It was the secret speech heard around the world. Mitt Romney’s comments to donors at a $50,000 plate dinner where he wrote off 47% of voters, claiming that they were victims dependent on the government who would not consider voting for him, confirmed voters’ perception of the former CEO of Bain Capital as an out-of-touch Montgomery Burns figure in the American political landscape.
“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.”
As Chuck Todd pointed out, the majority of those Americans who do not pay income tax are elderly voters, who were most likely to vote for Romney. The rest of the Americans that Romney wrote off were either too poor to pay an income tax or were working poor and paid payroll taxes.
In the end, Romney ended up with, yep, 47% of the vote, and losing the election to President Obama.
Next on the most viewed list: Lawrence O’Donnell talking to empty chairs way before Clint Eastwood ever thought of it.