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. tom

    Someone tell Mitt it's time to stop digging. His explanation, I thought, came off as condescending yet still managed to retain that kick in the balls to the 47% of his country he is convinced are parasites.

    September 17, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Mark

    why does he think we will make people not protest us? or how? psychotic control freak maybe.

    September 17, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. Editor

    There's an error in the second graf.

    September 17, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. JoeJoe

    A slimy rotten snake. Romeny reveales his true feelings about America

    September 18, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  5. todbronson

    Old video? What is "old" in CNN opinion? Your balanced coverage tries to underscore and trivialize the content. If it is "old" why did you not research and write your own story on it back in the old days. Your balanced reporting is hindering you from doing your job.

    September 18, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  6. Pk duster

    I talk to a lot my friends in the gop party i said what about the 4 point 3 billon dollar ryan will cut from programs for the poor do you care how many people it will hurt just like mitt said da da ask my wife

    September 18, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. JoeJoe

    This man is unworthy of being POTUS

    September 18, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. rhayes81

    I truly believe Mitt Romney is speaking from the heart when he speaks about 47% of Americans who voted for and will vote for Obama again. To write off 47% of Americas with hopes of them falling in line with his policies, is just not going to happen. Fight for all Americans, not just the ones who are may be easy to win over with rhetoric. This is not how you make me, an Independent move more to the right. Many of my social views fall under the Republican party platform, however, when it comes to my wallet I tend to be left leaning. I pay all my taxes (federal, social security, medicare) and work hard for my piece of the American dream. I also pay for my own health insurance. I was once on public assistance and absolutely did not want to keep receiving it. I did not feel like a victim and was happy it was there when I needed it the most. It helped my bounce back. I have now enjoyed continuous employment between two Fortune 500 companies, making a decent wage, which is being invested to start my own business. You see, it's a mistake to group everyone in the 47% under one umbrella, when you do, you run the risk of losing the support of the swayable 5-10% Independent voters... like me. But hey, let's wait until the debates before we completely write off Romney, you have not lost me yet, but your treading water.

    September 18, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Kef14

    Romney/Ryan. The Soulless corporate robot ticket. Make sure you vote for them if you're super rich like the rest of us! Losers that don't take in >250k/year, just stay home.

    September 18, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  10. Paul Ernest Show

    Democrats are not pouncing on Romney's comments, Americans are rightfully outraged. What has Romney been drinking?
    How can a man or woman aspiring to be president be so narrow-minded?

    September 18, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  11. smithyommite

    The Romney Guy keeps fumbling every minutes of everyday, i wonder how many meltdown of blunders he would have if he eventually becomes the president, i can't imagine a potential president calling 45% of Americans "victims" and "dependant of the government". I don't know about you all but personally i just think he had single handedly lost this election. Yet he has no plan than his antagonistic method of winning votes, Trying to win people's vote by spreading lies and antagonictic Video ads, i guess he should just go on with his business because Politics is not for unscrupulous people like him.

    September 18, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  12. 200 TON HAMMER

    Im mitt romney I approved this covert stage messege,to my fellow rich americans
    Those who have 300,000,000 or more I am mitt romney I will duck and dodge releaseing my taxes,and the koch brothers
    know that I want win I mitt romney I maybe release my taxes just get me in the
    Nice Oval Office im mitt romney I approved this mess

    September 18, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. Bonnie

    I live in a swing state. I'm on social security. I 'm not a victim. I'm a voter. Go Obama!

    September 18, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. TRUTH

    Could not have said it better Rick Palacio.

    September 18, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  15. Snacklefish

    Ladies and gentlemen, politics at work. Anyone shocked by this has either just learned what politics is, or was living under a rock. I shudder to think what Obama says to his donors behind closed doors.

    September 18, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  16. William

    WOW, Talk about putting your whole foot in your mouth! Even I didn't believe that Romney was that much out of touch. Romney has just shown that he is for the rich,buy the rich, and absolutely doesn't care about ANYONE ELSE.

    September 18, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  17. USA

    Wow..Romney & Ryan corporation finally gives America details..they said they we going to be more clear on how they see America from their windows out of their limo's...

    September 18, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  18. Tom

    Willard, it's time for you to go. You are the worst candidate for president that has ever run. As far as I'm concerned, you can spend the rest of your life riding up and down on your garage elevator.

    September 18, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  19. Brent

    I used to think Mitt was just an empty suit. He's not. He's a fetid turd in a suit

    September 18, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  20. Harry From Pa

    And the Truth shall set us Free.....wake up people..... it's over for Mitt.

    September 18, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  21. Anon

    So nearly everyone that voted for obama is on government welfare? Romney you keep shooting yourself in the foot I wonder if you even want to be in the white house... Though you used to have some very liberal views... maybe you decided to be a democrat sleeper agent and are throwing the election?

    September 18, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  22. jdoe

    Mitt Romney's statement regarding 47% of Americans reveals his contempt for the working class.

    Unless they are all unemployed, most of the 47% of Americans who don't pay income tax are not freeloaders, but simply don't make enough money to make it over the baseline. Some of these 47% are undoubtedly Republicans. They still pay other taxes like payroll, sales, property taxes, etc.

    Romney's statement shows a deep disconnect between himself and working class Americans. He actually believes that fully half of Americans are just freeloaders, while the reality is that they often work long hours or keep two jobs to make ends meet.

    September 18, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  23. PixieDust

    The real Romney revealed for all the world to hear in his own words. Predictably he fails to provide any context in his recent explanation.

    September 18, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  24. The Truth

    This is true, unfortunately you can't say something like this because it's not PC and you have to pander to your base. So the Dems will publicly denounce this while in their hearts they know Mitt speaks the truth.

    September 18, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  25. SelfAndNoneElse

    Mitt, more than half of the ignorant freeloaders who voted for Obama paid a higher percentage in taxes then you did.

    September 18, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
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