Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney disavows ‘47 percent’ remarks as ‘completely wrong’

One day after a well-praised performance in a debate with President Barack Obama, Republican nominee Mitt Romney disavowed as “completely wrong” his contention that the 47 percent of Americans who receive federal benefits are overly dependent on government:

From the Associated Press:

The original remarks, secretly recorded during a fundraiser in May and posted online in September by the magazine Mother Jones, sparked intense criticism of Romney and provided fodder to those who portray him as an out-of-touch millionaire oblivious to the lives of average Americans. The remarks became a staple of Obama campaign criticism.

Initially, Romney defended his view, telling reporters at a news conference shortly after the video was posted that his remarks were “not elegantly stated” and that they were spoken “off the cuff.” He didn’t disavow them, however, and later adopted as a response when the remarks were raised that his campaign supports “the 100 percent in America.”

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.”

Under the assumption that anything uttered by either presidential candidate at this stage is premeditated, and given Romney’s empahsis on bipartisanship during the debate, you have to assume this is a concerted effort to move the Republican candidate back to the center for the final 30 days of the campaign.

Asked for his reaction to Romney’s walk-back, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, offered Soledad O’Brien a sports metaphor. From Politico.com:

“The Republican, the conservative candidate in the primary is always gonna lean right and come back to the center for the general,” the Georgia Republican said on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “The opposite for the Democrat, that’s all you’re seeing here. It’s very typical.”…

“When the coach gives that pep talk, it’ll be maybe a little different what he says to the running back than what he says to the lineman, but they’re all on the same team, you have to pull everyone together,” he said. “And that’s all Mitt Romney is doing.”

***
Wednesday’s debate has caused Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal to revise her assessment of September’s “incompetent” Mitt Romney:

America got its first, sustained look at the good and competent Mr. Romney. And it really was a first. He wasted his convention but showed up for his debate, and an estimated 58 million people were watching. Many of them were taking his measure for the first time. What did they see? He was confident, gracious, in command of the facts. He looked like a president, acted like one. He was easily the incumbent’s equal and maybe more than that, so he became for the first time a real alternative to the incumbent, a living one, not just a name on a ballot.

***
On Thursday, Attorney General Sam Olens held a conference call with reporters to explain the instructions he gave this week to State School Superintendent John Barge, on the need for local school systems to stay out of the charter school campaign.

My AJC colleague Wayne Washington has the details here.

Opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment, which will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, may be strongest in rural Georgia, where cuts to education have had a larger impact.

Olens declared that taxpayer money may not be used to campaign against – or for – the amendment. One example immediately pointed out by charter school proponents was a letter that Sharon Sewell, mayor of Bremen, sent to city residents.

Bremen has its own city school system with 6,000 students. From Sewell’s letter:

This amendment has nothing to do with charter schools as I have thought them to be. Local boards of education along with the communities in which they serve can already authorize charter schools.

This amendment offers the opportunity for the state to bypass locally elected boards to create a state commission that that strips local voters, parents and local officials of any authority, placing it instead in the hands of state politicians. It also diverts our tax money from funding our local public schools to for-profit state charter school management companies who may be more concerned about shareholder profits than student performance.

….As my friends, I want to say to you that I am horrified by the greed for power that is being demonstrated in our state and federal governments. We have got to stand up, stand together, be informed and seek the truth. Sadly, truth is hard to find. The trunk of this nation is being attacked by parasites wanting to thrive at the expense of the roots holding the health of the American tree. We still have the chance to make a choice to make a change. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not America, then what?

May God have mercy on us, grant us grace and inspire us to stand and not blink. I am deeply grateful for you and I love living here with you.

Sewell said this morning, in a telephone interview, that she regularly sends messages to residents via their water bills, and said that no extra public expense was involved.

“Every month, I write to our people about something that’s on my mind. My people simply need to know what they’re voting for or against,” she said. “I think that an informed populace is very important.

“The frightening part of this is that the people who created this charter school amendment would just soon everybody not know. That is the most frightening part of all,” the mayor said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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306 comments Add your comment

Common sense

October 5th, 2012
1:11 pm

Romney is apologizing for all of you 47% people who were screaming foul. Take the apology for the love of God.

However, I will say for those of you take want to kick and scream because someone like Romney wants to put you on a path to do better for yourself instead of depending upon the government for everything. Think about this if those of us that get up and go to work everyday decide we aren’t working any more then how are you going to get your percious government benefits then?

My final point for all of you touting about unemployment now being at 7.8% take a real at labor statistic numbers and you will see that they are counting PART TIME and SEASONAL jobs in the new numbers. Also it’s back to the number it was when he took office so you’re proud that the took it from F- with is policies back to F. Please, another note the unemployment figure also doesn’t count the number of people who had stop looking for work.

This nothing more than CHICAGO style politics at it’s finest.

Rush

October 5th, 2012
1:11 pm

Where’s JamSandwich? The troll must be taking a dump.

A whisper in Medvedev's ear

October 5th, 2012
1:13 pm

Let’s put things in perspective. After watching the debate whick candidate would you want staring down a nuclear threat?

Kris

October 5th, 2012
1:18 pm

Looks like another pi$$ing in the wind contest today.

Mit is a lair.
Mit is out for himself and the put your Money off shore club.
Mit will toss the Middle Class under the bus.
Mit will Kill jobs.
Mit will probably if given a chance start WWIII. (It will be the sons and Daughters of the 47% that will have to fight. (His bean counters will devise ways to cheat the solders. (cheap equipment made in china.).

The list goes on.
Given Wednesday he put on a good show with only Jim and Big bird controlling him.

I don’t think I would want him out in the world with world LEADERS .

God Bless America. God Bless President Barrack Obama.

Vote often.

Re-elect President Obama.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
1:21 pm

Look-

Strongly disagree with some of what you said. Whey are we still in difficult times with the economy? In in large part business is to unsure about the future. In what way? They are unsure about taxes, the effect of obamacare and the huge debt of this country.

What needs to happen as relates to the debt is to balance the budget, not through higher taxes but by cutting the size and scoop of the federal government, That would help give confidence to the leaders of business and industry,

A whisper in Medvedev's ear

October 5th, 2012
1:21 pm

So Kris you want Obama to have the flexibility to give Russia control over our defenses? People need to think beyond the Move On talking points.

Me

October 5th, 2012
1:23 pm

Just label him a racist liberal bed wetters. That usually works for you doesn’t it? Opps, I guess not. People have caught onto that lately.

Al

October 5th, 2012
1:24 pm

Anyone who supports and thinks Obama is a good president is a real idiot.

Romney/Ryan in 2012!!

One Of The 47%

October 5th, 2012
1:28 pm

Every time Romney opens his mouth I feel the need to take a shower and scrub away the slime he’s spit out

Al

October 5th, 2012
1:29 pm

And every time Obama opens his mouth his nose gets a bigger for the lies he spits out.

Romney/Ryan in 2012!!

A whisper in Medvedev's ear

October 5th, 2012
1:32 pm

Obama is definitely a weak pathetic leader and the whole world knows it. Bring back strenght and pride to the America that so many fought and died for.

Tony

October 5th, 2012
1:46 pm

@Retired Soldier. The two wars were unfunded by Bush and kept out of the budget; it was classified as “emergency spending measures”. Even the Bush administration told the American people in 2002 that the Iraqi war would pay for itself. Just look it up because the information is there.

commoncents

October 5th, 2012
1:54 pm

where did my comment go? :(

honested

October 5th, 2012
1:55 pm

Tony,
retired doesn’t like to talk about the real causes of debt and deficit.
He is under the misguided belief that all things military are Constitutional, whether they were started by a lie or not.
Some people do not comprehend that ‘common defense’ includes defense from liars in the White House who believe profiting from military adventures is more important than preventing American casualties.

honested

October 5th, 2012
1:57 pm

whisper,

I am PROUD to have a leader in the White House who does not believe it is appropriate to use the American military to settle a family dispute.

Common sense

October 5th, 2012
1:58 pm

So it’s ok for the Obama to tell a private company to break the law and not give out layoff notices? It’s ok for him to go around and say he is not going to tax the middle class only to enact the largest take increase on the middle class in the form of obamacare.

@Tony- Guess what Bush is in office any more, but Obama is. At least under Bush there was a budget, Under Obama they haven’t had a budget. Under Obama he’s given a blank check to Wall Street in the form of QE3 and under Obama he has done nothing but add to the defict that he promised to cut.

I need for all of you who think Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread to wake up and see the man for the fraud that he is.

commoncents

October 5th, 2012
1:58 pm

I’ll shorten it…
Kris- your comments are lame and unsubstantiated.
Barack is not a world leader and never will be respected on the world stage. Sure, some countries will kiss his butt, but only to siphon away more of our money.

I would love to know your reasoning for Mit killing jobs… and please don’t reference an MSNBC article or plagiarize someone else’s work in doing so

honested

October 5th, 2012
2:05 pm

commonents,

The only country I can think of in your description is Israel, but they are just mad they can’t siphon off more of our money.

commoncents

October 5th, 2012
2:05 pm

One of the 47% – Congratulations. You must be proud of not being able to take care of yourself.

Instead of voting for the party that will continue the handouts, try voting for an actual business leader. His policies will create wealth for the nation (and you!) and hopefully soon you can have your pride back.

commoncents

October 5th, 2012
2:07 pm

honested-
I suppose you are correct. I forgot that everyone else who gets our money doesn’t even have to ask.

honested

October 5th, 2012
2:07 pm

commoncents,

As a long term small business owner, I don’t see any ‘business leader’ attempting to unseat the President.
Just an exposed poser living a life built off his daddy.

honested

October 5th, 2012
2:09 pm

commoncents,

You might want to read up on exactly which nations still receive any US direct aid and how much.
The answer might make your posts less ill informed.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
2:13 pm

Tony-

The debt is the debt, I agree Bush didn’t pay for the wars and other things too. That why he had a deficit every year he was in office. The same is true with Obama, even more so. I don’t understand why ya’ll think the way Obama is “paying” for the war is any different.

Honestead-

You don’t have a clue about me. I think the defense dept can have significant reductions without hurting our military. I also favor immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan. How about you?

Finally I fuly understnd what causes debt, spending more than you take in. Wish Obama could figure that out.

Mary Elizabeth

October 5th, 2012
2:14 pm

I just posted this comparison between Romney’s and Obama’s visions as leaders on Jay Bookman’s blog. I would like to repost it here for readers to consider:

“. . . In my perception, Obama has an elevated vision for our nation, and for the world which is rare. He had a “down” night when he debated Romney. However, we must all recall when he was defending Obamacare in a room full of Republican legislatiors who were essentially against Obamacare. He won that particular “debate” which was about 20 to 1 – the 1 being Obama, and the 20 being the Republican legislators. How quickly the public forgets Obama’s innate skills of thinking on his feet, when he is well prepared.

However, even if Obama turns out not to be the excellent debater that Romney is, Obama’s vision remains exceptional, in my opinion – and his vision is exceptional not only in comparison with Romney’s, but in comparison with the vision of most leaders. One needs to have a keen sense of history, as well as one’s place within history’s unfolding as did MLK, Washington and Lincoln – which includes awareness of Providence’s hand in the unfolding of history, using humans to that end – to have the kind of vision that they had, and that Obama has. That quality, and that vision, are rare.”

Ugly Politics

October 5th, 2012
2:17 pm

@Doug

October 5th, 2012
1:07 pm
You liberals are happy with 7.8% unemployment wow!!!

@Al

October 5th, 2012
1:24 pm
Anyone who supports and thinks Obama is a good president is a real idiot.

Romney/Ryan in 2012!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

YOU CONS are unhappy about the 7.8%,,,CONS thought it would be WORSE.

Anyone who supports and thinks Romney will be a good president is WEARING

TO TIGHT religious underwear.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
2:19 pm

ME-

Nice fluffy words, but what is Obama’s vision?

Look before I leap...

October 5th, 2012
2:20 pm

@RS
I know you disagree but history and Keynesian economic theory back me up.
If the national debt as you claim is the issue. then simply balancing the budget is not enough. You must have a budget surplus and then USE that surplus to pay down the debt.
But as we saw in either ‘36 or ‘37, Roosevelt, under tremendous pressure to cut spending, did so. What was the result? A sputtering economic recovery tanked and we went right back into recession.

And businesses are slow to add to their payrolls for many more reasons than the ones you mentioned. China dialing back its economy, the continued dire economic situation in Europe, high energy prices, instability in the middle east (in particular the Iran/Israel situation). In many cases, companies have learned to make do with permanent or semi-permanent reductions in their payrolls. They may be producing less or the same as 5 years ago, but they are significantly more profitable. And in those cases, we could swear in Jesus Christ next January and those same companies would not add to their payrolls.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
2:27 pm

Look-

Who said Keynesian theory works? It doesn’t. If it did why is the economy slowing now?

I agree there are more reasons why business is on the sidelines, but they are sitting on alot of cash. Bottomline they have to feel it is the riight time to grow and expand. Right now, they don’t.

Want to know how to jump start our economy faster and farther? Adopt the Fair Tax.

Ugly Politics

October 5th, 2012
2:28 pm

@A whisper in Medvedev’s ear

October 5th, 2012
1:32 pm
Obama is definitely a weak pathetic leader and the whole world knows it. Bring back strenght and pride to the America that so many fought and died for.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anyone who thinks Romney is better than Obama…..is just whistling Dixie

and waving the Rebel flag.

honested

October 5th, 2012
2:29 pm

retired,
I wish we had left Afghanistan as soon as shrub let bin-laden escape (in 2005).

Yes, we do spend more than we take in. If we returned to the 1999 tax levels and took in closer to what was necessary, the whole problem would be smaller, if not gone entirely.

I think the President understands this, but the House freshboys seem intent on pretending doing nothing is a better idea.

honested

October 5th, 2012
2:32 pm

retired,

Of course Keynesian Economics Works.
We only find that out every time we stray into some ‘latest craze’ nonsense like laffers ’supply side’.
Will you people ever learn?

the bob.bob

October 5th, 2012
2:34 pm

Well, at least Mittens wasn’t pretending to be something that he wasn’t to the voters. He was just lying to his rich buddy donors to get their money. Corporate types, consultants do that all the time. They give you an earnest sales pitch, with “conviction”. Then they make the sale, take your money and then ‘harvest’ the profits.

Or maybe he was telling the truth to his ‘owner’-donor friends and lying to the voters?

Here’s what Newt said last January. He called Newt a liar.

“Well, you seem shocked by it! This is a man whose staff created the PAC, his millionaire friends fund the PAC, he pretends he has nothing to do with the PAC – it’s baloney. He’s not telling the American people the truth…”
“I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points, and I think he ought to be candid. I don’t think he’s being candid and that will be a major issue.”

And Newt’s a supporter!

Al

October 5th, 2012
2:36 pm

@Ugly 7.8% Really??? You have been brainwashed!!

@Mary You must be from another planet!!

GaBlue

October 5th, 2012
2:37 pm

Rmoney reminds me of the promiscuous sociopath who tells each and every potential girlfriend/boyfriend what he/she wants to hear. With enthusiasm and bright, gleaming eyes! Affirming and reaffirming just exactly the right words for any given moment. Never mind what he/she said to anyone else the day, week, or month before. He/she really means what he/she is saying right at this moment — can’t you tell?

Sadly, this works on so many people who hear what they want to hear, and believe what they want to believe. (”Fact checkers be darned!”) He/she MUST love me, because he/she is telling me exactly what I want to hear! I’ve wanted to hear these things for so long, and now I’m hearing them! At last, my love has come along! Yay!

Smart people know that words, especially ever-changing words that are not supported by facts, history, or previous patterns of behavior, mean nothing. How has Mr. Rmoney lived his life? How has he made his money? How many American companies did he dismantle with a minimum of effort and a maximum of profit? How much money of his is stashed overseas, and how hard has he fought to protect that very private information? How many 180-degree flip flops have been documented so far?

It’s hard to know whom to trust, but DANG. Only a chump or a glutton for humiliation would trust this one. Just sayin’.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
2:40 pm

honestead-

Obama had four years to pull out of Afghanistan, he chose not to. 99 tax levels are a drop in the bucket towrds balancing the budget. It will take massive reductions in the size and scope of the federal government. Eliminating numerous departments. I like what Romney said in the debate, if it is not worth borrowing miney from China, it needs to go.

I agree, the republicans in the House are very much part of the problem. They just agreefd to the Speaker/Reid deal to extend cureent spending levels plus 6/10ths of one per cent increase (that means 1.3 trillion in more debt plus 14.2 billion more). The only GA republican congressman that voted against it was Gingrey. Good for him.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
2:42 pm

GaBlue-

Are the Clintons good politicans?

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
2:51 pm

GaBlue-

Can’t wait for your response, have work to do, but the Clinton’s have offshore bank accounts too. Are you critical of them?

cc

October 5th, 2012
3:25 pm

“Some people do not comprehend that ‘common defense’ includes defense from liars in the White House”

If that were the case, your hero wouldn’t be propping his feet up in the Oval Office . . .

“The only country I can think of in your description is Israel, but they are just mad they can’t siphon off more of our money.”

Are you pro-muslim brotherhood, pro-Palestinian or Pro-Iranian?

“As a long term small business owner, I don’t see any ‘business leader’ attempting to unseat the President.”

We have only your word that you are a small business owner, and frankly, that isn’t a whole lot.

“You might want to read up on exactly which nations still receive any US direct aid and how much.”

You MIGHT want to take your own advice . . .

gm

October 5th, 2012
3:26 pm

Retired Soldier

Romney said in the debate, if it is not worth borrowing miney from China, it needs to go.

Please tell me how you can believe any thing this guy say about China? after all the jobs he has sent overseas including China.

Compare GOP record on Veterans to this Administraton, or how the GOP voted against Veterans jobs bill last month, Do you people read or research?

Buckhead Boy

October 5th, 2012
3:31 pm

I too would favor the idea of not spending what had to be borrowed from China. And, since that accounts for only 8% of our borrowing, it could be done easily by spending only enough on our defense as to achieve parity with the country spending the next most on its defense. In fact, in doing that there would be enough left over to not have to trouble Big Bird, and give a free college education to every American who wanted one. And, since that No. 2 country is China, one might say that we’re borrowing from China so that we can spend six times more on defense than China feels the need to do so. And, Mr. Romney advocates spending even more — or at least he did yesterday.

A whisper in Medvedev's ear

October 5th, 2012
3:40 pm

Ugly – Obama can’t even look Romney in the eye when debating and is obviously overpowered easily. He has proved time after time to be weak and spineless and totally ineffective. Remember the whisper in Medvedev’s ear??? You want that for a leader??? Really??? Then you obviously care nothing for this country and are only concerned with gay rights and other liberal talking points.

DownInAlbany

October 5th, 2012
3:42 pm

When are you people (a term I picked up on Bookman’s blog) going to hold the sitting President to his promises (can you say, “flip-flop?”)
(1) Jobs: The first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last think I think about when I go to bed each night.
(2) We have a laser-like focus on jobs.
(3) When Obama took office, unemployment was at 7.8%
(4) Bush adding $4 trillion to the national debt was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.”
(5) I will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term.
(6) Promised his housing program would prevent 7-9 million families from foreclosure.
(7) Ppromised health reform would save American families $2500 per year.
(8) As President, I will work to solve this energy crisis once and for all.
(9) Claimed that his energy policies would create 5 million jobs.
(10) Repeatedly promised to restore America’s standing in the world.
(11) Promised to challenge China on the devaluation of their currency.
(12) And, who can forget the “shovel-ready” jobs?
(11) The attacks on the Libyan embassy was caused by “that” movie.

DJ Sniper

October 5th, 2012
3:43 pm

Only in Righwingnutistan can the GOP view falling unemployment as a bad thing. Of course, I expected nothing less from these nutjobs, who hopped on the crazy train as soon as Obama was elected. All this time, they’ve been hanging the 8% unemployment rate around Obama’s neck, but the minute it drops below that, they put on their tin foil hats. What’s really funny is the fact that some of this nuttery is coming from the former CEO of GE, who was notorious for cooking his own books.

This is just as bad as them blaming Obama for rising gas prices, but not giving him credit when the prices fall, and still not knowing that the POTUS has no control over gas prices in the first place.

DownInAlbany

October 5th, 2012
3:44 pm

Also, I guess you O apologists give him a pass on the race-baiting, class warfare video from 2007? And, before I forget:
(12) Reverund Wright is my friend and confidant…just before he distanced himself from the man.

Linda

October 5th, 2012
3:47 pm

“Borrowing from China” is a term used to mean borrowing. Period. It does not matter if we are borrowing from China, Japan, Brazil, etc. or printing money out of thin air.
We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we are spending.
We are borrowing money from other countries to give foreign aid to other countries.
We are borrowing money from China to give foreign aid to China.
We are borrowing money from Brazil to give foreign aid to Pakistan.
We’re spending money defending the Middle East because we are too stupid to use our own oil.
We are the laughing stock of the world.

Dekou

October 5th, 2012
3:51 pm

I’m voting for Obama partially because he’s black. Romney Gave it to him though in the debate..he all but walked off the stage with his wife and Michelle Obama that night. This country has had it’s run, all superpowers eventually crumble..America is no different. OBAMA!!!!

DJ Sniper

October 5th, 2012
3:53 pm

DownInAlbany, can you name one president who has ever kept every single one of his campaign promises? Oh yea, I forgot: Obama is the first president in history to do that. How could I be so stupid?

I noticed someone brought up voter fraud. Isn’t it funny how the GOP claims that voter fraud is so rampant, yet they are the ones who are getting in trouble for fraud regarding voter registration?

DownInAlbany

October 5th, 2012
3:53 pm

Mary Elizabeth: It’s not a debate when you start the meeting off by saying, “…the election was …months ago…we won…”.

How quickly the public forgets Obama’s innate skills of thinking on his feet, when he is well prepared

Exactly how much preparation does it take to defend your own policies?

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
3:56 pm

Well said Linda.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
3:58 pm

DJ-

You are correct, we learned the lessons of voter registration from the democrats.