Democrats pounce on Romney's comments from secret video
September 17th, 2012
10:49 PM ET
11 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. Scott O'Canada

    WOW. Three feet. This guy needs three feet. He puts him foot in his mouth so often, he needs three feet. We could call him Mitt "The Yard" Romney. I'm generally conservative, but not conservative by measure of what you have down there. 320 million people to chose from and this is the best you got? Keep going "yard" Mitt.

    September 17, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. teej

    What a very very sad man, Mitt Romney. So much of what it means to be human is lacking in him.

    September 17, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. mnmark

    I think it’s time for the individuals that are sitting on a degree or have been waiting for a job because they have a “Degree” and deserve a higher wage better swallow your pride and not allow our government handouts waiting for the perfect job. I also think that anyone that gave up looking because it’s easier to collect a wage from the taxpayers of those working are just as guilty of this defecit just as much as this current government. These individuals need to take more responsibility and become apart of the working society.

    September 17, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. DarthScot

    *sigh* I hate election year......

    September 17, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. tefera

    That is what he is period.

    September 17, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  6. Ryan Lee

    put a fork in him, he is done! 200 million $ donation to his campaign, hows that working for ya now? LMAO!

    September 17, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  7. gwats

    To paraphrase Kanye West.... "Mitt Romney hates poor people and Hispanics."

    September 17, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  8. Uhm!

    Epic Fail! He ought to bail out now before the humiliation of the debats and Nov. 6.

    September 17, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  9. Chip

    This is news? Just another thing for the media to waste time on. How about talking about 4 dollar gas, rising food prices, decreased family income, ect. People want answers to these questions and no one is asking them. When will CNN, Fox news ect finally ask tough questions of Obama and Romney.

    September 17, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  10. John The Electrician

    Right back at you Mitt.

    September 17, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  11. tony

    When it became clear that Romney was to be the Republican candidate I was disappointed since he was not (or so I thought) a complete moron (like Santorum/Perry/Paul) or ethically challenged (like Gingrich) – in my naivite I assumed the Republicans had picked the strongest candidate. I also thought that if he won it would not be a complete disaster for the country.

    0 for 2, obviously.

    September 17, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. Shocked in Texas!!

    Romney insults me. I have a Ph.D with a family income of 300k+ and I am voting for Romney. How does Romney explain that? And he does not care to seek the votes of the so called 47%?

    This shows the desparation in Romney trying to placate his donors. I think he is finished as a candidate for 2012.

    Shocked in Texas.

    September 17, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  13. Just a thought

    uh...Hello GOP Tea-a-tards...say it with me "...its so over" Pack up the clown bus of your party and go home. The rest of the country does matter. The entire country saw the faces at the RNC convention. And to put it midly "...not much pigment". Well, this country DOES include others with pigment and that's why President Obama will win a 2nd term in a walk.

    Good thing too! Because only an idiot would want Mitt the Gaff Twit as their president...what an embarassment that guy is

    September 17, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  14. Da Dude

    47% need assistance
    53% said no
    and the other 15% didnt know their fractions. haha

    September 17, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  15. jsomm

    Mr Romney is certainly suffering from a serious case of foot and mouth disease this week. has no one told him you can't try to play to your tea party supporters and moderates in the same breath. He also unwittingly insulted some of his traditional older supporters in the process. His attempt to clarify what he said made it even worse! The latino joke was a bit of a gaff as well.

    September 17, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  16. don

    9/17/2012: The day that the greedy tax dodger Romney lost this election, this guy is a cold ruthless selfish man

    September 17, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. Terri

    Old Video? How long ago did he make his comments? I would like to know when these comments were made.

    September 17, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Mitt your campaign is over!!

    September 17, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Lance

    Truth hurts.

    September 17, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  20. ChatwithSas

    "Out of the heart, the mouth speaks." It is interesting to know that I have worked in this country since I was 15 and paid taxes, yet Romney says I did not pay taxes because I voted for Obama in 2008. Romney, by his own words, shows that he has no understanding of working class people, which happens to be the majority in the country that he (Romney) wants to lead. Can we deduce that this bid for presidency is simply about more power for Romney than it is about concern for U.S. citizens. Say it loud: Obama – Biden 2012!!!!

    September 17, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  21. FactsHurtLongTime

    LOL – had Mitt simply done his "ARITHMETIC" his whole apology could have been averted. Here's the math: 47% – (all retirees + all full-time students + disabled Vets + all worker's lost jobs from the BUSHCO Great Recession) = between 28 to 31% that may want handouts.

    But then factor in those jobs lost from Bain Capital and we are maybe at 30% and less. Wake up middle class. Mitt is a sociopath that will raise your taxes and lick the shoes of his rich crony handlers. It's simple math. And he has just said so on camera.

    September 17, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  22. RUKiddingMe

    Gee, I wonder why there are no open comments on this article?

    September 17, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  23. Pax Bhattacharya

    Lawdy lawd, Mittens... goes to show... you don't have to have pay any taxes to go accusing others of not paying any taxes....

    September 17, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  24. JimCincy

    According to economists at George Mason University, 47% of Americans pay net zero federal tax, while at the same time receive federal benefits and therefore dependent on the government. So, what is the surprise in Romney's statement?

    September 17, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  25. Mark

    obama might not be the best but out of these 2 he is the better by far. This one is an idiot at home and abroad. am i wrong in listening to his foreign policy that it is to make everybody afraid of us so they won't protest or anything against us. We've done that-that's why they hate us. I'd hate us to if my govenment allowed the US to have bases in my country. can you imagine if the french had a naval base in north carolina?

    September 17, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
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