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. deangarr

    Goodbye, Mr. Romney.

    We don't want to see you anywhere NEAR the White House.

    It is going to be a lot more than 47% of Americans who vote against you.

    You are not only cynical and vacant, you are frightening.

    Go back where you came from.

    September 18, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  2. Thomas

    "I stand by what I said, whatever it was"

    Mitt RomneyRomney cannot remember what he said (a) because he contradicts himself daily; (b) because he really does not believe anything he says, so he is not committed to anything he says.

    September 18, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  3. dave t

    If there are no explanations by Mr. Romney or these comments were not taken out of context, then this should just about nail it for anyone who was undecided. If this politician is now rewriting the job description of POTUS as Mitch McConnel did for senators, then citizens need to either remove these folks from any public office or embrace a new politcal process which is being implemented by select politicians. Nobody has ever voted on a politcal slot that will represent only part of their consituents.

    September 18, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  4. Sailingwindward: Rob in Florida

    Samson Slew 10,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, 10,000 candidates and supporters are killed with same weapon every election.

    September 18, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. fekt

    i like in his statement that he asks for them to release the entire video instead of snppets to get the whole story. From someone who's been playing you didn't build that without the sentence before or after it seems suddenly context matters. of course, i don't see how it's going to make what he's saying better. and oh yeah, he's not good at articulating quick responses to questions but he's sure at a later date he'll have something better prepared. romney i hope you have someone smarter and better at answering questions with a mic in your ear come debate time. there's almost no sport in watching what i feel is about to happen to you.

    September 18, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. terrence

    Hey Romney supporters where are you? I hear nothing. Its very sad, very sad. 47% of Americans are dependent on government, give me a break. Lets not talk about the hard working men and women he has put into that catagory. This election is finally over. Obama will get his second term. So you Romney supports sorry for ya. Guess you will have to put up with the black man in charge for another 4 years. This feels so good. lol lol lol lmao

    September 18, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  7. Ronald G. Kirchem

    9/17 – the day Romney lost the election. You can't insult 47% of the American people and be president. So much for "Christian" charity.

    September 18, 2012 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  8. Mike

    Romney fails to recognize that ALL Americans draw resources from the government, from the welfare family to "corporate welfare", from those who pay no federal taxes because they are near the poverty line, to the wealthiest who pay only 15% on their interest income (compared to the 20-25% most of us pay on regular income). People from all economic strata benefit from public education, fire and police departments, national defense, etc. Romney is using the figure 47% because that is how many people "don't pay taxes", which is itself a fallacy. They are mostly poor and struggling. Romney would have them pay more taxes because it is not enough for them to make the choice between food and heating. In his mind, they owe the government. He is as cold-hearted as a TV villain. It's not an exaggeration to say he is playing the part perfectly.

    September 18, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  9. woody

    who cares

    September 18, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  10. Anon

    Romney's comments are spot on.

    September 18, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  11. tj

    The truth hurts, doesn't it?? You're just mad because he's right.

    September 18, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  12. Barrie

    Romney is exactly right–most of Obama's supporters are people who don't work for a living, they only vote for a living. They are the ones who look to government to give them free food, free medical care, free housing, and everything else. And since government has no money of its own, the cost of giving these mooches their dole comes from taxes paid by those who have jobs and work for a living. People who work generally aren't the ones who vote for Obama.

    September 18, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  13. Semymore Butts

    Very prgamatics...

    September 18, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  14. Mary

    Romney those of his ilk have destroyed United States manufacturing base that formerly supported a robust middle class in this country. Many of those people now are forced to rely on unemployment and on food stamps in order to survive. How does that make those people of less value as human beings than the privileged class? Romney and his buddies are traitorous dogs.

    September 18, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  15. Barrie

    CNN specifically states, "comments are not pre-screened before they post" yet every comment I submit generates a note back that says, "Your comment is awaiting moderation." CNN is not telling the truth–they simply edit out any comment that's unfavorable to them or to the Democrats. CNN has been the "Clinton News Network" for years–they are the cheerleaders for the liberals and always have been.

    September 18, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  16. Mike

    They are denouncing the truth. Does the truth hurt. This is idiotic. Anything to keep the focus off Obummers Economy.

    September 18, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  17. Elizabeth

    Yeah, I'm tired of the rich considering themselves victims. Romney is out of touch however, the rich are a much smaller percentage than 47 percent. Too bad that taxpayers and fund raisers pay for both contracts and research for the rich, while they take their money and run. People like my parents who defended this nation in World War II never considered themselves victims, but they were on Social Security when they retired, because they had paid in all their lives. Those were the good ol' days when politicians kept their money in America and foreign corporations were not allowed to pay for political ads; what a concept.

    September 18, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  18. Clifford Wilson

    If Romney has his way we would continue to be a divided country between the have’s versus have not’s. Most people do not want to be victim depending on government programs for the rest of their life. Wake up People! Romney is not speaking like a good presidential candidate for all the people. Romney is speaking like a rich business man for people who are making over $250,000.

    September 18, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  19. shellie

    Romney is to far removed from the average American person to ever truly and honesty lead our great United States. I am very saddened to hear the lack of feeling for his fellow Americans, The people he "says" he wants to lead to a better and brighter future. Also i am a little frightened to the fact that when Romney was given a chance to explain to the press and the U.S. what he meant he simply choose to act as though he did not remember the conversation in full, i do not believe this because it did not sound like a joke or a funny he just came up with, he was serious..!!!! and that is scary.

    September 18, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  20. ew Mitt

    this story has yet to make Fox news' website.

    September 18, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  21. Ezo

    Well said, Mr. Palacio...

    September 18, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  22. joey

    Romney just sealed his defeat !!!

    September 18, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  23. synergyarts

    I'm there actually something here that is news? Everything Mr. Romney said is already well known to both campaigns and the IRS... What's all the noise?

    September 18, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  24. LenZ

    Why is this news? I've known about this 47% all this time... Please.......

    September 18, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  25. steven harnack

    You really can't argue with the Democratic summary of Mitt Romney. Instead of having any ideas he always seems to be looking for the gimick, the role, or the repackaging that will make him Presidential. I wonder how he landed on that 47% fantasy?

    September 18, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
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