What's the fallout? Conservatives split after Romney comments leaked
September 18th, 2012
11:05 AM ET
9 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. CanadaONE

    SAD – what stupidty

    the GOP will regret this candidate – it will mark the splitting of the republican party in the USA
    in the 2016 election there will be THREE Parties – the Repubs are DONE

    true republicans that care for all their people should demand that HE STEP DOWN

    September 18, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Joan in MS

    Dear Mr. Romney:
    My Mom is retired now. She paid into Social Security and Medicare her whole life. She is NOT a victim, and she is certainly NOT looking for food or housing from you. Shame on you! You are pathethic and despicable! Your campaign's negativity and your personal hatred for more than half of all Americans is deplorable. Again, shame on you!

    September 18, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Gimmeabreak!

    Romney tells it like it is –he's 1000% right, and we all better pay attention. You want the soup kitchen, then vote for Obama. You want opportunity to work hard and make something of your life without the government stealing most of from you, the vote for Romney.

    September 18, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. rs

    Mr. Romney's insult to Social Security recipients, our members of the military, college students, and the poor (those who don't pay federal income taxes) while he hides his own money offshore reveals just how sick and twisted the GOP really is. The "party of Jesus" eh? More like Satan. Sick, sick, sick.

    September 18, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "The freeloading 47%, just don't care that everyone else is rowing the boat. And for those that find Romney's CORRECT statement "uncomfortable"... too bad. The truth hurts, and it's about time someone had the stones to say it."

    What don't you understand about this? MITTENS IS PART OF THE 47% HE RIDICULED AND DEMEANED!!!!! He admitted as much in response to Gingrich in a primary debate when Gingrich stated that we shoudl just get rid of the capital gains tax and Mittens said that we shouldn't because it would mean that he would pay almost no taxes. How is that any different than the family living on so little that they few deductions available to them deecrease their income tax to zero?

    Well, let me explain how it's different: Mittens makes $30M per year and pays zero income taxes and there is ZERO justification for letting him off the hook for them. NONE. The Congressional Research Service just released a comprehensive study of the past 65 years of tax policy and economic trends that concluded there is ZERO evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy increase savings or investment, spur economic growth or create jobs. Conversely, a family of 4 living on a low enough joint income that their deductions reduce their income tax to zero is still paying FICA for their Medicare and SS, etc. and there IS justification for providing them with relief on their income taxes.


    September 18, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Glenn Rice

    The real freeloaders are in Congress. How about a plan to convert the congressional pension plan to social security and their medical coverage to traditional medicare? And, in hard times like these, how about a pay cut till they dig the economy out of the ditch it's in?

    September 18, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  7. norguist

    Romney,one of the guys who ouutsourced jobs to China and puts his money in Swiss bank accounts instead of investing in America then insults the jobless who need foodstamps and unemployment benefits.Do you really trusr this guy with your future?

    September 18, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Joan in MS

    If we knew the truth and all of the facts, Romney didn't pay taxes either, and HE is in the 47% himself. I think he must release his taxes now. There are no other options. If he doesn't, the voters will believe that he is one of the 47% in this country that hasn't paid any taxes. Romney pays no federal income tax, then complains about others who do not! What a sham! What a disgrace to the great and noble country!

    September 18, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Tony

    Hey Mitt, do you know that 10.3% of all households don't pay income tax because they are retired and elderly? They make up about 1/5 of that 47%. As you said, it is not your job to worry about these people, right? Do you think that you can win without the senior vote?

    September 18, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Dean

    Finally. A presidential candidate who faces the truth. Romney will bring about much needed tax reform.

    September 18, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. G D

    The fallout should be simple. If you're rich and unwilling to pay your fair share, then vote Romney. The rest of us need to get off our proverbial behinds and vote for anything but this panderer and dissembler.

    September 18, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Glenn Rice

    Mitt better take another look at the statistics, too. The highest concentration of "47% freeloaders" is located in the south which is hardcore Romney country.

    September 18, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Mack

    Who cares what the Conservatives think. He already has their votes.

    September 18, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. kabelme

    The top 1% of this country shoulders 36.7% of the federal income tax burden, according to the National Taxpayers Union. The top 5% pays 58.7%. Top 10% pays 70.5%. The bottom half pays just 2.25%. According to the Census Bureau, 49% of Americans live in a household that receives a government entitlement, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, disability, Social Security, or housing assistance. There is nothing wrong with pointing out the truth. Obama would also point out that he is not interested in 47% of the population. During election season he is also interested only in the swing votes.

    September 18, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. CanadaONE

    Of the 47% there are Republicans in this group – Romney has just alienated them – he MOST CERTAINLY LOST THIS ELECTION

    September 18, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. robert jay1

    The problem is "REPUBLICANS" period – these people inherently care only for themselves and their kind – no one else matters or should have any priveldges (as in "serfdom") When a republican opens his mouth you know it is to tell a lie from Romney thru the Congress to the people on the street – They make me sick but the real problem is they are dangerous to not only to real people in the US but to the world as whole! Elect Romney or any Republican and you are electing the absolute surety of war or worse armegeddon!

    September 18, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. mike

    47% is too low. The government gives" handouts' regardless of income. No taxes are collected on income spent on mortgage interest on up to loans of 1M. Tax credits are give for every child regardless of income. No taxes are paid on income donated to churches/charities. Let's just collect taxes on all income and we might get down to 47%.

    September 18, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: After all is said and done, Mitt Romney WILL take the GOP down into the gutter with him.

    September 18, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Mark

    Romney says he wants the entire video released. As soon as his tax returns are released his request seems reasonable. And how many of the 47% he mentions are die hard republicans who don't pay taxes? A lot of them, and now they must feel like lost puppies. The ship carrying this campaign is crashing and burning right now.

    September 18, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    David Brooks makes a valid point when he asks who the freeloaders are? Is it the veteran going to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security and Medicare? What is an even more important question to conservatives is why don't you create conditions here to employ people and get them off assistance? Why not take Jack Kemp's ideas for Urban Empowerment Zones that would have created good jobs in urban areas through private investment? The reason why those things never happened was that people like Romney sent the investment money out of the country, leaving jobs with subsistance weages for people instead of something that would support middle-class families. The Right has consistently failed in the area of private investment where it is most needed: in our own country. They have cut the legs out from under us economicially, and they now expect us to follow them when they spit in our faces? I have never taken unemployment, I worked my way through college and grad school, and I'm now getting ready to move into a brand new home I bought with the lowest interest rates in my lifetime: yet, according to Romney, I am not a success. I create things, he's a parasite.

    September 18, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. DumptheChump

    So, conservatives are split, even though it is like 4-2 – difficult to count Brooks as a conservative though.

    September 18, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Jill

    Want to see who the real moochers are? Read Subsidies of the Rich and Famous, a report by Tom A. Coburn, U.S. Senator dated November 2011. You can google it.

    September 18, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. mrkidd

    Do we know that Romney isn't part of the freeloading 47% Where are his tax returns????

    September 18, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. rs

    What is so devistating about Mr. Romney's private screed is that it shows very graphicly how out of touch he is with the vast majority of Americans and their conditions. Social Security recipients "aren't responsible for thier lives"?! Veterans using the GI Bill-freeloaders?! The Bush-made poor and unemployed need food assistance are bums?! Absolutely outrageous! To top it off he admits he will NOTgovern nor care about the GOP's so-called 47%. This is America buddy- we're all in this together.

    I hope that once and for ever this event clearly shows which party is the the party of division; which party is the party of plutocratic "elites"; and which party really stands for economic warfare and redistribution. The GOP is not the party of kind-hearted Christians- they worship only at the alter of profit.

    These are deeply revolting people who deserve no chance at leadership!

    America First!

    September 18, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. miguelgenius

    Romney is only saying what the real Republican platform is all about:.
    "Screw the poor"

    All these tapes do is remove the curtains.

    September 18, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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