Obama 'victim'-izing Romney
September 28th, 2012
06:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama 'victim'-izing Romney

(CNN) - President Barack Obama wasted little time recently adding a new element to his stump speech which makes Mitt Romney the victim of his own comments.

At a fund-raiser in Florida last spring, Romney said that that 47% of people pay no federal income taxes, are dependent on government, and view themselves as victims - and will support Obama regardless of the arguments Romney makes about lowering taxes.

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His comments were secretly recorded and posted on a left-leaning website last Monday and Tuesday.

Romney said his words were "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated," but Obama proceeded to use them against him.

A spokeswoman for Romney, Amanda Henneberg, commented to CNN on this report, saying "This election presents a clear choice between the government dependency of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s vision of economic freedom."

Obama debuted a form of the line at a town hall-style meeting for the Univision television network three days after the video was first released.

"When you express an attitude that half the country considers itself victims, that somehow they want to be dependent on government, my thinking is maybe you haven't gotten around a lot, because I travel around the country all the time and the American people are the hardest working there are," Obama said to applause from the audience, which consisted primarily of supporters.

"Their problem is not that they're not working hard enough, or they don't want to work, or they're being taxed too little, or they just want to loaf around and gather government checks. We've gone through a challenging time," he continued. "People want a hand up, not a handout."

That was on Thursday. The Obama campaign went on to turn the comments into campaign ads, and meanwhile, Obama was refining the line he would use at campaign rallies.

The next day, Obama used the "47%" sentiment in his remarks at the AARP convention, though he did not mention the word "victim."

"But when it comes to gridlock, look - I came in in 2008 and I said, even though I got 53% of the vote and 47% of the country voted against me, that I'd be the President for everybody, and I'd listen to everybody's voices," Obama said, referring to a theme he spoke on after his election.

Later on Friday, the president rolled out a version of his victim line which has become standard fare in his stump speeches since then.

"I don't believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims who think that they're not interested in taking responsibility for their own lives," he said in Woodbridge, Virginia. "I don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today. I see hard-working Virginians."

"Some of you may be students trying to work your way through college. Some of you may be single moms like my mom putting in overtime to see if you can provide a better life for your kids," Obama continued. "Some of you may be senior citizens who have been saving your whole life for your retirement. Some of you may be veterans who have served this country bravely soldiers who defend our freedom today."

He brought the personalization - "I see hard-working Virginians" - on the trail with him. In Milwaukee on Saturday, he saw "hardworking Wisconsinites." This past Wednesday, there were "hardworking Ohioans" in both Bowling Green and Kent. And the "hardworking Virginians" were back on Thursday in Virginia Beach.

Since the Woodbridge event, his language has remained generally similar - citing students, moms, and senior citizens.

Obama used the comment again on Friday at a fundraiser in Washington - "when I travel this country I don't meet victims" - though he dropped any geographic reference, perhaps a victim to speaking inside the beltway.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. katahdin

    Good for President Obama. He's bringing the truth of Republicans' contempt for the working people who built this country and make it run.

    September 28, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. W.G.

    Proves one thing , Romney is not qualified to be president . Romney is just too out of touch with the
    common man . He´s alienated himself with women and Latino´s also . I wonder who is really voting for romney ?
    I guess we´ll know when you see people goose-stepping to the voting booths or wearing the latest
    hoods and sheets . It´s all he has left .

    September 28, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. soft notes

    Its really ashame that the 47% comment was made.I just want somebody who is in touch with the everyday working class people.Rich people will make it in this economy,but everyone else will have to make the best way they can.

    September 28, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  4. TheTraveler

    Romney said his words were "off the cuff" and "not elegantly stated," ...

    Yeah, meant only for the ears of those rich, right wingers willing to pay the pricey dinner fee to hear him speak ...

    September 28, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  5. Pierce Thomas

    I am part of that 47% who might have voted for Romney but since he's not worried about us, why?

    September 28, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Romney can't help but expose his true self. Throughout his life people have deferred to him because of his family's wealth. He has no concept of leadership without some artificial level of respect given to those privileged individuals who didn't need to work their way to the top. He can't and won't support about half of America.

    September 28, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  7. Leroy

    The GOPee'rs are sore losers...

    September 28, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Romnuts wife said today that she is worried her husband's mental health,San you beleive it?? So is the rest of the country!

    September 28, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  9. Neeni

    "BUMP IN THE ROAD" comment so sad to refer to an Ambassador and Navy Seals who got assassinated in Lybia. They were persons, no BUMPS IN THE ROAD:'

    September 28, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. NOBAMA

    You can deliver only wards Mr.President not any actions...

    September 28, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  11. jeff tartt

    Like I've said before.If Hermann Cain would be on the ticket,Obama wouldn't have a chance based on the research of black voters voting RACE.The good thing is,I mean the very very very best thing to remember is this.Obama can't run again as the Democrat nominee.So if he somehow wins? We can count the days until he and his bunch of clown followers will be gone.

    September 28, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. Dusqusar

    Sir Rich Romney never drank tap water, just mineral water imported from France,
    Sir Romney was being kind when he mentioned 47% of the population as victims, actually its over 85%. See his comPASSION?
    Don't malign his character, he means good. All he wants is , to be the president of America. And his biggest qualifications are that he has 250 million US dollars and his VP has a 4 pack abdomen !! What else do you want America? Leave Sir Romney in peace !!

    September 28, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. Wellywellup

    You have to admit Obama is scary good when it comes to painting a picture.

    September 28, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  14. joaquin.b.n

    The 47% sometimes called a gaff, was no gaff but simply Romney revealing who he really is..... not a pretty picture...

    September 28, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  15. Tom in San Diego

    It may be 47% now but if Mr. Obama is re-elected it will be 87%...And I'll be one of the first in line to get in on the givaway for the next 4 years...

    September 28, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  16. Lingam

    Romney: vilified for telling the truth about the 47% of people that don't pay taxes.

    September 28, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. Hugh Mann

    Muggles for Obama

    September 29, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. calvin

    well the news has a new oping to hammer romney so the 47% will be the news form the next week. jobs debt our state workers killed by arbas and the iran boam will take a back seat in this election.

    September 29, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. Howard

    There are so many examples of how Obama and the biased main stream media have misled the public in order to give Obama an unfair advantage in this election, and the election of 2008. In a fair, honest, and objective election ... without trumped up accusations of racism, gender warfare, class warfare, and other B.S., Obama wouldn't stand a chance.
    I believe the polls are skewed, and if you look back at the 2010 election, or the Scott Walker recall election, the polls
    were way off. One of the areas the Republicans are ahead is voter enthusiasm. Having the polls portray Obama as
    the winner all ready, is just a desperate attempt to dampen Republican turnout. Pushing early voting is another trick
    to acquire votes before there's even a debate. Obama uses cheating ... mudslinging ... empty promises ... and, any
    other tactic, in order to hold onto power at any cost.

    September 29, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  20. John Oboho

    Romney is a loser.How could one who calls himself a leader habour such disdain for half of his fellow country men,some of who became infirmed by putting thier lives on the line for America,while he fled to France to have a jolly time with his girlfriend.Those are the people he chose to call loafing takers.In some countries,Romney would not win even a county election.Romney is a shameless chickenhawk who does not deserve the salute of even a recruit.

    September 29, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |

    Mr. Obama waste no time to zabbing forever and lip servicing, instead of attending security briefing nor working harder.
    We are not that stupid to listening to you forever.

    September 29, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  22. mk1

    And now we have the "harvesting" video as well. This truly shows the contempt that the wealthy have for the average American. These two highlight what has always been their feelings but kept well hidden, the average American is their to serve the rich and make sure that the rich keep their perks with little fuss. How ordinary Americans could possibly vote for Romney after these revelations is beyond me.

    September 29, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  23. Valar Morghulis

    In politics one uses the gifts one is given.

    September 29, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  24. jcluma

    As we all learned as kids, action speaks louder than words, and talk is cheap. But with politicians seeking the Presidency, both count because the two act as windows into character and judgement - the most important elements of a President. Mitt said it in a private setting and we have to realize he meant it. What he said is what he believes - "in his own words."

    September 29, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  25. enuff

    Watch... Romney will start calling himself a victim (of Obamas) so he can try to make himself seem relateable to the 47% percent.

    September 29, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
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