Paul Ryan says Romney comments ‘obviously inarticulate'
September 19th, 2012
07:52 AM ET
10 years ago

Paul Ryan says Romney comments ‘obviously inarticulate'

Greensboro, North Carolina (CNN) – Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan said Mitt Romney’s leaked comments were “obviously inarticulate” in an interview Tuesday, but stood by the point that people have become too dependent on government under President Barack Obama.

“He was obviously inarticulate in making this point, and the point we’re trying to make here is under the Obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up, and what we’re trying to achieve is getting people off of government dependency and back to a job that pays well and gets them onto a path of prosperity,” Ryan said in the interview with KRNV in Reno, Nevada.

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He echoed that sentiment at two public events Tuesday, though Ryan did not comment directly on Romney’s remarks - recorded at a private fundraiser in May - that were leaked on Monday.

Romney acknowledged his comments were “not elegantly stated,” though he has also stood by the general thrust of his remarks.

Reporter Joe Hart asked Ryan if his running mate regrets what he said.

“Oh I think he would have said it differently, that’s for sure, but the point still stands,” Ryan said. “We have too many people becoming too dependent upon government because of the poor economic policies of the Obama administration.”

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Christopher Casey

    It is exactly because it is so succint that the Romney campaign and now Ryan, in person, are being so quick to call it inarticulate. No, it's too clear. And this back pedaling by both republican candidates now pleading the "inarticulate" defense is more than just lame: it reveals how quickly they resort to lying in the face of controversy. Is it really credible that Romney would have gone to his principal backers with plans to be "inarticulate"??

    September 19, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Tony

    Truth hurts,
    The numbers came from a Tax Policy Center study in 2011. According to the study, 46.4% of all households don't pay income tax. Further, 10.3% of all households don't pay income tax because they are headed by retired and elderly. If you do the calculation, 10.3% is 22%, or about 1/5, of the 46.4%.

    I am sorry to tell you this, but come November 6th, the truth is really going to hurt.

    September 19, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Lar 5

    Really? No just dumb.
    Romney has never lived one day of his life in the real United States. If he believes the almost lily white GOP convention is representative of this country he is delusional. It is sad that a man who could could contribute so much to this nation is completely in the dark about what this country is about. His latest speeches are really disheartening.47% of the population, including so many republicans as well a democrats is not worth his time or effort. Why bother with this rabble? A president must represent and look out for all not just those lucky to have been born or become wealthy. Romney should wake up from his dream and look down from his ivory tower. He just might just learn something about the diversity of America.

    September 19, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. blip

    Colbert does a great job of elegantly restating Romney's position. It's the funniest thing you'll see today.

    September 19, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. retief1954

    Americans, DO NOT vote for this Repub ticket. They're hypocrites, and their story about a nation of people dependent on the government is simply false. Ryan himself labeled it correctly: "Who says things like that? That's just strange."

    These people are just BAD for America, and we are still trying to extract ourselves from the effects of their destructive, corrosive policies, decisions, and actions over the last 30 years. Elect Romney, and you'll elect a rehash of GW Bush, only more clumsy, ill-considered, and dangerous. Romney/Ryan will bring a country run by big corporations, rich donors, and hyper-conservative judges, all designed to lock in the absurd advantages they already hold in America.

    September 19, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Romney is not My Hero

    Horse-Mitt inarticulate? How disconcerting!!!

    OBAMA by a Landslide 2012!!!!

    September 19, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Ferret out the BS

    Romney is an arrogant SOB. He was perfectly clear about what he really believes. That 47% of America is on the dole and they won't vote for him. I think the numbers from when this story aired have changed and its heading more towards 60% that won't vote for Romney/ryan now. Keep up the good work boys you're doing a bang-up job

    September 19, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Zabazoom

    So now Ryan is explaining Romney? Who's in charge?

    September 19, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. teej

    Romney's words have been "inarticulate" far too often. As President 'walking back' and 'doubling down' on offensive language can be very dangerous. There won't be a base to cover your offenses with their votes. It'll be too late!

    September 19, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Jeff

    While what he said was rude to some, he never said that he wouldn't govern for them also. What he said is that he cannot worry about where they would vote. And he shouldn't. He's not Obama...he's not about redistributing wealth in this country. He's about helping those that will try to help themselves. Lowering taxes and making jobs available don't really attract those that don't want to work, have disabilities that make it so they cannot work, are elderly and aren't looking for work, and / or already don't pay income tax or get back more than they pay.

    September 19, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. sheryl

    Have to disagree with Ryan.

    Romney was TOO articulate. Drug addiction and dependency don't want to be told the hard truth.

    Obama hasn't articulated one single policy (except tax the rich which even Sweden knows doesn't work) to get the deficit under control, have the debt he promised he would or how to get people off government dependency. No Obama advertises to get people onto food stamps. And he targets minority groups with his ads.

    September 19, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. wonderabout

    Romney said exactly what he thinks and believes – for any of us to think differently is to be as clueless as he is. He cares nothing for the majority of Americans, he only cares if you have a million or more to waste on his dying campaign – but let us not be fooled – we still need to vote and vote for Obama. He is not only articulate, he is smart, sharp, and quick witted... and he truly cares for ALL of those he represents in this country.... he has tried to work with the people who have vowed they will make him fail – problem is – we the people are the ones who are suffering and the Republican right-wing lunatics don't give a rat's backside about any of us – only themselves.... remember to vote the right people in your state and local elections too....

    September 19, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. The Elephant in the Room

    For the 1st time in the campaign, Mitt Romney spoke comfortably. He spoke from his heart and revealed his true character when he thought no one was watching.

    He is not trustworthy. He thinks he is smarter than the rest of us and can "Svengali" us.

    Show us 14 years of your income tax returns

    September 19, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. GeneK

    I agree with Ryan. Despite mistakenly confusing Obama's 47% support with them, Romney's point still stands that he considers the 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes to be people who are dependent on the government and not taking responsibility for their own lives.

    September 19, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. librich

    Romney's hopeless. If you want fiscal responsibility and a sane foreign policy, vote for Gary Johnson.

    September 19, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Robert Chapman

    Mitt Romney has been running for President full time since 2007.

    If in all that Romney remains inarticulate and cannot handle the politics of campaigning, what indication is there that he could master the intricacies of the politics POTUS deals with in the pressure cooker of the Oval Room?

    September 19, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |

    Don't these people realize that they're are so many people out there who work extremely hard and they STILL can't pay the bills. They seem to think as long as you find a job and work hard then all your problems go away. OH I am sitting here in tears thinking about the hard work my mother and father have done over the last 30 YEARS and still struggled until the very end to make ends meet. I will be a supporter of Democrats until my dying breath because Democrats support people like me and my family. People who are handed NOTHING. Who worked for every single thing we've got.

    September 19, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Robert Chapman

    I agree with Ryan. Despite mistakenly confusing Obama's 47% support with them, Romney's point still stands that he considers the 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes to be people who are dependent on the government and not taking responsibility for their own lives.

    A lot of those 47% are retirees, do the Republicans believe the social security pensioners should return their pensions to the government and forfeit the benefits they have paid for all their working lives?

    September 19, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. john

    The thing that most republicans do not seem to understand is that Romney is not behind cause he is Romney. He is behind in the polls cause the more folks understand what Ryan and him plan on doing, the more they do not like it.

    That is why Romney does not want to get into any specifics.

    It is very simple.

    A good example is Romney's white paper on education and his freedom agenda and plans to gut grad school support. Yup, you are free to be on your own. How in the earth does he plan on supporting the long term nation security need for highly educated and skill workers if his plan guts graduate school support? Simple put, he can't.

    September 19, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Wilson

    @Deb in MT
    "Even though he didn't say it the best, Romney is right. There is no way I can vote for someone that believes it is fair to take more of the money I work really hard for, and give it to someone capable of working, but does not want to work...."
    What a huge assumption there, Wilson, that people who pay no federal income taxes are those that don't want to work.
    So, my late parents–who worked until they were in their 70's–were 'moochers' when they accepted SocSec/Medicare? My son–working full time but making low wages–is a 'moocher' when he gets a tax refund that returns the income taxes that had been taken out of his paycheck? My neighbor–deployed to Afghanistan–is a 'moocher' because he pays no Federal income tax on his combat pay?
    Wow. Just, wow.
    --------------------Thanks Deb for proving my earlier point concerning the liberal reading and comprehension skills. Here, let me point it ouit to you, I said "....capable of working, but do not WANT to work..." Pretty much makes your entire tirade nonsense, now doesn't it?

    September 19, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. sheryl

    People conflating federal tax (the 47% that don't pay any) and SS & Medicare (everyone pays into) are simply clueless.

    Look at your pay stubs people they are different taxes!

    BTW that SS & Medicare number that you are paying into isn't going to be there for you but your Mute Unicorn President of the Hope and Change glassy eyed yesteryear hasn't put up one single policy to make sure that money is there for you.

    The Democratic Party is now the DDD-Party of Debt Deficit Dependency

    September 19, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Joanne Renshaw

    I wonder how forgiving the international community would be, should Romney (gasp) become president, when he exhibits his "inarticulous-ness", as it applies to their interests. He has already shown some of his inadequate diplomatic chops in the UK (Olympic comments), Poland (socialist govt. is a "Republican dream"), provoking Russia (saying Russia is 'No. 1 Geopolitical Foe'), the Palestinians (saying a better "culture" explains Israel's economic dominance over Palestinians, and then later denied that he even addressed the subject at all while in Israel). Then he criticized (and stated falsely that) President Obama "apologize"; saying the statement from the embassy in Egypt, while it was about to be attacked, was Obama's words. As of that moment, Obama had said nothing.

    September 19, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. SAM

    Dependence on government, or liberty. That's the choice. Big government and the bureaucracy keep making promises (on both sides) to meet our needs if we just keep electing them to office, promising that you'll get yours and I'll get mine, and the cost is liberty. In today's America government raises our kids, subsidizes our farms, manipulates our "free" market, promises us social "security" that we may never see due to politicians in Washington robbing the fund, involves itself in private enterprise, and the list goes on. Government in America has a track record of making promises they do not or can not keep. Who can deny that?
    "But hey, as long as I get mine from the government then I don't care." You can lure a cow anywhere you want with sweet feed, including the slaughterhouse.
    Choose liberty! Choose independence! Let the government help you do that, but be free, not dependent. Don't be fooled by the Democrat/Republican noise; big government is big government. Make the choice to be free, not dependent, and vote for those who will help you to do that.
    Has it been too long ago now that Americans were willing to die for THEIR freedom? Has liberty lost its precious value in our eyes?

    September 19, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. SFRich

    Ryan characterizes Romney's revealing speech as being “obviously inarticulate.”

    Shouldn't that make us all wonder if we need a president that makes “obviously inarticulate" statements? Wasn't George "Dubya" enough? Presidents are a figure head for us all. They represent the US in the eyes of the world. Do we really want this guy talking to other world leaders? He's so full of himself that he didn't even have the sense to realize he was insulting the English when visiting London prior to the recent Olympics.

    September 19, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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