‘‘Is $100,000 middle income?’’ Stephanopoulos asked.
‘‘No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,’’ Romney responded.
The only rational conclusion one can come to, reading the above dialogue, is that Romney does not think that $100,000 is less than $200,000.
If you don’t believe me, go back and simply read those two lines again.
Of course, the way that the media is actually reacting to the above statement, is as if he did not include the words “and less” at the end.
Linguistically, the problem here is that his first word (“no”) is in conflict with the the last words (“and less”). The word “no” is what leaves people with the impression that Romney thinks that $100,000 is too low to be considered middle-class.
I suppose there is a third explanation: maybe he doesn’t actually know what the phrase “and less” means.