Mother Jones releases Romney video where he makes infamous 47% comment
On Monday, a damaging video was releasing by Mother Jones magazine. In the video, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tell his donors why he would focus on attracting independent voters rather than Obama supporters. Romney says in the video secretly recorded at a private fundraiser in May:
“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 (they think) 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.
My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Furthermore, in a make-shift news conference that night, Romney refused to apologize for his polarizing remarks. Instead, he said: “It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way…it’s a message which I’m going to carry—which is look, the president’s approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn’t as attractive to them, and therefore I’m not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those who are in the middle.”
I appreciate the fact that Romney refused to apologize for something he was so obviously not sorry for stating. At least he owned up to his misguided comments. I detest the instances politicians apologize only when they truly mean they are sorry for getting caught. I cannot and will not devoutly defend the GOP candidate. His comments were divisive. Frankly, I don’t care if he was pandering to his base. Politicians pander to their base way too often. Substantive issues are overshadowed by political ambitions and allegiances. Yes, it is true that the election will be decided by a 5-6% independent majority. However, that does mean that the people who receive government assistance will automatically vote for Democratic candidates. Not only is that presumptuous to say, but arrogant and false.
According to the Tax Policy Center, 46.4% of U.S. households did not pay federal income tax in 2011. Many of those households (28%) contributed to payroll taxes toward Social Security and/or Medicare benefits. Another study stated that over 50% of these households vote Republican. In fact, Romney insulted his own supporters. In addition, the reason some of these people don’t pay federal income taxes is because of the GOP-created “earned income tax credit” exemption. What he might have been trying to state is that both parties have their ardent backers; thus making the focus of campaigns towards garnering independent votes. It’s also not fair to state that people on government assistance are “victims.” Most people don’t want to be dependent on government. They don’t have a choice. Maybe if politicians spent a little more time fixing real problems as oppose to bashing each other than many people wouldn’t need government assistance. This gaffe only substantiates assertions of his “out-of-touch” lifestyle.
President Obama not surprisingly pounced on the opportunity to seize control of the race. Last night he told David Letterman that his policies unite Americans, not marginalize them. In all fairness Mr. President you aren’t innocent of such gaffes.
In the spring of 2008, at a fundraiser in San Francisco he stated:
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
I don’t think those comments are very inclusive. Both candidates have made stupid remarks. Doesn’t make it okay though.
Romney also jokingly said he wished his grandparents were Hispanic, because that would help him win the election. His father, George Romney, was born in Mexico after his parents left to settle in the country. I believe in these comments he was trying to correlate to the fact that, at least historically speaking, minority voters vote overwhelmingly for one candidate. For example, in 2008 President Obama won over 90% of the African-American vote. The Hispanic voting population is the fastest growing group in the country. What he fails to realize is that Hispanic voters would generally vote Republican if not for the strict border laws advocated by Republican candidates.
Were Romney’s comments unfair and wrong to say? Absolutely.
Were President Obama’s comments unfair and wrong to say? Absolutely.
I’m not surprised by these “leaked videos” or by the rhetoric spewed by politicians. Sadly, in today’s political climate, politicians feel the insipid need to pander to any base which will get them elected. These comments will not stop anytime soon. The more and more I hear from these candidates the more I understand the voter apathy plaguing our society. Although I will probably vote conservative in this election, I’ve certainly lost some respect for my candidate. I can only remain “naively” optimistic of a unifying candidate.
Hopefully one day.
It will happen.
If not, I could always do it myself.
What are your thoughts on political pandering?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate