What's the fallout? Conservatives split after Romney comments leaked
September 18th, 2012
11:05 AM ET
10 years ago

What's the fallout? Conservatives split after Romney comments leaked

(CNN) – Videos captured surreptitiously at a Mitt Romney fund-raiser became the latest campaign trail bombshell when they were leaked to a left-leaning magazine on Monday evening.

The tapes show Romney arguing nearly half of Americans will vote for President Barack Obama because they rely on government support, made apparent jokes about wishing he had Latino heritage, and talks about a Chinese factory his former firm considered purchasing.

Another clip released Tuesday shows the GOP presidential candidate questioning the prospect of ever reaching peace between Israelis and Palestinians, calling a path to a solution in the region "almost unthinkable to accomplish."

Below is a smattering of reaction from conservatives around the web:

Rush Limbaugh:

"This could be the opportunity for Romney and for that campaign to finally take the gloves off and take the fear off and just start explaining conservatism. Start explaining liberty to people and what it means, and explain that they don't have to be in that 47%. There's no reason for them, for everybody, to essentially have given up on their future in this country. There's no reason for it. This is, to me, such an opportunity to espouse conservatism and to explain to people. Now that people are focused on this, now that people are paying attention to it, this is a golden opportunity, and we know Romney's got it in him because of what he said to these people."

RedState.com editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson:

[tweet https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/247847415464488961%5D

Weekly Standard editor William Kristol:

"It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!). But that shouldn't blind us to the fact that Romney's comments, like those of Obama four years ago, are stupid and arrogant.

Indeed: Has there been a presidential race in modern times featuring two candidates who have done so little over their lifetimes for our country, and who have so little substance to say about the future of our country?"

Breitbart.com's John Nolte:

So, just as the media did last week with Romney's perfectly valid criticism of Obama and the Cairo Embassy apology, it looks as though we're in for another week-long stink of media-manufactured outrage.

But over what, exactly?

Over a conservative talking like a conservative and laying out facts.

When I saw these videos, my first thought was, "Gee, I wish Romney would talk this way on the campaign trail."

Romney campaign adviser Bay Buchanan:

"Certainly this is a bump in the road. But is anybody looking at the campaign of Barack Obama? He has spent the last week with America watching as his foreign policy of appeasement and apologies has disintegrated. We have problems around this world in all the Muslim countries, where anti-American sentiment is unbelievable. And that's a good week?"

Donald Trump on NBC's "Today":

"He has to not apologize; I think we've seen enough apologizing already. He cannot apologize. What he said is probably what he means, and he did say 'inartfully stated.' The fact is he cannot apologize; he is going for those independents. He won't get the votes of a lot of people he's discussing, and if you're not going to get the votes, let's go on with it."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Fox News:

"So he would say it probably differently today, but it is a significant problem when you have this level of people that don't pay a significant amount of taxes because they can't earn a good living. So job creation, economic development through these plans, I think, are exactly the right formula for the country."

New York Times columnist David Brooks:

This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn't know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?
It suggests that Romney doesn't know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.

Tea Party Patriots:

“This election poses a choice for voters: do you want a country dependent on government programs and handouts, or do you want a country with an economy that produces good jobs and returns America to a higher standard of living?"

“In 2011, 49 percent of Americans lived in a household where at least one member of the family received a government benefit. Since 2009, Tea Party Patriots across the nation have said: Enough! Enough of big government supporting failed companies. Enough of big government health care schemes that rob American families of the freedom to choose the best care for them. Enough of big government that divides this great nation into factions that fight for their own government handouts."

Also see:

– Eastwood: If they were 'dumb enough to ask me…'

– In new tape, Romney casts doubt on peace in Israel

– Obama camp wastes no time highlighting Romney tapes

– Hatch might 'die before his term' ends, opponent charges

– Biden on Romney tape: 'words speak for themselves'

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Fox Geek

    “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money,” the French philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville once said

    September 18, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Wilthing1

    Mr. Romney. I am a white woman, 51 years old. I have NEVER asked for nor have I ever received government aid. I attended public schools, I have taken the home tax deductions, and any other deductions allowed by the tax code. I am a job creator, employing up to 20 people per job. I'm an independent contractor, but when I'm working, I'm proud to be able to employ people. On my jobs, I don't look at my workers as parasites. It's important to me to pay a fair wage. I'm proud to support my community in this way. These people have families, dreams, just like me. It would never occur to me to take advantage of them for a few more bucks in my pocket. And believe me, I could use it. You see Mitt, to me it seems like all you've ever cared about is your own pockets. You've fleeced 'em coming and going. Without a second thought. You are a heartless bum. I'm voting for Obama.

    September 18, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. durundal

    I love watching fools sputter, and flail, and cling to their rhetoric after their candidate gets caught YET AGAIN with his pants down. Keep trying with the liberal conspiracy, maybe just maybe you one day might be relevant

    September 18, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Fox Geek

    Finally someone has the guts to tell the truth, the ugly truth that we can't afford the programs offered when 46-47% of the working population pays no federal income taxes. Payroll taxes are for social security and medicare these are not federal income taxes you freaks. If you paid taxes you would know this.
    It's about time conservatives finally figured that out. Allow me to point out the elephant in the room. The tax loopholes that allow so many to pay no federal income taxes were introduced by Ronald Reagan. Reagan tripled the national debt while he was in office. From an economic viewpoint, he was a complete disaster.

    September 18, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Etienne

    from "truth hurts": (and no more of this liberal Democrat BS spin of people paying sales and payroll taxes! Everybody already pays those. We are talking about federal income taxes used to pay fo rthe running of this country every day)

    moronic statement. fed income taxes account for 40% of federal revenues. another 40% comes from payroll taxes

    September 18, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. BeverlyNC

    The real arrogant elitist Romney has now been exposed for ALL to see. I never thought Romney wanted the real job of the President – "to serve and protect" but he wanted it for the power and because he thought he was entitled to it. I knew Romney was dishonest, had no character, integrity, honor, or leadership right from the start. He is not worthy of ANY office and should just end his campaign and go on a world tour to visit his hidden money he pays no taxes on. Romney is the useless parasite who pays no taxes, cheats, lies, and takes from America while he is more invested in foreign countries and companies than he is in America. He is a traitor of America and will NEVER do anything for the PEOPLE. He is corporate-owned and will destroy the middle class and the poor to give the rest of what we have to these corporations. Goodbye Romney. Your campaign is done!
    I will continue to stand with my President Obama who stands up and works hard for the ALL Americans. He is a true leader with true values who will restore more jobs and economic success when we get out ALL obstructionist Republicans from Congress so Obama's jobs bills can be passed and work accomplished. NO MORE REPUBLICANS in ANY local, state, and national seats. We need leaders who take their oath to serve US seriously – not who betray us and look down on us.
    I will stand

    September 18, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. B.

    As if most Americans did not already understand what Romney is all about.

    Romney is all about building a pyramid to himself and couldn’t care less about people.

    Just another religious Hypocrite amoung most in the Republican party.

    September 18, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Michael Wiese

    Maybe he should consult his running mate on this issue of "dependency" and "victimization".
    Little Paul and his family received social security benefits, and he received this at a young age. Why doesn't Mitt publicly disgrace little Paul for being lazy and "dependent" on government? Where's the hard work? Why didn't this little prick pull himself up by his bootstraps?
    That's right. They take what they can get and say **** everyone else. And that is exactly what they are going to do to you republican voters when you put them in office. Talk about sadomasochism.....

    September 18, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Marty, FL

    Romney lied again with his divisive broad brush, and too many of his followers choose to make excuses, again. Sad.

    September 18, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Ted McD

    The interesting thing to me isn't what he said because it kind of ties into what most people already thought of Romney , a cold,rich , out of touch business guy, but how he said it. Stylistically he spoke much more concisely and with more conviction than I have ever heard him speak before....for once we actually got to see what this guy really believes. No matter what your political affiliation and whether you believe in what he said or not, this was as bad as it gets and has likely lost this election for himself and a number of other politicians who have tied themselves to him.

    September 18, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. CTStorm

    Geez... What was he thinking ??

    Everybody knows you need to lie and blow smoke up America's skirt in order to get elected !

    (Doesn't matter that it's 100% true)

    "When you rob Peter to pay Paul......you can always count on the support of Paul"

    September 18, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Amnesia 101

    I don't mind helping those who need help. If you want to go to college and you need help, count me in. If you have kids to feed and you don't make enough, count me in. If you need medical assistance and you can't afford it, count me in. I don't need or want a President who willfully discounts 47% of Americans because he thinks they're not worth the fight.

    September 18, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Harvey

    I don;t know about Romney's numbers, but he is fundamentally correct. I do not mind helping those who can not work or are temporarily down on their luck. But I will be damn if I want to help someone who will not work and simply leach off the system. As far as I am concerned, it is not Romney's job to worry about these people and they can starve.

    September 18, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Nash

    Mitt Romney: if you are not a millionaire you don't pay taxes!

    Coming from someone who won't show us how much he paid in taxes. Chances are he is a tax cheat and taking advantage of all the government can offer, yet dismissing its utility. If government is so bad, what are republicans doing in government? Go figure. Free health benefits for life courtesy of the taxes from the working power and the middle class.

    September 18, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Jim Hahn

    David Brooks has it right while Bay Buchanan is as dimwitted as her brother. Romney doesn't get it and doesn't understand people who make less than $100,000 a year. There are those of us in the 53% who do pay taxes, willingly I might add, who understand what it means to live on very little, to give up meals so your family can eat. They are not victims, they are the strugglers who just need a little TEMPORARY help.

    September 18, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Mittens is DONE!

    THESE conversatives (quoted above) belong in a carnival side show because they are beyond delusional. A Ryan-Rubio ticket? BRING IT ON! lol

    September 18, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Malory Archer


    ""Big screen TVs" in 2012 = "Brand new Cadillacs" in 1984.


    The previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania allowed for a change in television formatting that made it necessary to ......."

    The point, dear Mallory, was that it worked in the 80's for Reagan to create the racist meme of the "cadillac driving welfare queen" and the only difference from that disgusting nonsense that we're hearing today is in terms of the technology. The racist stereotypes and disgusting, resentful, inaccurate, unfactual themes underlying it all has not changed one single bit.


    Agreed! the tighty righties need SOMEBODY to hate, and with a Democrat in the WH, this is their chance to let it all hang out!

    September 18, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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