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Mitt Romney Passes Through Illinois, Collects $2 Million At Dinners

By aaroncynic in News on Aug 8, 2012 7:20PM

Mitt Romney blew through town yesterday, making a stop at a factory in Elk Grove Village to talk economics and later to bring in more campaign cash at two fundraisers downtown, ABC7 reports. Romney spoke to a crown of about 200 at Acme Industries, which makes precision machine parts for industrial equipment in the northwestern suburbs.

Romney told the audience at Acme that President Obama is “simply out of ideas,” and that his economic policies haven’t worked. “The median income of an American family is down $4,000 a year since President Obama has been president,” Romney said. The Republican frontrunner also criticized Obama’s welfare policies, saying that the President’s plan to ease welfare requirements takes the “work requirement out of welfare.” Using familiar GOP rhetoric that paints the poor in need of assistance as lazy and shiftless, Romney said “If I am president, I will put work back in welfare. There is nothing better than a good job to help lift a family, to allow people to provide for themselves and end the spread of a culture of dependency,” according to the Tribune.

Though Romney’s talking points could be considered accurate on one hand, they leave out some convenient context. Overall, the median income an American family dropped 7 percent from 2000 to 2010, from just over $53,000 when adjusted for inflation, to $49,445. Additionally, median net worth has plunged since 2007, from $126,400 to $77,300 in 2010. According to CNN Money, a Federal Reserve study attributed this to the financial crisis caused by the housing bubble burst. A spokesperson for the Obama campaign called Romney’s comments on Obama’s welfare policy “untrue and hypocritical.” As ABC News points out, the proposed changes to current welfare rules is “not a national welfare-policy plan,” and The Department of Health and Human Services has repeatedly said it’s plan - potentially giving waivers to states that propose pilot programs that “demonstrate superior employment outcomes” - would measure outcomes and revoke waivers for programs that don’t work.

Though Romney’s rhetorical attacks on the president are unlikely to sway a lot of hearts and minds of traditionally blue voters in Obama’s hometown, he did manage to pick up plenty of funds. The Sun Times reports for three months, Romney has been beating Obama in fundraising, taking in $101 million in July to Obama’s $75 million in dollars from their respective National Committees. His visit to Harry Carry’s and Maggiano’s yesterday netted the Romney campaign more than $2 million according to WBEZ, with tickets selling anywhere from $5,000 to $70,000.