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. what the yuck

    So Dems, who want everyone dependent on the government get upset when someone says too many people depend on the government. Yes, this makes total sense.

    September 18, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  2. mike

    why won't you let people comment on this

    September 18, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  3. CNN

    So Dems who want everyone to depend on the government for help get mad because someone says too many people are dependent on the government? Politicians are stupid....and that means all politicians.

    September 18, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  4. A Kickin` Donkey

    I will be CLOSELY watching the media [Blitzer, Dobbs, Burnett, Scarborough, etc.] to see if they try to prop Romney up by trying to draw a FALSE EQUIVALENCY between this and the President`s "cling to guns & religion" comment. They are not even close.

    Romney is speaking from the heart about him being superior to 47% of the American people [white, black, latino, asian, male,female]. It is crystal clear that this elitist Romney wants to get elected by any means possible and then in the privacy & safety of smoke-filled, backroom parlors in Washington impose his radical rightwing engineering on that 47%. We can see this in the lack of specifics he has provides all voters regarding his plans. We can see how sneaky & secretive he is by not providing us 10 years of his income tax returns and OFFSHORE bank records. My god, what is he and Anne so afraid of? What are they hiding?

    Mr. Obama`s comment ended with him saying he wanted their vote and wanting to be their President. Romney said " I`ll never worry about those people". They are losers / slackers / leeches, etc. The problem is that the people in that 47% are the older people, the white people, that have historically voted against their own economic interests.

    If these fools now vote for Romney, they are simply stupid.

    September 18, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  5. Ralph

    It would make more sense to discuss the merit of the issues, than to attack the people who might or might not be in favor or against an issue. Why would any candidate want to write off any potential voter. They should make their positions clear, then leave it up to the voter to decide whether they want you or the other guy. Aren't all voters citizens of this great country and don't they deserve the right to vote their own conscience?

    September 18, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  6. Chris

    This is just... stunningly inept.

    With one blow, the election is over.

    September 18, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  7. Munya Munos

    Remember this is the guy who once said "I don't really care about the very poor"??!!

    September 18, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  8. fryuujin

    at the top of the organization chart of our government is the PUBLIC. not satisfied with government – take a look in the MIRROR! we don't live in a democracy based upon the % voting. In a good presidential election only about 60% vote. That means a measly 1/3 elects someone to control things for the other 2/3s of the country. The GOP has become masters of getting the "majority" which they then call a "mandate" by getting their "base" of drones to vote: NRA chumps, abortion foes, gay haters, and other religious nuts, along with racists, as long as Obama is in office. The GOP is very pragmatic about it and they don't really care about these issues or others like the deficit based upon their record of huge deficits (Reagan/Bush/Bush). All they want is YOUR money and your kids future money so that they can redistribute to their rich buddies.

    and Mitt shows us the true colors of the GOP – F 1/2 the population and get the chumps they need to get elected. How on earth can anyone vote GOP?!

    September 18, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  9. Imagelink

    There is no "new" news here. I thought everyone that gets up every morning and goes to work knew this already.

    September 18, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  10. Al

    Thank you Mr. Romney. It was the truth!!! Maybe almost half of Americans have become dependent on the government...... which will follow in the footsteps of Greece, Ireland, Spain, and probably France. Unless we change the course away form this socialist concept of Obama we will be there.

    September 18, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  11. BOKinLarksville

    Isn't it awesome to hear the truth? Politicians only care about getting elected and stuffing their pockets with $$$$$.. I don't think there is actually one politician that truly puts the people first..

    September 18, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  12. roy farris

    Well its about time ! If you cant afford healthcare then do the right thing and stay at home . Die off some where we dont see you.. If your children are hungry , lock them in he house so we dont have to hear them beg for food , The privite lives of American is not the business of gov. Unless your Gay and want to marry , or sixteen , raped and need an aborition then, hell yea ! Then its the job of government to be the moral police. The middle class and the poor need to stop whining and work harder and more for less and expect nothing from government . Thank you Romney its about you made the views of the other forty seven percent known . If we just advert or view in a generation all these moochers and their children will die off ,and at last American can be what we want ,,The land of corporate freedom .

    September 18, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  13. timinfla

    yeah!!!! Im going to quit my job, get free food, cell phones- hes going to take care of me! Vote Obama, isnt this a great country!!!

    September 18, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  14. detopguy

    Is this surprising ? DuH – he's a republican (aka repugnican)....they dont care about the lower/middle class, they dont care about the sick, homeless, mentally ill, old or poor. They only care about helping out millionaires & billionaires, about giving them more tax breaks, about war with the middle east, and screwing over the rest of America.

    September 18, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  15. rla

    How about when you add up all the public sector jobs, teachers, illegals, and yes all those that have been taught by the liberal progressives how to play the system rather than work hard and well HE IS RIGHT! Sorry but we are transitioning to a welfare state and the downfall of America -way to go dems!

    September 18, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  16. John Illinois

    All he did was say it like it is. 47% of our country pay nothing in income taxes or get back way more than they put in. This is a path to failure. Everyone knows it, even you liberals. You liberals just can't handle the truth!

    September 18, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  17. claudeinalbany

    Mitt who?????

    Actually there are 100% who benefit from the government and taxes, etc. I suppose Mitt has enough money so he can build his own roads, hire his own police, etc. We all rely on the government to supply these services.

    This guy makes so many gaffs and misstatements once must wonder and fear what he would say and do as President. (Of course all politicians say dumb things at times, but Mitt has gone over the limit with this one.) I suppose smirky Ryan will try to clean up this doggy dodo after him....oh, I forgot, Romney's dog is strapped in atop his car!

    How can Obama be leading by only 3 percentage points? I knew there were too many, but could there be that many stupid voters in the U.S.?

    September 18, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  18. Bob Smith

    While the mainstream media derides Republicans for allegedly taking President Obama's "you didn't build that" remarks out of context, here they are taking the Republican candidate's words out of context. He's not saying his job as President is not to care for these people. Of course he would care about the American people and their futures. He's just saying, in the context of a political fundraiser, that it's not his job as a candidate to try to convince these people to vote for him. They wouldn't no matter what. There's nothing inherently wrong with acknowledging this.

    September 18, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  19. Martin

    Depending on the government Mitt does that include our Military industrial complex, veterans and federal employees too? What’s interesting people of his ilk believe the 46% of people not paying federal income taxes are primarily minorities "African-American’s" even though the census bureau reports African-American’s comprise of only 15% of the population, unless of course he’s referring to the “Republican Base”…

    September 18, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  20. kevin

    GOP! Stop sending us candidates like Thurston Howell the 3rd. I am a moderate and would like a choice.

    September 18, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  21. Anders Perillo

    Oooooh, you got him now! Quick, MSM, make hay with this one!


    September 18, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  22. Funk

    So... pretty clear how Romney see's Dems and Independents.... Since Dems only make up around 33%.

    Good night mittens... (I)

    September 18, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  23. mttrailboss

    If this how, former Governor Mitt Romney, feels about the majority of Americans'.., Mr. Romney, you just lost my vote. Mike in Montana

    September 18, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  24. SoAreU

    Mitt admits hes not fit to sit in the oval pit for the 47 percent.

    September 18, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  25. mttrailboss

    If this is how, former Governor Mitt Romney, feels about the majority of Americans'.., Mr. Romney, you just lost my vote.

    September 18, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
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