Romney on the 47 Percent Comment: I Said Something That’s Completely Wrong

Leah Barkoukis

10/5/2012 7:49:00 AM - Leah Barkoukis

 

When Mitt Romney was first given the opportunity to further explain the ’47 percent’ remark he made at a fundraiser in May he said it wasn’t ‘elegantly’ stated. Essentially, the comment represented his beliefs about government dependency in ‘Obama’s America’ or, ‘trickle-down government’ as he described during the debate. In an interview with Sean Hannity, however, Romney changed his tune:

In an interview Thursday night with Fox News, Romney was asked what he would have said had the "47 percent" comments come up during his debate in Denver on Wednesday night with President Barack Obama.

"Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right," Romney said. "In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong."

He added: "And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent."

Given the battering Romney received from the MSM for the 47 percent remark, many on the left and right were surprised that Obama didn’t even bring it up in the debate, as Hannity alluded to with his question. Bill O’Reilly told viewers the omission was “astounding.” There are still two more debates, however, and Obama will likely sneak it in at some point (now claiming that Romney is both an elitist and a flip-flopper). But at the very least, hopefully this will lend more credibility to the rebuttal Romney makes.

As Guy pointed out after the initial remark, there are truths to what he said but Romney should have never disregarded any segment of the population: 

Romney should not have implied that 47 percent of Americans are seeking government hand-outs, or see themselves as "victims."  Painting with this broad brush -- the strokes of which certainly apply to a sizable chunk of Democrats' core constituency -- was unfair and a mistake.  Many Americans with zero or negative federal income tax liabilities work hard and don't ask much of government.  Indeed, many of these people will vote for Mitt Romney in November.  The Republican nominee also needs to stop saying that he doesn't need to "worry" or be "concerned about" any group of Americans.  Many of us understand what he means, but those clumsy formulations make it awfully easy for Democrats to point and yell, "he doesn't care!"  Learn, Mitt.

  Perhaps he has.