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YOUR TURN: Was Romney Right About the 47 Percent, or Will This Doom his Campaign?

Mother Jones released a video of Mitt Romney telling a private audience that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on the government and will never vote for him. Was this a ruinous gaffe, or has Romney told a hard political truth?

A secret video obtained by Mother Jones magazine has rocked the political world. In that video, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims, are dependent on the government and will never vote for him. He went further, saying he wasn't worried about them. The magazine released a portion of the video Monday.

In a late night press conference Monday, Romney said the comments were not "elegantly stated," but were part of a larger conversation about the role of personal responsibility. Romney went on to say the comments were a reflection on "the political process of winning an election, and, of course, I want to help all Americans—all Americans—have a bright and prosperous future."

Mother Jones said it would release the full video by late Tuesday afternoon. UPDATE: Mother Jones posted the full video just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Do you think the video shows Romney's true feelings about half of the American electorate, or was this an out-of-context snippet? Will this hurt Romney's chances of willing the election, or is it one blip in a very long campaign? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

[Editor's note: This item is posted on all Boston Patch sites.]

Owen September 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Joseph, You have the typical conservative attitude: everything is in black and white, and everyone who is not as successful as you is a deadbeat. Way to support your fellow American. Here are some statistics for you to chew on. I'm sure you'll come up with some reason that they're wrong. But hopefully you'll step out of your conservative world of absolutism. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/19/wonkbook-the-47-percent-by-the-numbers/
Joseph September 19, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Owen, fiscally conservative, you better believe it! As should you be! What's wrong with looking at things in black and white or even black and red? I don’t believe being $16Tril in debt is a good thing. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ The problem with the likes of you is you think the US can just print and spend all the money we want. Start reading some foreign publications. Check out the Financial Times or The Economist. It will give you a much different perspective. You familiar with what’s happening in the EU? Fiscal Cliff? Greece? Spain? These current events sound familiar? They should. We’re very close to being in the same crisis. We, as a country, cannot afford to continue this spending spree. Obama has yet to pass a budget in his years in office. Whether you like it or not, the United States IS a business and needs to run as such, at least for now or until we fix what’s broken. Should the government help out retirees and the elderly, yes. Should they be offering handouts to people that took themselves out of the work force because they had too much pride to flip a burger or bag some groceries, 100% not!! Listen, I’m disgusted with our current politicians, never crossing party lines, never agreeing to vote together. These f**ks don’t give two $hits about you, nor me. It’s disgusting. Both sides of the isle. If they’re unable to get things done, get someone in there that CAN and IS WILLING to make the tough decisions, whether we like them or not!!
Ajax September 19, 2012 at 08:54 PM
It about putting the economy first, not necessarily money. A healthy economy allows people to bring paychecks home, pay the bills, and feed their families. Putting the economy first is putting people first. I don't know how a society can run well without a healthy economy. Because of the "evil" Koch brothers, many people (I don't know how many they employ) bring a pay check home every week. If only those evil koch brothers stayed home and out of business they would not have created so many jobs and we would be so much better off!
breed59 September 19, 2012 at 09:12 PM
It is not that they are freeloaders. It is the point that when you become reliant on Government it is harder to get out of that rut. The real problem is jobs. Look at the Government as the middle man if you have a middle man than there is less money to go around. Companies make money when the economy is good government makes money when the economy is bad. I prefer the Capitalistic approach with its flaws. Oh and for the point about the internet. Yes, defense spending created the Internet but the boom years during Clinton's administration was created by business and investors not the Government. And the surplus was created by reductions in Governement spending and revenue increase due to low unemployment. Here is another tid bit. Although George W. Bush had the ".com" bubble recession and 9/11 he was able to get the unemployment rate to within .4% points of Clinton's best unemployment rate. Then the Dem's took over Congress. What people need to understand is that there is no such thing as utopia and what has made this country great is when it's government is business friendly. If the government believes that they really know what is best for us all. Then we will become the a country much like the ones everybody has immigrated from. let the states govern themselves and the federal government protect the United States. Let's get back to the basics with a limited Federal government and a strong United States.
breed59 September 19, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Completely disagree. This is about getting votes only. The point is that a large portion of citizens rely on government. And with the President continuously pushing the point that business are the devil it will be hard to get those votes. Businesses thrive when the economy is good and when the economy is good then unemployment is low. This administration has failed period. I wonder what would have happened if a right wing magazine secretly taped an Obama meeting with his backers. Oh wait Obama's either arrogant or stupid because he says things out in the open like "I can be more flexible after I win the election" or "..they cling to their guns and religion." Mitt Romney stated a fact get over it.
breed59 September 19, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Oh so Obama who insists that anyone making too much money should be forgotten too. You listened to Pres. Obama's comments and you are mesmerized to say them too. Obama is everyone's President? He is working for us all? I do not think so. Mitt Romney has not written those people off. He just knows that a number of them have bought the "the government will take care of me: Businesses and rich people are evil" approach which is not sustainable. Mitt Romney would prefer to see everyone who can working again.
breed59 September 19, 2012 at 09:56 PM
How wrong can you be? First off Mitt Romney has more experience for the Presidency than Pres. Obama by far. Money not the people caused the unemployment. No pushing for the everyone should own a house philosophy along with demonizing business and success. So Obama being bought by unions and green energy companies for just starters is not the same thing? Why is it that people do not know that the car manufactures did go bankrupt but not in the typical legal way where all creditors get to get a percentage during restructuring. Obama stopped that gave the creditors nothing then handed over a large share of the companies to the unions and to a foreign company (Fiat). Oh ya whose in whose pocket. Wake up you are being flim flammed.
ra camp September 20, 2012 at 12:16 AM
That was'nt even the point "that he (Romney can't stand the 47%)". Romney simply stated the FACT that there are 47% of people who are satisfied with their status and do not want to hear Romney's speach on taxes. That he won't appeal to that portion of the population because Obama has them convinced they are victims and they need the support he gives them. So he will focus on the the other 53% during the campaign (NOTE: DURING THE CAMPAIGN!). Not unlike Obama when he said that "those bible thumping and gun toting christian republicans, you know those kind, well, we'll neve agree on anything and that's just fine with me." Really? Romney discussing a campaign stradegy that is honest and the President of the United States calling Americans with Bibles and Guns' Well you know those kind", but here we are talking about Mitt. Meanwhile the Middle East, India, Parts of Asia and Africia are burning down sovern American Foriegn Post and the POTUS is on Letterman and then off to Beounce and JZ.
Joe Kanoguy September 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM
I listened to that three times and never heard the word "Wealth" He said pool resources and redistribute, I believe in redistribution. OF WHAT? Cupcakes? I believe in redistribution of cupcakes, everybody should have a shot at having a cupcake. I want a cupcake too.
ra camp September 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM
One more time. Romney was/is not writing anyone of. He was talking about campaigning. He was addressing who he needs to address, approach, spend time on, spend money on, work hard to get votes from. He was explaining that there is 47% that is getting government benefits, which they are very happy with, that won;t like his conversation on taxes, etc. so he needs to focus the next 46 days on the other 53% of the population that are much more open to his message. Do You All Get that Now? Listen to the friggin tape again.
ra camp September 20, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Where, Please tell me where on the tape you heard the word :"deadbeat?" Not one time was that word mentioned on the tape I listened to. Why are you inserting that into "your" take of the audio? Do you work for Huffington Post? The View?
ra camp September 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Why is NPR getting into politics with "here`s another graphic we just could`nt resist"? NPR should be apolitical with our tax dollars. Want to feed more kids? Want more college money? Want LOWER taxes? Get rid of waste like NPR! Especially when they can`t stay on facts. After the first graph with a neutral headline, that should be it, but then they get lefty and start campaigning for the community organizer.
Ajax September 20, 2012 at 05:49 PM
No, we ignore left wing bias you see. It doesn't exist, understand? Fox news is biased.
ra camp September 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Ajax - keep drinking that Kool-Aid. After an INDENDENT investigation, Media Matters, granted and working as a non-profit for the WH paid for by our tax dollars has just been determined to be a "Pro-Obama Staff supporting firm" with deputy assistant DOJ official handing out assignments based on news broadcast! I mean give me a break! Ajax, do you really think Obama, who, excluding this week, gets his INTELLIGENT briefings on his effing IPAD, and wants redistribution of yours and my shit, is a fair man? He has been lying to you since his "autobiography" describing his lover in the vision of Michele when she was in fact a white woman. The man can't tell the truth about his own effing life, and you want him to run the G D Country. Why don't you go and redistribute some of your stuff and when you run out see if Michele will let you live with her, the kids and BHO. After all, BHO says "we are all in this together."
Mary Kay Donovan September 21, 2012 at 05:02 AM
It seems like a number of people are concerned about the 47%, the 61%, etc. I would just like to know if and when Mitt Romney is going to come forward with his tax returns. Why would he be so adamant about not releasing them? Is it that he hasn't paid taxes for quite a long time. Wake up everyone!!! His father presented 12 years of returns. He did not have a problem with it when asked but Mitt is so intent on distracting voters by not only putting his foot in his mouth which seems like every time he opens it, but putting both feet with his shoes on in his mouth and infuriating the American people that he wants to have vote for him. If the American people are embarrassed by this candidate, god forbid he should be President and embarrass the leaders of other countries. His advisors are doing a great job by keeping him out of the race! Last time it was Sarah Palin and this time it's the candidate himself. Don't forget to catch up with him soon on SNL. They must be gathering a lot of good stuff and it's about this time in the process that they will be at their best. God, I love this country. I really do. Just when you think you've seen it all, heard it all ...............
ra camp September 21, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Really, the tax return issue? He has released two years’ worth of taxes. The reason for not releasing bunches of years is because he is a really rich son of a B and those on the left have made it a huge sin to make money AND take advantage LIKE EVERYONE ELSE of legal tax laws for exemptions. Given that, of course the liberal press would talk about nothing else till election day - even though everything would be on the up and up, except Romney is very, very rich, and pays only what the law says to - and BHO would continue to get a pass on everything. Blame Bush. Talk about Romney Gaffs (that don't really happen). BHO goes to Vegas, goes on Letterman, goes to Beounce fundraiser, goes to JayZe’s 40/40 club, embassy’s all over the world are being attacked, his cabinet officials are lying on television to the American people, as President of the United States he has not addressed the United States since the first terrorist attack on American soil since 9-11, and the first American Ambassador killed overseas since 1976. But YOU want Romney’s taxes past two years. Yeah. You have your head up your arse too.
Joe Kanoguy September 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Romney required a 'number' of years returns from Pawlenty and Ryan and others. Romney submitted a 'number' of returns to John McCain as part of the vetting process. I believe just as Harry Reid said, he didn't pay any taxes for ten years. Nothing illegal about that, but kind of unpatriotic if you ask me. (I'd like to deduct $77,000 for a dancing horse too, but I can't.) It will all soon come out, Larry Flint has a $Million dollar bounty on Romney's tax returns, you know some one will roll over for a million.
ra camp September 21, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Larry Flint - You kill me... Guess what, all you lefty wackos lose. Romney just released his taxes. And; more deaths in the middle east. Which is more important. Bet you nutjobs talk about taxes. I'll just watch....
Joe Kanoguy September 21, 2012 at 06:32 PM
What is Romney afraid of? His wife is proud to say they tithe to the Mormon Church. That is REQUIRED. Every year if someone is suspected of not tithing fully, they must sit with the Bishop and produce records. 10% or more of your Gross earnings. Just like an IRS audit. If they lie about tithing, they can be ex-communicated and lost their place in heaven. Maybe Romney isn't afraid of revealing his unpatriotic non payment of taxes, but rather embarrassing himself to the Mormon Church.
ra camp September 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
"Three years ago my wife landed a real good job. Together with my income we passed the $100,000 mark. I was so happy, I thought "Finally we are in the upper middle class" Then Romney comes along and defines 'Middle Class' as incomes over $250,000. How depressing." - Joe Kanoguy When Joe, when did Romney say this? In Maryland, the Governor calls income for couples making over $250,000 "millionaires"! By the way, that is the benchmark for the President's and the Democrats tax raising standard also. You know, the one where they say, those millionaires and billionaires should have to pay "their fair share." It starts at $250,000 Joe! Not quite a million dollars Joe. In the DC metro area Joe, almost EVERY couple will qualify for that NEW millionaire tax! The AVERAGE salary is $91k (and yes, the government is the number one employer - and before you ask, I don't work for the government) and both BHO and O'Malley (Maryland - another Democrat) will be raising taxes on stupid people that will be voting for them (like you). But please, do tell me where Romney defined middle class as over $250,000 (unless he was comparing that is what the middle class would NEED to get by in this economy BHO created), JOE.
Joe Kanoguy September 22, 2012 at 07:18 PM
"Stupid People" like me watch TV interviews of Mr Romney and remember what he said especially if I find it "a bit out of touch"- - Romney's comments came an interview broadcast on a Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos. "Is $100,000 middle income?" Stephanopoulos asked. "No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less," Romney responded.
Jay K. September 22, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I'm one of those "stupid people", ra camp. But I still like to try to use math to think through things. For example, I know that 91K is less than 250K. And I also know that the median income is more relevant since we know that half of the people will have higher income and half lower than the median. In DC, median income is around 85K (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203752604576641683529031952.html). This tells me that nowhere near "almost EVERY couple will qualify for that new millionaire tax!" Not even in the ballpark of "almost EVERY couple". And why are you mixing up the millionaire definition by the governor of Maryland with the Democrats' tax raising line? You got bent out of shape enough to start calling Joe names because you thought he misquoted Romney, then you go and mix the governor of Maryland's words with Obama and all Democrats. I don't get it. But since you're so much smarter you must have a good reason. Also, hey what about that 250K line? I wonder how many years you'd have to save money to be a millionaire? Just bear with me for a second while I try again... if you lived off 150K and saved 100K - I know its pretty difficult in this economy that Obama created (all by himself, that jerk) - you could get there in 10 years! So it makes me wonder how many couples making 250K or more really are millionaires. Maybe by your math it's almost EVERY couple in DC. Also I'm confused, why are we talking about Maryland and DC?
Joe Kanoguy September 22, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Us 'Stupid People' and the 47% are going to send Romney home, where ever that is, Massachusetts, Michigan, Utah, or maybe California with the car elevator.
Ryan September 22, 2012 at 09:24 PM
he was wrong and stupid to say it even if its true. He should keep his mouth shut so he could have a chance to win. It is true, but doesn't mean you have to say it! Obama is best politician in the world and awesome public speaker, thats why he will win, overpraising and under delivering, Mitt could learn a thing or two. A lot of people leech off the govt, and until america stops that from happening, all our kids will pay for the crap we are doing now and will have to go through years of austerity or war. the generation of 20somethings now is the most entitled this country has ever seen, and knows the govt will take care of them if they don't want to work hard to go get it. You know how many jobs are out there that people think are below them?? and then the govt pays them almost what that job below them would be anyway, so why go get that job, just work under the table somewhere and collect unemployment.
Joe Kanoguy September 22, 2012 at 09:47 PM
"he was wrong and stupid to say it even if its true. He should keep his mouth shut so he could have a chance to win." Thats why we cant afford to have him as President. The technique is called "Diplomacy" You don't go to London and criticize the Olympics preparation, especially as a somewhat representative of our country. He is getting involved in the US/Israel/Iran situation. Shut up. You are not an official, but other countries consider you to be. Romney panders, He tells one group what they want to hear. He doesn't understand that everyone in the US, and I mean EVERYONE has a video camera in their pocket. I'm one of the 47% I had 32 years of Federal Service and retired on a pension. A pension I paid into. I also get a small amount of Social Security from employment from age 14. I paid into that too. Medicare? I paid for that too. Those are all INSURANCE programs, not entitlements. Call me a leech? A proud leech thank you.
Ryan September 22, 2012 at 09:58 PM
you aren't a leech then. you worked for many years and that was a savings program. Im talking about the ones who leech off unemployment and work the system, which is a lot of people. you paid into medicare, you deserve it, if you have kids they will never get that because it is run so poorly...and you should get social security too, I pay for that now and will never get anything back but I know even if I never get it, we have to keep paying into it because country would collapse without it. Most federally run programs are run poorly and we will see that with healthcare shortly...already costing way more than obama projected for obamacare...go figure...
Joe Kanoguy September 22, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Bull$#1t, Ryan wants to kill Medicare and give me a coupon? Romney vows to repeal (and not replace) Obamacare. or is it National Massachusetts Romneycare. I'm 72, diabetic with minor coronary problems. Where am I going to get medical insurance with a friggin' coupon?
Jim Aspen September 23, 2012 at 09:18 AM
Pelosi: Raise Taxes On All Workers The Social Security payroll tax cut should be allowed to expire at the end of this year and lawmakers should turn instead to overhauling the entire federal tax code, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday. Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/pelosi/2012/09/22/pelosi-raise-taxes-all-workers#ixzz27FV5qazT That's the MIDDLE CLASS folks.
Marianne Faithfull September 23, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Why the economy tanked, 101: Early "70's": Nixon takes USA off gold standard. Late 90's: Clinton Hit Man Greenspan manipulates prime, Dow hits 10k for first time (instant false economy). Mid-late 2000's: False-economy housing market bubble pops, "too big to fail" Pres bails out crimminal banks and performs a modern version of devaluing state specie by creating stimulus (printing funny money). Wake up fools, nothng has gotten better, you're only used to how bad it has become. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Ryan September 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
joe, what you mean I want to give you coupons? I don't get it.

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