Romney: Obama Voters Believe "They Are Victims"

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 17 2012 5:16 PM

"My Job Is Not To Worry About Those People"

152222606
Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's 33rd annual national convention in Los Angeles on Monday

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

Dave Weigel will have more on the numbers at the heart of the specific claim in a little bit, but here's the video that is likely going to be making the rounds for the next few days, if not longer.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

In it, Mitt Romney is captured on tape telling donors at a private fundraiser earlier this year that his campaign won't focus on those Americans who don't pay income tax—a demographic that the GOP hopeful says will vote en masse for President Obama no matter what because they are looking for a government handout.

Advertisement

Here's the quote in question as can be heard in the video that was obtained by Mother Jones: Romney says:

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 … These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

The most natural immediate comparison appears to be Barack Obama's now infamous "guns and religion" quote from his own private fundraiser back in 2008, although it remains to be seen if this one will have the same type of staying power.

[UPDATE: Romney called an impromptu presser late Monday to address the mounting criticism. While the GOP hopeful admitted that the comments were "not elegantly stated," he largely stood firm behind the idea he says he was trying to express.]

Here's the video:

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.