‘47 percent’ stirs presidential race

by Hutton Marshall

MCT Campus

After circulating under the radar for weeks, a video of presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at what he mistook to be a private fundraiser recently gained enormous popularity.

In a low-quality video that appears to have been taken without Romney’s knowledge, he is quoted saying the 47 percent of U.S. citizens currently supporting President Barack Obama are dependent on government support. This has led to severe backlash by citizens and the media.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said in the video. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent govern- ment, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has the 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.”

Obama’s campaign has not missed the opportunity to capi- talize on Romney’s closed-door statements. In a Tuesday taping of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” Obama responded to what he saw as Romney’s “writing off” of 47 percent of Americans.

”All of us make mistakes,” Obama said. “What I think people want to make sure of is you’re not writing off a big chunk of the country.”

In a press conference on Mon- day night, Romney described his remarks in the video as “off the cuff,” claiming they could have been stated more eloquently. However, he ultimately stood by the remarks made in the video.

“My campaign is about helping people take more re- sponsibility and becoming employed again, particularly those who don’t have work,” Romney said in the press con- ference. “Do you believe in a government-centered society that provides more and more benefits or do you believe instead in a free-enterprise society where people are able to pursue their dreams?”