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Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in Breaking News, Media, Politics | 38 comments

Will Leaked “Secret” Romney Video Talking to Supporters Hurt Him? (ROUNDUP) UPDATED

Will a video of Mitt Romney talking privately to supporters showing apparent disdain for Obama voters and suggesting nearly half of them just want to take from the government hurt him? Will this be a major twist in the campaign — or one more new and old political media mini-firestorm that’ll fade in a week or two? See Tyrone Steels take on it HERE.

Reports about and embeds from a “secret” video of Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney talking to supporters at a private fundraiser are now whipping around the Internet.

The question: will significant mainstream media and damaging polling impact to Romney be far behind?

The video “scoop” is provided by Mother Jone’s David Corn, and you can read and watch key parts of it here. Much of it isn’t a surprise: Romney’s confidence that once he takes off he’ll have to do little before the economy will rebound, his gingerly handling of Obama due to fears that if he gets too rough he will lose independent voters, his confidence in the professionalism and tougheness of his campaign team and consultants. But there’s one key quote that could indeed hurt him — and are already predicting it could hurt him bigtime.

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don’t assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

Here’s the embed video — one of many on the Mother Jones’ Corn piece allowing readers to listen to Romney for themselves:

Go to the link to read the entire piece and watch all of the embeds..

It’s yet more bad imagery for Romney who in recent weeks seems to be battered by bad news about his campaign, despite boosterism by some of the conservative media. His problem now is not getting Republican votes. His problem is peeling off the votes of more moderate Democrats and independent voters. This tape reinforces the Democratic created perception of Romney, but it probably will cause shrugs among some voters who either always felt Romney felt this way or who are Republicans and agree with him.

But the bottom line? It is not beneficial. It won’t gain him one vote — but it may lose him some.

The Romney camp has responded to the video:

“Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work,” Romney spokesperson Gail Gitcho said in a statement. “Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.”

The Obama campaign had something to say, too:

“It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

UPDATED: Bloomberg’s Josh Barro’s piece is titled: “Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election.” Some chunks:

You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney’s campaign for president…

…This is an utter disaster for Romney.

Romney already has trouble relating to the public and convincing people he cares about them. Now, he’s been caught on video saying that nearly half the country consists of hopeless losers.

…….Corn tells us there are more embarrassing moments on segments of the video he hasn’t released yet. Romney jokes that he’d be more likely to win the election if he were Hispanic. He makes some awkward comments about whether he was born with a “silver spoon” in his mouth.

But those are survivable. The really disastrous thing is the clip about “victims,” and the combination of contempt and pity that Romney shows for anyone who isn’t going to vote for him.

Romney is the most opaque presidential nominee since Nixon, and people have been reduced to guessing what his true feelings are. This video provides an answer: He feels that you’re a loser. It’s not an answer that wins elections.


Andrew Sullivan:

This is a major coup for Mother Jones and you should read the whole thing and watch the videos from a private fundraiser earlier this year. The contempt for 47 percent of Americans as parasites is really quite something. As is his total rejection of the preposterous idea that he was born into privilege…

Justin Green on GOPer David Frum’s page on The Daily Beast:

Mother Jones’ David Corn published a devastating story today: video of Mitt Romney explaining his belief that all America’s poor and working class citizens will reflexively vote for Barack Obama. As my headline suggests, the language was Randian, and the political sensibility vacant.


[W]atch this now if you haven’t seen it elsewhere because political media will be having 20 heart attacks about it tomorrow and you’ll want to be up to speed. This was recorded awhile back at a fundraiser, just like Obama’s infamous “bitter/clinger” comments in 2008. Remember how big that blew up? That’s how we ended up with President McCain.

The dirty little secret of most “controversial” political statements is that voters pay them little mind, especially when they’re preoccupied with bread-and-butter issues. The GOP spent three days in Tampa hammering Obama for the “you didn’t build that” line and a fat lot of good it did them in vaulting Romney past O in the polls. Then again, the GOP didn’t have a media megaphone like the one that’s going to be amplifying this for the rest of the week.

Crooks and Liars’ Karoli:

Please do take note of what Willard thinks of “entitlements.” Because this is what wealthy people think about people who actually do pay more of their income as a percentage into taxes — sales taxes, payroll taxes, and other taxes they have to pay to live and get by.

-The American Prospect:

[T]the quote marks the formal capture, as it were, of the Republican Party by Ayn-Rand Thought—that the world consists of makers and takers and that the true purpose of government should be to let the makers make and restrict if not outright eliminate the takers’ take. Add to this Romney’s assumption that Obama’s voters come overwhelmingly from the taker forces while his own supporters are the makers. It’s hard to understand how Obama has been able to raise so much money for his campaign if that assumption is correct, but it’s correspondingly easier to understand what underpins the Republicans’ attitude toward Medicaid and Medicare, in case there was any mystery about it.

To be sure, Romney was talking to his funders when he said this, and doubtless crafting his remarks to encourage them to pony up even more to his campaign. Even allowing for that, however, his comments should cause us to rethink the idea that Grover Norquist’s is the dominant presence in today’s GOP. Keynes famously observed that behind most politicians’s ideas, whether they know it or (more commonly) not, are the ideas of some dead economist. What’s behind the governing doctrine in today’s Republican Party are the ideas of some dead novelist and cult leader who never professed to be guided by empiricism. Today’s Republicans are a faith-based party, but not as the term is commonly understood. Their faith is Randian libertarianism—a belief that may sustain a novel, but has never yet sustained a country.

New York Magazine:

The video was revealed in a major scoop by Mother Jones with help from video researcher James Carter (grandson of Jimmy Carter), who reportedly helped convince the anonymous videographer to release it to the media. It is reminiscent of Obama’s remarks at a 2008 fund-raiser that people laid off in the Midwest and Pennsylvania “cling to guns and religion.” Not coincidentally, the Obama campaign now requires people at most fund-raisers to surrender their cell phones.

The timing of what can only be described as a Romney super-Jenga moment could hardly have been worse for his campaign. Following a Politico report on bitter infighting amid the campaign consultants, the Republican nominee’s staff announced a focus on specific policy prescriptions and new issues, including foreign policy. But the leaked video seems likely to dominate the coming news cycles, and the Obama campaign wasted little time in pressing its advantage……

Mother Jones promised, in words that can’t be welcome in Romneyland, that more excerpts from the video are coming soon.


…And if you thought the Romney campaign would be allowed to reset their campaign in a vacuum, you were mistaken. Romney has been knocked not just off-message but off the Earth’s axis by videos obtained by Mother Jones.

Will Bunch:

Can it get any worse for this guy? Ttue, Obama had an embarrassing video from talking to his super-rish donors released in 2008, and he still won. But I suspect that this time Romney voters will spend the next four years clinging to their guns and their religion.

Mario Piperni:

Talk about contempt. The assumption that anyone not earning enough to pay federal taxes must be a free-loading liberal, is another example of right-wing insanity. Apparently, inside the bubble there are no struggling conservatives…nor are there people who have worked hard their entire lives but find themselves struggling to make ends meet during difficult economic times…and Romney feels it’s not the job of president to “worry about these people.”

The Daily Telegraph blog:

But it’s hard to imagine an actual presidential nominee articulating it in this manner. Sure, Romney’s quote might contain a grain of truth. But it’s also cruel and fatalistic. The American Dream is rooted in the hope that someday we’ll all be rich enough to pay lots of tax (or own a bank account in the Caymans). To suggest that some folks will stick with their entitlements forever – that’s un-American. And Mitt makes it so much worse by suggesting that he doesn’t care about them, either: “My job is not to worry about those people.”

It’s likely that this video will really hurt the candidate. It will damage his likeability stakes even more, confirming an impression that he’s the candidate of the wealthy. Some will infer that those 47 percent are black or Hispanic and that he was making a racial point. More will retort, “Well, you don’t like like paying taxes either, Mitt!” Others will ask, “What else does he say when we’re not listening?” Bring back child labour? (Although Newt Gingrich called dibs on that one.)

Mitt Romney – you are a very frustrating nominee. The economy is unhealthy and the administration’s foreign policy is in doubt. And yet you have muddled what should be a predictable victory in November with gaffe, counter-gaffe and – now – a pre-gaffe.

I’m starting to wonder if Rick Santorum would have done better. At least he wanted fewer Americans to pay tax. That’s what populism sounds like.

Addendum: To clarify, the 47 percent that Mitt refers to are the number usually identified as not paying any tax. The number is false. They might not pay federal taxes, but they sure do pay sales, gas etc. Also, I don’t discuss Ron Paul here – which is unfair. He wanted to abolish the income tax, the IRS…

-Time’s Swampland:

In general, it’s not great for a presidential candidate to make unsympathetic generalizations about 47% of the U.S. population. It’s additionally problematic for Romney to whack them for paying too little in taxes when he’s declined to provide more than two years of his own returns and pledged to cut taxes for the middle class — some of whom presumably fall into the 47% Romney is denigrating.

Obama knows full well that views a candidate espouses in private can prove damaging; comments he made at a 2008 fundraiser about voters who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” dogged him for months. Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, released a statement this afternoon that said: “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog:

The video surfaced on the same day the Romney campaign tried to reverse its recent slide in the polls by rededicating itself to a message of smaller government, lower taxes and fewer regulations. His top advisers kicked off the week with a Monday morning conference call to highlight this push, and Mr. Romney himself touched on these themes in a speech to small-business owners at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. However, the video gave critics fresh ammunition to paint Mr. Romney, a wealthy former private-equity executive, as a callous executive who doesn’t care about poor people…

…..In a Twitter post, former Obama spokesman Bill Burton, who runs a super PAC supporting the president, said, “Romney shows surprising venom here. Hard to imagine any other GOP nominee speaking like this, even privately.” An official with the Obama campaign, speaking of the video, said, “This is obviously a significant moment, and you can expect to hear more about it.”

Over the course of the campaign, Mr. Romney has been forced to answer for remarks that critics deemed insensitive, from his quip last year at the Iowa State Fair that “corporations are people” to his remark to CNN earlier this year in which he said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor” – he later said he misspoke.

The candidate also tends to be more candid in closed-door sessions than he is on the stump when reporters and television cameras broadcast his every remark. During an April fund-raiser in Florida, the candidate outlined tax breaks he’d eliminate to pay for his across-the-board tax cuts on individuals and businesses.

-Financial Times:

The incident was reminiscent of a secret recording of Mr Obama before the 2008 election, in which the Democratic candidate told donors that some small town voters in were bitter and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them”.

The development was more bad news on a difficult day for the Republican campaign. Top advisers spent the morning trying to persuade anxious Republicans not to panic against the backdrop of disappointing polling data and reports of infighting among Mr Romney’s campaign staff.


There’s a lot here, but the main problem for Romney is that he goes even further than Perry in his critique of the people who don’t pay income taxes. “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” he says. “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’re hopeless. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Got that? Romney is conflating the people who pay no net income tax with the people so dependent on government aid that they have to vote for Obama. But these aren’t the same people! Most of the “lucky duckies,” to use the classic WSJ term, are old people who subsist on Social Security. Elderly voters broke big for Republicans in 2010. Scores of poor whites who benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit vote for Republicans.

So Romney’s conflating two concepts. One is that people who pay no net income taxes don’t understand the “cost” of government. The other is that the socialist Democrats are voting themselves back into power by creating a poorer, more dependent electorate — one that gets by on food stamps and unearned welfare checks. This is Tea Party rhetoric churned into something new and stupid.


The BBC’s Adam Brookes in Washington says that this may prove to be a significant setback for Mr Romney, who has been relentless characterised by his political opponents as privileged and out of touch.

skippy (who writes in lower case)

apparently parts of this video have been floating around youtube for a few weeks, but david is the one that brought it into mainstream media.

things just aren’t going well for romney. on top of the mean girl politico piece, which gossips that his campaign is in tatters (she-dooby), romney is not going to win over any undecided voters who hear what he really thinks of them.


You realize that he’s talking about around a hundred and fifty million people, don’t you? He’s literally saying that nearly half the country is a bunch of parasites.

…I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a presidential candidate with more contempt for the American people than Mitt Romney. It’s one thing for a candidate to attack his opponent, but to attack half he country as a bunch of losers you don’t have to care about is just unprecedented. He’s obviously as much a believer in twisted Randroid tropes as his chosen VP.

And as I’m listening to Chris Matthews and his panel go on about how Romney is a captive of his base and doesn’t really believe what he’s saying (not regarding this video specifically) I can’t help but wonder why he’d say the following in private amongst a bunch of rich donors like himself if he didn’t believe it:

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  • ProWife

    John McCain knows the truth about Romney’s taxes. He did not say a word when Harry Reid said Romney paid zero taxes. That means Romney is one of the 47% that automatically won’t vote for Obama.

  • ProWife

    Since Romney is dependent on more than one government will he vote for Obama? He depends on the Swiss government to protect his money. He relies on the Cayman Government to protect his money. He depends on our government to protect more of his money as well as his assets.

  • ProWife

    Turns out Romney was just feeling sorry for himself when he labeled those not paying taxes victims.

  • Patrick in Michigan
  • cjjack

    He’s literally saying that nearly half the country is a bunch of parasites.

    Perhaps not literally, but the implication is clear: If you aren’t a “job creator,” then you’re the problem. This is something that has been bothering me for awhile now.

    The right has been elevating business owners to near-mythic status over the last few years, and this time their chosen candidate has finished the unspoken part of the message. He keeps talking about “jobs,” but looks down on those of us who DO jobs.

    I admit it, I have a job. I work for someone else…a rather large and famous corporation, in fact. Yet since I don’t own the place I work, I’m considered less important by the Mitt Romneys of the world. My taxes aren’t as important, my job security isn’t as important, and my vote isn’t nearly as important, since I’m far less likely to get access to a politician than my employers might be.

    Because I DO a job rather than CREATE jobs, Mitt thinks I’m a parasite who probably feeds at the government trough and can’t get out of bed in the morning without the promise of a handout.

    Not exactly a winning message.

  • Jim Satterfield

    I know that often in comment sections if you defend those who need assistance for whatever reasons it’s not at all uncommon to be accused of being a lazy bum who doesn’t have a job and are defending government programs because you must be getting aid yourself. Accusing 47% of the electorate of being on the dole and voting for Democrats, including Obama, because it’s voting for the guy who will pay you off with free stuff just might piss off a lot of people and push them that extra bit to get them in the voting booth come November to vote against Romney.

  • bluebelle

    In a perfect world people would be shocked by this statement and abandon Mitt in droves, with Super Pacs pulling their ads, and his advisors forming a circular firing squad.
    As much as I find it outrageous and offensive (besides being untrue), however, I have to accept the fact that a certain type of voter will have their prejudices reinforced about Obama, Democrats, welfare, minorities, etc. Its what Republicans hear on talk radio and have come to believe. I don’t know if it will hurt him significantly– maybe a little with independents, maybe a few more Democrats will turn out in November— its hard to predict.

  • slamfu

    This is, in a nutshell, not just Mittens speaking openly, but the entire current GOP establishment. Does anyone have a breakdown by party affiliation of those not making enough to pay taxes? I’m sure at least one or two southern conservatives fall into that category.

  • As I stated on T-Steele’s article, I think this is being blown out of proportion. Nothing said here is new, it is basically the GOP campaign platform this cycle, and talking about dependency on government is wholly relevant.

    Is the 47% number of non-taxpayers subject to fact-checking? Absolutely. Is the overall strategy dubious? Sure. But this is not the Watergate Tapes.

    Not to be a “media blamer”, but I think the blogosphere is going a bit insane on this one.

  • Dabb

    So it’s ok for many 1%ers to legally pay no income tax yet it’s not ok for any 47%ers to legally pay no income tax. Interesting.

  • ShannonLeee

    Barky, there is a difference between talking around a subject and explicitly saying that 47% of the American public is basically a bunch of government junkies.

    Most people thought those Rep attacks were meant for the poor, but Romney went after the middle class with that statement.

  • Willwright

    Is Romney working secretly to re-elect Obama? Is he really this dumb. This sounds like something you’d hear from a bunch a drunks at the country club bar. This will rank up there with Lenora Helmsley quote that “that only little people pay taxes”.

  • The_Ohioan


    I’ve been wondering about that for some time. Are the GOP hierarchy actually willing to spend a billion dollars to set up candidates for 2016? Are they that anxious to rid themsleves of Tea Party influence in order to take back the reins of power? The failure of this candidate will take down not only himself, but the entire Tea Party meme of taking back America from all the unpatriotic freeloading bums. What that leaves them with will be interesting to see.

  • clarkma5

    So I’ve watched the video a couple times and read the transcripts and read the punditry and a lot of these comments and here’s what I think a lot of people are missing in this discussion:

    Democrats shouldn’t be offended because they’re being characterized as “takers”, Republicans should be taken to task for misunderstanding the entire progressive economic philosophy. Believe it or not, the democrats aren’t out there protecting entitlements for the poor just for the sake of giving money to the poor; entitlements and aid and welfare for the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder are simply means to a greater macroeconomic end: to enable a greater percentage of people to be involved in the economy and thus make the economy stronger for everyone. And the thing is, at least according to how I read history, is that it WORKS. Times with high progressive taxation, lowered income gaps, and reasonable regulation of monopolistic industries correlate strongly with periods of low unemployment, impressive prosperity, and overall American superiority in the world economy. These are all things the right-wing claims to want but they really want it on their terms (wealth in the hands of the few, the domination of the plutocratic minority over the labor majority) and, again, based on my reading of history, this has been shown repeatedly to NOT work.

  • The_Ohioan


    How brave of you to inject some modicum of common sense into this debate. You mean to tell me that entitlements are a way to buffer economic downturns and decrease as the economy improves? I’m astonished and am doubtful that many minds will be changed about the 47% number ever changing (except to keep increasing) and its not representing the permanent louts of the nation.

    As a 75 year old drag on society, I can only say in my defense, that I, too, don’t think the government should spend untold millions keeping the elderly alive for their last 6 months with medical procedures that can only extend life for a few months while refusing to nourish the children of the nation. Politicians would be surprised how many of my cohorts feel the same way and are rejecting medical procedures other than pain pallitives in their final illnesses.

  • Most people thought those Rep attacks were meant for the poor, but Romney went after the middle class with that statement.

    Hmmm, so government payments now go to the middle class? How is that sustainable?

    Look, Romney is a tool, I say that whenever I get the chance. But for how long can one half the popularion pay benefits to the other half?

    I have problems with Democrats and Republicans when it comes to this issue. Democrats thinks the government is there to pay benefits, but doesn’t understand that the money has to come from somewhere, and therearen’t enough “rich people” to go around. The Republicans, OTOH, believe that every case of poverty is due to laziness.

    We need a sustainable economy. Both parties want a house of cards in their own favorite color.

  • ProWife

    The fact is there are millions of Republicans included in Romney’s 47% “victim/ Slacker” demographic. Another fact is that there are many Independents and millions of Democrats that work and pay income taxes. If you ad those millions that surely will vote for Obama to the 47% that Romney claims will automatically be voting for Obama, the percentage of people voting for Obama could be significantly larger than those voting for Romney.

  • sheknows

    We can all remember how outraged the republicans and right wing media were while accusing the dems of making this about “class warfare” a few months back. The very sad thing is that many poor and middle class republicans who are receiving those “entitlements” and “handouts”, like farm subsidies and social security and medicare don’t see that their would be leader has nothing but contempt for them. They simply will not believe the words this man uttered, claiming the video lied, or it was taken out of context etc. All of this loyalty for a candidate who won the nomination by default against some of the worst possibilities for leadership on the planet. Truly scary stuff!

  • roro80

    I say that whenever I get the chance. But for how long can one half the popularion pay benefits to the other half

    BTW Barky, the numbers I saw were not that 50% of the US are receiving government aid at any given time (or right now), it was that 50% of children live in households that get aid at some time before they are 18. My family needed it for about 3 months, and never before or after, so I was part of that 50%. But, according to data found at, :

    The public assistance participation rate for U.S. households was 2.9 percent in the 2010 ACS

    Definitely not 50%. Unless you’re talking about anyone getting a tax deduction or credit? Like, if I own a home and pay a mortgage and take the deduction for the interest, does that count as being “on public assistance”? If I have a child and take the $400 deduction for that, is that part of your statistic? If I start a business and deduct my business expenses…etc etc?

  • Rcoutme

    Romney is acknowledging what was not supposed to be mentioned in polite company: the 0.1% are, and HAVE BEEN, engaged in class warfare. They just don’t want the rest of us to know it…since, you know, they would be outnumbered.

  • dduck

    Ohio, you old codgers sometimes get it right, I agree.

  • slamfu

    “But for how long can one half the popularion pay benefits to the other half?”

    Roro hit this pretty good, but it also wrong in another sense. Many of the 47% while not paying federal income tax are still paying payroll tax into social security and medicare, the 2 largest govt programs behind the military budget. So its not like they aren’t putting anything into the system at all. Its just such an ignorant statement on so many levels I don’t know how Romney can be taken seriously at all. I mean really, google Romney Quotes, because by now I’m sure people have forgotten half the times he’s stuck his foot in his mouth because he’s simply done it so many times. This man is not fit to be President.

  • The_Ohioan


    Thanks. Now if we could just get the rest of the world to see it our way….

    Things look different when you’re closer to them than they do as theories about future events.

  • dduck

    I bow to your seniority and sagacity.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Perhaps I am being too partisan, but I just can not accept that a man who would want to be the president of these United States — of all Americans — would a priori, even before his election, be “percentaging” Americans –dividing them into two groups and in effect saying that these 47 percent I don’t give a sh*t about, these panhandlers I am not even going to try to get to vote for me; these government tit-suckers I am just going to ignore; these bunch of tax evaders I am going to throw under the bus even though so many of the “other 53 percent” are dependent on government programs, are tax evaders themselves…are Republicans.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    Hi there Nominal. Please read the commenters rules at the top of the home page. Again, there’s no attacking other commenters, not writers. Stick to the topic and debate, discuss, teach in ways and language that are civil. The Commenters’ Rules are few, but are enforced.


    archangel/ dr.e

  • Dorian, the psychology at work here is “competition”. The GOP believes competition solves everything. It’s the basis of reliance on market forces, it’s how they run Congress (our Speaker can’t even say the word “compromise”), it’s why their punditry will instantly take the other side of anything the Dems say, it’s why their leaders stated specifically that they would do anything to make this President fail so they could win power next time.

    Competition works with external forces. It does not work to solve internal problems. Collaboration beats competition, even within businesses. But the right has a psychopathy when it comes to competition: they think it is a cure-all for everything.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist


    Psychopathy and psychopaths is right,

    But, why even try to find words to describe Romney’s and the GOP’s psychopathy, arrogance and insensitivity when one has Maureen Dowd to do it so well for you:

    Less than 50 days before the election, we learn that Romney may have given up on half of America and on Mideast peace…

    …he wrote off 47 percent of the country as deadbeats, freeloaders and “victims” who feel they’re entitled to stuff — stuff like basic sustenance.

    The candidate, who pays so little in taxes relative to his income that he has to hide tax returns and money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, then added, condescendingly: “These are people who pay no income tax.”

    What kind of presidential candidate shrugs off wooing whole groups — we’re talking many seniors and white-working-class voters in battleground states who are, if he actually knew what he was talking about, his own natural constituencies?

    It’s literally rich: Willard, born on third base and acting self-made, whining to the rich about what a great deal in life the poor have.

    We thought Romney was secretly moderate, but it turns out that he’s secretly cruel, a social Darwinist just like his running mate.

    But, even as Mitt was spitefully demonizing and dividing in Boca, he remained cardboard-cutout un-self-aware, musing: “The thing which I find most disappointing about this president is his attack of one America against another America.” This is the absolute height of cluelessness.

    …Romney once more showed his foreign policy jejuneness, questioning the workability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, which is U.S. policy endorsed by W.

    Wow. That’s leadership. He said a former secretary of state had called him to suggest that after the Palestinian elections there might be a prospect for a settlement, but that “I didn’t delve into it.”

    After months of doggedly trying to seem more likable, sharing his guilty pleasures like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snooki, Romney came across as a mean geek, a Cranbrook kid at the country club smugly swaddled in class disdain. He thinks being president is his manifest destiny. His father didn’t make it, so he will — no matter what far-out conservative positions he must graft on to in order to do it.

    One thing we have to give Mitt, though: He is, as advertised, a brilliant manager. He’s managed to ensure that President Obama has a much better chance of re-election.

    Like her or hate her, classic Dowd!

    Read more here

  • dduck

    Obama has been preaching wealth distribution since at least 1998:

    Probably comes from the habit of passing a joint around at Columbia.

  • SteveK

    Randy Newman has figured out who 47% of the Romney vote are going to be… And then he wrote a song for / about them:

  • slamfu

    Wealth distribution in the form of progressive taxation has been extremely successful in the past in this country in keeping the budget balanced, as well as keeping the middle class healthy enough to power the greatest economy the world has ever known. I mean, it literally brought us out of the Great Depression and rolled us straight on thru the next few decades. It worked, and the GOP these days want to talk about it like its some horrid thing. When they get to implement their plans the wheels come off the wagon almost immediately, and STILL they don’t want to admit they are just flat out wrong on this policy. What do you have to do, what evidence is overwhelming enough, to make such people see what works and what doesn’t? Its really the kind of wanton ignorance that just makes me want to bash my head into a wall.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    I understand that Romney has received his first intelligence briefing.

    Hopefully, that will have two effects on the candidate:

    He’ll be able to discuss in a more measured and informed manner foreign policy and national security issues.

    He’ll be able to discuss more intelligently all other issues.

    (For “those in Rio Lindo,” the first comment is in earnest, the second comment is 47% in satire, 53% in earnest.) 🙂

  • The_Ohioan


    “I understand that Romney has received his first intelligence briefing.”

    Did it take?

    P.S. The Rio Lindo folks are the 47%.


    I wonder about Romney voters, too. The only thing I’ve heard is “deficit disorder”. The fact that Romney would reduce taxes and increase defense spending (and maybe start a third war) which would increase the deficit exponentially just like the Bush years seems to be irrelevent to them.

  • dduck

    Nice one, Ohio.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    T.O says:

    “I understand that Romney has received his first intelligence briefing.”

    Did it take?

    I hope we never have to find out, T.O.

  • ProWife

    Nominal, I take exception with what you said, “President Obama has been proclaiming tax retribution repeatedly against rich Americans for his entire campaign.” The president has been proposing tax cuts on the first $250,000 of all american tax payers income. Very fortunate americans making over $250,000 would get a tax cut on any income up to $250,000.

  • ProWife

    The first $250,000 taxable income is the equivalent of 10 years of taxable income for a walmart full-time employee.
    $250,000 taxable income is the equivalent of one full year of taxable income for 10 walmart full-time employees.

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