Romney Admits He Was Wrong About 47%

Initially, Mitt Romney tried to defend his 47% remarks, calling them inartfully phrased. In case you don't recall his remarks, here's what he said at a campaign event:

"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 upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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."

"Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax," Romney said, and that his role "is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."sed.

Tonight, Romney reversed course, and admitted he was completely wrong. [More....]

"In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong." He added: "And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent."

What's behind his change of heart? Does he figure he has good will to spare today after his debate performance? Or has he realized he's in trouble with independent voters?

Obama has a pretty good commercial running on TV here tonight. It's just him, clearly saying what he didn't say clearly or forcefully enough last night. It's a full 2 minutes and first aired a week ago.

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    On why Obama might not have mentione 47% (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by someTV on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:01:18 AM EST
    After reading this over in orange it seemed to me that it might have been smart on Obama's part not to mention the 47% which would have given Mr. Romney a much larger audience than the choir he was preaching to on Hannity on Fox (although there he risked the chance that his congregants might take him to task for not throwing it all down on the 47%).

    "you know, having given it (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:03:18 AM EST
    some more thought, it probably wasn't such a great idea to drop those nuclear bombs on saudi arabia."

    How convenient (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:56:57 AM EST
    nearing the election to have such an epiphany.

    In last night's debate he tried to rewrite his tax policy; again as a matter of convenience.  Anyone who believes him shouldn't be trusted around the simplest machinery.

    is that what lying is called these days? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 01:25:08 AM EST
    he tried to rewrite his tax policy

    he didn't rewrite anything, he just flat out lied. or, if he truly believes what he was saying, he doesn't even know the results of the policies he's pushing. i'm not sure which is worse.


    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:38:08 AM EST
    had an equally enlightened and conveniently timed epiphany regarding gay marriage.

    Someone in the media needs to ... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:31:30 AM EST
    ... ask Mitt Romney to further expound regarding why he thinks his prior statement about the so-called 47% of the electorate is "completely wrong."

    Personally, I don't believe he can truly articulate exactly why his comments at that Boca Raton fundraiser were considered so grievously offensive by so many people. I think his rather convenient disavowal of those earlier remarks -- coming as it does nearly three weeks ex post facto -- really amounts to nothing more than a simple act of political expediency.

    What was the question that he was asked? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:38:17 AM EST
    I have not seen that.

    And yes, I would like to know what exactly he is now saying he was wrong about.

    It must be hard for his supporters to keep up with him. Defend one day, admit he was wrong the next.  Like that old game of 'crack the whip' we used to play as kids.


    From the linked article: (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:54:57 AM EST
    In an interview Thursday night with Fox News, Romney was asked what he would have said had the "47 percent" comments come up during his debate in Denver on Wednesday night with President Barack Obama.

    "Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right," Romney said. "In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong."

    He added: "And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that's been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent."

    Probably, if you really, truly believe something, it's unlikely that one day something completely different is going to come rolling out of your mouth just because you've been giving a lot of speeches and interviews.  

    Seriously, he'd have been better off just saying, "The truth is, no one can get elected in this country without raising a lot of money.  So, I speak to a lot of people I think can help me in that regard.  What I was trying to say was that  I can't in good conscience ask people whose only income is from Social Security or disability or unemployment to contribute to my campaign.  I have to focus on the people who can afford to contribute to my campaign, help me wage this battle to get elected, so that I can help those most in need."

    It would still open him up to questions, but at least it's more believable than what he said "didn't come out right."


    Yes, the campaign strategy part of it (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 09:13:55 AM EST
    is the most defensible. He is choosing to focus on that part and saying he cares about everyone, not just the ones that agree with him.

     As lentinel says below it is the insults to the people that are not defensible. Has he had a change of heart about that? He is not going into any detail. Someone should ask.


    There (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:43:48 AM EST
    is a percentage of the electorate who will vote for Obama no matter what because they couldn't possibly vote for Romney.

    There is a percentage of the electorate who will vote for Romney because they couldn't possibly vote for Obama.

    It may be close to 47% on both counts.

    It is Romney's characterization of the 47% on the Obama side that is indeed offensive and stupid, ignorant, self-serving, elitist, racist... any pejorative that you can think of.

    But the percentage of locked in voters might not be all that far off.

    Your point about demanding that Romney state clearly and precisely why he thinks his verbal excrescence is "totally wrong" is right on the money.

    But that would be asking something of our comatose media that is way beyond their brains, hearts, souls or level of integrity.


    As long as the Obama plan remains (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 06:39:07 AM EST
    committed to cutting $4 trillion - or really, any trillion - from the deficit, on top of all the cutting that's already underway, unemployment is going to stay high, job creation will remain weak, and four years from now, some Democrat is going to be saying the same things and praying his opponent is just as bad a candidate as Romney is.

    I guess what gets me is this: if job creation is as easy as Obama makes it sound - "First, we create a million new manufacturing jobs" - shouldn't he already have waved his magic wand to make that - and more - happen?  

    In the end, unless Obama gets off the deficit bandwagon, there is very little of the good stuff he's promising that's going to happen - and that's when it will become easier to frack the crap out of the country - "look at all the jobs it will create!" - and come up with God knows what else that will hurt us in the long run.

    As for Mitt "Etch-a-Sketch" Romney, I don't even know why he'd want to open that can of worms again.  The only thing he could say that would bear any relationship to reality is that while "of course" he cares about the well-being and quality of life of all Americans, he can't waste his time looking for campaign donations from people who derive much of their income from government programs - he has to work the fat cats now so he can help the teat-sucking masses with Republican tough love later.  Because you just know he's exactly the kind of jerk who would say things like "this hurts me more than it hurts you" as he announces some plan to cut benefits for the neediest among us.  

    It's enough to make a person scream.

    Biden, (none / 0) (#12)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:28:46 AM EST
    during the last campaign, said that it was all about a, "three letter word: J O B S."

    Three letters, four letters, whatever... it didn't work out so well.

    Team Obama better hope that Romney (or Ryan) doesn't dredge that one up.


    Mitt (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Lacy on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 07:14:09 AM EST
    Romney was an excellent con-man in the debate, and I suspect that Obama had never gone up against one before.

    Obama's debating has been against Democrats and John McCain, people who are honest.  Romney was the door-to-door vacuum salesman, ready to lie about his product, ready to claim those same vacuums that failed around the neighborhood were a different brand, or whatever it took to fool the customer.

    That is the lesson of Wednesday night.

    You know what comes next, right? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:41:05 AM EST
    In the false equivalency game, Fox calls for Obama to respond to and disavow their fauxtrage over the old tape they 'unearthed'. Count on it.

    Unemployment rate down to 7.8% (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:31:50 AM EST
    Hundreds of thousands of people entered the workforce. Prior months jobs numberes revised upwards.  114,000 new jobs added for September.

    Wow. Below 8 is good news. (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:41:32 AM EST
    I know about all the caveats, but all caveats  being equal month to month, this can only help Obama make the case.

    Yes, the president "caught a break" (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 11:23:54 AM EST
    and he needed one this week.  Probably better to have a good jobs report and a bad debate than a bad jobs report and a good debate-- horse race advocates to the contrary.    And, the Obama "style" was the biggest criticism, but he did not introduce any content mistakes, purposeful confusion, moving target policies, or a barrage of  outright lies.

    Romney, on the other hand.....  a peripeteia that embraced  "all of the above" factors, updating Senator Kennedy's assessment of Romney as "multiple choice."   Romney's debate legacy, along with the latest iteration of his "47 percent-gate" (the weak confidence-builder, " I was completely wrong") reveals why he should not be elected president of the USA.


    California real estate is on the way up (none / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 11:17:45 AM EST
    Perhaps only anecdotal, as I have not looked at the stats, but friends of mine who are home inspectors tell me that bidding wars over houses are starting to occur.

    People are suing to force buyers to sell (claims for specific performance), which was unheard of during the crash.

    California real estate led us to the bottom.  But it has turned.


    I think it's important not to assume that (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 11:46:34 AM EST
    bidding wars are, in and of themselves, an indication that the housing market has turned; context and other factors really have to be looked at before reaching such a conclusion.

    David Dayen:

    Most housing analysts look at the numbers (all of which have a high margin of error related to them) and slice them and dice them without accounting for who is buying homes, for what purpose, and under what standard. And it's clear that, when you step back and look at what's driving the market, you have two factors. OK, I'll be charitable and say three. One, more people have jobs than they did in 2010 and 2011. It's not much, but it's more. So that's more people with the capacity to purchase homes, which has led to a modest increase in demand. This is the smallest factor.

    The second factor is the continuation of the artificial suppression of supply. With supply constrained, in this market you have slightly more people looking for far less homes. Therefore you get price increases. That's not really that hard to figure out.

    The third factor is the speculative bubble being inflated by mass purchases from institutional investors like hedge funds and private equity firms. This comes mostly in the area of foreclosed properties and distressed home sales but on prices, the bidding up crosses over to increase non-distressed sales as well. It's very clear that this has been going on for at least a year, and the sales will continue, boosting the existing home sales charts. All the low-end moves in the market are coming from this phenomenon.

    Both of my daughters bought homes this summer, and while my older daughter and her husband were lucky and found the house they wanted very quickly, my younger daughter and her fiance spent months in the process.  This spring, a lot of the homes that appealed to them had offers within hours of being listed.  They put an offer in on one house, with an escalator clause, that said they would increase the highest offer on the house, up to a specified amount.  As it turned out, the inspection on that house revealed problems too numerous to make it a viable transaction, and they got out - with their deposit.  They finally put an offer in on a house they had looked at back in May, but was out of their price range.  Sellers dropped the price, the kids made their offer, and also asked for the seller to pay the closing costs - and just before Labor Day, they settled on the sale.

    So, yes, there is more activity, and prices are rising, but that has to be put into context.  Probably the most disturbing part of it, for me, is the involvement of hedge funds and private equity, hot for profit and oblivious to consequence.

    Just something to consider.


    Next Romney will claim... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:51:55 AM EST
    he was a victim of demonic possession during the whole GOP primary campaign.  Sh*t his time at Bain too.  He just got his exorcism and feels much better now.

    Mebbe. Might depend (none / 0) (#23)
    by brodie on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 11:36:41 AM EST
    on whether his church believes in or allows for demonic possession and exorcism.

    Nothing Mr Etch A Sketch would say or do at this point would surprise me.  It's the most breathtakingly brazen campaign of constantly revising facts, history and positions in the history of presidential politics.

    Meanwhile, re excuse making, I hope Dems zip it on finding creative ways to blame others or other things for O's sorry debate performance.  The buck stops with him.  

    But I still shake my head in amazement-amusement over Al Gore's high altitude attempt at coming to O's rescue.  Embarrassing.


    When the resident office... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 01:18:01 PM EST
    rightwing dittohead told me about the Gore excuse for the debate performance, I didn't believe it...but sure enough, Gore went there.  It's not playing the Broncos in Denver Al, it's a f8ckin' debate! Embarassing is right.

    Sad state of affairs (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:55:55 PM EST
    that in the 21st century, w/all our advances, we'd even be considering this guy for president.

    'I'm Not Familiar Precisely With Exactly What I Said, But I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was'

    Car salesman con-man is an apt description.

    But Mitt truly cares about them... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 01:08:41 PM EST
    "And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that's been demonstrated throughout my life..."

    I even used to give free haircuts.

    Liar, thief, what's next? Presidet? (3.00 / 2) (#5)
    by koshembos on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:06:13 AM EST
    Romney and the Republicans have committed crimes against the American for 12 long years. Now, the conversion. It turns out that they love us dearly. Romney may even bring some jobs back from China.

    Talking about liars, Obama lied to us for 4 years. He screwed the American people and helped the rich. He had his conversion on the campaign trail. He loves us. He works for us. He hates his friends on Wall Street. In the end of time, he may break up JP Morgan (not).

    What a country we have to choose between two types of deadly cancers.

    The (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 03:35:11 AM EST
    crimes committed by the republicans against the American people could not have happened without the passive acquiescence or active participation of an onerous segment of the democratic party.

    I will not vote for Romney.

    But, to be honest, although I disagree with his characterization of the 47%, I think he is right that a certain percentage of people will vote for the incumbent "no matter what". 47% may not be far off imo. No matter what Obama does with respect to the trampling of our civil liberties, or his kill-lists, people on the "left" will vote for him.

    I would add that there would be a similar percentage of people who will vote for Romney, "no matter what".

    So what? People are desperate. There is continuing joblessness and increasing hardship. Change, Obama's mantra, could now be the motivating factor for a Romney voter. Anything but what we have now. Irrational? Maybe. But completely understandable imo.

    Essentially, people voting for Obama will do so as a means of voting against Romney, and people voting for Romney will do so as a means of voting against Obama.

    A pretty picture.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:28:26 AM EST
    it's time to stop writing down all the things Romney has flip flopped on, as the list is no longer a manageable length, and instead see if we can find something that he hasn't tried to etch a sketch away.

    I'll start:
    Number 1.....ummmm