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. Bob

    Mitt is only stating the truth. 47% of Americans Pay not Federal Income TAX....so lowering taxes is meaningless to them. Cutting entitlements and shrinking Government are not in their best interests since most of the 47% live off the Government. The rest of the country that has support them IS interested in lower taxes and less Government.

    September 18, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. riptin

    When you break it down and take into consideration who doesn`t pay taxes like seniors who don`t meet the income level, veterans with disabilities and all the tax breaks for families with kids and housing deductions. then you trow in the rich who use the many loopholes created over the years plus many other tax breaks. So that 47% is pretty much eliminated leaving approximately 15% who actually cheat.

    September 18, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Barry In Las Vegas

    Telling it the way it is. It's tough to look in the mirror and see yourself. When you have half the people not paying taxes a country is headed for disaster. Look at Europe – that's where we are going to be soon. Sure the poles show that more people believe taxing more for income earners over $200,000 is a good idea – that means more free stuff for them. They have no skin in the game.

    September 18, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. James C

    For three years I was someone who owed no Federal Income tax, why? Well in short my wife was in law school and qualified for education credits, I am a public school teacher so my salary isn't great, and taking advantage of all my deductions etc. and based off several of the stimulus tax credits I owed no federal income tax. Though we have paid numerous state, local, and other federal taxes. The 47% number is deceptive, it fails to account for growing income disparity and regressive taxes like the payroll tax.

    September 18, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Thump

    The poorest states in the Union are Republican (the same states with the highest drop out rates). Republican states comprise the majority of states receiving more federal tax than they pay. The blue states carry the red states.

    September 18, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. ATL Guy

    Anyone who believes that 47% of Americans do not pay taxes is an incompetent idiot. The fact that you pay NO TAXES in America is impossible to achieve. First of all, if you work you pay payroll taxes. If you live in a state with state taxes, you pay that. If you live in a state with sales taxes you pay that. To say there are freeloaders that do not pay taxes is stupid, ignorant and idiotic.

    September 18, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    ""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 you have it. The "wealthy" should be paying for everyone else's food, clothing, housing, booze, smokes, XBOX, large screen TV (with cable of course)... and now their retirement. Cradle to grave mentality.
    And there you have it: the righties screaming that all we want to do is steal from the rich. Get over it, we don't need them, we need a chance and we will take it. You just don't want to give anyone a chance, that's your problem."
    Don't sweat it dude. To some extent, I switch from posting silly things just to make them angry to posting things that are hard and dry facts just to get them to respond with their ideologically stilted over-generalizations and stereotypes so they can inadvertently reveal what truly underlies their rage. Here, let me show you:

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

    September 18, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    Does Mittens even know what a Wage Earners Paycheck look like ? Somebody needs to show him one & point out the part where FICA is taken out, where Fed. Income Tax is WITH HELD. What is really sad is that Fox News has sold Wage Earners that "others" are paying NO Taxes-Not True ! Even the Wino pays taxes when he buys his bottle.

    September 18, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Anchorite

    Disgusting. This from a guy who refuses to release his tax returns so we can see that he himself pays in at less than a third of what he would if he were getting his income as salary like we do instead of capital gains. This from a conservative? Conservatives are the whiniest bunch on the planet. They hate most Americans, they think the government is picking on them, they think Europe is picking on them, they hate Africa, they hate Latin America, they think China is being unfair to them, they use their unparalleled hundreds of radical Christian HDTV channel around the country to complain that they have no voice, their cable news network to say liberals dominate the media. I've never heard anyone blame someone else so much.

    September 18, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Davis

    Finally, someone speaks the truth!! I may have to vote for this clown over the other clown now. Someone gets it. When the people figure out how to vote to get the $$$ we, as a country, will soon perish. Well, people are figuring this out. BO is the welfare POTUS.

    September 18, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -truth hurts

    WOW!! My name really rings true today with this story!! I'm glad this is being widely publicized as it appears there are a lot of uninformed voters/taxpayers out there that are unaware of the extent of the Democrat welfare state.

    Why do people think we have huge deficits? What do you expect when a huge percentage pay ZILCH while the Democrats scream about "fairness" from those that are already footing most of the bills of this country?


    (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)
    Ronald Reagan was the one who allowed people living on SS and Medicare not to get taxed, with the idea that the more money these people spent that that would help drive the economy. So, if you want to blame someone, blame him.

    September 18, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. ConcernedSNCO

    So Mr Romney, what about the troops that I have supervised who defend this country that receive/eligible for food stamps. Do they matter? Are they In it for a handout? What about the veteran who serves his country and depends on V.A. Benefits. What about the average citizen who works hard for thirty years and retires with very little benefits and depends on SS and Medicare to survive. Are they only looking for a handout? What about the person that looses his job through no fault on there part. Are they on their own? That being said, I have read some of the pro-Romney posts. We all will or have received some type of assistance within our lifetime whether its college grants, SS, Medicare, etc. If you thin otherwise you are either stupid or or In denial. To vote for a guy that thinks so low of you and your everyday struggles is just plain irresponsible.

    September 18, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Romney's words suggested that *all* of the "47%" who pay no federal taxes are Obama supporters. He basically wrote them off. Right? They're all freeloaders, right? Let's examine how severely ridiculous the comments are.

    Let's contemplate the worst case scenario for a moment. The Romney/Ryan Plan is passed as a budget, which cuts capital gains taxes altogether. No mas, no more. This would put Romney into that "47%" that pays no federal taxes. By Romney's definition, wouldn't that make him an Obama supporter and freeloader?

    September 18, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. myviewis

    Republican states comprise the majority of states receiving more federal tax than they pay.

    Yet Democrats accuse Republicans of being the Rich, elite, snubs, small business owners, don't want to tax the rich, elevator in the car, not for the poor, haters of the poor people, haters of women, etc...

    Hmmmmm, sounds like you are pushing the usual Democrat gimmick?????

    September 18, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Sue

    Bravo....I too have worked all my life, paid my taxes (more than Romney and his rich friends pay) I've never relied on the Government for food, healthcare, education or any of that stuff....but now that I am 65 I am receiving my SS and Medicare (that money is MINE the govenment took it out of each of my checks and now it is time to pay me back every penney of it and not in vouchers) my husband is a Vietnam veteran with a Silver Star and Purple Heart, he gets a disability check each month for the many wounds he received over in Vietnam and that money isn't taxed......so are you saying that the VETS of this country are victims too and that they rely on the government and they are part of the 47% you don't care about ....... these men and women deserve every penny they get in benifits and some are even struggleing month to month, are you saying they don't deserve their Healthcare from the VA.......what do you stand for Romney? You not only will do away with the middle class, stave the poor and let them die, but you will take away the benifits these VETS deserve to give more to your rich elite friends and to yourself........

    September 18, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Jules

    The GOP should write this guy off and concentrate on Congress. He is such a loser and a stupid, hatefilled on at that. He has the most cockemayme view of America that I have ever heard. I can't even imagine this guy in charge of anything. He surely can't run his campaign and he can't even run his mouth.

    September 18, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Does Mittens even know what a Wage Earners Paycheck look like ?"

    Probably not. Most of these guys only see red when they loko at a middle-class paycheck because they so resent having to pay ANYTHING AT ALL for your labor in the first place.

    September 18, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Anchorite

    Apparently facts mean nothing to the Right. Romney said 47% pay no taxes, that doesn't say a thing about you getting welfare, it just means your tax deductions exceed your payment (gee, like with most corporations?). So right there he's implying that if you take tax breaks (like him) you're on welfare. Although 84% still pay payroll taxes, meaning they have jobs and are paying in instead of getting out, i.e. "freeloading." And of the 16% that aren't paying anything, two thirds of those are elderly who paid taxes their whole lives, and the other 6% make less than $20k/year, which is real easy to do if you only make minimum wage or even 50% above minimum wage. Apparently the right wing rich want the bottom 6% of society to pay for their sweetheart contracts and private security contractors.

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

    It's laughable. To all of you self-proclaimed Republicans: He's talking about a lot of YOU. How do I know this? I work w/ a few Mitt Romney backers. They receive government assistance of some kind: 1 gets food stamps. 1 has health insurance. 1 has a daughter going to school w/ the aid of a Pell Grant (she's a birther, too). I make the same amount of money, am a single mother to a 16 yr. old, and have managed to stay off of all of these so far! The college classes I attended, I paid for myself, etc. If there ever comes a time I need help, please don't be an a 55 about it.

    September 18, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Lawless4U

    Barry, do you know why 47% pay no income taxes?


    September 18, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. myviewis

    sonny chapman

    Does Mittens even know what a Wage Earners Paycheck look like ? Somebody needs to show him one & point out the part where FICA is taken out, where Fed. Income Tax is WITH HELD.

    Your comment contradicts your fellow Democrats comment, so which one is it????????

    The poorest states in the Union are Republican (the same states with the highest drop out rates).

    September 18, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. oliver

    Preface: I am a liberal. I work hard, I pay higher percentage in taxes then Romney. I have never taken a handout. Substance: If you took all the combined capital (that is absolutely everything people own) from the 47% of people who do not pay taxes it equates to roughly 700billion dollars. If you raised taxed on the top 1% by only 2% it would equate to 1.4 trillion dollars.
    Conclusion: The wealthy use the 47% who pay no taxes as a blanket to hide the fact, that they don't pay enough taxes themselves.

    September 18, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Stanley

    WAKE UP! Not everyone makes enough money to pay federal taxes. Its always been this way. That's because, as the article mentioned, the 47 percent figure includes the elderly, the disabled, students, veterans, unemployed, on and on and on. Calling these people "freeloaders" is disgusting and innaccurate.

    September 18, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. 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 purchase those new TVs but ya don't hear the tighty righties whining about that. That being said, the technology has made flat screen TVs super cheap – much cheaper than trying to go to the movies or any other form of entertainment. Would those tighty righties prefer that families have NO form of entertainment for their kids? What do they think those kids would do with their time then? Most likely they'd be running the streets, possibly committing crimes.

    September 18, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Jules

    From someone who stores his money in offshore accounts so he doens't have to pay taxes, he is sure one to talk about freeloaders. His remarks were stupid and once again unfactual lies.

    September 18, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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