Romney’s ‘takeback’ of ‘47 percent’ diatribe unconvincing

Before we move on, I think it’s important to focus directly on Mitt Romney’s statement on Fox News last night in which he belatedly tried to retract his comments about the “47 percent.”

This is what he told Fox:

“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you’re gonna say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong.”

Listening to Romney, you might be led to believe that his original “47 percent” comments were just a garbled misstatement taken out of context, like his own “I’m not concerned about the very poor” or Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that.” But listen again to the original statement in the video above. Or, if you prefer, you can read it here:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, 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. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. 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. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

That is not a statement ripped out of context. It is not Romney saying one thing but meaning another. In those remarks, Romney makes a sustained, passionate and seemingly heartfelt argument about what he truly believes. He is damn clear about it

But don’t take my word for it. Take Romney’s word for it. On the night that video was released, Romney appeared at a hastily called press conference. He was asked explicitly whether he was backing away from the statements, and he made it quite clear that he was not. While his remarks were “not elegantly stated,” he said, he doubled down on the basic message.

“It’s a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry which is, look, the president’s approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn’t as attractive to them so I’m not likely to atrract them into my campaign.”

(As an aside, note Romney’s mention about his support for lowering taxes, a position that he explicitly denied in Wednesday’s debate in Denver.)

In the days that followed, Romney continued to defend his remarks and continued to press that argument. So did Paul Ryan, his running mate. That is what they truly believe; the passionate, dismissive statements about the 47 percent that Romney made to a roomful of people contributing $50,000 each to his campaign reflect his true value system.

His attempt to come out more than two weeks later and try to claim that his statements were “just completely wrong” and “didn’t come out right” is ludicrous and devoid of credibility.

Believe him at your peril.

– Jay Bookman

765 comments Add your comment

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

October 5th, 2012
5:18 pm

Don’t take it personally. Jack Welch always argues with waitress at Denny’s about the amount of his senior citizen discount.

Heh, heh, heh.

DannyX

October 5th, 2012
5:18 pm

“Those numbers are cooked and embarrassingly bogus.”

Come on Donovan, you can do better than that. The government employment numbers are in line with private payroll company ADP and surveys conducted by Gallup.

Do you have any evidence the books were cooked?

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:19 pm

Obama care will not be a tax,he was going to shut down gitmo,the muslims of the world was going to respect him,investing in those green companies was a good idea,he could work so much better with the middle east oil producers to keep our energy cost down.those are just a few

DannyX

October 5th, 2012
5:22 pm

“Obama care will not be a tax,he was going to shut down gitmo,the muslims of the world was going to respect him,investing in those green companies was a good idea,he could work so much better with the middle east oil producers to keep our energy cost down.those are just a few”

If this is the best you can do you are better off finding some Drudge spam like all the others. Cut and paste is your friend.

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:27 pm

Obama care will not be a tax.Start here,did he lie or not?Simple question.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:29 pm

cornmash — “Obama care will not be a tax.Start here,did he lie or not?Simple question.”

Nope. He didn’t lie. It’s not a tax and it won’t be one.

You pretty clearly didn’t read the Supreme Court decision, because even *they* didn’t say that it was a tax.

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:32 pm

Like I said y’all won’t call his lying butt out on nothing.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:33 pm

cornmash — “Like I said y’all won’t call his lying butt out on nothing.”

Like I said, you clearly didn’t read the Supreme Court decision on it.

Doggone/GA

October 5th, 2012
5:34 pm

“Like I said y’all won’t call his lying butt out on nothing”

Just because it’s not that same things YOU would doesn’t mean it isn’t done.

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:34 pm

What about Gitmo,he slammed Bush on having it open.Guess he didn’t say he would close it either did he?

Doggone/GA

October 5th, 2012
5:35 pm

“What about Gitmo”

He signed the order to close it. CONGRESS REFUSED TO FUND THE CLOSING. In case you haven’t noticed, the POTUS is not a dictator.

Two Parties, One Con (Welcome)

October 5th, 2012
5:36 pm

cornmash: “the muslims of the world was going to respect him”

I don’t remember any such promise.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:36 pm

cornmash — “What about Gitmo,he slammed Bush on having it open.Guess he didn’t say he would close it either did he?”

Sure, he said he would close it. And it’s still open. But not because he didn’t TRY to close it.

Congress refused to approve one red cent in money to pay for closing it. And the President can’t spend a penny without Congress letting him do it.

So if you want to crap on someone for Gitmo still being open, at least have the honesty to blame Congress for it.

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:39 pm

The court’s four liberal justices agreed that the individual mandate should be upheld as part of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, but Roberts disagreed, and wrote that the mandate is actually a tax, despite the Obama administration’s reluctance to describe it that way during the bill’s passage. In its argument to the court, the government left open the possibility that the mandate is a tax, but did not rely much on that argument. Under the law, people who do not have health insurance will have to pay 1 percent of their income to the IRS starting in 2014. (There are exceptions for some religious beliefs and financial hardship.)

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:40 pm

Guess you can pay it to the IRS and not call it a tax if you wanted to.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:41 pm

cornmash — “The court’s four liberal justices agreed that the individual mandate should be upheld as part of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, but Roberts disagreed, and wrote that the mandate is actually a tax, despite the Obama administration’s reluctance to describe it that way during the bill’s passage.”

Wrong.

The SCOTUS majority decision said that if the premium payments could be “reasonably characterized” as a tax, then they fell within Congress’ authority to impose.

That said, NOWHERE in the SCOTUS majority decision are the premium payments actually *called* a tax.

Common Sense isn't very Common

October 5th, 2012
5:42 pm

Very strange that Cons seem to think that the Romney at the debate was the SAME romney that had their hearts all aflutter after the RNC.

He has changed positions all throughout the campaign, but still they WANT to believe that he is a STAUNCH CONSERVATIVE.
LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJG75FJkjr8

:-)

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:42 pm

See the hypocrocy of every thing bad was Bush’s fault,but with Obama it’s all someone elses he is not accountable for nothing.

Doggone/GA

October 5th, 2012
5:44 pm

““reasonably characterized”

I think the word they used was “construed” not characterized…which is probably a distinction without much difference.

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
5:44 pm

Doggone/GA

October 5th, 2012
5:45 pm

“,but with Obama it’s all someone elses ”

When it IS someone else’s fault…why should he claim it?

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

October 5th, 2012
5:46 pm

Today’s labor numbers freakout is just a test run for what is to come when the election returns roll in on Nov 6

Heh, heh, heh.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

October 5th, 2012
5:46 pm

Joe Hussein Mama:

1) http://library.thinkquest.org/18106/guadalstats.html

2) “We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?”

Quote from Gen John W. Vessey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Army during frighting on the Island of Grenada.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:50 pm

cornmash — “See the hypocrocy of every thing bad was Bush’s fault”

If you have an issue with something *I* have said, then by all means take it up with me.

If, OTOH, your precious feefees are hurt because some big, bad librul said something once that get you upset, I can’t help you.

“but with Obama it’s all someone elses he is not accountable for nothing.”

Once you come up with a valid criticism of Obama, then perhaps we can talk about accountability. But so far, all I’ve seen from you is a rehash of bullspit conservative talking points that don’t actually have any truth or substance to them.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:50 pm

Doggone — “I think the word they used was “construed” not characterized…which is probably a distinction without much difference.”

Agreed, and thank you for the correction.

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:52 pm

0311 — “Joe Hussein Mama”

Just check the timelines, Champ.

When did the Marines get there?
How long were the Marines there before the Army arrived?
When did the Army get there?
How long after the Army got there were the Japanese all dead or gone from Guadalcanal?

You’re welcome. :D

Doggone/GA

October 5th, 2012
5:55 pm

“Agreed, and thank you for the correction”

You’re welcome…and it can be quite amusing to go through some of the R plans (generally at the state level) for “not raising taxes” It’s really simple: you call them “fees” and then you can say you haven’t raised taxes!

Joe Hussein Mama

October 5th, 2012
5:57 pm

I’m out. All be well and drive safely.

cornmash81

October 5th, 2012
6:02 pm

Joe Hussein Mama…. have a great evening,no hurt feelings here.I have gotten used to Liberals blindly following their great one anywhere without question.

Donovan

October 5th, 2012
6:08 pm

Please, people. Open your brain washed Occupy America/Democrat Power-to-the-People minds and think.

Your political party has to come to power and remain in power by shenanigans and snake oil salesmanship. You must rely on infestation of liberal operatives within the government departments that can skew the public’s perception of reality. All I am saying is that manipulation occurs within your world of occupation and perception of reality can be altered. Whether you can be duped or truly believe in the outrageous actions of your political party is the problem.

I am more pragmatic and believe in common sense. It comes with age and experience. I see that the Democrat Party is trying to steal the election through cheap tactics because they can’t win otherwise.

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
6:19 pm

I see that the Democrat Party is trying to steal the election through cheap tactics because they can’t win otherwise.
______________________________________________________
Yeah. Cheap tactics. Like getting more electoral votes.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

October 5th, 2012
6:26 pm

Joe Hussein Mama:

1) You need to study your history. At that time in the war the Marines only had one good division. The Army had several. The Marines took the brunt of the fighting on Guadalcanal and then the Army came in to assist.

2) You didn’t make any comment about Grenada …………….. :o

3) Do you know why the Marines were not used in Europe during WW II ?

i use to be a BIRTHER now i'm a JOBBER

October 5th, 2012
6:28 pm

as a imbred redneck i think the job report is a lie, because i dont agree with it..

i use to be a BIRTHER now i'm a JOBBER

October 5th, 2012
6:29 pm

donovan

youre a JOBBER to huh? lol…us BIRTHERS and jobbers must stick together

MITTENS

October 5th, 2012
6:30 pm

DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN

R. Felix

October 5th, 2012
6:56 pm

My husband is out of the country, I am alone with 5 kids, we have state healthcare and food stamps.
I don’t ‘expect’ this from the government, but I am very grateful for these benefits. I wouldn’t choose a president (specifically Obama) just because he promises to keep these benefits. Romney’s statement is not offensive in the least to me – I wish to be more self-sufficient and take charge of my own matters, and wish more people felt this way too. Why is this statement such a big deal???? Maybe 47 is too high and a generalization, but those who do not take advantage of the system would take no offense. We need to stop picking at these people’s words and focus on what will make life better for all of us!!!

liberaliberalefty

October 5th, 2012
7:02 pm

r felix

U R PART OF THE 47%…DUH…u welfare queen. If you want to be more self-sufficient get your lazy butt off welfare…

liberalefty

October 5th, 2012
7:03 pm

r felix

so how long have u been a welfare queen?

Two Parties, One Con (Welcome)

October 5th, 2012
7:37 pm

Jack Welch, thug.

——–

Of all the people who have something to say about the BLS, none is more unintentionally ironic than former GE CEO Jack Welch.

I have long stated that Jack welch was one of the luckier, more wildly over-compensated CEOs around. He became CEO of General Electric in 1981, just before an 18 year bull market in big cap stocks began. he left in 2001, just as the market implosion was getting rolling.

GE’s revenues grew 385% under his watch, but the company’s market cap grew 4000%. How did that happen? GE increased earnings over the years, and with stunning regularity, managed a quarterly profit beat.

Indeed, it was too regular: After the 2000 crash, we learned of earnings manipulation and accounting shenanigans. The criticism was GE Capital acted as an opaque leveraged hedge fund that always be counted on to help GE beat by a penny. (GE eventually had to settle accounting fraud charges with the SEC).

So if anyone knows a thing or two about cooking the books, its GE’s Jack Welch. Want even more proof? Have a look at this chart of Welch’s earnings versus his successor, Jeff Immelt:

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/10/ges-jack-welch-on-bls-book-cooking/

td

October 5th, 2012
7:44 pm

Romney + 3 in Florida
Romney + 2 in Va
Romney + 3 in Ohio with certain voters and only -1 with RV.

liberalefty

October 5th, 2012
7:55 pm

OBAMA

TD

YAWN….lol..keep trying

===4 in VA
OBAMA =3 in Ohio
OBAMA =

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
7:55 pm

(Romney +1,000,000) x 0.47 = Obama2012.
Its the new math.

liberalefty

October 5th, 2012
7:59 pm

ROMNEY
=
=

ROMNEY+foot in mouth equals OBAMA 4 more years…

td

October 5th, 2012
8:17 pm

liberalefty

October 5th, 2012
7:59 pm

I see you ran away from Jim’s blog and refused to answer my simple question so I will pose it here: Is there more Americans working today then there was when Obama took office?

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:21 pm

Unemployment rate is going down.

Just like Romney.

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:23 pm

“Is there more Americans working today then there was when Obama took office?”
________________________________________________________________________
English as a second language?

td

October 5th, 2012
8:29 pm

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:23 pm

Answer the question?

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:29 pm

“…and refused to answer my simple question……….”
_________________________________________________
I see you have used the word “simple” , which can be defined as “not complex”. In this instance however, the other common definition, “stupid” , would be more accurate.

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

Asking to compare two random data points outside of any meaningful context is stupid, because the answer is meaningless.

Congratulations though.You have disproved the adage “There is no such thing as a stupid question”.

td

October 5th, 2012
8:34 pm

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:29 pm

Typical leftest response. When you know you have lost the argument then attack the person. Just proves how intellectually dishonest you are my friend. How said.

td

October 5th, 2012
8:37 pm

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

Either there are more Americans working today then when Obama took office or there are not? How is that a meaningless question? How is that not relevant to making the determination if Obama has added or not added jobs to America during his term in office?

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:39 pm

Exactly what argument have I lost?

I attacked your question, not you, because your question is stupid.

Can you not man up and admit that your question is stupid? Do you need further explanation as to why your question is stupid?

td

October 5th, 2012
8:46 pm

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:39 pm

Why is my question stupid? Is it because it does not fit the made up narrative about how great Obama has done in office?

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:46 pm

Apparently you do need further explanation as to why your question is stupid. There is a difference between correlation and causation. (You can look the definitions up later if you need to). By picking two random data points, and assigning causation between those two data points to a single correlating factor while ignoring a whole host of other more or equally relevant factors is, well, stupid. Get it now?

cornmash

October 5th, 2012
8:56 pm

saywhat? you are named well.All that crap said and it meant nothing.

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:57 pm

Romney founded Bain Capital in 1984. From 1985 and into the 90’s, the US murder rate did what? Do you want to guess? Do you want to answer the question? (Hint: this question is ALMOST as stupid as yours).

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:58 pm

td, when you are done looking up “causation” and “correlation’, you might want to call cornmash and fill him in.

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:59 pm

Goodnight all. Open a dictionary once in a while.

cornmash

October 5th, 2012
9:00 pm

maybe if it is phrased as a simple question….does Obama have a net loss or net gain in jobs since he took office?Probably still to tough a question never mind LOL

td

October 5th, 2012
9:09 pm

saywhat?

October 5th, 2012
8:46 pm

So you are saying that saying unemployment at 7,8% today proves to us that Obama has done a good job at putting Americans back to work and as a result has been a good President? My statement is just as relevant and has just as much correlation and causation as this the unemployment argument does and you know it.

You talk about data points. How can you call the day a President took office until now “random data points”. When should the data points for judgement purposes begin?

Steven Janiszewski

October 5th, 2012
11:20 pm

Can you believe him, now? Romney is chimerical stealth agent of the Mormon Church, which will buy the White House at any price, and he will say anything to seal the deal. To gain an existential understanding of the cult that produced Mitt Romney, and to get your socks scared off, read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew, available in paperback and e-book at:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Assassination+of+Spiro+Agnew

Its unwilling, part-Mexican Mormon assassin dramatizes the Mormon superiority complex, manifesting it as racism, sexism, jingoism and an anti-federal government temperament. His research in the new library reveals ominous similarities between Islam and Mormonism. The spiritual power behind the cult, which is not the Holy Ghost, acts out.

“With a clarity of language and vision unsurpassed in contemporary American prose, Steven Janiszewski’s Assassination of Spiro Agnew takes us into a U.S. mazed with madness and Mormonism and all things Utah, a U.S. that was then and still is. Do we need a novel, even as brilliant as this one, about a young man on a divine mission to assassinate the Vice President because he is too liberal? Yes, now more than ever. Readers, welcome to a masterpiece.”
Tom Whalen
http://www.tomwhalen.com

Read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew.

liberalefty

October 6th, 2012
2:34 am

TD

the bitter birther is mad that unemployment is going down…typical racist repub

liberalefty

October 6th, 2012
2:40 am

TD since youre a bitter birther answer this. Why come when whites are out of work its the presidents fault,but when blacks are lout of work its because theyre lazy? Who ever depends on the president to have employment is a lost cause just like Romneys campaign…lol…If someone says they cant get a job in America they must be retarted, or lazy…which one are you?

td

October 6th, 2012
10:21 am

“I’m sorry, he sucked,” said Maher last night. “He looked tired. He had trouble getting his answers out. Looks like he took me million and spent it all on weed!”

“Maher has given a million dollars to support President Obama’s super PAC.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/big-super-pac-donor-obama-looks-he-took-my-million-and-spent-it-all-weed_653844.html

kevinstpaul steven

October 6th, 2012
1:35 pm

We are and still will be in the same positions no matter who win the President election. We as citizens make it easy for those who run for office to make things easy for them and their families when their times ends. We do not get anything for having them be in office…I have not seen anything that our congressmen and representatives have actually done. Let’s not hurt, cuss, talk-down on one and other because this election. We are not solving anything that will benefit us. We are not making any improvements by electing someone who has not given us his own plan; yet, he is continuing to make the rich rich off of our middle-class dime. I am not approving of this at all on anyone who is running for 2013 president.