By GLENN THRUSH|
3/20/12 7:17 PM EDT
Greg Mankiw, the Harvard professor who serves as one of Mitt Romney’s top economic advisers, has managed to take a shot at two key constituencies – Hispanics and seniors – in a single linked post on his popular economics blog.
Under the header “A Fiscal Solution,” Mankiw, who served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, posted an uploaded photo of an unidentified newspaper clip, a joke, that read:
“Budget Cuts: The Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and less likely to remember how to get home.”
It’s unclear what the source of the original clip was – but it doesn’t appear to be The Onion. Mankiw offered no comment other than “Thanks to the reader who sent this along” – but he clearly thought it was funny.
If Mankiw was just a Harvard professor, the joke wouldn’t likely resonate. But he posted it on Tuesday – the day when Paul Ryan released a budget Democrats instantly decried as a Medicare killer and two days after Romney scored a big win in Puerto Rico’s primary – which counter the flurry of criticism he’s drawn from Hispanic groups for his embrace of the controversial “self-deportation” immigration strategy.
A Romney spokesperson referred calls to Mankiw. He later responded to an email query with this statement: “Obviously, it is not serious. A joke.”