‘Mitt Romney lost the election’

So says Bloomberg’s Josh Barro in an article written in wake of the release of video of the presidential candidate’s remarks at a fundraiser. The internet is full of articles last night and today about Romney’s remarks, with most focusing on this passage:

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.


[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

In one fell swoop, Romney equated the 47% of people who pay no income taxes with the supporters of President Barack Obama. Not true. Most of those who don’t pay taxes are his voters, but they aren’t who he thinks they are. Many don’t pay income taxes because they are elderly or poor, although a few are rich.

But even more than that – does Romney think that 47% of voters are what he describes? Thurston Howell indeed.

Honestly, I thought Mitt Romney to be the best of the Republican presidential candidates (save Huntsman, who didn’t have a chance). I was wrong. Turns out, he really will say whatever he thinks folks want to hear. What he believes is anyone’s guess. Or maybe not.

This video provides an answer: He feels that you’re a loser.

And Romney will be the loser on Election Day.


12 thoughts on “‘Mitt Romney lost the election’

  1. Only disagreement I have is comment about Huntsman. I thought he had a chance. Slim, but it amazed me the candidate most likely to be able to beat Obama, IMHO, couldn’t get traction with his party. I couldn’t understand how, or why, the Republicans’ gaze was drawn from him to the shiny objects that were Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

  2. The only disagreement I have is that this one video cost Romney the election. I believe his refusal to turn over his tax returns and, even more importanly, his continual attacks on Obama and his lack of setting out specific plans and policies to generate jobs and stimulate the economy are his failures. He has run a pitiful campaign. The video might just be the nail in the coffin.

  3. Part of what I find incredibly interesting is the notion that this 47% of adults who have no income tax liability are all shiftless Obama-voting welfare queens…but in part because his income is primarily taxed as dividends as opposed to wages and in part because he has such a wide latitude of vehicles for sheltering that income from tax liability (everything from IRA investments to Olympic horses to overseas bank accounts), it’s been suggested that Mitt Romney has been counted among these 47% at multiple points in his life, and he has certainly avoided demonstrating otherwise to the greatest extent possible. Even with what we do know, it’s clear that Mitt Romney has a smaller income tax liability relative to his total income than the overwhelming majority of middle class earners.

    Romney seems not to be entirely settled on whether or not the economy should be the number one issue his campaign talks about, but I would give him a little free advise and suggest that the income tax liability of other Americans should probably be the absolute last.

    1. Well, we need to be careful. What we saw was an edited tape, and they will not release the full tape. (Well, I’ve been out of the loop for a few hours, so that may have changed.) The 47% that do not pay income taxes is not the same 47% that receive government benefits. So while the edited tape seems to show Romney conflating those two, he may not have been.

      If you are going to look at what Romney paid as a percentage of his income, they you also have to consider the corporate taxes he pays, including half of the payroll taxes for his employees. If you want to include tax-free income from municipal bonds, then you should add in the income he is not getting because it is tax free. For example, if AAA-rated corporate bonds are paying 6%, then a high-tax-bracket investor will take 4% on a tax-free municipal bond. If you want to complain about his low tax burden, then you should fairly add into both income and tax that “phantom” 2% discount he’s giving the government.

      I think he is right that it is a big problem when nearly half of the voters don’t have “skin in the game,” as the president might say. When a majority of voters can simply vote to take more and more from the minority, we will be in trouble.

      1. Full Romney video with transcript He said it.

        As for Bain – everything I’ve read says it is a partnership, so it pays no taxes. In any event you can’t have it both ways – if he is no longer a partner in Bain, then he doesn’t pay any of the payroll taxes. If he is a partner in Bain, he’s lying.

        To say that people who don’t pay income taxes “have no skin in the game” is absolute BS. They pay a lot of taxes, just not income taxes. And, after all, it was Republican tax policies that led to so many folks not paying income taxes in the first place!

        1. Wow. There’s a lot of really good stuff in there. No wonder Carter cut all that out!

          Now, Gov. Romney is a partial owner of many, many corporations.

          Agreed, both the Reagan and the Bush tax cuts dropped many people from the rolls of U.S. income taxpayers. It was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now. We should have a flat tax on all income, and no corporate taxes at all.

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