling yourself ‘severely conservative.’

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign stop at the Port of Pascagoula, Miss. March 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign stop at the Port of Pascagoula on Thursday in Pascagoula, Miss. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

But it was something else Romney said that really stopped us in our tracks. As reported by the Biloxi Sun-Herald, he was campaigning in the port town of Pascagoula and announced, “If the federal government were run more like the government here in Mississippi, the whole country would be a lot better off.”

Granted, the state’s governor, Phil Bryant, was standing right there and he had just endorsed Romney so it pays to be nice. However, for the record, we note that earlier this week, MSNBC’s Bottom Line blog, using data from Gallup, the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Science Research Council, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, reported:

“Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation by a number of metrics. Its median household income is $36,851, which is the lowest in the country. It also has the highest poverty rate in the country at 21.8 percent. Mississippi has among the lowest rates of adults with a high school diploma or more. Health is also a major issue in the state. Mississippi has the lowest life expectancy in the country, at 74.8 years — almost four years less than the national average. Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the nation at 34 percent. It also has among the five highest rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and tobacco use among states.” Read more »

According to CNN, reporting a study last year from the independent Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, “In Mississippi, there are five counties where the life expectancy for women is on par with nations such as Honduras, El Salvador and Peru.” It is second only to Texas in its number of uninsured citizens and has the highest rate of infant mortality in the nation.

And the Gallup polling organization continues to rate Mississippi as the most conservative state in the union.

Mitt, we’re not judging, we’re just saying….

  • submit to reddit