Mitt Romney, Unzipped

Mother Jones has obtained a video of Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser where he offers a candid view of the election, voters, and the people who support Barack Obama. In the case of the latter, the former Massachusetts governor sounds more like a Tea Party activist than a mainstream politician:

Here’s a partial transcript:

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. […]

[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.

To be fair, there’s no way to know if this is what Romney “really” thinks. Remarks to donors and fundraisers are just as crafted and audience-targeted as any speech to the public. This isn’t an excuse, but it’s context worth considering.

That said, Romney is right to say that there are 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income tax, but he’s wrong to imply that they pay nothing—in addition to paying a variety of state taxes, those 47 percent also pay federal payroll taxes on their earnings. It’s not that they don’t work—they just don’t earn enough to owe additional income to the federal government. To begrudge them for this—to attack them as people who don’t take “personal responsibility” for their lives—is to show a real callousness and disdain for many of the people he seeks to represent.

I should say that I’m one of those people who believes government has a responsibility to provide health care, food and housing. Like Romney says, I see these as entitlements—the basics that people need to flourish and work toward their potential. And as the wealthiest nation to ever exist, I believe we have an obligation to provide them, so that we can create the space for individual achievement. Romney favors a world where taxes are low and businesses are freed from social obligation. I prefer one where the sick can have care, the poor can have food, and the homeless have shelter. It’s why—at a minimum—I support Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and assistance programs for food and housing.

Liberals are sure to unload on Romney for this statement. But in correcting the facts and providing a more accurate picture of the public, we should also use this as an opportunity to defend our vision of the good. Romney is attacking the values and goals of American liberalism, and we shouldn’t let it stand.



Goodbye, Mr. Romney.
We don’t want to see you anywhere NEAR the White House.
It is going to be a lot more than 47% of Americans who vote against you.
You are not only cynical and vacant, you are frightening.
Go back where you came from.

Finally a guy with the balls to say it how it is and what most Amercians are thinking. By the way I thought Democrats loved taxes - so whats the problem? They should love Romney too - "shared sacrifice" . GO ROMNEY please keep speaking the truth.

And the Democrats want to make it 51%... it's called the tipping point.

Mr. Romney finally speaks from the heart.

He will dismiss 47% of Americans as beneath his consideration. He will be the President of the 53% (or whatever percentage of the population votes for him.)

This was no gaffe.
A gaffe is when one misspeaks.
This was not a mistake.
Mr. Romney was telling it as he believed.

For the first time, we hear a man speaking confidently, eloquently, because he is saying what he believes.

Who knew. We had thought he was just a candidate uncomfortable with oratory. No, he was a man who was hiding what he really believed and unable to do it artfully.

Yes, Mr. Romney has finally told the truth.
And that is the problem.

Goodbye, Mr. Romney.
Go away.
Go to your multiple homes, or to Switzerland or to the Caymans or wherever else you can be with your millions (or is it billions?)
Go away and don't come back.

Sweet baby Jesus... Damn near half the population DOESN'T pay a dime in federal income tax and you people want to blast Romney for pointing that out? Meanwhile Obama spins a yarn about the "evil 1%ers" not paying their fair share - yes the same 1% that pay 37% of all federal income taxes. The US is rapidly becoming Greece, a nation in which more people depend on the government than pay taxes to support it. Once we get past 50.1% it's game over, folks. But it seems that the Left will have none of this talk... just spend the nation into oblivion while taxing productive Americans into the poor house. Show me a country where this has worked out and I'll buy you a steak dinner (for you vegans I'll buy you a head of lettuce...). I'm not sure if Romney will win this November (nobody does at this point) but I applaud him for speaking honestly about the allegiance of the dependent-class that our food-stamp President has created. Flame away, comrades!!!

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