Mitt Romney scorns Obama voters

Mitt Romney addresses the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 17 September 2012 Mitt Romney's describes why he cannot go after Mr Obama in a personal way

For days now conservative bloggers have been fulminating that Mitt Romney doesn't get a fair deal, that the media doesn't give him a chance, and is out to get him.

Their protests are likely to get louder as Mother Jones, which describes its mission as fighting "an out of control right-wing lie machine", releases a video of a Romney speech to a private audience of big donors.

He actually sounds a lot more politically savvy than he does on the stump. His explanation of why he can't attack Mr Obama full-throttle is particularly interesting.

I argued after the Republican convention that if it appeared flat, it was because it had to be: ramping things up would have put voters off. It is nice to hear the same point from Mr Romney's own mouth.

He tells the wealthy donors that it is all about those critical 10% in the middle, that "because they voted for him, they don't want to be told that they were wrong, that he's a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he's corrupt".

But it is his scornful take on Obama voters that has really grabbed the headlines.

He says the majority of them can't be peeled off because they pay no income tax. He says these voters are those "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them".

What is particularly interesting is the figure he puts on this - 47%. It struck me on first reading as remarkably high.

Are nearly half of voters in a country known for its relative lack of welfare provisions really welfare dependents?

This article, by the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, does show that 46% of US households don't pay income tax. Meanwhile, 61% of those who pay no federal income tax do pay payroll tax at 15.3%.

Another 22% of the non-income tax-payers are elderly, according to the Ezra Klein article. If that is correct, 83% of those who do not pay income tax don't really fit Mr Romney's characterisation, except in so far as his argument is that people who don't pay income tax aren't impressed by promises of income tax cuts.

There's little doubt this video was released with the desire to hurt Mr Romney, and that will lead some to cry foul.

But elections are a rough game and he is left looking snooty towards half of America - it reinforces the very image of him the Obama campaign are trying to push.

How soon will they produce T-shirts with "I'm one of the 47%" on them?

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 507.

    If "Fox News" is the only thing you got out of my post then your cognitive reasoning skills are woefully inadequate to continue such discussions. One should not throw stones of accusations within their own glass house.

  • rate this

    Comment number 506.

    No one seems to mention that Mutt and his fellow mongrels would be completely broke were it not for taxpayer bailouts. Think about it. Trillions in tax dollars to backstop bad bets and free up frozen credit markets. If the people that twerp just insulted had not bailed them out, their stock portfolios would be worthless.


  • rate this

    Comment number 505.

    Just jumping in c. 500 as that's where the thread was when I woke up...

    @489 - anyone who refers to a group of people as "creatures dependent on war" exposes their efforts to dehumanise a group of people who are composed of men, women and children - some of whom may be fighters - who are dependent on clean water, food, shelter and warmth. Just like every other human being.

    Even Romney. Probably

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    498. Lou Cypher

    And in this case many of them have become the mouthpiece of the Obama Admin.

    They've simply stopped asking the tough questions. The NY Times never even reported on whether:

    * That "2/3" vote at the DNC convention was legitimate
    * Sec'y of HHS Sebellius broke the law campaigning for O
    * There was adequate security in Benghazi
    * Warnings were received

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.

    497. DSHague2000
    #489 The palestinians have no interest in peace period. They are basically creatures dependent on war by terrorist methods.
    Mmm, indeed. Seems to me it is you that has no interest in peace and that your are basically a creature dependent on seeing the Palestinians the way you want, period. That makes you as bad as or worse than you make them out to be. Hypocrite.


Comments 5 of 507



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