Romney campaign chairman John Sununu danced a little bit trying to qualify Mitt Romney’s attack on first responders and teachers — Sununu said some cities have smaller populations than they once did, and they need fewer teachers.
Sununu’s position, opposed to all government workers, remains relatively consistent over the past three decades. Sununu remains one of the crabbiest people ever to hold high office and great power (U.S. Senator, White House chief of staff). We probably should take him at his word now.
ThinkProgress.com quotes Sununu:
SUNUNU: Let me respond as a taxpayer, not as a representative of the Romney campaign. There are municipalities, there are states where there is flight of population. And as the population goes down, you need fewer teachers. As technology contributes to community security and dealing with issues that firefighters have to deal with, you would hope that you can, as a taxpayer, see the benefits of the efficiency and personnel that you get out of that.
JANSING: But even if there’s movement to the suburbs, teachers and policemen are needed somewhere.
SUNUNU: But I’m going to tell you there are places where just pumping money in to add to the public payroll is not what the taxpayers of this country want.
JANSING: Do you think that taxpayers of this country want to hear fewer firefighters, fewer teachers, fewer police officers, from a strategic standpoint?
SUNUNU: If there’s fewer kids in the classrooms, the taxpayers really do want to hear there will be fewer teachers. [...] You have a lot of places where that is happening. You have a very mobile country now where things are changing. You have cities in this country in which the school population peaked ten, 15 years ago. And, yet the number of teachers that may have maintained has not changed. I think this is a real issue. And people ought to stop jumping on it as a gaffe and understand there’s wisdom in the comment.
Nationwide, the number of students is increasing, and even with the dip for the recent massive Republican recession, population continues to grow. My school is not representative of the entire nation, but we had a 25% increase in student population, with a 10% decrease in faculty. Class sizes rose dramatically (I had as many as 36 students in a room designed for 22).
That’s more common than decreasing student populations.
I’m not sure we can accuse Sununu of not being in touch with what goes on in the U.S. He maintains his anti-government, do-more-with-less positions despite knowing better.
Yes, I think his explanation is dissembling.
But be warned: The War on American Exceptionalism should not come as a surprise; Romney’s campaign is making it clear that they prefer to do damage to U.S. institutions like law enforcement and education.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Jennsmom.
- Mitt Romney surrogate: It wasn’t ‘a gaffe’ … fewer firemen, cops, and teachers would be better (dailykos.com)
- John Sununu Defends Romney On Fewer Teachers (alan.com)
- Sununu: Romney’s attack on cops, firemen, teachers not a “gaffe” (americablog.com)
- John Sununu On MSNBC: There’s ‘Wisdom’ In Romney’s Police/Firefighters Comment (mediaite.com)
- Romney Campaign Chair: Taxpayers Really Do Want Fewer Teachers (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Gingrich: ‘Yes,’ Romney’s Policies Will Lead To ‘Fewer Teachers’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Top Romney Surrogate backs up Romney’s controversial statement, ‘America doesn’t need more firemen’ (freakoutnation.com)
- Romney surrogates give different answers on candidate’s public workers comment (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Campaign Chairman Defends Romney’s ‘Wisdom’: ‘You Need Fewer Teachers’ (crooksandliars.com)
- Obama starting week hitting Mitt on cops, fire fighters teachers remark (blogs.suntimes.com)
- Romney Economics: Fewer Teachers, Fewer Firefighters, Fewer Police Officers (goodolewoody.wordpress.com)