Milford, Michigan (CNN) - Mitt Romney invoked the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement Thursday when asked how he would defend himself against efforts by President Barack Obama to paint him as a "wealthy Wall Street capitalist."
Romney was responding to a question from a member of a tea party group in Michigan, which came during a campaign town hall that focused generally on the economy and the role of the federal government.
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The event's moderator told Romney the economic issues at the forefront of the campaign would "provide Barack Obama many opportunities to demonize you as a wealthy Wall Street capitalist who has taken advantage of the system for your own personal gain."
"While you haven't done anything against the law, President Obama might twist your record and take it out of context," the moderator said. "How do you defend yourself and turn the tables and go on the offensive?"
Romney seemed to agree with the premise, and warned his supporters that Obama would try to separate Americans into the haves and the have-nots in order to win reelection in the fall.
"He will divide the 1% versus the 99%, and that's very tempting to fall into that kind of attack," he said. "When you're in trouble, finding a scapegoat and attacking is a ploy that's been used over the years by people in trouble."
Just a day earlier at a CNN Republican debate in Arizona, Romney's GOP rival Rick Santorum attacked the former Massachusetts governor for using the slogans of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
"Governor Romney even today suggested raising taxes on the top 1%, adopting the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric," Santorum said, in a reference to Romney's tax proposal. "I'm not going to adopt that rhetoric."
In an event earlier that day, Romney said he would limit deductions and exemptions for higher-earning Americans while lowering taxes on all individual taxpayers by 20%.
Romney told the Chandler, Arizona audience that his plan was targeted to help the middle class, explaining he would "make sure the top 1% keeps paying the current share they're paying or more."
Romney's campaign events have been disrupted by Occupy protesters on several occasions. The GOP candidate has pushed back, arguing that his policies would be more successful than Obama's in turning around the economy and creating jobs.
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It not the have's and have nots – it's the HAVE IT ALL's and the rest of us.
For 30 years, the republican party has waged war against the majority of Americans on behalf of the wealthy. Now the GOPubes have stepped up that divisiveness to include seniors, veterans, 160 million workers, women, college students, poor people, and the uninsured.
Nobody wants to go back to the stone age with these republican mormans, I mean morons. You have no chance. Try 2016!!!
Obama already praised and supported OWS. OWS destroyed America than Tea Party.
It's telling that Obama seems to think that both "wealthy" and "capitalist" are terms of contempt.
Other than lowering taxes on the wealthy, Mittens has no plan.
The 1% "haves" are pouring obscene amounts of money into the Romney PACs.
Romney, you are the divisive one. You will lose Michigan because that and many more reasons.
Perhaps because there _IS_ separation between them? What a concept!
It was class warfare or division when the 1% got everything they could possibly dream of for years and years.
It's only when the 99% complain that they start putting a tag on everything.
It's called democracy Mitt, as compared to the 1% always having the table tilted in theri favor so that they rule the 99%. It is time that the 1% realize that they have a stake in what happens to the 99%.
Obama will divide the 99% verses the 1%? That sounds like Obama is uniting 99% of the people. No one will ever have 100%. That sounds pretty darned good. Are you sure you want to use that language, Mitt?
Mitt Romney has already begun to flip- flop and pander to independent voters for the general election by saying he will "make sure the top 1% keeps paying the current share they're paying or MORE". Romney has done a 180 degree turn. Just days ago, he was against raising taxes on the rich.
If Romney is really most concerned about the middle class (as he stated he is) then he needs to start telling me how he's going to stop the tidal wave of outsourcing of American jobs by healthy corporations. I work for Verizon, a healthy company, but that is not stopping them from outsourcing jobs like crazy and also trying to take away employees pensions and healthcare. oh yeah and they're getting tax refunds while doing this!! Is Romney really the guy who's gonna stand up to the greedy corporate execs? I'm sceptical about that.
Oh, Mitt, don't be so pessimistic. I'm sure you'll get more than 1% of the vote...
The pathological lier is at it again.Look no further than Bain capital,and that will tell you what Willard thinks of the working class.Let Detroit go bankrupt and I don't care about the poor.In willard's own words.
Looks like Romney just did the division himself.
No help from me or the President.
Disgusting question – "While you haven't done anything against the law, President Obama might twist your record and take it out of context," the moderator said. This is making the assumption that the President – the PRESIDENT, is going to do something that you can't predict, yet you do and in a negative fashion. The moderator acted in a completely disingenuous manner.
This is going to get really messy and the GOP better be able to take what they are dishing out!
Wall Street Capitalists
Of course both Romney and Gingrich are Wall Street capitalist who have deep dealings with Freddie Mac. There's no getting away from such label. Just look at the close connections they both have with this capitalistic giant who robbed innocent Americans of the little they had in terms of investments in their homes.
Go Obama go...go get at him, rather them (Gingrich & Romney). They don't care a damn about the 99%. They are certainly among the 1% along with their other Wall Street Capitalist cronies.
Remember when we didn't criticize the president on international affairs to present a unified front to the world? I remember when that was requested for President BUsh during 9/11 and afterwards – and generally that is what happened. Does Newt respect that courtesy. No. He always just flouted the rules of courtesy and respect. All to just make a few political points. He is known for bringing the political dialogue to a new low – and he keeps on bringing it down.
Romney can't find anything else to say.
►Romney says Obama will 'divide 1% vs. 99%'◄
And Romney is acting like he has NO SENSE
President Obama created the 99% – When and Why??
Just more of the smoke screens and more of the lies!!
Well, I think that the plans for all of the GOP candidates plans will do no good for the economy. All except Paul's plan will increase the debt because they have the mistaken ideas that cutting taxes is the way to go. The problem is that there are too many loop holes and ways for people to avoid taxes. I agree that we need to cut some spending, but cutting taxes shouldn't be done until the debt is lowered. Why can't these guys understand that?
Now that Romney is lying much more, misleading voters, and changing his long held beliefs like a world class hypocrite, I think he will be much more appealing to republicans with core republican values.
Mittins! Wait!! Already happened-years ago. Started with trickle down. This guy is just to stupid to be president.