Election 2012

Voters Divided Over Romney's "47 Percent" Comments

Some Americans are offended while others see it as a cold, hard truth


Mitt Romney's offhanded comment that as a candidate he doesn't worry about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes has quickly entered the bloodstream in the presidential campaign's most hard-fought states.

His comment, in a video revealed this week, is prompting expressions of shock — but also shrugs — from Nevada to Florida to New Hampshire and the handful of battleground states in between.

Will it sway an election expected to be close?

There was much discussion in the relatively few states that are still considered competitive, likely to decide the race. Here, as elsewhere, the question was whether Romney was showing himself to be insensitive or merely delivering the hard truth a nation at an economic crossroads must face.

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  1. Great article. I wish more people visited your site and used the name of your site in their daily activities.

    Even though Romney is trying desperately to suppress it with some willing accomplices in the media, people are finding out more about Mitt Romney. Christians and Catholics especially. Romneycare provided for abortifacients. You do not have to vote for him.


  2. What Romney actually said was that he doesn’t worry about getting the votes of people that he definitely won’t win over. This isn’t exactly a controversial statement to make.

    Elsewhere in his speech he also said that folks who don’t pay taxes (which means Republicans as well as Democrats) won’t be swayed by offers for tax breaks. Again, that’s not a crazy statement.

    The media smushed those two statements together and mixed them into something that is far different from what Romney actually said. They created a dumb statement and then raked Romney over the coals for it.

    I just wish Reason would stop promoting the misreporting.

  3. mepton is right. I dislike Romney as much as the next guy and will not be voting for him (or Obama), but he didn’t say he doesn’t worry about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay taxes. Most of the media is reporting this and apparently Reason has no problem promoting that fallacy.

    What Romney is wrong about in his statement is that he thinks he can’t win over that 47% and won’t be focusing on persuading that block of voters to vote for him. That’s just plain boneheaded. He’s lumping together all people who don’t pay taxes with those who are the “takers” and won’t ever vote for him. Your level of dependence on government doesn’t necessarily correlate with you wanting to be dependent, which doesn’t necessarily correlate with whether you pay taxes or not, which in turn doesn’t necessarily correlate with your view of government’s role and who you’re going to vote for.

    He’s correct that people who don’t pay taxes will probably not be swayed very much by tax breaks, but there are other issues (size of government, civil rights, foreign policy, etc.) that they can be swayed on.

    A better statement would have been that there is a certain percentage of Obama voters who will never vote for him because of their views on government’s role in society, and that he won’t be focusing on persuading that block of voters.

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