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. davia55

    Yep...Romney stated a fact that might be true, but I am more concerned with what Obama whispered to the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the nuclear power sumit. That was frightening

    September 18, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  2. and once again mitt . . .

    steps on another rake,

    September 18, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  3. will

    Mitt Romney is a real slick millionaire who is completely out of touch with The 47 percent of Americans who don't have a bank account to rely on. Further capping the poor from the middle class and the middle class from the rich and then you got the Romney's the super rich. Furthermore what creates property is destructive human nature and Mother Nature if Katrina happened again what would Mitt Romney do

    September 18, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  4. krehator

    Funny, the GOP cannot explain this:

    If 47% are lazy and don't pay taxes (which is not true)

    How then did the GOP fix the country for those SAME 47% during the Bush years? Heck, even the Reagan years.

    This isn't the first time they have said this. The same statistic was used during the Bush campaign.....OBVIOUSLY they can't point fingers at make believe problems but when they get control, they don't fix it.

    September 18, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  5. krehator

    *can point

    September 18, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  6. stephen hapke

    Nothing really needs to be further said about an incredibly rich man who acquired his fortune by taking out loans to buy companies-sticking them with the debt and him with the profits without regard to America or its thousands and thousands of communities. Romney follows a dog eat dog philosophy that is fine when you start out with a father paying for a double doctorate from Harvard to get you going in life. For the resat of us we need to take OUR country back from the rich elite who have stolen every asset they could get their hands on for the last 30-40 years–our country will only flourish again when we have a middle class and we build,invent and discover things as a nation of free people. Working people are no longer free they are puppets of the rich who buy all the politicians,all the laws and everything else they can get their hands on-time to run our country on the principles of integrity, a strong work ethic instead of greed and a sense of community for our citizens.

    September 18, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  7. JM

    What a shame! Why does Romney really wants to be a PRESIDENT of America? What's in it for him? Why run for being a President for a Country like America when you can openly and publicly say that you don't care? So why be a President at the first place – just for Prestige and Position and Money? Is it just a business transaction for him where he has to prove that he is a winner of more than 50% stock holders in the nation? Why be a President when you have no pain and no heart for a JOB that requires you to support and care for every single Citizen, not just those who will vote for you?

    Why do you want to be a President Mr. Romeny? What's in it for you – what do you really want to deliver and whom do you want to deliver if you think Middle Class or Poor Class are just Victims?

    If every ordinary person is not outraged by these "not so well articulated positions", then it is a shame. It is a shame that we have a fight for Presidential Position where clearly one many has no morality and no understanding of social fabrics.

    Clearly he does not care about being an ordinary person who may have been by divorces or orphanage – left on the roads for all his/her life to struggle with blisters, emotional breakdowns and failures OR the ordinary poor people who never were loved enough to take on books or take on work that could give meaning to their life. Clearly he has no idea what is pain of an ordinary man who struggles standing on the road side saying: "I am hungry, please help".

    Clearly Romney has no respect for how we were raised, what made us who we became, why we have to struggle and depend on the government to help lift us or just find ways to educate us when we are shattered, lost or just drowned under leadership of peers who led us to drugs or gangster life. We are at the end of the day, all Americans. We are all Americans, not just him or the 51% who he wants to vote for him. We are all Americans, not just him and his business allies.

    America and American's didn't fight for just some rich men. America didn't fight for independence to give power or rights of life and joys just for some. Those who are left behind too have EQUAL rights. These rights and benefits don't have to be given to ordinary man on a silver plate or in the form of vouchers. But a failed man as your neighbor will do more harm then a man whom you supported as a neighbor when the day came. That failed man may be the one bringing flowers to your grave long after you are gone.

    September 18, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  8. Shelly

    Mitt lives in a bubble, in one of his 20 mansions rolling in his Dad's inheritance. He is clueless about the livesof everyday Americans working hard to make ends meet, send kids to school, pay medical bills and doing everything to make their lives better.The GOP 's answer to everything is reduce taxes for the rich and go to war. This hurts the middle class and the poor. In fact the folks that vote for Republicans are voting against their best interest.
    I do not have as much money as Mitt, but I have a bigger heart and a deeper conscience. I care about all my fellow Americans and don't mind paying taxes to make their lives better. I want a better America for ALL Americans not just the 1%. I am voting for the President that feels the same way – Obama 2012.

    September 18, 2012 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  9. King


    September 18, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  10. jeannie

    Unbelievable this guy. I cannot imagine Americans being stupid enough to vote for this CLOWN!

    September 18, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  11. Ireportwo

    Wow! Nuff said.

    September 18, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Hey everybody, lets elect Gaff-O-Matic to represent US on the world stage!

    September 18, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  13. laurie

    If Romney is elected I will be burning the flag.

    September 18, 2012 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  14. Bill

    Romney does care about the 47%. His goal would be to help them get free of the bondage that is welfare, to help them become self-sufficient and to contribute to the society they are a part of.

    September 18, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  15. fire0bama

    Dems are dirty liars who are afraid of the truth.

    There is nothing more important than individual responsibility in America. This is the truth.

    September 18, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  16. Arturo Torres

    Mitt has succeeded in keeping me awake and worried about our beautiful United States and what he and that bigot Ryan would do to destroy our future.

    September 18, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  17. 200 TON HAMMER

    hey mitt after this is over on november 7th
    you need too take a long vacation with your wife and just go enjoy paris for two weeks,and I know you cant release your taxes because it has alot of numbers

    September 18, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  18. jl taylor

    Mr. Romney spoke from his heart. He really belives that a guy who served his country during a time
    of war, has worked all his adult life, always paid taxes as required by the law , but has been unable
    to land a good job for the last five years after turing 50 is a deadbeat who takes no responsibility
    for his own life. I thank god for the help i have received from my community and government such
    as food stamps and job training. I still have hope and i will not let rich Romney define me. I just turned
    55 two weeks ago and can apply for medicade (thank God) I have not been able to afford to see a
    doctor for my highblood preasure in four years. I have two part time low wage jobs which I thank God
    for but they do not offer insurance and if they did i could not afford it, Hope springs . Obama four
    more years at least you understand.

    September 18, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  19. Mike Gussman

    Well, Mr. Romney. First let me thank you for being so honest for a change, at least you were honest with your multi-million dollar donors!
    I saw that you were a little nervous in addressing the video, which you had no idea even existed! Why are you nervous Mr. Romney? Certainly you do not believe that the 47% of true blooded Americans, that are struggling to make it, will impact your election! I mean you clearly stated that your "job is not to worry about THOSE PEOPLE."
    Maybe you just realized that this information coming to light may not sit to well with the independents who you are still making a shameless play for. After all you have said that the independents are sometimes easily swayed by "emotion" and likability factors! Surely they will not look upon you poorly for tearing down those needing the help the most in this country! Perhaps you would take issue with me on that and claim that the wealthy are really the ones that need our-your support the most!
    I personally like to keep an open mind about a person, especially when they are the leading candidate of their party. Funny thing is that after hearing you "secretly" show so much disrespect for 47% of the population that you propose to lead I am now beginning to believe that many of your fellow Republicans were right in seriously considering an alternative to you during the primaries. Is it still too late to bring on board Herman Cain!!!!!!! He would at least give free pizza to the bottom 47%; and we all know how they love a hand out!!! wink wink

    September 18, 2012 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  20. Dejavu65

    Wow Milt is just another Super Rich millionaire who looks down upon the middle class and poor and he constantly lies all the time 47% percent of people what a joke....This guys is actually the worst candidate the GOP could have chosen.. He does not give a darn about the middle class period, ...every action and mispeak he continues to do day after day continue to show his true character!!... Pathetic!!.. He is Un-American period!

    September 18, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  21. Eric

    This man can change this country unlike our king Barack Obama

    September 18, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  22. BERRY

    mittanic... a pathological, pompous, pathetic profiteer. nothing more

    September 18, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  23. bp

    There go the Democrats, exaggerating matters yet again by saying Romney has "disdainfully written off half the nation." Romney is disdainfully writing off only 47% of the nation. Get it right!

    September 18, 2012 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  24. matt

    Maybe 47% of the people wouldn't be on welfare if Bush hadn't flown us into the ground! and no I'm not some stupid democrat blaming Bush maybe you republicans should realize repairing an economy isn't easy it takes a long time! just look at the great depression it took us 10-15 years to get out of that and you want Obama to fix our problems in 4 years? you're seriously insane

    September 18, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  25. Marry

    What the video describes is the “monstrosity” of the haves towards the have not’s (do take a look!). 95% of life is settled if you are born (RICH) in America – Yes that is the way Mitt sees the world HE lives in but the world you struggle in – Romney has no idea about! And he thinks that’s your fault because you are irresponsible and are just looking for a handout!

    November cannot come fast enough to stop this GOP/TP madness! Do not forget to send the GOP/TP congress of “NO” home too!

    September 18, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8