As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Romney Scorns Half of America

The video of Gov. Mitt Romney dismissing 47 percent of Americans as unthinkingly marooned in President Obama’s corner is egregious on a number of levels. It remains unclear, though, how much it will hurt him politically, although hurt him it will. And it does offer him an opportunity to come out of his ideological shell – the man sounds a lot more conservative in the video than he’s given credit for – and campaign the way he should have been doing all along.

Let’s start with what he said, as revealed in a video by the left-wing magazine Mother Jones on its website and not denied by Romney himself.

First, let’s roll the videotape.

This is contemptible. First of all, it’s a video of a man who wants to be president of all of us disparaging half of the nation as dolts who vote only their pocketbooks, selfishly demand endless feeding at the government teat, and refuse to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” And, Romney adds, they’re hopeless, and he can’t change their outlook.

This is not a message I can imagine any Republican presidential candidate for the past quarter century or so delivering, even in private.

Also startling here is the dichotomy between Romney the candidate and Romney the fundraiser. Two different people, apparently. The video seems to confirm Romney as the political chameleon even conservatives fear him to be.

And how little he knows about America.

Let’s stipulate that there is a real truth in his point. Democrats have enlarged the welfare state to such an extent that they’ve permanently captured a certain number of people who will vote to maintain the status quo that allows them to pick up all kinds of assistance while refusing to help themselves.

“My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said.

Wrong. Your job, both as a campaigner and if you are elected president, is to inspire “those people” to hope for something better, and tell them why conservative ideas will make it happen.

But there are also many people Romney doesn’t seem to know much about who are on assistance because they are ill, have suffered horrible bad breaks in life, or are temporarily down on their luck. And it just shows an utter failure to understand these people to assume that none of them will vote Republican – that they don’t have other issues in and principles they care about that would draw them toward the Republican ticket.

I mean, really, half the country has given up? Brain dead, pessimistic, with none of the American spirit left? What world is Romney operating in? Many of you who read this website and who also oppose Obama are on some form of assistance. I’ve heard your stories, some of them overwhelmingly sad and tragic, and you’re not taking taxpayers’ money because you want to or because you’re addicted to it.

In a hastily arranged press conference last night, Romney tried to sell us the other Romney, the supposedly Reaganesque one.

I’d venture to say this is closer to the real Romney. Actually, let me rephrase that, since there doesn’t seem to be a real Romney. It’s closer to the predominant Romney.

But he still said what he said.

It will hurt Romney with independents, at least. My view is that there are probably many more Obama supporters who could be convinced to walk away from the president than other analysts think exist, and now they’ll be more reluctant. And this won’t go away anymore that “You didn’t build that” is going to go away.

Candidates can, however, survive things like this. Obama made it past Marxist sloganeering about “spread the wealth” and his own contempt for half the nation by condescending to them as “clinging” to their Bibles and guns. Romney’s comments will probably not change many opinions of those who support him, and those who hate him will merely have more grist to chew on.

Romney, if his campaign is smart, would now take this ball and run with it. The slow transformation of a portion of the population into dependency on government largesse is a serious problem that will accelerate during a second Obama term. Instead of just lamenting how bad the economy is, Romney has an opportunity to work this to his advantage by starting to discuss the issues at stake for Obama’s next term – and his alternative plan to fix things. And to tell those stuck on welfare that there’s a better life for them, or for their children.

And Obama, if his campaign is smart, will try to overwhelm any arguments Romney makes by running ads using the governor’s own “inelegant” quotes – as Romney put it – straight through Election Day. The Obama people can actually save some money and wait a couple of weeks until the free advertising ends, when the press finishes its orgy of commentary on Romney’s gaffe.

But the bad news for Republicans is, Obama’s campaign is smart, and Romney’s is not.

76 Responses to Romney Scorns Half of America

  1. It wont hurt him at all.. Ill bet there is more than 47% on the dole. And so what, the truth hurts. there are generations on top of generations that live on the dole, and millions faking it to get a free ride..then you have the ones he just gave 99 weeks plus of benefits to everyone who wanted them.. heres some more real facts. Half the population IS too stupid to vote. more than that cant pass a simple civics or history test.. No big deal, unless your sucking the teat..Lets stay focused on how he is systematically destroying the economy and our way of life by executive order while covering up his blossoming failure going on in the Middle East

    • I wish the people who really need government assistance would be in a position to call out the fakers and takers. Imagine how well we could take care of the truly needy if we didn’t have to deal with the slackers!

      • Amen. The food stamp president isn’t about caring for people , he is about votes! Because of his careless spending no one will be able to get help in the future and that is a sin. Mortal.

    • The problem with Romney’s statement is that it is a generalization and it blankets people who do need help because of certain conditions in their lives. His comment portrays all welfare recipients as leeches when there are most likely only a small percent that do leech off welfare.

      However, I do agree with Romney that the leeches are a problem although not to as far an extent to say that every single person who voted Obama is a lazy slouch.

  2. Totally idiotic statement to make. He played right into their hands as they attempt to portray him as an aloof wealthy type. Well, Mitt, I happen to believe what you said IS true but its suicide to be this honest as a politician. Thanks for nothing, Pal…..

    • I agree, Rick. This and his statement back in February, “I don’t care about the very poor – they have a safety net”, will dominate the Obama campaign from now until November. Too bad we can’t unearth some of Obama’s closed press fundraiser remarks. At $40k a plate, he must be giving his worshippers an earful!

      • You state this as Obama goes to yet another fundraiser with Jzee & Byonce, meets with the Pimp with a gimp, George Cooney does how many fund raisers for this poser, etc. etc. This story is another example of the media trying to distort the truth. What Romney said is spot on. There are a number of people who milk the system and the taxpayer is the one being milked.

  3. I’m not insulted or offended by MrRomney’s statements. He’s speaking the truth as he sees it. Too many Americans have been devastated by our economy and see no light at the end of the tunnel for them, so they’ve turned to government handouts or charity to survive. The number of American collecting food stamps and who are now receiving Social Security Disablity benefits is shameful and the shame falls squarely in Washington DC.
    While the MSM and the Dems are gleefully jumping on this truth, they are strangely silent on the truth that the President and his minions are lying to us.
    They’re afraid to tell us that his foreign policy is a complete failure, that his handling of the economy is dismal, at best.

    • I was not offended. He told the truth.
      When talking with others, I hear a lot of the he’s black so I’m voting for him again or the well I got on disability so I don’t have to worry about a job anymore. It is appalling and down right scary to hear people I thought I knew saying these things with a straight face.

  4. Well, I have argued before today, Romney was blunt but he was right. Sometimes it is refreshing to hear a politician speak his mind. He also said some true words about the Palestinians. Has he really scorned anyone ? It is obvious that he is discussing his strategy in the election and there is no doubt a big group of “dependent” voters that will never listen to Romney, no matter what. If he nuances his statement he could use his honest opinion to his advantage, like you suggest, Keith. He ought to discuss how he would stop the Obama policy of dependence. By the way, Obamas campaign is not better. He just gets so much help from a biased media that it is incredible. The Mid East is burning and – on to another Romney “gaffe”.

  5. Obama constantly panders to that 47%…promising them more goodies every chance he gets. He wants to keep them down – the typical Liberal M.O.

    Because of the MSM, Romney may be done because of this, but he spoke the truth. We’ve become a society where people just don’t want to hear any truth ever.

    And I’m ticked off that crap like this dominates the news cycle when NO ONE in the press bothers to challenge the president and his minions on the events of last week and their absurd explanations. I guess that’s going to just fade away now??

    Like I said, ticked off!

    • And by the way, based on his horrible handling of the economy the last four years and his reluctance to thoughtfully address the events of last week, which exposed his failed foreign policy…how about an article titled “Obama Scorns ALL of America”??

  6. At this point, if I were Mitt,I would just hit home hard. Nothing is ever going to get the media in his corner,he is damned if he does,damned if he doesn’t,so I would take the no holds barred approach. Offend away. I think the other 53% want it and would respect him more.

  7. I’m not going to beat up on Romney for stating the truth. This is a discussion we need to have. We are turning into a European welfare society and somebody has to broach the subject. This is the most important election in our lifetime. We have a choice of two paths to take – vote Obama and continue down the path of total government control of our lives and become subjects of the federal government; or vote Romney/Ryan and begin the restoration of the unalienable rights bestowed by our Creator of life, liberty, and the pursuit (not promise) of happiness. I know which path I’m taking.

    • He was telling donors he would not spend their hard-earned on wooing people who would not be wooed–this was election process stuff, not national policy! But of course, this has been shaped already by our media buddies.

  8. Keith, as others have stated, Romney is right. He should not apologize or deny his comments. There are those on both sides that are not going to be swayed at all, period. There is a growing class of people that are dependent on the government as Romney said, to get the car, house, food, job, etc, etc. Romney can not change this and neither can you or I. The battle is in the 10-15% that are truely in the middle to win any election. Turn out by your base is so critical. We have become so divided now that it has truely come down to the 45-45% split. The conservatives account for about 45% and the progressives account for about 45%. As others have said on this blog, the truth hurts and I think what Romney has done is that he has now made the discussion on ‘government dependency’ and new topic to be debated. Is this the country we want? More and more people absolutely dependent on the government and think that “ALL” comes from it?

  9. Well, he is right about their being a large block of voters who think that Obama will give them freebies and Romney will never cut into that group of people.

    What we have learned is that we know that Dems are planting people in even fundraising groups. Gov. Romney just can’t say what he thinks need to be said or even answer questions truthfully. It totally restrict his speech.

  10. Sorry, but I think he is 100% correct with his assessment. Actually I have to say, if anything, I disagree more with your point that as POTUS his job would be to “inspire” the people he is talking about to get up off the couch, put down the Doritos bag and bottle of MT. Dew, turn off the video game and snuff out the joint and go get a job. SORRY!!! AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!!!

    BTW: I wonder what the actual percentage of the TRULY sick, legitimately needy really is in this country. No, I don’t believe that all recipients of welfare and food-stamps are con-artists swindling the system, but I would bet that the number of the cons far out pace the legits. ( Sorry, your “stress” doesn’t count as a reason to suck off the system from the cradle to the grave, learn to deal with it.)
    Just my two cents worth. Sounds harsh. Too bad. Life isn’t fair. Become an adult and deal with it.

    Let the flames begin….

    • There are groups that rightly receive funds. I have no problem with those who need the help.

      However, I remember an interview that I heard while living on Long Island a while back. It was an interview with an overweight woman with multiple children and no husband. She was the 5th generation on welfare. 5TH GENERATION! Those people need to get off the dole.

  11. This will be a non-factor.

    As Romney himself explains, it was an inelegant choice of words but his points are 100% valid.

    How about Obama’s clinging to guns and religion comments in 08 about folks in rural areas?

  12. The statement may have been clumsily executed, but it’s true, and now it’s out in the open.
    I would surmise that there were a lot of Obama supporters that didn’t realize that.
    If Obama was smart, he wouldn’t make too big of an issue of it IMO.

    • Didn’t see your post, so I’ll reinsert here what I posted below:

      “Yes, we understand the First Amendment and all of this stuff,” wrote Khalid Amayreh, a prominent Islamist commentator and blogger in Hebron on the West Bank. “But you must also understand that the Prophet (for us) is a million times more sacred than the American Constitution.”

  13. These are the people about whom Pres. Bush was speaking when he described them as the victims of “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” The elite have no expectations of these people, so they make no demands. This perpetuates an underclass which grows and continues to live with its lack of responsibility and self-reliance.

    • Thank You! Spot on. There should be and always will be a safety net for those who need it, but the permanent entitlements have become so big that they now endanger the entire system.

  14. Romney’s version of “clingers.” Distraction from real issues…I cannot agree with your censorious tone except that this distracts from the basic narrative–which is that the world is burning. Of course, he does not have to use a lot of money and focus to woo people who are getting free stuff. That is just good business. AND–one thing we know for sure–when Obama wrote off the clingers they STAYED written off!

    • Agree, Star, both about Keith’s censorious tone and this being a distraction. Sometimes I can almost forget that Keith is a journalist. Almost. Then he writes something like this.

  15. I’m upset because Romney seems apologetic. There is nothing here to apologize for since it is basically true. We are at a tipping point between self determination and socialism. What really bugs me is why now? Mother Jones has most likely had this for a while and I’ll bet the Obama campaign has too. Why now? It takes the focus off the Arab street and the murder of American diplomats. Clear failure by Obama that the MSM controlled and now places the final coffin nail with this story. They want the Arab protests buried in a hurry

  16. Romney scorns half of America. Really? What he said may not be pretty but it is true. The delivery and the fact that this was discovered presumably by Carter’s unemployed grandson might be unfortunate but the content is solid. And conversely I would never vote for Barack Obama — being one of those who cling to my gun and bible. That’s not scorn?. I take real exception to the scorning — Barack Obama scorns me and my values every single day that he is in office. And just for giggles, right before I came here I saw a post on Gateway Pundit (not the most moderate site) about a Christian group that can no longer hold Bible Study because of zoning regulations. This is in my neck of the woods. I approached skeptically but checked it out., The zoning regulation and sign in the yard provision is bogus. And it is my opinion that if it was a reading of the Koran no one would touch it — either because they were sympathetic or they were afraid. Apologies if that sounds Islamophobic — it’s not — it’s just illustrative of the tone and tenor of this Administration that seeps like sewage throughout this country.

    Scorn for the rights Americans, scorn for the Constitution, scorn for the rule of law. Barack Obama probably has a Harvard degree in scorn for America.

  17. Only in today’s libtard media, O-loving world can Romney’s speaking the truth be construed as a bad thing. Fact is, as others point out, he’s right. In fact, it’s worse than he states: in 2009 (latest tax year data available), only 13.9 million taxpayers paid 80% of all taxes. Think about that for a minute – that’s around 10% of the working population, and only 4% of the ENTIRE US POPULATION.

    How sustainable is this when 4% of the country pays for 80% of the rest? The charade may go on for a few more years if “O” gets re-elected, but eventually the vast entitlement society (read: Ponzi) will break down, resulting in a collapse of the dollar, skyrocketing unemployment, and skyrocketing inflation. See Argentina (multiple times) et al.

    Finally, if Romney’s words are “egregious”, Keith, how bad are Obama’s many, many, many statements designed to pit one class of Americans against another? (“You didn’t build that”; “Bitter clingers to their guns and religion”; “our enemies” and so on).

  18. The truth shouldn’t hurt and what he said however blunt is true. Rather have
    a President tell the truth than one that doesn’t work at all and sends his idiotic
    minions to lie to the American people with stories a 5 year old wouldn’t swallow. The current crisis that wasn’t a terror attack on 9-11 springs to mind.
    Yes it wasn’t pretty but Romney told the truth and it’s not always what you want to hear.

  19. Romney will not make Obama voters see the light, Keith. What Romney said is why so many of us are voting for him. My husband and I are retirees still paying taxes for those people, people like Sandra Fluke and thousands of others who, should Obama be re-elected, will be screwing around to their hearts’ delight on contraception paid for on our nickel. No thanks.

  20. “This is contemptible.” -KK

    Realistically acknowledging that a percentage (I think his number was off but regardless…) of the electorate who prefer to have their government provide food, housing and contraception WILL LIKELY NOT VOTE FOR ME, seems to me more a practical assessment of his campaign in front of donors than “contempt”.

    Mother Jones has just released another gotcha’ video where Mitt reveals that Palestinians aren’t interested in peace. Later they’ll release video number three where he tells us it will get dark tonight.

  21. I have no problem with what he said and admire the fact that he came out and “owned” it.
    Not nearly as bad as clinging to guns and Bibles, which we still do!

    • Sadie, no doubt. But I kinda’ blew my wad on the scorn thing. So let’s hope now that we can get to the real issue — which way America. I hope Romney gets impassioned and offers hope for those who do not like where they are and who aspire to be off the government dole. Some people have given up and they need to believe that they can be employable, support their families, contribute to their communities, etc. The truth is the more productive people we have the better we will be able to care for those who are truly needy and need our help. Let’s see what Romney does with this opportunity.

  22. Much ado about nothing here, but the repeater press will try to make something out of nothing to distract from Obama’s failed policy of spinelessness in the Middle East: “Obama Obama, we are all Osama”. No! Look over here! Listen to what Mitt said.

  23. Romney is blunt and pointed in his comments and many people can’t handle that. He’s more like the old school politicians than the spineless jellyfish who are currently floating around the shark-infested waters of Obama’s Washington. Good for him. He’s not pandering, he’s speaking his mind and political correctness be damned.

  24. Keith, Usually I agree with you. However, you missed this analysis badly. When the truth is used against the speaker, should the speaker stop speaking the truth? Should the speaker filter every word through the liberal MSM filter of acceptable topics or wording? Nope….then it’s no longer truth. There is no possible way to keep the MSM from twisting,distorting, editing, and yes even lying. They are totally irrelevant is discusses of truth. Do NOT join them, please. We the people are entirely capable of determining and handling the truth.

  25. I also have to disagree with you, Keith. In Oregon, there are at least 47% of the people that would NEVER vote for ANY Republican and it’s not just because they are dependent on government. They are SO steep in the religion of liberalism that they stopped looking critically at complications of self-government a long, long, long, long time ago. The answer to *every* question is either more government programs, more government regulation, less private sector involvement or (preferably) a cocktail of some combination of all 3 at the same time (I point to GM as the nadir of modern liberal activism – punishing non-union employees in the process was simply the cherry on top of that sundae). These are educated and employed people who believe in the “inherit racism of America” and the “evil influence of free enterprise.” They are not personally dependent upon government for their daily bread but they are happy to have so many others feeding at the government trough. In the end, I don’t see much of a difference – their answer to everything is more government expansion (if they really thought logically about it, they would realize this is, by default, expanding government dependency).

    Romney is right and should not back away from his statement – that is the fundamental problem with this country right now. What is driving QEx “investments” in infrastructure or more cops and teachers is this misguided but largely accepted belief that Americans should be dependent upon government – QEx (for example) is simply the manifestation of that assumption.

  26. Next story to follow will be Romney’s remarks about Palestinians not wanting peace. Before the next page of the LEFT handbook gets too far in front of the story/facts/reality, here’s your quote of the day:

    “Yes, we understand the First Amendment and all of this stuff,” wrote Khalid Amayreh, a prominent Islamist commentator and blogger in Hebron on the West Bank. “But you must also understand that the Prophet (for us) is a million times more sacred than the American Constitution.”

  27. Keith – As distasteful as this sounds, it speaks the truth. As I commented on another site – who hasn’t sat in their lunch rooms at work, living rooms and with friends discussing these very issues in much less desirable terms. It is frightening that we are becoming so dependent on government. While the percentage he refers to does include many on social security – there are LOTS of people receiving social security (my Mom and mother-in-law included) who still pay taxes on their retirement income because they and their husbands sacrificed for years to have enough money for retirement. They are not rich, but they still end up paying income taxes on their retirement; their interest income is zilch (what about those circumstances that are facing many retirees because of interest rates). Bottom line – if this country doesn’t address its financial issues – we are truly doomed. And what a shock – the Palistenians aren’t interested in Peace. The world is burning; our economy sucks and we can never offend anyone? I watched the Press Conference he gave last night – and I didn’t find it the least bit apologetic and I thought it was fine as he went on to explain his beliefs in the free enterprise system. I don’t think Pundits really understand the anger people have right now and many simply aren’t speaking out but will vote. Lord knows what else all of these politicians are saying at fundraisers – and that includes Pres. Obama! I think you may have missed that frustration Keith but time will tell.

  28. Nothing to see here, sorry. He told it how it is and while it’s a hard truth to take for some, it’s still truth. This election will determine what type of America we will end up with: One that resembles something we have now and had in the past or one that resembles a country in Europe.

  29. Seriously? Something Romney says is worse than everything Obama does? “Dissing” folks – with the truth – overshadows allowing ambassadors to be dragged through the streets? Making people feel bad about their own sorry life choices outweighs telling the Afganistan troops that it’s justifiable homicide if their Afgan “trainees” backshoot them for walking in front of a Muslim during prayers or asking about their family?

    Sheesh, America, if you REALLY feel like that, maybe you DESERVE King Saul Obama…

  30. I’m guessing Barry and his gang were saving this for next month (probably before the first debate), but decided they better use it now to distract from the Middle East debacle.

    I’m sure there’s more to come in the next seven weeks.

  31. “Romney, if his campaign is smart, would now take this ball and run with it. The slow transformation of a portion of the population into dependency on government largesse is a serious problem that will accelerate during a second Obama term. Instead of just lamenting how bad the economy is, Romney has an opportunity to work this to his advantage by starting to discuss the issues at stake for Obama’s next term – and his alternative plan to fix things. And to tell those stuck on welfare that there’s a better life for them, or for their children.”

    I think you are absolutely right, and I hope the Romney campaign reads your column.

    • Romney’s campaign should go on an all-out offensive (if they know how to do such a thing)…own this comment, use it to highlight his domestic policy agenda, give a foreign policy speech railing against Barry’s failed Middle East policy, provide his own plan for the region, etc. etc.

      But lamentably it may too late, as I tend to agree with Paul’s assessment in the post below.

  32. It doesn’t matter. Obama is going to win for two reasons: Fist, there is a very large electorate of freeloaders, who want government to provide for them, and they don’t care where the money comes from, as long as they get “my check”. Second, the left-wing propaganda machine will continue to spew out the Obama fairy tale, that nothing bad is his fault, and anything good is to his credit.

    Half of the people in this country are, by definition, in the bottom 50% of intelligence. We call these people “Democrats”.

  33. Romney said nothing but the truth. If he did make an error in judgement, at least he had the balls to own up to it, unlike Barry who takes no responsibility and always manages to blame others for his mistakes.

  34. Jeff – nailed it buddy. Great analysis on calling it for what it was. You may have run out of white space to specifically detail the 47%, or maybe assumed your followers know what comprises the number. You certainly know the score. That detail may help illuminate why this is, indeed, a big issue “beyond the obvious” field day the the liberal Dems are having – stoked by the usual medium outlets…

    I won’t bother either to go through the list of what comprises the 47% to which Mitt refers, but the first 22% are seniors on Social Security… This along supports your position. Not sure Mitt meant to be including / lumping all them into the 47% pool of folks on the dole… Yikes! The next highest % allocated to the 47% include students and the disabled – not sure he meant those folks either… Ut oh… A slippery slope that does not get accurate until ya get down to folks pilfering / gaming / playing / working / abusing the system – a very small % – yucky stuff, deplorable behavior, but still a small %.

    As you clearly state, this is bad – and how Mitt responds can mitigate the damage to some degree. My guess, this is the 3rd chapter in the bye-bye Mitt book. The Dems are already scrapping planned campaign advertising and you can bet the debates are going to include the types of barbs and sweet one-liners that will put the race out of reach. At this point, as you mention Jeff, the Dems have some smart folks. And, these folks matured after getting spanked by the Center Republicans in several heads up elections… Good or bad, right or wrong, one should never underestimate the opponent.

    A child could drive a MAC truck through this hole – it looks like the Fulda Gap in 1960…

  35. why oh why did we get such a lousy candidate at such an important time?

    I was liking Romney but this is his ‘you didn’t build that’ moment

    I don’t know if I can take another 4 of obama


    I agree with romney but what a stupid thing to say

  36. Your hanging around too much with your propaganda media pals. Romney dared to speak the truth. What he said is not egregious nor contemptible but quite simply the truth. You live in the Washington bubble and are right most of the time but you are quite simply out of touch with most Americans who are fed up, angry, and disgusted at how many Americans they are supporting. You also fail to realize that a vast number of people taking government assistance would rather be working at a job. This will have no effect on the election whatsoever in fact if anything it will help Romney in the end.

    By the way over 52% of Americans voted for this communist thug masquerading as president in 2008. The perfect word to discribe these feckless voters is “Dolts” .