Mitt Romney should probably be a little more aware of how remarks like these will appear to a mainstream audience.
"I know it seems like government doesn't like you," Mitt Romney told a group of about 900 business people Friday morning in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel here. "I love you."
The first part of the sentiment is itself pretty silly. America's private sector is doing quite well, with corporate profits soaring and the major Wall Street indexes climbing steadily in recent months.
But it's Romney's early Valentine's Day "I love you" that rankles. Consider the context: last week Romney told a national television audience, "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.... We will hear from the Democrat Party, the plight of the poor."
He's "not concerned about the very poor," but Romney's willing to tell business leaders, "I love you"?
Given the larger economic anxieties, it's hard to imagine a presidential candidate with more tone-deaf instincts.