Mitt Romney said on Monday his earlier comment that 47% of Americans think of themselves as “victims” was “off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated”, but the GOP presidential candidate did not repudiate the remarks. The comments were revealed in a hidden-camera video of Romney speaking at a private fund-raising event.
In the video Romney says: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”
Actually Romney was referring to the 46% of Americans who paid no taxes on property or non-wage income in 2011. Once payroll taxpayers are subtracted the number drops to 18% – an unusually high figure because of the number of people who are currently out of work due to economic conditions.
So the people Romney includes in his “47 percent” are the poor, the working class, and a chunk of the lower-middle-class. Romney said his “job is not to worry about those people.”
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he added. “What I have to do is convince the 5 percent to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful.” Romney added. So on top of everything else he also called that 47% of Americans stupid.
In defending the remarks on Monday, Romney said: “At a fundraiser you have people say, ‘Governor how are you going to win this?’ And so I respond ‘Well, the president has his group, I have my group. And my group is rich people like you and me!'”