Romney says Obama's policies create dependency in op-ed
September 19th, 2012
08:24 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney says Obama's policies create dependency in op-ed

(CNN) – Amid a cloud of controversy over tapes showing Mitt Romney calling Americans dependent on government "victims," the GOP presidential nominee wrote in a USA Today op-ed that Americans were indeed becoming too dependent on the government, and that policies enacted by President Barack Obama were to blame.

"Under President Obama, we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency," Romney wrote. "My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility."

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The opinion article comes after two days of uproar over the secretly recorded clips, which were posted online by the liberal magazine Mother Jones on Monday. In them, Romney makes a political prediction based on his view of Obama's supporters.

"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney says in one clip. "There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

Adding to his argument about entitlement, Romney said his "job is not to worry about those people."

In USA Today, Romney concedes that "government has a role to play here," but says Obama is offering the wrong kind of help to people struggling in a still-weak economy.

"My experience has taught me that government works best when it creates the space for individuals and families to pursue success and achieve great things," Romney wrote. "Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in creating sustained prosperity and lifting people out of poverty. It is why our economy rose to rival those of the world's leading powers - and has long since surpassed them all."

He writes later that "instead of creating a web of dependency, I will pursue policies that grow our economy and lift Americans out of poverty."

In the days since the fund-raiser videos went public, Romney has repeatedly stood by the thrust of his remarks, though has acknowledged they were "not elegantly stated." He said in a Fox News interview Tuesday the remarks were an honest reflection of his campaign's message.

"This is a message I'm carrying day and day out and will carry over the coming months," Romney said. "This is a decision about the course of America, where we're going to head. We've seen the president's policies play out over the last four years."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. maf

    It's the WRONG message Mitt!! You and numbers just don't seem to get along! Yes, there are those that are dependent on government financial assistance, yes there are those that are unwilling to help themselves. It is a much smaller number, likely single digit. 47% is a number that you are trying to spin as something relevant. It's not. 47% of the people will NEVER vote for a Republican, let alone YOU!
    Keep talking though. We still have 6 weeks for you to bury your campaign all by yourself!!

    September 19, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. enuff

    And still he continues with the generalities. Not one specific idea to try and save his behind. He is finally being honest about one thing though: That thie ramblings on the tape are what he believes. he was in his comfort zone with other rich people when he said these words so he was able say it the way he truly wanted to.

    September 19, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Romney the Puppet Liar, I beg you to please hold on to your beliefs. Hold on to them as tight as you can. Please.....

    September 19, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. American People

    Show us your tax returns for the last 20 years Willard. Also show us those "POLICIES" you keep touting!!! What ARE they? Tell us!!!!! Oh..........There are NONE!!!!!! That is except for......."Tax breaks for the rich to create jobs overseas". And "Tax breaks for the rich to hide money in off-shore accounts" And "Tax breaks for the rich because they are my buddies".........etc.

    September 19, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Me IN HOUSTON

    Romney says his policies will repair America, but he never tells us what his policy intentions are. He never mentions what his going to do
    He says Obama's policy creates dependency, but he never states which policy President Obama has signed into law that actually make one dependent on the government.
    Are Mitt Romney policies a secret that will only be revealed if he is elected

    September 19, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. linda

    Sorry Romney you can spin it any which way you want but usually what you say the first time is exactly what you mean and feel.....I would rather go with Obama and even though the economy is moving slowly at least it is moving......with you (I don't trust what you have said or what you will say, you flip flop and I don't know where you stand from day to day) you aren't going to create jobs any faster, or get the economy moving any faster, you will have to deal with the House and Senate to make your plans work and if you don't have the majority you won't get anything more done than Obama did, but if Obama wins the Republicans are going to have to work with him this time around to get something done (since it would be his last 4 years) or the republicans will face 2016 elcetions as a party doing NOTHING......and Democrats will keep the White House again in 2016

    September 19, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Joseph B

    I do not feel like a victim. I make a low six figure salary. I have a wife and small children. I do feel I will be a victim if Romneyand Ryan are elected are implement the policies they are touting.

    September 19, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. nintex

    If only he would tell us what those policies are that are going to grow the U.S. economy and lift America out of poverty. Hey, Romney, I'm one of "those people" (is that like Ann's "you people"?) who are waiting for some details on your economic plans. Yes, we've seen the President's policies play out over the past four years, and they're looking good to a lot of us!

    September 19, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney has no problem with tax cuts for the rich and tax breaks for oil companies. He is the rich man's Robin Hood, redistributing wealth from the middle class to the rich.

    September 19, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. myviewis

    I totally agree with Governor Romney and I came from Europe (I am a U.S. Citizen) and they are still behind the USA and have existed for hundreds of years in comparison to the U.S. that has truly only been active 250 years.

    "Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in creating sustained prosperity and lifting people out of poverty. It is why our economy rose to rival those of the world's leading powers – and has long since surpassed them all."

    September 19, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Tish NC

    Bull! He called American people Victims! Pull a Nail in It!!

    September 19, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. Ames IA

    Right, that retiree that was in the workplace for 50 years – get to work you lazy slacker. To the veteran disabled in Iraq – suck it up soldier you should be ashamed with that freeloader healthcare at the VA. If Romney keeps doubling down on his idiocy the only ones still actually FOR him (rather then just referendum voting anti-Obama) will be the guys richer than him pulling his puppet strings.

    September 19, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. dog1

    This country is in the state it's in wholly due to a concentrated effort by the right wing and corporate America to keep it that way. The right wing has consistently blocked efforts by President Obama to help with tax cuts for small businesses and other measures. Even while sitting on record profits corporations have knowingly refused to hire workers in order to make sure Americans don't get jobs. They do this, even though American workers are suffering and done so for more than five years, just to atttempt to get Romney elected. They know they will get massive tax breaks and will become nearly completey un-regulated if he wins. The irony is they still won't hire many people because they've found they can make those record profits with the lower number of workers they have, and they can pay them less and take away their benefits using the threat of losing their already low paying jobs. Romney and his corporate friends DO NOT CARE ABOUT AMERICAN WORKERS! They want a nation of low-wage labor like China, much like the Chinese workers in the plants Romney admitted his companies bought in China. Remember when he said "I love to be able to FIRE PEOPLE".

    September 19, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. demwit

    Gallop has Obama-Romney at 47%-46%, How can that be with all these GREAT articles??
    Obama at 47%!? But, but.., that's exactly what Romney said in his secret tape!!? I'm so confused...

    September 19, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. Q

    Romney's campaign is a complete joke.

    September 19, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is a darn fool. His government experience is a failed governorship of MA. He created $2.6 billion in state debt, ranked 47th in job creation, and raised taxes over 700 times in four long years. But, the most outrageous thing the idiot did was to outsource MA government jobs to India.

    September 19, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Donkey Party

    This didn't happen since Obama took office. Yet another tall-tale from Romney the serial liar. Romney has no policies, and truly believes that his mere presence in the White House will solve any problems. The man is clearly insane.

    September 19, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. rs

    I'll give Mr. Romney credit- we've had 48 hours on this story and he hasn't flip-flopped yet!. He also (unfortunately) hasn't quite figured out that his gross insult to his phony 47% catagory includes our men and women in uniform, retirees on Social Security, and Medicare, college students not yet working, the poor who need legitimate help, and even the richy-riches who don't pay taxes (like himself apparently)

    Phony, out-of-touch, plutocratic and elite- that's Mr. Romney. He can't be President.

    September 19, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Sniffit

    Here's what "creates dependency":

    40 years of middle-class salaries remaining stagnant and failing to keep up with inflation while the wealthy and so-called "job creators" keep them that way so they can grow their share of the nation's income and wealth exponentially via their refusal to acknowledge sweat equity and via the tax code they have PURCHASED, written by representatives they have PURCHASED, so they can have advantages and preferential treatment over the middle class and poor that they have PURCHASED. THAT creates dependency.

    September 19, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Sniffit

    America's broken culture of fervently believing that wealth equates with virtue and condemning the absence of wealth as always, ALWAYS a sign of the absence of virtue and the presence of sloth. THAT creates dependency.

    September 19, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Supply-side economic daydreams based at core on the fundamentally insane notion that if we just keep making the already-wealthy richer, they will at some point reach some magic threshhold at which they no longer feel the desire to horde, consolidate and keep a strangle-hold on their wealth, suddenly allowing it to "trickle-down" to the unwashed masses...or that them spending it on ever-increasingly lavish lifestyles and assets will somehow create wealth for the middle-class and poor. THAT creates dependency.

    September 19, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. jnpa

    "My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility."

    What exactly are your policies Mr. Romney. Since we have no idea what they are or if they will even work, why should anyone put trust in you and these so-called policies? If these policies are guaranteed solutions to our economic problems then why haven't other economists within our government adopted YOUR policies to get us out of this mess? That is because there are no policies and it is all talk to get elected.

    September 19, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. sonny chapman

    Mitt Romney lacks the people skills to be President.

    September 19, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Sniffit

    Racism, hate, religion in politics, bigotry and the desperate clinging to perceived advantages of being a certain race or gender or orientation or religious affiliation, etc., such that all efforts are made to maintain any perceived advantage and to prevent a situation in which you have to fairly compete with those people you have declared yourself superior to. THAT creates dependency.

    September 19, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. durundal

    How do you elect a man who refuses to acknowledge the fact that he screwed up? I just dont get it. Romney continues to say and act like a child and when he gets caught with his pants down he just doubles down on it. Maybe voters are every bit as pathetic as romney thinks. Maybe all they can handle are fuzzy social issues and rhetoric

    September 19, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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