Romney talks welfare, but not 47%
September 22nd, 2012
06:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney talks welfare, but not 47%

(CNN) - Mitt Romney worked a comeback from an issue which dominated political headlines this week, speaking in his Saturday weekly podcast on welfare and dependency.

"Instead of creating a web of dependency, I will pursue policies that grow our economy and lift Americans out of poverty," Romney said. "My five-point plan will deliver the economic recovery we've all been waiting for and the jobs that millions of Americans still need."

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On Monday, a left-leaning magazine released secretly recorded clips of Romney speaking at a private fundraiser in May. In them, Romney is heard saying there is a certain bloc of people "who will vote for the president no matter what."

"There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to - you name it," Romney is seen and heard saying. "That's an entitlement.... These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich."

"My job is not to worry about those people," he continued. "I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful."

The release came as conservatives criticized Romney's campaign strategy as off-track.

But in his podcast on Saturday, Romney spoke about creating "a growing economy that fosters upward mobility," and hit Obama for leading "a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency."

He also criticized Obama's stance on welfare, a criticism he has leveled against the president on the campaign trail and in campaign advertisements.

"President Obama opposed the 1996 welfare reforms, and it is no surprise that his administration is trying to dilute them now," Romney said. "When it comes to strengthening the middle class and enabling upward mobility, President Obama's policies have failed."

His language in the radio address is toned down from an ad released last month which said welfare beneficiaries "wouldn't have to work and you wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."

A CNN fact check of the spot found the claim to be exaggerated.

In his address, Romney's emphasis was on his philosophy.

"As president, I will keep the work requirements in welfare and get our economy growing again, creating good jobs, higher take-home pay, and more opportunity for all Americans," he said.

Romney held meetings and fundraisers on Saturday but attended no public events. His running mate - Rep. Paul Ryan - campaigned in Florida.

Also see:

- Rubio tweets his airline woes

- Ryan 'very comfortable' as Romney's V.P. candidate

- Litigating Capitol Hill recess in weekly addresses

- Gingrich to Romney: Do to Obama what you did to me

- Biden: Romney tape, demeanor shows he 'does not understand' middle class

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. ronb

    Poor Willard. Still can't see that lies don't work. His campaign is pretty pathetic. You know it's bad when the wife comes out telling YOUR OWN SIDE to "stop it!". Leave my mittens alone!

    September 22, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Are you kidding me?

    Let me ask this question. Has Willard stepped foot into a low income area to speak to the people living there? Nope! Walk the walk then you can talk – but this flailing attempt does not sway my opinion one bit.

    September 22, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. GOP = madness

    Romney's Grandparents lived on welfare when they returned to America. They came back to America because of civil war in Mexico, and they were in Mexico because they could not practice multiple wife Mormonism in Utah. So Romney's Granparents and Romneys Dad depended on welfare for a while, I guess you are only a government mooch in the year 2012.

    September 22, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. enuff

    What 5 point plan? Or is it a secret too... like his taxes? Is he just going to just issue a statement that's been notarized that says he has one... trust him.

    September 22, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. ronb

    How could willard squander such a great opportunity?? Oh, that's right. He thinks he "deserves it" because he's rich and it's his turn. LOL Willard is ruined ....forever....finally. Thanks, GOP! Sr. Citizens let his running mate "lyin Ryan" have it last week at the AARP convention. Republicans know they had better abandon the disasterous duo before the only voting block they have left is the extremely, far right!

    September 22, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. tammyk tammy

    In a separate CNN article under CNN money, it was reported that Romney claimed $450,470 in business related income on his 2011 taxes. How did he earn business related income when he claims to have been retired since 1999? Is Bain still providing him an income? I wish I could be retired earning a business income of close to half a million. Is this the benefit he receives from all of the outsourcing done by Bain? Will Romneyhood please explain this portion of his income? I would like to know if he actually worked to earn any of his income or if he just sat back and collected his check like welfare people do.

    September 22, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    I do not know why this idiot in the race still? Very pathetic idiot. Total nonsense to USA and world.

    September 22, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. cisco4

    MItt Your RICH friends depend on loop holes and lobbiest for their dependcy on government.. Ask to delete em from their depends on gov..Not a word about that huh?

    September 22, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Israelis fear PM is meddling in US politics
    Netanyahu's friendship with Romney goes back to the 1970s, when they worked together at a Boston investment firm. During the campaign, Romney has accused Obama of throwing Israel "under the bus." And in comments to a closed fundraiser that were captured on videotape, Romney sounded as if he had received many of his talking points directly from Netanyahu as he listed reasons why peace between Israel and the Palestinians isn't possible.

    This is just one reason why I won't vote for Romney. . It's not just 47% of Americans he's referring too , He's referring to 47% of the world .

    Romney and Netanyahu might be great CEOs , but there not great leaders !

    September 22, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Mike

    CNN and the rest of the WH press departments continue to spin unsubstantial stories instead of hard news such as the DOJ using tax payer money to create propaganda via Media Matters (Daily Caller FOIA); the US Gov suing Gallop; Obama's "redistribution" statements; WH misinformation on Ambassador torture and murderer.....come on you all used to do the news, now you make it!

    September 22, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Mike in Texas

    His five point plan is five points short of being specific. Expand a little more on:

    Create 12 million what industries? Full time? Part time? Wages?

    The other 4....Tax restructure....won't tell you what until after you elect me.
    Oil independence....yeah right
    Deregulation...oh what
    Balance the budget....when and how?

    More empty promises.

    September 22, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. kapur a

    Romney thinks people are Stupid ?
    Here is his Plan – After he loses in November he will file Amended Tax Return with IRS and ask for Complete Charitable Contributions Deduction Restored; which will bring his Effective Tax Rate closer to 9%. I don't know how he can sleep with Clear Conscious knowingly trying to manipulate people for his personal gains. He continues to Flip-Flop in every action but tells everyone to Trust him.

    September 22, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. LMC

    An the 5 point plan is what?

    September 22, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Getoverit

    And Obama didn't mention jobs or the economy...

    September 22, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    "As president, I will keep the work requirements in welfare and get our economy growing again, creating good jobs, higher take-home pay, and more opportunity for all Americans," he said.
    This is exactly what Americans need right now. And exactly what Obama would not be able to claim with a straight face given his record of the past 3 1/2 years. We have had enough of the failed attempts. We have had enough of the unemployment extensions and ineffective "jobs" bills which even if they had worked like Obama promised would only create temporary jobs at $2 million a piece. We can do better and Aericans deserve results, not excuses. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    September 22, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. tammyk tammy

    Gov't dependency is fostered when people find themselves out of work due to corporate outsourcing and reduced paychecks done in the name of profit and outrageous bonuses and golden parachutes for CEOs. By the way tea partiers, abortion is also fostered by these same factors. When a young woman finds herself pregnant and knows she cannot feed, clothe, shelter, or provide healthcare for her child by herself and finds that any gov't programs which might have helped her have had their funding slashed by repugs, then abortion becomes a more attractive option. I will never understand the conflicting message of the so-called Christian conservatives. Do they really think that single mothers deserve to be left to begging for charitable donations at the church door?

    September 22, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Ask me how I know

    Mr. Romney, I was dedicated to a career I loved for 26 years. I worked hard to become "upwardly mobile". It is very easy for someone who hasn't been taken down by a disabling illness or event to think everyone on SSI is lazy. If I could sustain gainful employment I'd be out there doing it. Try walking a day in our shoes before you attach a label to us all.

    September 22, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Floridares

    The truth is immaterial to Romney. Pandering to the right wingnuts is what he aims to do. He has been too privileged and does not know what it is like to be poor and never will. I am sick of paying high % of my total income in taxes to subsidize Romney. That is why the economy poor...smaller middle class and bad economic policies that benefit the wealthy like Romney.

    September 22, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  19. GonzoinHouston

    Instead of 47% being dependent on government, we'll have 99% dependent on and subject to the whims of a handful of plutocrats, who will also own all aspects of the government. Sounds a lot like Haiti to me.

    September 22, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    Instead of saying Obama bad, me good all the time why don't you tell us how you are going to do all the things you say you are going to do? Create 12 million jobs, kill Obama care day one (guess he forgot about a little thing called Congress who hold his leash), cut the deficit in half. How you gonna do this Mitt? All we hear is how Obama is spending the country into oblivion which is a lie, check the facts, spent less the Bush II, less then Clinton, less then Bush I, and not even close to half of what Ronnie Raygun spent. Broken promises-how about a completely useless Congress (repub) that mounted almost 400 filibusters, the most in the entire history of Congress, and approval of that group is headed into the single digits. Tell us some more lies Mitt-Witt. We anxiously await the debates when you and Ryan are publically handed your heads.

    September 22, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. jvan

    no thanks mitt

    September 22, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Pete

    Romney talks like Hoover politics promising a chicken in every pot,a car in every driveway and now he says all college graduates will have a job,where at ,his God only knows!!So Romney digging deeper in his bag of lies,now telling Cubans in Miami he'll be tougher on Cubas Castro and Venezuelas Chavez..Well hate to say Fidel Castro ain't been running anything since 2008,his brother Raul does, who cares about Chavez,he's dying of cancer,we definitly have bigger eggs to fry don't we!!They were flanked by Cuban immigrents republicans instructing them what to say,Jeb Bush was also there ,so what right!!They also said if elected they'll get all cubans in miami jobs,big promises,empty dreams,that's what they're about,just pathedic!!

    September 22, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. Flagship, NC

    Alot of talk without outlining the 5 point plan.
    What is this magic 5 point plan?

    September 22, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. once upon a horse

    didn't take long for Romney and the GOP to go to their secret weapon...WELFARE the one thing that always unites the rapid base and inflames them because of course only lazy people that want handouts and free stuff are on welfare and they are taking while you're hardworking making ends meet. And God forbid if they are minorities doing it. And Mit has proven in his welfare attack that it doesn't have to be true and facts need not get in the way.

    September 22, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Southeast

    Said the man with no plan.

    September 22, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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