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Mitt Romney's California Garbage Man On The 47 Percent: 'We're Kind Of Like The Invisible People'

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GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages)
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages)

The labor union AFSCME is out with a new video featuring Richard Hayes, the man who picks up Mitt Romney's trash at his oceanfront mansion in La Jolla, Calif.

In the spot, Hayes talks about how hard he works in his job each day and criticizes Romney's comments about the 47 percent:


My name is Richard Hayes, and I pick up Mitt Romney's trash. We're kind of like the invisible people. He doesn't realize that the service we provide -- if it wasn't for us, it would be a big health issue, us not picking up trash.

Residents do come out and shake our hands. Sometimes they give us hugs and thank us for the job we're doing, hand us water and Gatorades. Tell us we're doing a good job and keep up the good work. Picking up 15, 16 tons by hand, that takes a toll on your body. When I'm 55, 60 years old, I know my body's gonna be break down [sic]. Mitt Romney doesn't care about that.

According to Politico's Morning Score, the Hayes video is the first in a series of interviews with workers intended to be "part campaign attack, part online testimonial, part survey tool and part recruiting tool."

Romney's campaign did not return a request for comment.

The National Review notes that Romney actually spent a day as a trash collector while running for governor, and observed that he felt "invisible" in the job. From p. 251 of his book "No Apology":

During my campaign for governor, I decided to spend a day every few weeks doing the jobs of other people in Massachusetts. Among other jobs, I cooked sausages at Fenway Park, worked on asphalt paving crew, stacked bales of hay on a farm, volunteered in an emergency room, served food at a nursing home, and worked as a child-care assistant. I’m often asked which was the hardest job -- it’s child care, by a mile.

One day I gathered trash as a garbage collector. I stood on that little platform at the back of the truck, holding on as the driver navigated his way through the narrow streets of Boston. As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and businesspeople who were standing only a few feet from me didn’t even see me. It was as if I was invisible. Perhaps it was because a lot of us don’t think garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree -- anyone who works that hard deserves our respect. -- I wasn’t a particularly good garbage collector: at one point, after filling the trough at the back of the truck, I pulled the wrong hydraulic lever. Instead of pushing the load into the truck, I dumped it onto the street. Maybe the suits didn’t notice me, but the guys at the construction site sure did: “Nice job, Mitt,” they called. “Why don’t you find an easier job?” And then they good-naturedly came down and helped me pick up my mess.

Watch:



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