Keeping Romney at arm’s length, Part III

Keeping Romney at arm's length, Part III
Keeping Romney at arm's length, Part III
Associated Press

It’s been nearly 48 hours since the political world learned that Mitt Romney, at a closed-door fundraiser, argued that nearly half the country is made up of lazy freeloaders who refuse to “take responsibility” for their lives. And since that time, the race has been on to see how many – and how quickly – Republicans will distance themselves from the comments.

As of yesterday, the list included Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Senate candidate Linda McMahon of Connecticut, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne, and congressional candidate Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

Today, the club got bigger.

Gov. John Kasich told some Cleveland media outlets Wednesday that he doesn’t “necessarily agree” with Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s statements that “47 percent” of Americans view themselves “as victims” and can’t be convinced to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

“We have all misspoken. Do I necessarily agree with him, no, but, I have done it, the president has done it,” Kasich said, according to WOIO-19 TV.

This might slightly more persuasive if Romney hadn’t said he believed every word he said – Romney doesn’t even claim to have “misspoken”; he’s argued all week that he routinely makes similar arguments in public.

Also joining the ranks of Republicans who want to keep Romney at arm’s length is Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), who said he “disagrees” with the controversial remarks, which he also considers at odds with “the fundamental American way.”

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, the Republican Senate candidate this year, added she does “not agree with his characterization of all individuals who are receiving government assistance.”

As for the public, new polls from Reuters and Gallup show the public with negative reactions to the comments, too.

John Kasich

Keeping Romney at arm's length, Part III