2012 Tuesday: What Romney got right about Obama and dependency, where he went wrong

So it appears that, with the Muslim world burning and reports that some but not all embassies were on alert for possible security threats on the 9/11 anniversary last week, with unemployment still so high and the Obama administration’s policies still so ineffective that the Federal Reserve has resorted to a new round of printing money — with all that, we’re nevertheless doomed to another round of debate about another “gaffe” by Mitt Romney.

That gaffe consists of Romney’s remarks, during a a closed-door fund-raiser four months ago, when he said, in part:

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 the 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 … 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. So 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 they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.

This is, of course, exactly the kind of sentiment you can hear on, say, Neal Boortz’s radio show: the idea that the nation is reaching a tipping point of “makers” vs. “takers,” of people who pay income taxes vs. people who receive benefits funded by those taxes (and debt).

Is it the kind of thing a presidential candidate should say? No. Is it true that all 47 percent — that statistic is correct, by the way — are “moochers”? No.

But here’s another question: What about Barack Obama’s political career, including his presidency, refutes the broader point Romney made?

Is it the cradle-to-grave dependent “Julia,” about whom the Obama campaign constructed a narrative describing her inability to make it in America without government aid?

Is it the fact that food-stamp spending is on pace to more than double between 2008 and 2013?

Is it the fact that Obama’s signature legislative achievement would have the effect of making even more people — what’s that word again? — dependent on government for their health insurance?

So there are two aspects to Romney’s remarks. The first is the underlying substance of what he said, which boils down to the basic conservative critique of Obama specifically and liberalism in general: that they are highly, maybe even chiefly, interested expanding government and Americans’ dependence on it. Is anyone actually surprised by this? Does anyone think this is not a large part of what this election is about?

The second is the way he phrased it, and that did his candidacy no favors. If nothing else, he should have acknowledged that not all of the “47 percent” are dependent on government, that many of the ones who are dependent would prefer not to be, and that it is worthwhile to try to persuade at least some of the holdouts.

But I’m not sure it will be overly damaging to him, either. For starters, I agree with Ben Domenech that many members of the “47 percent” do not think they are members. How many people will hear that and think Romney was talking about them?

Going further, how many people will hear that and be offended by Romney’s remarks? And, adding the two groups together, how many of them were still actually considering voting for Romney anyway?

I would suggest we’re not talking about a very large number of people here. Now, in a close race, even a relatively small number of people can have a significant effect. But, with almost two months still to go in a campaign with much bigger issues front and center, I’m not sure a significant number of voters will make their decision even in part on Romney’s remarks at a fund-raiser back in May.

It is, however, one more reason for Romney to get back to playing offense on the economy and the size and scope of government — and soon.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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485 comments Add your comment

Del

September 18th, 2012
9:28 pm

Okay…firsties as the say over on peter pan and fairy land.

JamVet

September 18th, 2012
9:31 pm

So out of one side of your mouth you speak of American Bolsheviks in the present tense and out of the other side of your mouth you say that communism died over a generation ago.

So which is it?

You seem very confused! LOL!

mike

September 18th, 2012
9:34 pm

It’s those damned hippies, non-corporatist activists. Communists, Bolsheviks and general ne’r-do-wells! That’s why we’re going to lose in November! It’s THEIR FAULT! Not ours!

gm

September 18th, 2012
9:37 pm

Ah, Ah, the right always have to go 30 years to find a decent President, Reagan raised taxes what about 14 times? how many wars did we have going on when Reagan was President?

Reagan increased the debt by 2 trillion, but that was ok for the right hypocrites

Linda

September 18th, 2012
9:39 pm

Del@9:01, You are where my husband & I were 4 years ago. We didn’t even know what progressives were all about back then. You are in la la land if you think that progressives such as Obama are not completely all out to destroy the USA.
During Obama’s first year, we thought he was inexperienced.
During Obama’s second year, we thought he was misguided.
During Obama’s third year, we realized he was too smart, too intelligent not to know exactly what he was doing to our economy.
During Obama’s fourth year, we are convinced that Obama, a progressive, has a mission to destroy the United States of America.
We finally know what the progressive movement is all about. Progressives is a feel good term for socialists, Marxists, statiests, nationalists, communists, etc.

Del

September 18th, 2012
9:41 pm

I don’t think you even know what you’re talking about Jam because all you post are diatribes about George W. Bush or your dislike of conservatives. You come across as a consummate left wing Kool-Aid junkie but that’s your right.

ODD OWL

September 18th, 2012
9:42 pm

The economy is growing, slowly but its growing… Despite all the intransigence, filibustering and obstruction by Mean Mitch McConnell and the Republicans, the unemployment rate for White Americans is 6 %… A 6 % unemployment rate is normal even when the economy is doing great… There is only ONE reason why so many non rich White People refuse to support and vote for president Obama and the Democrats… We all know what that reason is… We the People must work harder to overcome the Romney/Ryan Republicans fear, hate and smear, divisive, divide and conquer tactics… There are no blue states, no red states, just the United States… Remember that ???

mike

September 18th, 2012
9:43 pm

Bill Kristol: Romney Remarks are ‘Arrogant And Stupid’

“But that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that Romney’s comments, like those of Obama four years ago, are arrogant and stupid.

“Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.”

Del

September 18th, 2012
9:50 pm

Hi Linda I’ll soon be 70 years old. I’ve survived injuries, war, cancer and the hard knocks of the business world, so evidently according to you even La La land. I’ll trust my odds for making it through whatever time I have left.

gm

September 18th, 2012
9:57 pm

Linda

progressive, has a mission to destroy the United States of America.
We finally know what the progressive movement is all about. Progressives is a feel good term for socialists, Marxists, statiests, nationalists, communists, etc.

This shows the Anti American people we have in this country, you would not know a communist if it came to your neighbor hood, sad thing is Obama and our veterans kept people like you safe for the last 4 years.
You are our inside terrorist, there is no different between you and the one overseas, both of you hate the President of the United States, people like you make me wish I never served this country””””””

Linda

September 18th, 2012
10:07 pm

To add to my comment @6:53 regarding liberals’ desire to watch their washers & dryers spin their clothes when their other liberal news sources, such as MSNBC, are airing prison interviews with feces being thrown out of jail cells, I refer to Bill O’Reilly on FOX News & his No Spin Zone. Evidently, Bill had no clue to liberals’ washers & dryers.

Del

September 18th, 2012
10:07 pm

Okay Taps y’all. Have a nice evening, I’m out.

ragnar danneskjold

September 18th, 2012
10:08 pm

Only leftists think larger government is better. Rational people know otherwise.

gm

September 18th, 2012
10:17 pm

ragnar danneskjold

Please return your ssi, va, pell grant, medicaide, Bush stimulas check, femma help

Patty

September 18th, 2012
10:22 pm

Why are we even talking about this when the Middle East is railing against us, our economy is in the toilet and our president is too busy campaigning to DO HIS JOB?

Maybe it’s because Obama’s never done the job in the first place. . .

cc

September 18th, 2012
10:24 pm

Linda@9:39 pm:
“During Obama’s fourth year, we are convinced that Obama, a progressive, has a mission to destroy the United States of America.”
This is exactly what I have thought and said from even before he was elected. People who think him incompetent or a fool are only deluding themselves. Obama knows EXACTLY what he is doing and has never wavered from his goal, which is to destroy America. His ‘blind’ followers are beyond redemption; those who oppose him and his communist regime MUST recognize (1) Obama for what he truly is, and (2) his goal and the end game.

Linda

September 18th, 2012
10:28 pm

gm@9:57, I have no clue as to why you are trying to sidle up to me & at the same time insulting me by calling my a terrorist. Is Obama & his Chicago goons coming for me?
Obama is indeed a progressive. I agree with Col. Allen West when he called the progressives Communists.
How do you feel about Obama appointing an admitted Communist, Van Jones, to his administration?
Obama kept our forts (Hood) & our embassies safe in the Middle East for the the last 4 years?

Linda

September 18th, 2012
10:43 pm

cc@10:24, No one has come out with this much fortitude before now. People have been reluctant to speak out against the first black president, afraid to be be called racist, in spite of the race baiters who never stop at accusing dissenters of being such.
The truth is that Obama’s goal is to destroy the USA of America. The evidence is there.
What this blog is about today is sickening. We have the Obama adm. advertising with taxpayer dollars the availability of food stamps on the radio in SPANISH. Sick!

gm

September 18th, 2012
10:53 pm

This get better for Mitt, he is on tape saying the nation is in trouble if all latinos vote Dem, Thank you Mitt for showing who you are and your racist party is all about.

I wonder if the mental, spineless Anti American rep women as Linda, CC would feel this way if someone they love had of lost their lives at 911, it make you wonder why President Obama bothered to keep people like this safe for 4 years?

gm

September 18th, 2012
10:57 pm

Linda, Cc

These women show you why Georgia conservative women are no threat in Georgia, funny the 47% Mitt was talking about half lives in Georgia 75 south trailer, these women show why the rep men keep them in their place.

September 18th, 2012
10:43 pm

cc

gm

September 18th, 2012
11:01 pm

linda

Obama kept our forts (Hood) & our embassies safe in the Middle East for the the last 4 years?

I guess it was ok for American embassey to be attacked 13 times under Bush Administration ? I guess it was ok for 3500 Americans to die under his watch 911?

cc

September 18th, 2012
11:11 pm

Linda:

“afraid to be be called racist”
This tactic was adopted during Hussein’s campaign to limit any exposure of factual information about his background and associates and continued in his administration (regime) to discourage criticism of his obvious failures to the people who believed him to be working in the interests of the United States. His sycophants enthusiastically adopted the tactic as evidenced even here on this blog.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 18th, 2012
11:14 pm

I think this particular topic of Kyle’s has generated more idiotic diarrheal discharge from the liberal side as has any other in the past 6 months.

If we had an IQ test over here before posting, you’d all be stuck at Bookman’s.

Linda

September 18th, 2012
11:14 pm

gm@10:53, I thought you might still be reading the Fiscal Inquiry Commission Report that I referred to you to earlier, but, no, you don’t have any desire to ascertain the truth, fair & balanced. Your only desire is to lambast Republicans & spew your racist rhetoric.
What is “mental?” You think conservatives are crazy?
Spineless? Do you think we are afraid?
Anti-American? Do you think we are against the Constitution?
Obama is bothering to keep people like us safe? Do you realize how inflammatory that statement is?
Did you know that race-baiting is worse than being racist?

td

September 18th, 2012
11:18 pm

Wow, the libs are pulling their hair out and going nutty today and the conservatives are finially showing so guts!!!!! I love it

cc

September 18th, 2012
11:21 pm

Linda:

There are some who blog here attempting to engage conservatives. Unfortunately, their limited resources will neither allow discourse nor be a good investment of one’s time. To respond to them will serve only to encourage their inane comments.

cc

September 18th, 2012
11:25 pm

Tiberius@11:14 pm:
You are absolutely correct, sir!

cc

September 18th, 2012
11:32 pm

td:

If you keep on playing where I found you tonight, your IQ is guaranteed to lessen by at least 40!

Linda

September 18th, 2012
11:36 pm

gm@10:57, If I had a trailer, I would put my trailer up against your trailer any time.
Republican women are kept in place by Republican men?
You are the most sexist blogger on Kyle’s site.
You are pitiful. As you are a spokesman for Obama, get me out of here, NOW.

gm@11:01, The difference between Bush & Obama is that Bush was not flying the planes on 9/11/11 but Obama has been flying his anti-business agenda for almost 4 yrs.
The entire Middle East is exploding with terrorism & violence under Obama’s watch as a result of Obama’s policies.

Linda

September 18th, 2012
11:40 pm

cc@11:11, Exactly right.
11:21, Exactly right, again.

Gimme Gimme Gimme

September 18th, 2012
11:46 pm

Obama gets punked…….expect outrage from thin skinned Liberals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQu2SVFF-cU

cc

September 18th, 2012
11:52 pm

“The entire Middle East is exploding with terrorism & violence under Obama’s watch as a result of Obama’s policies.”

If a revolution has any opportunity for success in the Middle East, it will receive backing from Obama/Clinton only if the succeeding replacement government is Al-Qaeda or Muslim Brotherhood and fully intends harm to the United States.

td

September 18th, 2012
11:58 pm

cc

September 18th, 2012
11:32 pm

td:

If you keep on playing where I found you tonight, your IQ is guaranteed to lessen by at least 40!

I rule that blog and they hate me over there. It is my mission to drive them all crazy to the point that they all leave. It helps when a few more conservatives come and play, one can see them drooling on their key boards.

Linda

September 19th, 2012
12:08 am

Anyone who thinks the US will not be dragged into a confrontation with Iran, sooner or later, is an idiot. Anyone who thinks that the confrontation with Iran armed with nuclear weapons will be nicer than the confrontation with Iran without being armed with nuclear weapons is also an idiot. It’s only a matter of time & a matter of nukes & a matter of months.

cc

September 19th, 2012
12:11 am

Gimme Gimme Gimme@11:46 pm:
Very good!

td@11:58 pm:
OK. I’m sorry that they have combined your name with mine. Sometimes I think the idiots believe we are the same person!

cc

September 19th, 2012
12:26 am

Linda@12:08 am:
I believe that Israel will move alone against Iran very, very soon, and that Netanyahu now realizes that Hussein will provide no assistance as an ally. The United States is thought internationally to be a waning world power and our allies now distrust us, and rightfully so. The damage done by Hussein to U. S. influence abroad and our relationships with allies is incalculable.

Linda

September 19th, 2012
12:38 am

cc@12:28, Obama & the Democratic party have clearly abandoned Israel. Israel is afraid that the US will take the same stance against them that we took against Iraq when Iraq invaded Kuwait, except in language.
The US is apparently now the laughing stock of the Middle East, with Obama’s foreign policy & our national defenseless policy as well as our energy policy & our fiscal policy. We are considered helpless & hopeless but hopey & changey.

Ernest T Bass

September 19th, 2012
12:47 am

Game. Set. Match.

Obama

cc

September 19th, 2012
1:13 am

Ernest T Bass@12:47 am:
Your comment says it all. You and your ilk view this only as a game *Hooray for our side!) of winner and loser, and you either fail to understand or actively desire the destruction of this nation.

cc

September 19th, 2012
1:17 am

Linda@12:38 am:
We’ve definitely got “change” with rapidly fading “hope” for the survival of America.

ODD OWL

September 19th, 2012
2:18 am

@ Linda 12:38 post…. Linda is a cronic scape goater who is attempting to project her political party’s failures and shortcomings onto innocent , morally superior Democrats… Linda have a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth, without engaging the brain… CNN and FOX, both of which spew Republican disinformation and propaganda are bending over backwards, jumping through hoops, doing backflips in their attempts to explain away the Romney/Ryan Republican’s perpetual gaffes…

Michael H. Smith

September 19th, 2012
3:06 am

All you people look over there and just ignore the fact the guy I want to run this country is a bully, an arsewipe who isn’t interested in the plight of the poor and working class unless it hurts his (and his buddies) bank accounts.

Well gee brucie, what should we do for the 47%, increase their welfare checks, give’em more food stamps, raise the limit on their EBT card, get’em a larger nicer section 8 house?

The poor and working class? Remind me brucie cause I forgot exactly where is obama and your other rich democrat buddies are located in the poor and working class, since they too qualify as millionaires and billionaires?

Get real folks, what the majority of that 47% need is either a job or a better job, not less taxes or more government assistance. Under “obama” the U.S. economy has created a NET JOB LOSS, the cost of living has increased, incomes have gone down, while government assistance has gone up. Do the math as Bill Clinton says, this is not the equation for upward mobility if you are poor or one of the so-callled “working class”.

Hey brucie my boss is old and rich but he works his arse off everyday. Actually he works harder he than your unionized fire fighter buddies that he pays with his taxes. He even works harder than many of the poor, and as you say, working class people he employs that are 30 years younger than him.

Are you insinuating he is a loafer, a deadbeat who didn’t earn it, not one of the “working class” people who doesn’t really work for a living, somebody else did it for him and built his business, aye brucie?

Nobody ever gave the man a cent he didn’t WORK TO EARN, wilcox!

Bob

September 19th, 2012
3:58 am

This country can not survive four more years of Obama.

cc

September 19th, 2012
4:15 am

Bob@3:58 am:
“This country can not survive four more years of Obama.”
. . . which is EXACTLY Hussein’s plan and mission.

ODD OWL@2:18 am:
“. . . their attempts to explain away the Romney/Ryan Republican’s perpetual gaffes…”
How many of Hussein’s gaffes would you like to explain? I have quite a few of them. You are today’s ‘poster child’ for the democrat party ‘talking points’. Does it make you proud?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 19th, 2012
5:49 am

Romney doesn’t mention vets – gaffe.

Romney talks about the height of trees – gaffe.

Romney (rightly) speaks about Obama voters wanting dependency – gaffe.

Romney (rightly) defends American values when speaking about the attacks against American embassies – gaffe.

Romney picks Snooki over Honey Boo-Boo – gaffe.

Romney wakes up on any given morning – gaffe.

This is the mantra from the left that will continue until this race is decided in November by voters.

cc

September 19th, 2012
6:08 am

So very true, Tiberierius . . .

#Occupy my desk...

September 19th, 2012
6:11 am

The bouncing ball of distraction continues – never mind the fiscal piano hanging over your head – Sandra Fluke! Wars on things! Romney video!

The funny part of this is that comments across the interwebs seem to indicate that liberals actually thought this was gotcha video. It isn’t. It’s like…pretty much the party platform, stated too casually for HuffPo consumption. Many Obama supporters choose Bread & Circuses over austerity and fiscal soundness. (Google Bread & Circuses, folks) Picture standing in a burning house, Obama in front of you holding a popsicle – and that is all you care about…

HadIt

September 19th, 2012
6:14 am

I keep hearing about how unfair it is that 47 % don’t pay taxes and that everyone should have skin in the game when it comes to the burden of taxes. Ok, tax them. But to be fair, let’s have everyone have some skin in the game when it comes to burdens of war. We should have a special draft for the children in the top 1 % of households and require them to serve in front line positions. That way, 1 % of all deaths and amputees will be from the top 1%. It’s only fair. As for Mitt, what was his contribution to the war of his generation, Vietnam? He bicycled across France with a student deferment after having demonstrated in favor of the war. Another chicken hawk from a long line of Republican chicken hawks.

nelson

September 19th, 2012
6:21 am

The entire crux of the whole 47% issue is; Prez O is the 1st Prez in history that encourages dependency on government. All the other Prezs wanted a strong independent populace that could carry the flag high and be the envy of the world. Chicago-vibrant, strong rail center of the nation, tough,hard working, not the murder capital. NYC= Wall st and center for commerce, all the cities were big contributors to a vibrant economy, now, rust belts, abandoned shells of a past magnificance. Romney wants a rennisance, a new America, land of opportunity. He is right, all the potential is still there.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

September 19th, 2012
6:21 am

Nice to see how HadIt reduces someones dedication to his faith as “bicycling across France”.