SOUND OFF: Was Romney Right About the 47 Percent, or Will This Doom his Campaign?

Mother Jones released a video of Mitt Romney telling a private audience that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on the government and will never vote for him. Was this a ruinous gaffe, or has Romney told a hard political truth?


secret video obtained by Mother Jones magazine has rocked the political world. In that video, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said "...  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, 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..." according to a transcript in the Washington Post.

He went further, saying he wasn't worried about them. The magazine released a portion of the video Monday.

In a late night press conference Monday, Romney said the comments were not "elegantly stated," but were part of a larger conversation about the role of personal responsibility. Romney went on to say the comments were a reflection on "the political process of winning an election, and, of course, I want to help all Americans—all Americans—have a bright and prosperous future."

Mother Jones said it would release the full video by late Tuesday afternoon.

Do you think the video shows Romney's true feelings about half of the American electorate, or was this an out-of-context snippet? Will this hurt Romney's chances of willing the election, or is it one blip in a very long campaign? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Mark Golden September 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Surprisingly, Romney has not mentioned the editing. He would know, he was there.
Mara September 21, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Raymond, the American South is a cheap place to build cars. But, as Toyota discovered years ago when it refused big tax breaks from Mississippi and Alabama to build a new plant there (in favor of opening one in Canada): "...Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment." At least, with states with unions the workers have skills. And the US used to majority owner in General Motors after the Bush Recession crash. Now it owns 26% of stock. And the stock it sells is making money for the taxpayers because "we" paid less than "we" are getting for it. Get your facts straight.
Mara September 21, 2012 at 12:42 AM
JParker, Romney was talking about you if you paid no taxes last year...or any time in the past. People on Social Security and Medicare are in that 47% you know. That's exactly why what he said is absurd. People on Social Security and Medicare paid into those systems for many years while WORKING. Heck, Romney believe "middle class" means people making $200,000 - 250,000/year according to his interview with George Stephanopoulos. I wish! The fact is that 97% of Americans make under $100,000 per year. So "middle class" means $50-100,000/year. The man does not know 97% of the people he would represent as President.
Mara September 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Sonny, that quote was from the Canadian who convinced Toyota to come there instead of Mississippi who had been informed by Toyota of this experience. It's not my denigration of anyone. It's quoting the people involved in that decision. Do you question where Mississippi/Alabama fall on the literacy ranking in the US? I'd be happy to look it up for you.
Brenda Huggins September 21, 2012 at 04:00 AM
For every person who "abuses the system" there are just as many "rich people" who abuse the system by cheating on their taxes. Greedy people will be greedy. Why punish those who really need the support to survive? That support will hopefully help them to better themselves with education and good nutrition/health so that some day they can get a better job to fully support themselves. This idea that "poor people are lazy" is a terrible blanket statement.
MoonBeamWatcher September 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Mitt should STAND up and say EVERYONE PAYS TAXES . . . when they eat out, fill up the car with gas or pay rent, a % is diverted to the TAX COLLECTOR! What Mitt should say is "I'm sorry, it might be 37% or more if one pays NO TAX but gets a REFUND!" Food Stamp recipients should not have doubled or tripled in the past 3.5years. PERIOD. One thing is for certain - if BHO (or is it BHS) is reELECTED America will NEVER maintain her former greatness as BO manages her fall from the top while Mitt will provide EVERYONE the opportunity to own and operate the bus rather then sit in the front of the government owned bus! OMG! Obama Must Go!
MoonBeamWatcher September 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM
"Re: Raymond Hanna 9:19 am on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 GE did not pay taxes either, tell the whole truth!" NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY! (TRUTH) And Barry made the GE CEO one of his Czars! All the Wall St. criminals (instead of prison) were given jobs by BHO!
MoonBeamWatcher September 21, 2012 at 10:22 PM
All Mitts Income was Earned - and was from the private sector! Was a $1 a year man as governor and Olympic organizer! I suggest that BHO (or is it BHS) unSEAL all his SEALED documents so America gets to know exactly who her president is! SOB sides with The Muslam Brotherhood and ignores Israel just like he did with the Murder of our Lybian Ambasador . . . said a few words, attacked Mitt strongly and then dashed off and went FUND RAISING IN VEGAS. What a great leader and patriot? Obama so loved the poor that he labors to create millions more!
MoonBeamWatcher September 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
In Maras' defense . . . Union Wages equate to quality schools. Check where the "Right to Work for Less" states fall in EDUCATION, WAGES PAID and CRIME.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Linda, Romney was just speaking of the reality that he will not win the votes of people in those categories no matter what he does. All you have to do is watch the mass media and their one-sided representation of everything, and you know how this is all playing out. If you had watched the Republican National Convention and done a little studying about Romney, you would find he isn't the person you think he is. Obama and the Democrats are accomplishing exactly what they want to by continuing to make you think that Romney doesn't understand just because his circumstances growing up were different...and by the way, where does is state that someone that grew up the same way as you or I can fix the problems the country faces? That has NOTHING to do with the skills that are needed and the hard decisions that will have to be made. The Obama creed is divide and conquer.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Brenda, that statement you made about wealthy people being selfish is a blanket statement and it is a terrible thing to say.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Brandt, it is interesting that you so viciously attack Romney for his religious beliefs but give Obama a free ride regarding his...you are no different than the mass media continuing to give this president a free ride and say nothing about how badly he has hurt our country. If you are going to be fair, lets see Obama's college transcripts to verify he has actually done what he says he's done. So much to do about Romney's tax returns and nothing for Obama...yup, that fair.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Linda, Obama and the people that truly understand economics have you right where they want you. It is completely unfair to compare federal taxation from WAGES vs federal taxation from INVESTMENTS. The unfair comparison allows Obama and the mass media the opportunity in keeping us divided and arguing like children...BTW, the is Obama's specialty and he has an awesome skillset for doing that. Investment Income has NEVER been taxed at the same rate as WAGES because it was put in place to spur investment in business and provide working capital for things businesses need to expand, grow, and hire more people. If you attack investments, you will reduce the money that can be put into business, which prevents business from doing those things. Romney and SO MANY OTHERS INCLUDING OBAMA, PELOSI, REID invest their money into the economy. So you might want to ask yourself why Obama and his buddies that do the same things as Romney want you to believe they are so different...they're not different, but Romney just staes the obvious and the others hide it. Romney spoke the truth about what is happening...just because the Democrats want to hide from it doesn't make it go away, it just gets worse, hence we have the last 4 years.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Linda, I have some questions for you... Where is the evidence that a wealthy person is taking money away from you? What money are you supposed to have that you don't have was taken by that wealthy person? What should be done to give you that money that you claim belongs to you or someone else that the wealthy person has? Who is to take the money from the wealthy and give it to the poor, if that is your argument? Government? The same people that Scott Brown (Republican) had to get a law written for because they were trading on "insider information" in the stock market? The fact is that wealthy people take no money from anyone else and YOU are the only obstacle to earning more money than you have...this isn't a "zero sum" game as Obama wants you to believe. There isn't a limited amount of money that is divided between us all as Obama wants you to believe, and the concept of redistributing wealth is a ploy that politicians use to bride voters for their votes.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Marie, Romney stated some facts that people want to ignore. If as a politician, you feel it is appropriate to give tax incentives to people, how will you give it to people not paying FEDERAL INCOME TAXES? When Romney and others talk about taxes, they're not talking about ALL taxes, they are talking about Federal Income Taxes which are the taxes that go into the general fund and provide funding for the government. If the upper 50% of wage earners and investors pay (for the most part) all of the taxes, OF COURSE any tax incentives to reduce taxation would have to go to them...that is a simple math problem. The issue is that politicians, especially Obama, use that knowledge to divide us and make people angry so we argue with each other. Obama's strategy is to "divide and conquer" and it is working. he used it is 2008, and he is using it again now. He has no answers for fixing our problems because he doesn't have the skills to fix it...he has a skillset for creating division and he is very good at it...with the help of the mass media, he will continue done the same road as the last 4 years, a divided country in HUGE amounts of DEBT, foreign policy making our allies angry, and a path of no return. Romney says the truth, and just because people ignore it, doesn't make it false.
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM
John, perfectly said!! I get so angry when I see so many people being controlled and brainwashed by the mass media and Obama about how things are supposed to work. We are seeing a pivitol change in many of the thoughts regarding people and the role of government, and as you stated, too many people have come to beleive that government is supposed to take care of them. I would rather see government focus of "leveling the playing field" AKA "teach a man to fish" than "redistributing income" AKA "giving them a fish". Obama OPENLY believes in government control over its people...is that the America we want??
Bruce Marien September 22, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Alice, it really is quite ingenuine to disect the categories in order to skew your point in the direction you would like, but lets take your information a little further..shall we? The 28% that pay payroll taxes but no federal income taxes are corporations, and the reason is a corporation doesn't earn income, it earns profits. It is WELL KNOWN by anyone that has studied economics, that if YOU OWN THE CORPORATION, YOU will pay DOUBLE TAXATION. Once for your profits and a second time for your income. 10.3% Elderly pay no taxes, but you didn't quantify how many households that is...my guess would be many more than 4,000 households 6.9% income under 20,000 pay no taxes..that is 6.9% of ALL HOUSEHOLDS...I'm pretty certain that is quite a bit more than 4,000 households. So the fact that you point out that 4,000 households out of ALL households in the United States pay no income taxes, but provide no information why that is makes the information suspect to me. I can give you example upon example upon example of these "black-hearted" people that donate HUGE SUMS OF THE MONEY to people in need...doesn't look black-hearted to me.
Raymond Hanna September 22, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Chicago school unions nuf sed!
Dr. Paul Anderson September 22, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Paul Must we covet the possessions of another, or can we be grateful for this blessed nation, and the possessions we have gotten by the sweat of our own brow and not of another. The Social Justice ie distribution of wealth, this administration has promoted is the product of failed civilizations. Karl Marx and the 9th Plank of the Communist Manifesto, distribution of wealth, was commonly practiced as far back as the Grecian Empire.The distribution of wealth provided work and a meager salary, at the cost of freedom and all else. A classless society ruled by the wealthy. The debt incurred by this and other administrations, if allowed to continue,could easily result in our demise.One of the factors resulting in the fall of the Roman Empire was out of control spending by it's government. Gibbons - The Fall of the Roman Empire.
Raymond Hanna September 22, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Dr. Paul, 60 years of this socialist experiment must come to a halt for the sake of this nation. As a first generation immigrant I truly believe in this country's dreams as I have lived them. The 70 year communist experiment in the USSR came crashing down and the the whole union with it. Only the poor got hurt even more. For our sake I hope we don't wait another 10 years and have the same thing happen to us.
Mark Golden September 22, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Raymond Hanna is correct. Except for how long the socialist experiment has been going on. Socialism like Public Schools, Police Depts, Fire Depts., Public Libraries, Public Works, Water and Sewer systems. USPS (Ok, that one needs work, but they are the only ones to deliver to EVERY address in the US.). Government agencies that protect the food we eat, the water we drink and the medicine we take. Oh, let us not forget the biggest socialist organization of all the U.S. Armed Forces. Mr. Hanna is right, these are all examples of failure and should be abandoned as soon as possible. If not for the sake of the American public, then for the sake of American businesses who are so capable of policing themselves without any interference from the Government. And if you believe that they will do so, can I show you a bridge or perhaps a pyramid scheme? I am a card carrying, card waving LIBERAL and a small businessman. I have started business and I have closed businesses. I have hired people and fired people. I am the American dream and it could not have been done without the help of the American Government, my Government. Yours too, if you want it. It is also the American Government that insures that we all can write these thoughts and place them here. If this is socialism, we need more of it.
M C Stringfellow September 23, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Sorry Sonny, but Mara is almost correct. I lived in Mississippi for a few years. Local governments kept industry out if it would raise the income of families ad decrease the federal funding they received.. There were no compulsory education laws because then they would have to see that all black children actually attended school. An expense that the local tax payers did not want to pay. All this was during the 1960's I have been back on several occasions to visit and the world of Mississippi has changed. You still have your rednecks, but mostly they are hardworking people who pay taxes and hope for better for their children. Mara, if you haven't already, read "The Help". That is what Mississippi was like when I was living there. I am not from MIssissippi, but will not stand by while you slander hard working people.
Progress September 23, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Mark Golden - Please have a basic knowledge of economics and math before you critique others. Your analysis is incorrect by definition.
Raymond Hanna September 23, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Mark Golden When conservatives talk about socialism we don't take your jouvinile approach to it. All republics have and need minimal federalist requirements such as some of what you stated but certainly not all. Enough with social experimenting that has created 3rd and 4th generation welfare reciepiants, war on poverty, war on illiteracy, war or on drugs (Ronald Regan), war on women, and every other social war liberals have waged and lost. Most things the government touches it screws up. But liberlas think well don't judge the outcome, look at the intent, our heart was in the right place. Infrastructure, military for sovereign protection, police to protect property, no problem. The rest of it slowly turns you into the mush brain you are now like the crap going on MA with sex change operations for inmates, NY with restriction soda pop and salt, etc, etc, etc. Get your head out of the sand, socialism has failed everytime it has been tried because eventually those who take out number those who make and the whole thing collapses. You are doomed to repeat your past because you fail to learn from it.
MoonBeamWatcher September 23, 2012 at 03:47 AM
FYI, Mark YOUR figures are most WRONG! The Democrats took control of Congress @ Bushes 2yr. mark of his second term! So your suggestion of DRAW is FUZZ Math 101. Democrats controlled budgets for the past SIX (6) years! And on the Local scene, Elizabeth talks "EDUCATION" while 50% of graduates cannot find work and must create more debt securing advanced degrees LEADING to MORE NO WORK AVAILABLE resulting in 2 resumes! One professional the other dumbed down so Starbucks will hire you! OMG! = Obama Must Go! "Mark Golden Us9ng the writer's own figures....Where did that $10.6 trillion debt come from? When Clinton (not my favorite person)., left office there was a surplus. So in 8 years Bush lost MORE than $10.6 trillion. And Obama, in half that time lost less than half. I'd call that a draw."
M C Stringfellow September 23, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Sonny, I've never been to the moon. I guess I was lucky, my husband worked for the Airlines and we moved quite often, not to mention being able to travel. Best places I lived "Watertown MA and Buffalo NY. Worst place I lived "Houston, TX(people are great, heat unbearable). I did not go to college, but my education came from elsewhere. I've seen and heard a lot about this country from the people not the politicians. Can you say the same? I have a request, do not call me widow Stringfellow. We know longer live in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Women are no longer property of the men they marry. I am an individual and will remain such. If you have to call me widow, use it when you are really perturbed not being sarcastic Hope your day is a good one.
M C Stringfellow September 23, 2012 at 02:37 PM
No chapters. Just moving. American Airlines after he graduated form GT. I only lived in Mississippi for 3 years. Graduated from High School there. Then on to Atlanta( 4yrs) To NYC (American Airlines), Buffalo, Chicago, back to Boston, Dallas, and Houston. Took 19 years. Finally settled in Georgia when my husband left the Airlines and went to work for Pratt Whitney and finally went to work for Oracle as a software consultant. Life has been good and I have been blessed. Wouldn't have changed a thing, except to have my husband here with me and a cure for he illness that took his life. Sorry my life wasn't more exciting for you, but I do have many stories and many friends that I met along the way.
Earnhardt September 23, 2012 at 08:58 PM
To add to that. The United States has lost almost 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month for almost 2.000.000 jobs under Obama.We still have 8% unemployment, and actually there are more unemployed Americans right now than there are working in manufacturing. China is the number one supplier of critical parts for our defense industry and we owe them 1 trillion (as of now) in debt! After 4 years Obama has not improved our economy, he has made it even worse. You cannot blame the Bush administration for that! It is time for a change. At that rate it will not be long before China owns all of us. Think about it!
MoonBeamWatcher September 23, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Earnhardt, forget not that Obama so loved the poor that he labored long and hard to create millions more! *see below you with IQ's equal to the number of teeth in your head! *(We should al try to remember that government doesn't create wealth it COLLECTS it and SPENDS it as fast as it can!)
J. Parker September 24, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Mara, oh yes, I paid plenty of taxes over my lifetime. I worked from the age of 16 and grew to own a small business. Now, I'm retired and saved enough to skimp by on my SSI, which btw gets taxed. Gov. Romney was talking about those that use the system having never paid into it and those that think they should.


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