47 percent. Last week, this number didn’t mean anything to most people. Now, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential hopeful, is being defined by it. During a closed-door fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., which took place in May, Mitt Romney thought he was speaking privately. Little did he know, a few months later, Mother Jones magazine would publish video footage that leaked from the event. The video has now gone viral and all everyone is talking about is the “47 percent.” So let’s break down exactly what he said and what he meant – then we can make conclusions about how we feel about good ‘ol Mitt.
Mother Jones magazine published the transcript of the secret video:
“Audience member: For the last three years, all everybody’s been told is, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you.” How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections, to convince everybody you’ve got to take care of yourself?
Romney: 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 that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, 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. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like. I mean, when you ask those people…we do all these polls—I find it amazing—we poll all these people, see where you stand on the polls, but 45 percent of the people will go with a Republican, and 48 or 4…
Alright, there it is. That’s exactly what Romney said that day and everyone has an opinion about it. So, what are people saying? Check out some quotes below:
“There’s a general feeling that, with more and more people becoming dependent on the government, that by next July we could perhaps be celebrating Dependence Day, not Independence Day,” -Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Co-Host of The View
“Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.” -David Brooks of The New York Times, taken from his op-ed column titled “Thurston Howell Romney”
“Unfortunate but true. I do not receive any assistance myself, but more than 47% of the people I know DO feel entitled. Many of them manipulate the system to make it work for them.” -Comment left by Jodie Pillarella on Channel 10′s News Facebook page when asked if these videos will change your mind on Election Day?
“Well, I don’t know what he (Mitt Romney) was referring to, but I can tell you this: when I won in 2008, 47% of the American people voted for John McCain. They didn’t vote for me. And what I said on election night was, ‘Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your President.’ And one of the things I’ve learned as President is you represent the entire country, and when I meet Republicans as I’m traveling around the country, they are hard-working, family people who care deeply about this country and my expectation is that if you want to be President, you’ve got to work for everybody, not just for some…” -President Barack Obama on the ”Late Show With David Letterman,” Tuesday, Sept. 18.
The Romney campaign’s official clean-up quote states, “Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.”
So now that you’ve read exactly what Romney said, what do you think? Romney is standing behind his comments and claims he could have said what he meant “more elegantly,” but his sentiments are true. Do you think his remarks are true and therefore they don’t matter, or do you think this is going to be incredibly detrimental to his campaign since he just insulted 47% of Americans? Post your thoughts below and if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video of Romney at his closed-door fundraiser below.