Democrats pounce on Romney's comments from secret video
September 17th, 2012
10:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Democrats pounce on Romney's comments from secret video

(CNN) - Democrats were quick to denounce comments made by Mitt Romney in a old video that emerged online Monday.

The Republican nominee could be heard in the film–secretly recorded at a private fund-raising event earlier this year–saying nearly half of Americans will automatically vote for President Barack Obama because they are "dependent" on Americans.

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney says in the footage. "There are 47 percent 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."

"I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," he added. "What I have to do is convince the 5% to 10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful."

The videos were posted Monday afternoon on the left-leaning news websites The Huffington Post and Mother Jones. The person responsible for the footage said he or she wishes to remain anonymous for "professional reasons and to avoid a lawsuit," according to the Huffington Post.

Democrats, however, sharply took issue with Romney's "47%" comments, as well as other remarks he made in the video:

Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki on CNN:

"Carol, I have to say, you know, I've worked for the president for five and a half years. He ran to represent the entire country. Even when people don't agree with him, he wakes up every day wanting to solve the challenges of everybody in this country. Mitt Romney wrote off nearly 50% of people in this country before he's even sworn into office. This is something that I think is shocking and really alarming to people who want to bring this country together and are scratching their heads about what he said."

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York

"This moment of candor from Mitt Romney once again shows he has no understanding of what average Americans go through. His worldview is too narrow for him to ever make a good President."

Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores:

"Today Mitt Romney once again demonstrated how out of touch he is with the issue facing our communities. The bottom line is that the problem isn't that Mitt Romney is not Latino, it's that he's on the wrong side of every Latino voter's priorities. Mitt Romney has made it crystal clear that he would veto the DREAM Act, reduce funding for Pell Grants and repeal Obamacare-all of which would have deep negative impacts in our communities."

Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX):

"It's not about being a Latino that would make Romney a better candidate. Latinos, and all Americans, look at the substance of a candidate's proposals to determine who is the better candidate and who best represents the priorities of their community. That is why upon examining the policies willingly supported by Romney on the economy, health care, and immigration, Latinos overwhelmingly support President Obama.

Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio:

"Throughout this campaign, many people have had lingering questions about Governor Romney's values and the sincerity of his positions. But behind closed doors with a group of his multimillionaire donors, he revealed how he really feels. Incredibly, Mitt Romney has no use for nearly half of our fellow citizens, yet he seeks to hold our nation's highest office, where his policies would dramatically affect the lives of the people he so completely disregards.

"It is difficult to imagine how a person who seeks the office of the presidency would be so divisive and have such contempt for his fellow Americans. But it is clear that Mitt Romney does not deserve to lead our great country and the ambitious, diverse, and talented people who call it home."

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Skeptimist

    Mittbot Object creation failed.
    Reality virus detected.
    Do not attempt recovery.
    Evacuate building.

    September 18, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  2. ed

    What's wrong, it's the truth. The 47% DO NOT PAY TAXES. They live off welfare, MY tax money. The 47% are NOT going to vote for Romney. WHY? Because he would cut off their gravy train and make them get off their fat lazy A55's and go back to work. I know people that not only don't pay taxes but they still get a refund check! How is THAT fair obama? The 47% are going to vote for their suger daddy obama anyway so why waste time with them. You're right Romney, don't worry about the muchers, worry about the hard working middle-class folks like me.

    September 18, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  3. tv22

    Of course nobody said "boo" when Elizabeth Warren said at the DNC, "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: they're right," So which is it? People have a chance and can make it if they try? Or the system is rigged against you?

    September 18, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  4. Dave - Phx

    Anyone that votes for this man is a complete and utter fool.

    September 18, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  5. bob klepak

    Actually, any presiden't job IS TO WORRY about just such people. Instead of a Sister Souljah moment, Willart had a Marie Antoinette reincarnation

    September 18, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  6. BJ

    I just think back to that moment in 2008 when Obama said Republican voters cling to their religion and their guns. And all the times since that he has somehow disrespected Republican voters PUBLICLY! Imagine what Obama says about Republican voters behind closed doors at his fundraisers??!!!!

    What Mitt said behind closed doors at his fundraiser is quite tame compared to what Obama says publicly about Republicans, btw.

    September 18, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  7. Bobyboooo

    While this is great ammo for the democratic party (the more the better) I don't think anyone except the most naive didn't really already know what he said in the video. He has made it extremely clear he has no connection to the majority of the nations population. He was always wealthy from the day he was born and always had a massive safety net. Not everyone has someone to catch them when they fall or to help raise themselves out of systemic poverty.

    Hopefully this helps widen then gap.

    September 18, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  8. timinfla

    Vote for Obama- get free food- free cell phones- heck, Im gonna quit my job! Isntthis a great country!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  9. Wade

    What is their to pounce on.? he is 100 % correct. The Liberal media makes me sick! Try telling the truth sometimes instead of campaigning for Obama 24 7

    September 18, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. Mittens is DONE

    Stick a fork in Mitt Romney. He's DONE!

    September 18, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  11. Edward

    Yikes. Things are becoming more clear and the picture isn't pretty.

    September 18, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  12. Let It Be

    As a life-long democrat I want to point out that months ago I began "chanting" the Romney-Ryan ticket. Why? Let's just say that I had several points over the last 4 years that I felt that President Obama had came up short on for the American people. I voted for him 4 years ago and had said I wouldn't do it again. Well, I was wrong....I heard these comments, read them on CNN, and realised that never in my life had I been so ashamed of someone's condescension when it came to the poorest in this country. It blew me away when he was commenting on how people thought that it was a right in this country to have food, housing. Guess what! Those people have more than a right to food and housing when this country spends BILLIONS a year in aid to foreign countries. Our household gets ZERO from the government but we sure as hell pay the taxes to hopefully go to those who are struggling the most. He can spin it however he wants but what he said is EXACTLY what he meant.

    September 18, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  13. Stephen

    Ungrateful peasants – Smithers, release the hounds!

    September 18, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  14. LS

    I guess I am one of the 47% Mitthead is speaking of. I will most assuredly be voting for Obama again. Yet, I have worked hard since I was 16 years old, gone to college, gotten a Master's degree, and have a job. Yes, I even pay taxes! I do expect that when I am too old to work, there will still be the Medicare and Medicaid that my tax dollars have helped fund all my adult life. I am sure that I will need those things, as my elderly father does now. He also worked and contributed all his life. Romney is a nasty man living in a world of over-indulged people who have too much money that many earned by hurting others. Where is their humanity?

    September 18, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  15. BrianB

    It seems that the mainstream media is completely ignoring the fact that the President of the United States doesn't seem to think it is important enough to stop campaigning to deal with attacks on our sovereign ground in several countries. These attacks are huge in their overall meaning to the standing of the U.S. around the world, and are being overshadowed by such things as clandestine video clips taken out of context... Where are our priorities? This is WAY more important than a few fundraiser parties on the campaign trail.

    September 18, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. Ken from FL

    So, Romney's in trouble with the Libs for STATING THE OBVIOUS. What a surprise.

    September 18, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  17. Katherine

    If you want to get more facts about Romney, go to google, then go to the British news publication .. MailOnline. You'll get the full story about Romney at MailOnline.

    September 18, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  18. Danny

    I'm not seeing an issue with this statement. I'm 24 years old, grew up with no TV or computers because we couldn't afford them. I have since become a Marine, own two newer cars (2002, 2006), own my 1800sqf house and have two well mannered kids. Everyone in my old neighborhood and all the new residents of it all think the world owes them something. They see themselves as too good to work at an entry level position. Theey want to start at management. GET real! THis comment if not accurate in its numbers is accurate in sentiment.

    September 18, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  19. John

    The Truth Hurts; nothing more – nothing less. THE TRUTH HURTS!! How we managed, in this great country, to turn so many into governement dependent is beyond me. He's right; he's starting out with an automatic 53% max. vote.

    September 18, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. mdwestrngirl

    Mitt Romney counts 47% of USA as freeloaders. Ayn Rand would have said 99%. Distinction: you can't win elections with only 1% of electorate.

    September 18, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. Matt

    I don't know what all the fuss is about; he's right!

    September 18, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  22. Scott in Michigan

    His comments are spot on! He needs the 53% of us supporing the rest of this country to vote for him. At least he is telling the truth – unlike our current administration who continues to fabricate what happened in Libya to protect their own backside.

    September 18, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  23. jlf

    we are a diverse country,young and old,rich and poor,priviledged and underpriviledged...when you run for President your job to is to represent all the American people not just a select few...this is Romney's downfall...not being able to lower HIS standards and put himself in the shoes of the average American. he is a spoiled brat...a snob whose true feelings about US are spoken behind closed doors...THANK GOD for anonyous!

    September 18, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  24. MagicPanties

    Mitt the Twit strikes again.
    Such a buffoon; he is an embarrassment to even be running for POTUS.

    September 18, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  25. ShawnDH

    It's really disgusting that Mitt Romney has such contempt for HALF THE NATION.

    Almost everybody I know is voting for Obama, and yes, we ALL have jobs, we ALL work very hard and we ALL pay taxes (that Mitt will have to raise so millionaires can get MORE tax cuts).

    Mitt said himself that his job is to "not worry about" HALF OF ALL AMERICANS. He was finally being honest about his intention to be the president of the rich only. Sick!

    September 18, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
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