POLITICS

Elon James White Takes On Mitt Romney's Assertion That The Very Poor 'Are Taken Care Of'

10/26/2012 04:20 pm ET | Updated Oct 27, 2012

Although both presidential candidates have sought to woo America's middle cass during the 2012 election, comedian and writer Elon James White released a short video Friday debunking Mitt Romney's often overlooked comments about the poor -- a term he often pronounces with two syllables much like Mrs. Howell from Gilligan's Island.

"The very poor have a safety net; they're taken care of," Romney said during a GOP primary debate. "But the people in the middle -- the hard-working Americans are the ones who need a break. And that's why I focus my tax cut right there."

White latches onto Romney's assertion that the very poor are "taken care of," a statement he's made more than once.

"Actually, poor people aren't quite taken care of," White says in the two-minute video. "Unless you consider being taken care of living in terrible housing, making minimum wage or less and dying younger or living with violence."

About 46 million Americans struggled to get by below the poverty line in 2011, yet the presidential contest at times has seemed to ignore the poor in order to revolve around how to prop up a flagging middle class.

Romney has appeared to dismiss the plight of the poor on other occasions as well. On Feb. 1, Romney told CNN's Soledad O'Brien that he was "not concerned about the very poor."

"We have a very ample safety net," Romney said. "And we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. But we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor."

But that social safety net is far from perfect, and budget cuts could drop many Americans from social programs like food stamps, Medicaid and public housing.

A Romney administration looks poised to cut it back even further, given that Romney wants to slash non-defense discretionary spending by five percent.

The Jewish Council for Education and Research, a super PAC targeting civic engagement, along with the liberal American Bridge 21st Century, produced White's video as the latest in a series of shorts targeting Romney's more controversial remarks and policy positions. The series, called 'Actually...,' features popular actors and comedians, including comedian Sarah Silverman. "Wake the F*** Up," a video by actor Samuel Jackson that parodies a child's storybook, engendered over one million views.

"We know that opposition tracking footage and research-based fact checks aren't the sexiest things out there," said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century, in a press statement. "With the 'Actually..' videos, voters will realize that Mitt's lies would be funny if they didn't pose such serious consequences for our country moving forward."

The comedic element rises to the fore in White's video when he draws attention to Romney's sheltered existence.

"Romney knows about poor people the way that I know about sharks," he said. "I've never seen one, but I've heard that they can be problematic. They stalk you in the water, they can smell blood and they don't pay any income taxes or believe in the American dream."

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