Santorum condemns references to ‘middle class’

Updated
 

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R) made a stop in – where else? – Iowa this week, and shared some thoughts with supporters on a phrase he finds distasteful: “middle class.”

For those who can’t watch clips online, Santorum, speaking with righteous indignation at a Republican gathering in Lyon County, argued:

“Don’t use the term the other side uses. Who does Barack Obama talk about all the time? The ‘middle class.’ Since when in America do we have ‘classes’? Since when in America are people stuck in areas or defined places called a ‘class’? That’s Marxism talk.

“When Republicans get up and talk about ‘middle class’ we’re buying into their rhetoric of dividing America. Stop it. There’s no class in America – and call them on it. America’s a place where everybody has the opportunity to succeed.”

Brian Tashman notes that Santorum is on record referencing the “middle class” many times, making his remarks that much more amusing, but even if we put that aside, the Republican’s rant is quite odd, even for Santorum.

The notion that partisans should avoid using the language embraced by rivals is fairly common. Republicans generally don’t like to reference “marriage equality,” because it’s seen as a progressive phrase. Democrats generally don’t call private-school vouchers “school choice.”

But if we’ve reached the point at which mere recognition of the existence of the “middle class” is a Democratic phrase, I’m afraid Santorum and his party are in real trouble – the vast majority of Americans describe themselves as either “middle class” or “working class.”

They must have missed the memo about this being “Marxist talk.”

Rick Santorum

Santorum condemns references to 'middle class'

Updated