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. Mark

    Romney is really confused, completely out of touch with reality. Voting Obama is an easy easy choice.

    September 18, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  2. Triple A

    The folks who are getting the free stuff don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff. Now the Folks paying for the free stuff don't mind buying the free stuff for the Folks who need it. However a lot of the Folks getting the free stuff have turned getting free stuff into a game as to see how much free stuff they can get and how long they can keep getting free stuff whether they need it or not. Now the Folks paying for the free stuff can no longer afford it and wants this to stop. Because of this the President and Democrats in Washington are telling the Folks getting the free stuff that the Folks paying for the free stuff are mean, prejudiced and racist. Now the Folks who are getting the free stuff are convinced that they now have to hate the Folks who are paying for the free stuff. Folks need free stuff from time to time, almost all Folks have all been there but the Folks getting the free stuff are getting to numerous and want more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting. Now here lies the problem, the Folks getting the free stuff are beginning to realize that they are numerous enough to vote in the Politicians who will keep forcing Folks to pay for the free stuff by spreading their wealth, so that the Folks getting the free stuff can continue scamming the system they have become dependent on. This November, I am going to vote for anybody except for the guy that thinks I am mean, prejudiced or racist just because I want my fellow Americans to help “row the boat” rather than being a freeloader sucking on the teat of Government.

    September 18, 2012 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Romney's right

    September 18, 2012 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  4. tylenol

    lol your the one too little too late,, and make that46%

    September 18, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  5. KBuch

    This was not even needed to see who Romney is anyhow. A self centered person that does not understand that every job out there, whether it pays a lot or not is just as important to make our nation roll each day. We should really send him back to Mexico and see how he would do down there.

    September 18, 2012 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  6. William R. Hill

    I was in the work force for 65 years and contributed to Social Security. I also contributed to a local government retirement plan. I now receive income from both of these sources, but I have never felt I was dependent on the government. I'm lucky. I'm 80 and I work part-time. I never had any use for Mitt Romney, and I have even less now. He and his rich friends mouth same old song, while Obama has been performing pretty well in a very hot seat. As for cutting the federal work force, That's the age-old business philosophy: improve your bottom line by getting rid of excess baggage like your own work force.

    September 18, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  7. mjbrin

    I just watched hunger games and was stunned by how the film depicted the 1 percent and the rest of the people and split them up into Districts.....fascinating

    September 18, 2012 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  8. lowdive9

    Americans will automatically vote for President Barack Obama because they are "dependent" on Americans.

    huh? should be "dependent on government", no?

    September 18, 2012 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  9. Yosemite Sam

    so Mitt feel its not his job to worry about half of Americans? So what is he running for? The United States of Republicans?

    Get out Mitt, you're an embarrassment.

    September 18, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  10. JD

    True Colors!

    September 18, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  11. Mr Lloyd

    He ought to change his name to Mitt Rommel because he thinks he's sly as a fox.

    September 18, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  12. FRANKO12

    The current administration is a farce as well. They are the most divisive in history while your talking about divisive. If one white person votes for this garbage current POTUS then they need their head examined. Mark my word if this a.h. gets re-elected there will be a civil war by the end of his next term and this so called great country which it is not anymore(more like third world today) and it will be destroyed maybe thats what is needed who knows.

    September 18, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  13. Vadim

    He is right. Yes it's some % of Americans are dependent on government no matter what. I came here with just over 1,000 bucks and I was dependent only myself. Work, work and only work can do right things for people and being proud themself. Of course it's lot people who need gov. help, but a lot people just is using gov. as own bank.

    September 18, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  14. Marry

    …please, take a look at some more videos as Romney ask you should!
    It is just nauseating! It is devastating to Romney’s campaign! November cannot come fast enough to stop this GOP/TP madness!!!!

    September 18, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  15. Anonymous

    Mitt is spot on in his comment. To call it a gaffe would be to bias your article which you may or may not have done on purpose. Its the truth, how refreshing, a president that will tell the truth.

    September 18, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  16. SusieTX

    He just doesn't get it and never will.

    September 18, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  17. TJeff1776

    Amazing to observe such disconnect.

    September 18, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  18. BinaryTooth

    I would be upset about Romney's comments if they were not true. Obama and the Democrats have created large moocher class in their attempt to keep Americans dependent on the government just to buy votes.

    Like the Mayans said "Obama 2012"

    September 18, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  19. Mike

    There is nothing wrong about his statement. I have tried to talk economic, personal common sense to Liberals and those who feel the gov't is responsible for your meals, healthcare, cell phone, gas, liposiction, tattoos and so on. Most ARE morons and are not going to accept personal responsibility, co-dependane, can't think for themselves. And those peopel are in the MINORITY of this country, Let all collapse so we can start over with a cleaner gene pool.

    September 18, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  20. Carla

    It just shows that Mitt Romney is out of touch with reality. About 3% of the population pay less taxes then the 97% of the country and the 47% that he said don't pay taxes, do pay: sales tax, federal taxes on their pay, realestate taxes and they have to pay those from a menial income received for their work and by the way that income is also suppose to be used to take care of our families. America you do the Arithmetic, If 13% of the population is Black and 47% do not pay taxes and take government benefits, who do you think those people are. 47-13= 34 guess what that means this poor majority is what race, thoese of you who are voting for Mr. Romney needs to pay attention, you might be voting to cut the help that you received.

    September 18, 2012 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  21. matthouston

    “Welcome to the desert of the real world.”

    September 18, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  22. Abraham Medina

    I hope people don't MISTAKE this particular mind of Romney as characteristic Mormon doctrine. I'm sure many true Mormons would condemn such a mindless and reckless statement from a fellow Mormon who wanting to be president.

    September 18, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  23. Big Munny

    I used to be one of Romney's 47%. I have been very poor. I grew up in public housing. I attended public schools and a public university. I drive to work and everywhere else on government roads. I am now 60 years old, and have been working and paying taxes since I was 16. I expect to retire in a few years but expect to pay federal taxes for the rest of my life. The government's return on investment in my welfare has been returned many times over. I am grateful Romney wasn't in charge when the spending decisions were made that enabled me to live and make it this far. Romney and people who think like him are why I am voting straight ticket for Democrats. I just hope Democrats retake the House.

    September 18, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  24. CNN

    We will only do bad reports on Mitt. It is not in our best interest to bash Obama, he is the greatest thing that's ever happened to this country. So get over it. We now have colleges on board, they are working hard with students requiring them to pledge their allegiance to Obama.

    September 18, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  25. DENNA

    Mitt, are you secretly working for the Obama campaign? First that strange Clint Eastwood dialouge, now this. You have managed to insult women, the poor and Hispanic voters. You are running out of people to vote for you.

    September 18, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
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