Mitt Romney says the 47 percent of people who are for sure voting for President Obama are doing so because they want a government handout, as seen in a video of a private fundraising event posted by Mother Jones' David Corn. 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.
For the record, in 2008, Obama did not sweep the "poor people who want to take rich people's money" demographic. According to national exit polls, he won 73 percent of people making less than $15,000 a year, but also 52 percent of those making $200,000 or more a year.
The video makes Romney sound contemptuous of a large slice of the electorate. But he probably was just trying to fire up wealthy donors so they'd write campaign checks. Still, the comments echo some things he's said before. In an interview with USA Today last month, Romney falsely accused Obama of gutting welfare reform and said it was a way to "shore up his base." His running mate, Paul Ryan, used to talk about a world made up of "makers" and "takers," as he said in a speech to the Heritage Foundation last year: "We're coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition."
Here's another video in which Romney says, "Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.