Monday, September 17, 2012

Romney Behind Closed Doors

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Mother Jones has the story behind a collection of video shorts of Mitt Romney talking to donors at a private fundraiser.

From Mother Jones:

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Jim Messina, Obama for America campaign manager, issues a statement:

It's shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as "victims," entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.

Andrew Sullivan notes:


This is a major coup for Mother Jones and you should read the whole thing and watch the videos from a private fundraiser earlier this year. The contempt for 47 percent of Americans as parasites is really quite something.

Slate's Dave Weigel observes:

There's a lot here, but the main problem for Romney is that he goes even further than Perry in his critique of the people who don't pay income taxes. "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," he says. "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them." And they're hopeless. "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Got that? Romney is conflating the people who pay no net income tax with the people so dependent on government aid that they have to vote for Obama. But these aren't the same people! Most of the "lucky duckies," to use the classic WSJ term, are old people who subsist on Social Security. Elderly voters broke big for Republicans in 2010. Scores of poor whites who benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit vote for Republicans.

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