Is Mitt Romney in Self Destruct Mode?
8 months ago
Former governor's dismissal of the '47 percent' could be a deal breaker for his presidential hopes
Did you catch the video of Mitt Romney waxing poetic about the 47 percent of Americans he described as tax-dodging freeloaders with victim complexes?
With the media frenzy after the video's posting, it would have been hard to miss coverage of the stealthily captured clips of a May conversation Romney had with rich donors in Florida. During the talk, Romney basically wrote off almost half the country.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for [President Barack Obama] no matter what. [They] believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
As the story gained traction, Romney's campaign called an impromptu press conference to clarify his position.
“My campaign is about helping people take more responsibility and becoming employed again, particularly those who don’t have work,” Romney said. But he refused to dial back his earlier comments, saying only that they were "inartfullly" stated.
This isn't Romney's first gaffe. Remember when he bragged that he and wife, Ann, had never been asked to show their birth certificates; suggested undocumented immigrants had the means to “self deport;” and unflinchingly wagered $10,000 during a primary-season debate? But this latest gaffe does little to help Romney portray himself to the electorate as anything other than an out-of-touch elitist, whom voters can’t trust to extend a helping hand, should they require (ideally) temporary assistance paying their housing, food, and health care costs.