Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Why do people call Mitt Romney Mittens?

Asked by JLeslie (60494points) October 5th, 2012

Who started that? I hate it. I hate it as much as people writing BHO for Obama, or the guy on the radio who just flatly calls him Hussein.

I think it is incredibly disrespectful and similar to schoolgirl cliques teasing the girl on the outside. Mean girls.

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21 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Would you rather he be called Willard?
That reminds me of that movie with killer rats.

jrpowell's avatar

He was born in Michigan. His middle name is Mitt. Michigan is known as the Mittens State.

Nullo's avatar

It’s kinda cute, as nicknames go. Poor W had people calling him a chimpanzee.

jerv's avatar

It beats Slick Willy or Tricky Dick… though it beats the actual name of a NH politician; Richard Swett. (Yes, he goes by Dick). At least “Mittens” isn’t phallic, nor is it tied to a terrorist, so I fail to see how it is actually offensive.

zensky's avatar

@JLeslie Awwww, darling – lighten up a bit.

Poor little kittens – theyve lost their mittens?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s middle name is Mitt (his first name is Willard). The Mitt is for Milton Romney, his father’s cousin and a former quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

I like it actually.

Jeruba's avatar

Dumb jokes on people’s names are annoying. I have no affection for this man, but I think it’s really juvenile to treat the use of a similar-sounding word in place of his name as something witty and meaningful.

jerv's avatar

@Jeruba It isn’t always about being witty or meaningful. This isn’t the Da Vinci Code; not everything has a hidden meaning. And if you feel simplicity without deeper significance is juvenile, well, I’m sorry you feel so superior to those of us who act less than 974 years old.

JLeslie's avatar

Do republicans who like Mitt use it? If they don’t that would be telling. I’m 974 like @jeruba I guess on this matter.

@johnpowell I am surprised that did not occur to me since I went to school in Michigan. Most of my friends barely knew east from west, just held up their hand and pointed to where they live. But, quite honestly I think of Mitt Romney primarily as a New Englander. I know there is a lot of talk of him being a Michigander, I guess that is good for him in a state that a lot of times is a close call, and helps him in the midwest in general. But, his political career and most of his adulthood has been in Massachusettes. And, I am not trying to take away his identifying with Michigan as the place he was born and raised, it counts, just like it counts Hillary was raised in the midwest.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie So far, the only people I have run into who like Romney either call our current president Osama, or only like him because they like anybody who has a chance at defeating an incumbent; they don’t actually like him, they just feel Obama needs to go.

Now, if it’s really that offensive, I have a whole long list of names I’d like to see stop being used. But as someone who often has the J in their name replaced with a P, maybe I just have a hard time feeling sympathy considering that Mittens is a relatively innocuous moniker.

Jaxk's avatar

It’s merely a way to sound clever for people that aren’t really all that clever. Slick Willie and Tricky Dick were more descriptive about the person. I am curious about the dislike for BHO. I wouldn’t see that as any different than JFK or FDR. And I’m sure Obama would relish any opportunity to have his name associated with those guys.

@jerv – Just for the record, I have never called Obama, Osama. I like Romney and routed for him in the 2008 primaries. I would like to see Obama replaced by anybody including Big Bird if that was my only choice but Romney is a good candidate that I would support even if Obama were not in the running. You need to get out more.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Many of the people I know actually live in/near MA and know what a hash he made of things there. (He is trailing badly in MA for a reason!) Most of the rest are Seattlites, or people in the Midwest that are trying to save up enough to move somewhere else.

I would like Romney if he actually lived up to the rhetoric he was spewing in the debate, but his record speaks opposite of his words, and therefore I am not sure I support him even being allowed to roam the streets, let alone run for office.

ucme's avatar

I just call him Tit Romney.
My name’s @ucme & i’m juvenile.

Jeruba's avatar

Ad hominem. Great way to handle differences of opinion, guys. Shows your class.

serenade's avatar

As I suspected, it appears to have it’s origins at equal opportunity political snark blog Wonkette, and it seems to have gained some traction in mass media.

I’m sure it alludes to his elite/privileged status.

Other Wonkette nicknames include Peggington Noonington (Peggy Noonan) and descriptors such as these.

jerv's avatar

@Jeruba Since you seem to disagree with my opinion that, if it truly is derogatory, it’s pretty damn mild compared to others I have heard, we will just let that drop.

I think your real issue here is one of class, and while your original question states that you have a similar opinion about people refer to our president as Hussein, it really begs the question of why you chose a mild example targeting a Republican as opposed to egregious examples targeting non-Republicans. Whether you are biased or not, your choice of targeting the Mittens moniker gives the impression of a double standard.

As the nation is highly polarized, ad hominem attacks are increasingly common anyways, and they have always been common in politics, so I still fail to see how it’s really a big deal. Now, if it were common to call him Shit Romney, then I would see your point, but Mittens? Really?

Just my opinion. When you disagree, please do so with class… and preferably without the sarcasm you used above, as that isn’t classy either, which makes it hard to hold any sort of moral high ground.

JLeslie's avatar

Yesterday I was at an event and an acquaintance I don’t see often brought up the election and said along the lines if, “do you think we will finally get rid of that Muslim horror in the white house.” in a horrible tone. I am just so disgusted by extreme disrespect on either side. I told him, “well, I voted for Obama.” His reply was, “well maybe one day you can explain to me why.” He said that in a very good tone, sounding like he had a genuine desire to understand. Then he said, “I hope we can agree to disagree?” My reply was I have no problem agreeing to disagree, I just don’t understand why people say such lies about Obama with so much contempt, venom, and disrespect, I would never do that regarding Romney.”

@Jaxk BHO is a problem because of the intent behind it. It is all about intent for all the examples. If the Republicans, some Republicans, didn’t go on and on about Obama being a Muslim and holding up sign with Obama with a turbin on his head, and showing tremendous contempt for Muslims in general, there would be no problem. Using BHO is just another, “don’t forget he is Muslim,” schtick. I am sure there are some Republicans who don’t use it that way, they are just using BHO because the Republicans around them who are in the same commnities, both real and online, are using it, but some of the people in the communities use it very purposefully. Slick Willy and the other nicknames bother me just as much, I am not only picking on Republicans believe me. It is schoolyard bullshit. It’s like teasing a young boy because his name is Stacey. Especially if those boys are jocks and go on about sissy boys.

Jaxk's avatar


Is there some acronym I’m not aware of that relates to BHO? How do you make the connection between BHO and Muslim? If you’ve read anything I post, you should know that I have absolutely zero respect for Obama. So calling him Mr. President is a bridge too far. Referring to someone by thier initials or last name is a pretty common practice. It shows neither respect nor disrespect. I think you’re being overly sensitive.

Nullo's avatar

For what it’s worth, I call Obama “Barry,” or “Resident-in-Chief, when I’m speaking informally.
Add that last one to the notion that people are basically evil, and you get Resident Evil! :D

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie I was uncertain about how even-handed you were being here, and I could easily see how your question could be read as a partisan slam.

I find that those who believe that Obama is a Muslim also have other beliefs that make it hard to take them seriously or consider them a mentally sound adult. In fact, if I ruled the world, such people would be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of all adult rights until they undergo psychiatric testing. It’s one thing to dislike somebody, but another to be delusional.

@Jaxk It is unfortunate that our President’s middle name is the same as the last name of a late Iraqi dictator, but I agree that BHO is no more offensive than calling our previous president W unless you accentuate/emphasize the Hussein. Now, calling him Barack Osama is a different ball of wax entirely….

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk They are being sure to include Hussein an Arab name connnected in most minds to Muslims. You can use his last name, just two letters more.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk How about this, when the same people who use BHO also use RWR and WJC, then we can say all is fair.

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