Leaked Video Shows Romney's Latest Slip Up

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mitt Romney Mitt Romney (Getty)

In a video leaked last night by Mother Jones, Mitt Romney said that 47 percent of voters are dependent on the government and will vote for Obama "no matter what." 

"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, and that's an entitlement and government should give it to them."

That's Mitt Romney describing nearly half of America as self-loathing victims dependent on their federal payouts for housing, food, and health care. Does the candidate pay a price for those words?

Romney appears to be writing off 47 percent of the U.S. electorate. Is this a strategy to play on divided voters or is it a pandering pitch for money gone awry?

Todd Zwillich is the Washington correspondent for The Takeaway.



Todd Zwillich

Comments [11]

w edward

Perhaps when Romney talks about persons not paying federal income tax and being dependent on federal handouts he was not talking about injured veterans or the elderly living on social security.

Perhaps he was taking about “persons” as defined by the Supreme Court. Perhaps he was talking about GE, which while earing billions of dollars last year, paid no federal income taxes. Or perhaps he was talking of oil companies which receive millions if federal subsidies and may think they are “victims” of federal regulation.

Sep. 18 2012 07:03 PM
JACK from New York

Please correct on the air a statement made by Washington Post reporter, Todd Zwillich that "Veterans don't pay taxes, people in combat don't pay taxes" That statement has NOT been true since the 1940's I believe(it will take some RESEARCH TO GET THE EXACT YEAR RIGHT)As a military veteran who fought in Vietnam, I assure you that, WHILE I WAS FIGHTING IN COMBAT AND NOW AS A VETERAN (career military), I PAID AND PAY TAXES. I have come across very old citizens who are not aware that the law changed more than a half century ago. I would expect more currency from Todd Zwillich and John Hawkenbury. Please research and correct on air. Zwillich also would do well to bring his misimpressions up to date based on facts.

Sep. 18 2012 03:45 PM

In the last week we have seen two examples of an obscure video being deliberately used to drive excitable and irrational ideologues crazy for crass political purposes.

Sep. 18 2012 02:46 PM
MC from Queens

Mitt, the new Marie Antoinette - Let them eat cake!!! - Oh right, sorry, not intitled to food.

Sep. 18 2012 02:05 PM
Laura from Portland, OR

FIrst off, I'm a recent college graduate who entered into a stale and extremely competitive job market in education. My partner and child's father has had a low paying full time job and also coaches youth soccer part time. We have a two year old. Right now I am only working two days a week and bring in about $150 every two weeks. Up until a month ago all that money went towards buying food for the house. My daughter already is on state health insurance since both her father and I are uninsured. Frustrated at constantly being behind in bills, I finally broke down and applied for food stamps. We receive $275 a month, and this has allowed me to put the money I receive from my job into our household to relieve my partner of some of the financial duties. I'm offended with Romney's comments because how is our having the ability to stay current with our bills or having the ability to fix our ailing car a bad thing for the economy? My partner pays taxes, I pay taxes. Romney is SO out of touch with the true and current American experience that he has no business running anything in this government.

Sep. 18 2012 01:17 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Money is not everything, especially if you don't have it.

There will be no price to pay for Romney. In the same way that people aren't listening to West and Smiley discuss poverty, poor people don't understand that Romney or West and Smiley is talking about them... They don't feel poor because they are living their lives and doing things that make them happy.

Damn, I'm poor right now, but notice how I said "right now." I think a lot of people feel that sentiment.

This is of course my theory. I watch people in my poor neighborhood in Bed Stuy have great big parties, and they don't consider themselves poor. I watch the gentrifying community with money not looking like they are having such a great time... and here I am spending time having fun writing comments to The Takeaway all morning.

Sep. 18 2012 10:20 AM

The thinking processes of Mitt Romney and most of those who follow him are based on belief, not facts and evidence. The leaked video reveals this. Those who think this way twist, mould and avoid facts to fit their beliefs. They disregard, for instance, many wealthy people who hire tax lawyers and accountants to figure out how to enable their clients to pay no taxes, as in zero. This way of approaching life and the world is beset with categorical thinking, boxing everyone into neat categories upon which judgement is passed. If Romney's IQ is lets say 120 (he's no Bill Clinton or Barack Obama), there are just as many people in the world with IQ's of 80 as there are 120. He cannot even begin to wrap his mind around what people with IQ's of 80 go through trying to make it in our highly industrialized, money oriented world, separated as we are from nature. We are no longer a nation of small farmers, living off the land, with no need to connect with the world, or government. As Bill Clinton points out, we are all in this together.

Sep. 18 2012 10:14 AM
paulb from Brooklyn

Romney uses the word "entitlement," my friends call education, medicine, housing "fundamental human rights." The debate shouldn't be over the word used, but whether the philosophy is a good one or not.

Sep. 18 2012 10:03 AM

If Romney did the arithmetic instead of believing irrationally what he wants to believe, Romney would take payroll taxes and add sales tax and real estate taxes included in rent and realize that about half of the employed people in this 47% probably pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than he does.

Sep. 18 2012 09:49 AM
g from staten island

Romney now claims he should have spoken more eloquently--that he was speaking "off the cuff" when he said he didn't care about 47% of Americans who (he thinks) don't take responsibility for their own lives. Actually, he was saying what he really means--what he says among his "friends" when he thinks no one else is listening. Either that or he is implying that he can't speak without a script.
While Romney has now been trying desperately to "correct" himself, he has not mentioned specific people he mightclaim he meant to exclude from the 47% of people who he thinks won't care for themselves. Let's think of groups he did not exclude, who have no choice but to be dependent on the governments. First, the frail, the sick, some permanently disabled who have no way to become entrepreneurs. This could include people of any age who were never able to save enough money on low wage, minimum wage or even decent wage jobs to care for themselves indefinitely. Then there are developmentally disabled people, who unless they have will never be able to care for themselves or have their own money to do it. If they are lucky enough to live at home with parents/relatives,there may well come a time that they are totally dependent on the governments because there are no relatives left to care for them. Romney and friends a will never need Long Term Care Insurance because they hoave so much money to care for themselves indefinitely. Much of the rest of the population cannot afford a decent LTC policy.
And then he wants to give out school vouchers? (government money). Will he charge income tax on that to the families that receive it? Why doesnt he think those families should go out an earn enough money to send children to the school of their "choice"-- of course private schools

Sep. 18 2012 09:28 AM
Ed from Larchmont

All he really said was that some people have an attitude of dependence, and he probably can't appeal to them.

Sep. 18 2012 09:03 AM

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