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7 Scandals That Reveal the Real Mitt Romney

Some great reporting reveals a self-serving man who is often tone-deaf to his impact on others and whose internal compass seems to spin wildly.

Mitt Romney’s current media handlers would like you to think he’s a mild-mannered guy who has become increasingly conservative over the years—especially since he was pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-tax increases, pro-gay and fairly liberal as Massachusetts governor before he ran for president in 2008 and started pandering to right-wingers.

But a more complete picture of Romney is emerging this summer. Some great reporting by journalists reveals that the man behind the smile isn’t just a political flip-flopper who can't be trusted, but a self-serving man who is often tone-deaf to his impact on others and whose internal compass seems to spin wildly. 

These seven recent reports reveal the real Romney—starting with a young man who didn’t care how he made money, as long as he made it.

1. Bain Capital Launched with Funds Tied to Salvadoran Death Squads

People who start new businesses are always hungry for investors. But as Huffington Post reporters Ryan Grim and Cole Stangler found in their report, “ Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Death Squads,” there was no possible way that anybody in 1984 could "check out" these families and be convinced this money was clean, as Grim told Democracy Now.  

“After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money,” Democracy Now’s report began. “Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s.”

As Amy Goodman noted, “The investors include the Salaverria family, whose former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White, has previously accused of directly funding the Salvadorian paramilitaries. In his memoir, former Bain executive Harry Strachan writes, 'Romney pushed aside his own misgivings about the investors to accept their backing.' Strachan writes, ‘These Latin American friends have loyally rolled over investments in succeeding funds, actively participated in Bain Capital’s May investor meetings and are still today one of the largest investor groups in Bain Capital.’”

2. Romney Wants Tax Cuts For the Rich Paid By Higher Middle-Class Taxes

Romney’s tenure as Massachusetts governor showed he had no aversion to raising taxes or fees, according to a report by John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign—including raising the state fee assessed to families before cremating the dead, which the state’s media called creepy. So it is not surprising that independent analyses find Romney’s 2012 tax proposals would hit other vulnerable people.

The proposals, in an analysis cited by the Washington Post and others, would cut taxes for the wealthiest 5 percent but raise taxes on everyone else. Extreme Liberal's blog posted a graphic that shows exactly how it would work, saying, “You may notice that everyone pays more in taxes right up until you get to the top 5 percent of the population. According to the analysis, those who make $3 million dollars a year would get a TAX CUT of $250,000.”

Romney obviously wants to protect the interests of the ecomonic class of Americans in which he resides—the rich. But what’s emerging is a more nuanced picture: he has no qualms beating up on the poor, including playing the race card, like many previous Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.

3. Romney’s Racist Attack on Welfare

We have all seen this ugly script before. Bill Clinton went after Sister Souljah in 1992. Four years later he signed a bill “ending welfare as we know it” to win conservatives. Fast forward to spring 2012 and Newt Gingrich attacked Obama as the “food stamp” president, a swipe at poor and non-whites receiving benefits. Now Romney has accused Obama of wanting to eliminate work requirements for public assistance recipients.

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