Romney Opens Mouth, Inserts Both Feet

For those of you who want to read/see it, here is the Mother Jones article that set off the recent firestorm about Governor Romney’s comments at a fundraiser.

He made these comments during a speech at a small fundraising event for big money donors. The mike wasn’t turned off. This isn’t a private conversation overheard in an elevator and then gossiped around. This is an actual speech.

I’m sure I will be tarred by both sides for saying this, but I think that whichever one of these guys wins, this country is in trouble.

To read the full article or see the video, go here.


SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells

Millionaire Donors What He REALLY

Thinks of Obama Voters

When he doesn’t know a camera’s rolling, the GOP candidate shows his disdain for half of America.

—By David Corn

| Mon Sep. 17, 2012 1:00 PM PDT

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don’t assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

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 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.

Romney went on: “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination. [UPDATE: We can now report that this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17 and we've removed the blurring from the video. See the original blurred videos here.]

At the dinner, Romney often stuck to familiar talking points. But there were moments when he went beyond the familiar campaign lines. Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, “Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.”

  • Anna Dawson

    Ugh. I’m not a fan of either main party candidate either, and they both keep sinking further. I’m with you–no matter which one of these two … people whom I’m sure their mothers love very much … we’re in for trouble. Although I’d vote for neither one, I would almost hope Obama wins (at least over Romney; it’d be perfect if Ron Paul won over both of them) if for no other reason than he only has four years to work his mischief–Romney would have a full eight to play with.

    In your opinion, is a vote for an independent a ‘waste of a vote’ as I hear so often (often in the context of, “A vote for Paul is basically a vote for Obama”), or is it at least sending a message that neither candidate is acceptable? There’s a huge number of people disenfranchised with both parties, so why are we still stuck voting from the same two cesspools? (Current company excluded :) )

    • Dave

      Anna, I’m with you about Ron Paul, but not about hoping that Obama wins. I personally am not voting for Romney, as I don’t think there’s much difference between him and Obama (they are both part of the same machine).

      However, I’m not sure what’s wrong with what Romney said in this case. To me, it’s pretty much right on. Maybe it was imprudent to have said it, but it is basically true. Once we get to the point where 50+% of the voters are basically on the government payroll, it’s game over (at least until America goes belly-up/bankrupt, at which point there is a chance to reboot.)

      • Anna Dawson

        Well, I think the problem comes from implying that this almost-half is mooching or freeloading, or just not willing to work or pay taxes, when this number really reflects the elderly (who paid their dues earlier), students who have yet to pay, some on disability, and so on, with (God willing) the fractional minority being actual couch potatoes.

        And believe me–I “hope” Obama wins over Romney in the same way I’d “hope” to be struck by lightning rather than eaten by sharks. Overall, these foot-in-mouth episodes are more tiresome for me; the really disturbing things are his complicity with Stericycle serving PP and still pretending to pander to pro-life voters.

  • Jessica Hoff

    This is just plain silly of him. Even if he has a point, that us nit the way to express it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      True Jessica.

  • Biltrix

    Hi Rebecca. Yes, the man stuck his foot in it. How many times has Obama stuck his foot in it? One need only recall Obama’s comments to Dmitry Medvedev regarding all the leeway he would have after his presumptive reelection. A private conversation perhaps, but objectionable nonetheless.

    When you say, “I think that whichever one of these guys wins, this country is in trouble,” I don’t think Romney’s idiotic statements should merit that much weight, given what we already know about the Obama administration’s open policies that pose serious threats to the sanctity of life, marriage, freedom of conscience, and religious liberty. Let’s not loose sight of the essential. People who voted for Obama did not know what they were in for back in 2008. Today there is no excuse for ignorance in that regard. This one Bidenesque gaff from Romney — as revealing as it may be — should not us to lose sight of what we stand to lose, and lose big-time if Obama is reelected. I can’t predict how the country will change if Romney wins; if Obama wins I know for a fact that this country is in serious trouble. The damage he will cause may not be reversible.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Hi James. I agree with you about the direction that President Obama is taking. I think that as we get closer to the election a lot of people are becoming so intense about helping their guy win and so fearful that he may not that they can’t accept any criticism of whichever candidate they support. I had a most unpleasant experience this weekend, being literally screamed at by an Obama supporter who I had always regarded as a friend for some of my positions. For all that, I just can’t give someone who is running for president a pass on certain things; not so much this video as the positions on issues that it expresses.
      I think that President Obama is leading America into a militant secularism that will spell doom for freedom of faith and conscience. I think Western society as a whole is rapidly moving toward active legal discrimination and violent persecution of Christians. I am NOT saying that the President advocates this, but I do feel that his policies are in line with the objectives of those who do.
      He is actively attacking my Church. I certainly don’t agree with him about same-sex marriage or the sanctity of human life, and either of those would be enough, but the attack on freedom of religion trumps them all for me. I also believe that he is, so far as domestic policy is concerned, the operative for Planned Parenthood and other organizations of their ilk. I think that is the source of his attack on the Church.
      On the other hand, I think that Governor Romney is a corporatist who will continue the transfer of America’s wealth and prosperity into a few hands, thus impoverishing all of us and destroying our freedoms in other ways. I think he is the creature of the multi-national corporations and not much else; that this is the only thing he truly believes. I also believe he is a neo-con who wants to further an American empire at all costs, including unnecessary wars to advance interests that are not the interests of the American people.
      I believe we have been given two disastrously bad choices in this election. I reiterate; I believe that whichever one of them wins, this country is in trouble.

      • Dave

        Basically agree, except they are both neo-cons and corporatists. They both love big government and big business. Neither cares about abortion or same-sex marriage. Only the labeling is different. And you are right on that we are in big trouble, regardless of who wins.

        I feel that Romney would be slightly better on spending and appointment of judges, just because the candidates have to keep up SOME pretense of their campaign promises/labeling. However, I’m not voting for either of them. Ron Paul, or someone similar who has integrity and would drastically amend the budget, was our last chance IMO.

      • Biltrix

        I do see your point. My biggest concern, however, is the intrinsically immoral nature of Obama’s actual and proposed future policies. It is not that I see Romney’s pragmatism, as you describe it, as a lesser of evils. Rather, I see Obama’s policies as clearly intolerable and I have to oppose his presidency by voting against him. I believe in conscience that this is the absolute right thing to do. Without concrete evidence that Romney would promote and pass legislation that would inherently contradict basic human dignity at the same level as Obama already does, I see no alternative to voting for Mitt and hoping and praying for the best, although I would prefer it if there were a better candidate who stood the chance of getting elected. Unfortunately, that better candidate has not yet stepped to the fore, or else he has already been eliminated.

  • Jon

    What did he say that was wrong? Or even inappropriate?

    And to the first commenter, where would Ron Paul disagree? Are you of the opinion that Ron Paul panders to the 47% who pay no taxes?

    • Anna Dawson

      Haha Mr Paul doesn’t strike me personally as much of a ‘panderer,’ but I was using him as an example, that there are more options than just Obamney and Rombama.

  • Daniel Undem

    I always struggle with elections as both sides to a very good job of making the other candidate seem like there are going to destroy the free world. Personally, I don’t care for either candidate, but I also think that moat people tend to forget that it is Congress who writes the legislation. Granted the president can help guide legislation and has the power of veto, but for the most part it is my belief that no matter who gets elected not a whole ton will change we are simply too evenly divided. Which causes some interesting political discourse, but also prevents massive changes from happening.

    • Dave

      Sorry, I can’t resist….

      There are moat people? I thought that it was just alligators and sharks in there?!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks to both of you. I needed a laugh! :-)

  • neenergyobserver

    Hi Rebecca, I somewhat disagree with you on the candidates but, not enough to matter. What really bothers me here is what others have said, Romney is absolutely correct on that 47% (or whatever the real number is). So we are going to fault him for telling the truth? Not only should he be saying it, he should be shouting it from the housetops, instead of pandering to the press. This is part of the reason we don’t get decent people running at that level, when they tell us the truth, we attack them but, when they tell us what we think we want to hear, we ask them to walk on across the lake. We get what we deserve.

    And, most importantly, Look out for the Moat People! :-) Sorry, i can’t resist either.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      :-) !!

  • Pingback: Romney in Trouble…

  • Dan F.

    So in all seriousness Rebecca (if I may so address you), what do we have to do to get you to consider politics at the national level? I’m in CT so there’s nothing I can do to help keep you in government beyond prayer (and I’ve done that) but we really need someone with your convictions at the national level (without the kookiness of a Ron Paul).

    Anyone else in? Rebecca Hamilton 2016.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Dan, thank you for the compliment, but, as I told another person earlier, I’ve got as much chance of winning national office as I do of jumping the Grand Canyon flat-footed. :-)

      • Fabio P.Barbieri

        “To God, all things are possible”.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          That’s what it would take.

  • Marthe Lépine

    I have previously sent this to Mark Shea, but I think that it if an appropriate comment for this blog:
    This is related to your posts on Romney’s “foot in mouth disease”, but from a different point of view, and is not just a comment to be offered in your combox (in my opinion, at least).

    It occurred to me that those billionaires who complain because in their opinion half the population are whiners who are claiming their entitlements are in fact doing exactly what they blame other people for doing.

    Rich men will not invest time, money and effort into starting and/or maintaining businesses that are providing jobs, unless they can find substantial benefits for themselves – profits – for doing so. Therefore they would not be interested in businesses that provide them with less than optimal profits but would provide jobs for the workers and therefore allow these workers to provide the necessities of life for themselves and their families, even if the profits these rich men would be getting would certainly provide for them much more than the necessities of life… They will expect the government to contribute bailouts or other incentives like tax breaks as motivation to start such businesses or to keep these businesses as profitable as they want them to be, but they do not call that “claiming for entitlements”.

    Workers will not take jobs – e.g. invest their time and efforts – unless they can find substantial benefits for themselves – salaries – for doing so. Therefore they would not be interested in jobs that pay so little that they would still be unable to provide the necessities of life for themselves and their families. They will expect the government to provide for them the necessities of life that they could not provide for themselves even if they held jobs. The rich decry this as “claiming for entitlements”.

    There may be differences in incomes between the two groups, but their attitudes are in fact quite similar… The billionaires just have more power, but they are just as unwilling to do their part as they think that the workers are unwilling to do theirs, since it seems (to me at least) that the responsibility of the rich is to provide opportunities for people to work, instead of just complaining that too many (other) people expect government assistance and do not want to work.

    It is not just a matter of social assistance vs private charity… Instead of so much emphasis on private charity, there should be an effort from the rich to provide the jobs that “ordinary” people need to support themselves, even if their profits might not be as great as if they sent the jobs overseas.

    What do you think? Does this make sense?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Marthe, thank you for this thoughtful comment. I’m glad you decided to post it here.
      When you say this, you are saying something that is so true. Blessings.

      “It occurred to me that those billionaires who complain because in their opinion half the population are whiners who are claiming their entitlements are in fact doing exactly what they blame other people for doing.”