Romney now says 47 percent comments were ‘completely wrong’

Updated
By Quinn Wonderling

After repeatedly defending his secretly taped description of 47 percent of Americans as “victims, dependent on government,” who don’t take responsibility for their lives, Mitt Romney appeared on Fox News Thursday evening and changed his tune, saying his comments were “completely wrong.”

Sean Hannity asked Romney what he would have said if Obama had brought up the damaging comments during the first presidential debate on Wednesday. 

“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. In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong,” Romney replied. “And I absolutely believe that my life has shown that I care about the 100 percent. That’s been demonstrated throughout my life and this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.”

Romney had originally defended the 47% comments at a recent press conference as “not elegantly stated,” ”off the cuff” and “a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry.” msnbc’s Alex Wagner stopped by Thursday’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and offered one explanation for the unexpected turnaround.

“You know, Lawrence, the word that has popped into my head in the course of the last 24 hours is ‘lobotomy,’” she told host Lawrence O’Donnell. “Either Mitt Romney wants the entire American public to have one, or is proposing they get one, because that’s the only way they’re going to believe what he’s saying. Or, he himself has had a lobotomy, which is the explanation for this pivot that is miraculous.”

O’Donnell noted that a presidential candidate never wants to say the sentence,“I was completely wrong,” because it opens the door to questions about other things he could be completely wrong about.

In the same vein, back on the campaign trail in Wisconsin today, Obama capitalized on Romney’s habit of contradicting his own statements and hoping voters will forget.

“Whoever it was that was on stage last night doesn’t want to be held accountable for what the real Mitt Romney’s been saying for the last year,” Obama said. “And that’s because he knows full well we don’t want what he’s been selling over the last year.”

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

Romney now says 47 percent comments were 'completely wrong'

Updated