Mitt 'Not Concerned with the Very Poor' Romney Visits West Philly, Gets Lesson in Keeping it Real

Yesterday, Philadelphians reminded Mitt Romney why their city was dubbed Realadelphia, and let him know he has no business cruising through a deprived neighborhood, acting like he cares enough to do something for its people.  

Or, as one demonstrator made clear, Philly doesn’t forget: Romney can’t say he doesn't care about the poor and then stroll into a West Philly charter school (which will soon take over the city, now that the public school district has been killed)  “to promote his new education agenda":

Seeking to broaden his appeal heading into the general election, Romney was venturing for his first time in this campaign into an impoverished black neighborhood to hear the concerns of local educators and community leaders. But here in the streets of West Philadelphia, the emotion surrounding his contest with the nation’s first black president was raw, as dozens of neighborhood residents shouted, “Get out, Romney, get out!

Police had cordoned off a full city block to protect Romney and his entourage. Residents, some of them organized by Obama’s campaign, stood on their porches and gathered at a sidewalk corner to shout angrily at Romney. Some held signs saying, “We are the 99%.” One man’s placard trumpeted an often-referenced Romney gaffe: “I am not concerned about the very poor."

Mayor Michael Nutter even scoffed at how Romney had “suddenly somehow found West Philadelphia,” adding sarcastically that “It’s nice that he decided this late in his [campaign] to see what a city like Philadelphia is about.”

Philadelphia’s district attorney, Seth Williams, also kept it real, explaining that Romney has no clue what urban life is like. “Instead of just talking at the school and getting back on his huge bus, he should come out, he should walk 60th Street, he should talk to folks who are out here that are mad so maybe he could understand how real Americans, those that live here in urban America, the issues that are important to us,” Williams said. 

Philly knows Romney will never care about what the city needs, and it is not afraid to let Romney know he’s not welcome in a town he doesn't have the capacity to even pretend to represent. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at May 25, 2012, 5:48am