Yesterday It Was The “47 Percent,” Today Mitt Romney Is Talking About “Everyone”

September 19, 2012  |  

Mitt Romney at a fundraiser in Salt Lake City yesterday. Image: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Well now. That was… enlightening.

In case you haven’t seen this video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser in Boca Raton a few months back, here it is in full on Mother Jones. Few people get away without a remark from the presidential candidate, but the comment that has gotten the most play is about the “47 percent” who don’t pay income taxes. These people are “victims” that he “doesn’t have to worry about,” characterized as freeloaders on society.

When you dig down into the numbers, that “47 percent” (about 76 million people) is mostly elderly people who don’t have to pay taxes on things like Social Security; the indigent, who have so little, you’d have to be cruel to suggest taking anything more; and members of the military and veterans, who are putting their lives on the line for us. Even among the people who don’t pay income tax, there’s a big chunk (two-thirds) who are paying payroll tax. ABC News offers a full breakdown here. A small sliver of the non-income tax payers are actually wealthy people who managed to rack up enough deductions to get out of paying. Go figure.

MSNBC characterized Romney’s comments as a fundamental misunderstanding of how our society works; the “social compact” of who pays taxes, who doesn’t and why. Republicans who are supposed to be on his side have even ripped him for the speech. “This is not how big leaders talk, it’s how shallow campaign operatives talk…It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one,” wrote columnist Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, President Obama reminded us on Letterman last night that the President is meant to represent all of the country.

So today, Romney is trying his darnedest to keep from apologizing for the comments, twisting and turning them into a pretzel of epic proportions in order to show how these thoughtless and awful statements are actually a part of his big economic plan. In a USA Today opinion piece published this morning, he says, “Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency make America strong. When the economy is growing and Americans are working, everyone involved has a shared sense of achievement, not to mention the basic sense of pride that comes with the paycheck they earn.” Given a little more time (and a lot of help from his campaign, no doubt), he’s gone back to talking about “everyone” and how great everyone is/can be. The column is short on actual policy and long on rah-rah-rahs, but here it is nonetheless.

So, Romney continues to stand by the statements. Meanwhile, President Obama is seeing his poll numbers increase.

The question is whether Romney’s campaign is officially sunk. Your thoughts?

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  • Guest360

    Time after time, he’s consistently making some social or political gaffe that makes him look either A) cruel and dismissive or B) incredibly stupid and out of touch with the times. From calling Russia an enemy (they haven’t been since we ended the Cold War over 20 years ago), chastising one of our most important allies for their handling of the Olympics in 2008, his stupidity in comparing Palestine and Israel when surrounded by both, two groups who out right hate the sight of each other, and now he wants to negatively talk about nearly half the country he seeks to lead in 2012? What kind of deluded world is he living in? You can’t win a Presidency this way!! He doesn’t need to apologize. No one would believe him anyway. He long ago lost the election…..this only lowers the already low opinion many of us had of him already.

  • No apology needed! Say what you mean and mean what you say just be ready for the fallout…you can’t have it both ways!

  • Jus’ Sayin’

    The Romney campaign is not sunk, he is assured of votes for the far right, regardless of what he says or does, and he is assured of the votes of those who hate President Obama because he is a Rich Black Man in a position of power and authority.
    And all the billionaires who don’t want to pay any taxes will continue to support him.

    • Candacey Doris

      Obama isn’t even rich! He’s well off. But he’s not even in the top 5%. But yeah, some people have made up their minds and nothing will change it.

  • Register to vote, register new voters stop this foul man winning, he is a hateful bigot.

  • He has been done but the media promotes this thing neck and neck to keep people tuning in. He crashed and burned a long time ago. At this point if you are voting for Romney you are so racist that you would rather vote against your own interests or a complete moron. The idea that a person running for president of the US has such disdain for workers amazes me. It is by the design of our beloved capitalism that someone has to be a teacher, someone has to sweep floors, someone has to assemble cars and someone has to drive the train. Show shome respect for the average human being. Is that too much to ask? Our society could not exist with just Mitt Romney’s. He knows this. So what he is saying is that he just does not care about people other than Mitt Romneys. Why is this dude even running for president? He doesn’t even believe in the basic principles of civic service.

  • UmOk

    Im ok with him not apologizing. Would you believe that bs if he did? The person speaking in this video is the real Mitt Romney. This is how he and his rich friends truly feel. He is incapable of serving the demographic he is attempting to become president over and too ignorant to look past his rigid beliefs. Sadly, many will still “vote for the white man” because thats what this election has become about.

    • rita

      Totally agree. Don’t hold back, Mitt, tell us how you really feel.

      Looks down on and doesn’t care about nonwhites, women, and poor and middle class whites. Anybody who isn’t a rich white guy who votes for him is kidding themselves if they think he gives an eff about them.

  • get real

    He’s talking about black people of course. See black women this is what we are dealing here,these white folks are going in on us. They are organizing and getting ish together while we worry witch and argue about “blk women love white men” and “blk men love white women and how much we hate each other. These white folks ain’t playing and we bull-ishing around. There’s not one blk person other then Sharpton that’s speaking out against this racist bs. Both blk men and women who have platforms, are the scariest N’s on the planet. They won’t speak out aganist anything because they don’t wanna upset their “white daddy’s” (bosses, friends etc).

  • Anon

    There’s a fundamental flaw here. The fallacy is Mr. Romney’s assumption that most people who don’t pay taxes, don’t earn a paycheck. So who is he talking to? The military service folks? The seniors who have worked all their lives and are now retired, collecting benefits they paid into? The working poor that go to work daily, yet fall short in paying all their expenses? Or the extremely wealthy that end up, through deductions and other tax loopholes, not paying anything? He assumes that all the people that don’t pay income tax, receive government assistance. SS is not government assistance it’s a social program people work for and pay into. If you don’t pay into it, you cannot collect from it. In fact its only a small portion of the 47% that don’t work at all, a mere 20%. Most folks either work or have worked. And of that 20% many of them are folks that are no unemployed due to a depressed economy and are collecting unemployment, another program they have paid into, and are eligible to collect from. So WHO IS HE TALKING ABOUT?! And with Mr. Romney so h*ll bent on cutting education funding and college funding programs, how is he expecting to convince these folks to “take responsibility for their lives” if he’s cutting their opportunities? This is the 21st century and if you don’t have an education or some kind of trade skill/experience the best you’re going to get is some service job that ends up keeping you poor and forever dependent on government to get by. This man is honestly the worst thing I’ve ever seen and my heart will truly ache if he becomes President. I cried when Bush won a second term but I believe Bush had compassion for people. All his work in Africa and his Medicare Part D (not matter how flawed) showed me that he at least wanted to help folks, no matter how misguided his actions were. Romney is….. heartless.

    • Anon

      When I said 20% I went only 20% of the 47% don’t work at all, meaning 80% of the 47% do work/have worked….. ***clarification